Unique Fix for an Old Bomber

It took 21 jacks to lift a venerable B-52 bomber 36 inches off the hangar floor so members of the 5th Maintenance Group at Minot AFB, N.D., could repair a one-fourth inch crack—it was an unheard of feat and one that took five months of preparation, according to the Minot force. “In my 18 years of working on the B-52, this is the first time I’ve seen a repair of this type,” said MSgt. Tiburcio Sipin, 5th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation section chief. Minot maintainers discovered the crack while the bomber was deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, but the bomber continued to fly during the unit’s Pacific region rotation. After returning to Minot and consultations with other B-52 units and the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, Okla., the 5th MXG received the necessary parts and began what is called a “jack and cradle operation.” It took 33 maintainers to ensure a level and safe lift, moving each of the 21 jacks in one-inch increments. The repair took seven days. (Minot report by SSgt. Jennifer Redente)