A C-17 first for McChord

By Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez on April 13, 2017

Team McChord airmen recently performed an uncommon maintenance action to a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft flight control as maintainers from the 62nd Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord changed out a faulty C-17 flap April 6. 

The 2,200-pound flap replaced a faulty flap and is the first flap change to ever be completed by maintainers at McChord Field.

"We got the best of the best of our shop here working on it," said Master Sgt. Andrew Mujica, 62nd MXS maintenance flight repair and reclamation section chief. "This expands the capabilities of the technicians and shows what they are truly capable of."

The new flap arrived at the base March 22 and took more than a week to be prepped for the installation.

"It's a big job," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Hughes, 62nd MXS maintenance flight repair and reclamation lead technician. "With a primary flight control system, this is a good experience for our people to get to do something we don't get to do every day."

Because of the magnitude of the job, the flap change is considered a depot-level maintenance action, said Hughes. As a result, this prevents the aircraft from having to be decommissioned for maintenance by Boeing and saves the Air Force time and money by completing it in-house.  

"The training received and the money saved by doing this in-house is very beneficial," said Hughes. "Essentially, this is just another flight control. It's just bigger than any of the other ones.

Because this is a rare opportunity for maintainers, the changing of the flap provides airmen a valuable training opportunity.

Although a difficult and time consuming task, Team McChord maintainers are up to the challenge, said Hughes.

"Gaining this experience with this system makes us more knowledgeable as a shop," said Hughes. "It is depot-level maintenance and to say that we did it, is awesome."