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Hill F-35 maintainers speed egress inspection, servicing

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  • 419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Westover, a reservist in the 419th Fighter Wing, and Staff Sgt. Cameron Weston from the active duty 388th Fighter Wing, are Hill’s first fully qualified egress technicians. Their efforts are improving aircraft availability numbers by decreasing downtime in the process for inspecting and servicing F-35A seats.

In addition to routine inspections, ejection seats are removed from the cockpits every two years for servicing. Several highly-used components, like straps, buckles and pins, are replaced. The seat and related systems are inspected and the information entered into the Autonomic Logistics Information system.

This process was previously performed by contractors, which could take up to two weeks. But now, Hill maintainers have been trained to perform the entire process locally, cutting that time down to two days. By reducing the time it takes to get the aircraft back in rotation, they have increased the number of aircraft available for sorties, as well as opportunities for other maintenance training.

(Adapted from a story by Micah Garbarino, 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)