First Eglin Maintainers Certified for F-35 Engine Runs

The 33rd Training Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., certified the first maintenance personnel to conduct engine runs on the F-35A strike fighter. Two Air Force crew chiefs and two civilians from Air Force Engineer Technical Services are now cleared to perform this maintenance task, which is required after engine installations, to check for leaks, and for operational checks of specific components, according to Eglin’s Sept. 25 release. Previously, only trained F-35A pilots could conduct the engine runs, states the release. “It feels pretty good starting the whole development of this program and being the first enlisted person to run an [F-135] engine,” said TSgt. Jeremy Pressley of Eglin’s 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. Pressley completed his first engine run on Sept. 10 and will be an instructor for the maintainers who go through the engine run course. The next group of seven-level crew chiefs is scheduled to take the course as early as the end of 2012. (Eglin report by 2nd Lt. Jessica Rush)