Inspection team keeps aircraft flying
By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 05, 2018
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.