Inspection team keeps aircraft flying

Cockpit information is compared to simulated input information to test for accurate data.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Corey Batts, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron inspection team member, checks cockpit display information at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 15, 2017. Cockpit information is compared to simulated input information to test for accurate data.

The spray is used to simulate icing in the intake and prompts a warning message in the cockpit.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Corey Batts, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) inspection team member, watches U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Josh Butcher, 20th EMS inspection team member, spray coolant on an F-16CM Fighting Falcon intake temperature monitor at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 15, 2017. The spray is used to simulate icing in the intake and prompts a warning message in the cockpit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

The tester transmits data to the F-16CM Fighting Falcon and the EMS inspection team tests the aircraft’s results against the information from the tester.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Josh Butcher, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) inspection team member, plugs in an engine warning tester at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 15, 2017. The tester transmits data to the F-16CM Fighting Falcon and the EMS inspection team tests the aircraft’s results against the information from the tester. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

The wing is opened up and inspected for internal cracks to ensure structural integrity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Reynolds Velayo, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) inspection team member, inspects the inside of a wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 15, 2017. The wing is opened up and inspected for internal cracks to ensure structural integrity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Airmen assigned to the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron perform inspections on F-16CM Fighting Falcons at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, on a scheduled basis to ensure safe flight.

The 20th EMS inspection team tests aircraft temperature sensors, computer systems and wing integrity to keep the jets flying safely.

“We perform operational checkouts on the F-16 and measure aircraft instruments,” said Staff Sgt. Reynolds Velayo, 20th EMS inspection team member. “What we are testing today is ice detection, fire and overheating detection, and engine warning systems to ensure accurate data.”

The team inputs simulated data into the aircraft and checks it through the jet’s instruments. After the plane receives the information, inspection section Airmen analyze the data from the cockpit to see if any component needs recalibration.

“We have to make sure the engine and cages are working properly,” said Airman 1st Class Josh Butcher, 20th EMS inspection team member.

The inspection team also removes panels from wings and inspects the internal supports for cracks. A wing with internal damage is prone to breaking apart under the stress of flight.

Every aircraft that flies at Shaw goes through the inspection process. Sensors, computers and wings are tested by the team to ensure Shaw F-16’s are ready to fly.