Buttoning Up the C-5A
Paintings Across Time
It Was the Day Before Christmas...
U.S. Air Force
The magazine of the Air Force Museum Foundation
Spring 2020, Vol. 43 No. 2
BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRMAN
Col Susan E. Richardson, USAF (Ret)
“You didn’t know what you were looking for, till you heard the voices in your ear.” Rick Nielsen penned those lyrics for the song Voices by Cheap Trick. I have listened to that song thousands of times, but it has taken on new meaning. While in the Museum galleries recently, I was struck by the number of visitors standing in silence, reading the narratives, appreciating the exhibits, etc. I wondered what they were thinking? What was that voice in their heads saying? Like I am prone to do, I wondered “What if all those internal voices were amplified so all could hear what they were thinking? Would it be a whisper, or would it be a roar?” With the D-Day: Freedom from Above augmented reality (AR) exhibit, we started to hear the whispers. As expected, the younger generation (ages 10-19) easily connected with the AR tech. And the seasoned generation (ages 55-70) was able to use it as well. What was not expected were the conversations the exhibit enabled. When a son and mother were in the D-Day exhibit and she realized the soldier her son had chosen would perish in the airborne jump into St. Mere Eglise; that a mother had sacrificed her son… the conversation that resulted about freedom and sacrifice was genuine and moving. And we are just getting started. The Museum has embarked on a program to create an environment where immersive, interactive exhibits encourage visitors to share their thoughts with each other. It will be an environment where parents and grandparents connect with the next generations; to talk openly about our history, our future, and the role they will play in shaping that future. Through your generosity, those internal voices can be amplified; becoming a chorus of voices connecting and sharing. Hope to see you all soon, as our amazing choir can use a few more voices.
Mike Imhoff Air Force Museum Foundation Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Pamela A. Drew VICE PRESIDENT
Lt Gen C.D. Moore II, USAF (Ret) SECRETARY
CMSAF Gerald R. Murray, USAF (Ret) TREASURER
Brig Gen Paul R. Cooper, USAF (Ret) Col James F. Blackman, USAF (Ret) Mr. John G. Brauneis Dr. Thomas J. Burns, PhD Mr. Roger D. Duke Ms. Frances A. Duntz Ms. Anita Emoff Col Frederick D. Gregory Sr., USAF (Ret) Mr. Benjamin T. Guthrie Mr. James L. Jennings Mr. Scott L. Jones Mr. Ki Ho Kang Dr. Thomas J. Lasley II Mr. Scott E. Lundy Gen Lester L. Lyles, USAF (Ret) Maj Gen Edward (Ted) P. Maxwell, USAF (Ret) Maj Gen Brian C. Newby, USAF (Ret) Gen Gary L. North, USAF (Ret) Mr. Edgar M. Purvis Jr. Maj Gen Frederick F. Roggero, USAF (Ret) Mr. Philip L. Soucy Mr. Robert J. Suttman II, CFA Dr. Andrea Townsend Mr. Randy Tymofichuk
EMERITUS BOARD MEMBERS
Col Mark N. Brown, USAF (Ret) Mr. James F. Dicke II Mr. Charles J. Faruki Maj Gen E. Ann Harrell, USAF (Ret) Col William S. Harrell, USAF (Ret) Mr. Jon G. Hazelton Mr. Charles F. Kettering III Mr. Patrick L. McGohan Lt Gen Richard V. Reynolds, USAF (Ret) Gen Charles T. (Tony) Robertson, USAF (Ret) Mr. R. Daniel Sadlier Col James B. Schepley, USAF (Ret) Mr. Scott J. Seymour Mr. Harry W. (Wes) Stowers Jr.
what’s inside 11 IN EVERY ISSUE
It’s the Little Things
ABOVE & BEYOND Medal of Honor recipient: 2nd Lt Frank Luke Jr.
CLASSIC AIRCRAFT AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE USAF™
Fairchild C-119J Flying Boxcar
Memphis Belle ™ Update
UPCOMING EVENTS AND EXHIBITS AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE USAF Global Positioning, Flying the President, Salute: A Vietnam Veterans Tribute, and more
Reunions Around the Country
BUTTONING UP THE C-5A
“This earned me my first and only personal message from the four-star general at Military Airlift Command.”
MY TIME FLYING THE C-5 GALAXY
“In January 2004, a C-5 departing Baghdad was struck by a SAM, resulting in the loss of one engine.”
PAINTINGS ACROSS TIME
FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙
VOLANT OAK — C-130S
IN PANAMA “I’ve killed them all,” I thought, “I have dropped them into the canal!“
COORDINATION IN THE AC-119G/K “What could have been chaos was a symphony through the exercise of discipline, coordination and teamwork.”
“Little did he know that those efforts and that very love would link him to his family so many decades later.”
FINAL DEPLOYMENT OF THE 4025TH SRS — PART 3 “We finally broke out of the solid overcast a scant five hundred feet over the city of Bangor...”
On the Cover: West Virginia Air National Guard aircrew members with the 167th Airlift Wing out of Martinsburg, W. Va., perform post flight checks inside the cockpit of a C-5 Galaxy, July 22, 2013, at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C. Airmen from the 167th AW loaded cargo onto the C-5 to be used to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
IT WAS THE DAY BEFORE
CHRISTMAS… “This event cemented the C-5’s reputation as the greatest airlifter in the world.”
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the Friends Journal articles and Feedback letters are solely those of the authors in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., the United States Air Force or any other entity or agency of the U.S. Government.
AIR FORCE MUSEUM FOUNDATION LEADERSHIP TEAM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
DIRECTOR, FOOD SERVICE AND FACILITIES
DIRECTOR, ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS
All of us here at the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., send our best wishes for your continued health during the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, the temporary closure of the Museum as a precaution has left us without the Collection Connection items related to stories in the Journal that we have been featuring in recent issues. We hope to be able to renew that feature once the Museum reopens.
DIRECTOR, HR AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
Crystal Van Hoose
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS… For years, the Friends Feedback page in the Friends Journal featured a generic, seven-cent U.S. Air Mail stamp of a twin-engine jet. This was probably a Boeing 707, which was introduced in 1958, the same year the stamp was first issued by the U.S. Postal Service. As part of our redesign of the Friends Journal I decided to use stamps with an actual connection to the U.S. Air Force, of which there are dozens celebrating aircraft, individuals, and events. The stamp on last issue’s page was a 24-cent stamp from 1918 featuring the Curtiss JN-4. The aircraft depicted, #38262, was the plane used on the first regularly scheduled U.S. Air Mail flight, May 15, 1918. The first Air Mail flights were flown by Army pilots. This issue we feature a 1980 stamp honoring pilot and aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss who died 90 years ago, July 23, 1930. Curtiss sold the U.S. Signal Corps its second aircraft, a Curtiss 1911 Model D Type IV, and went on to supply many different aircraft to the U.S. military. His company, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, merged with Wright Aeronautical to form the Curtiss Wright Corporation in 1929. In general, aircraft engines manufactured by the corporation were named Wright (such as the Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone which powered the North American B-25 Mitchell), and aircraft were named Curtiss (such as the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk). Look for a new stamp, with a new Air Force story, in the next issue.
Alan Armitage firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE™ DIRECTOR
David Tillotson III DEPUTY DIRECTOR/ SENIOR CURATOR
FRIENDS JOURNAL EDITOR
Alan Armitage CREATIVE MANAGER
John King, Art Powell, Robert Pinizzotto
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937.258.1225 The Friends Journal is published quarterly by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a Section 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion and improvement of the National Museum of the U.S. Air ForceTM and to the preservation of the history of the United States Air Force. The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no government status. Printed in the USA. USPS Standard A rate postage paid at Dayton, OH. Subscription to the Friends Journal is included in the annual membership of the Friends of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
O YT N A 0 12:0 PM
Comments about the B-47 stories in our Fall 2019 issue. COL DON CASSIDAY, USAF (RET), OF GREEN VALLEY, ARIZONA, WROTE: “I particularly enjoyed the recent Fall edition with its lovely picture of a B-47 on the cover and its articles about the Stratojet. I was however taken aback by Lt Col Lowery’s assertion that there was an ‘avalanche of SAC pilots and navigators who resigned because of the fatal accidents.’ I was a student pilot at McConnell at the time of the accident which killed Capt Bill Booy (he was my roommate in the BOQ as a matter of fact) and shortly thereafter joined the 40th Bomb Wing at Schilling AFB. I know of no-one who resigned as a result of the whole “milk bottle” mod situation. “I was President of the B-47 Stratojet Association and have asked members of our Board of Directors whether they knew of such a thing. None of them are aware of any “avalanche” either. One director captured our attitude at the time – ‘we all knew that flying was sometimes dangerous and accepted that. If anyone resigned over the “milk bottle” issue they TALK TO US Send your comments to P.O. Box 1903, WPAFB, OH 45433 or email email@example.com. For comments or questions directed at the Foundation that don’t pertain to the magazine, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page at afmuseum.com. facebook.com/ Air.Force.Museum.Foundation @AFMFoundation #airforcemuseumfoundation @airforcemuseumfoundation #airforcemuseumfoundation
FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙
must have done it quietly.’ I think that reflects the attitude of most of us at the time. “I’d be very interested in where Col Lowery got the statistics to support the claim of an “avalanche.” In my mind, this is an insult to a generation of brave men who made the B-47 a primary weapon of the Cold War irrespective of the fact the Stratojet was a technical challenge to fly and maintain.”
LT COL JOHN LOWERY, USAF (RET), RESPONDED: “My source for saying there was an avalanche of resignations was communication with personal acquaintances. In my then-small hometown of Auburn, Alabama, out of five of us rated AF pilots there were three pilots assigned to B-47s who resigned, one of whom was a WW II B-29 combat vet. And at Williams AFB, Arizona where I was instructing in F-86s the top graduates were all being assigned as B-47 copilots. Many of them resigned rather than go.”
ALSO, ROBERT CHAMBERS OF LOVELAND, COLORADO WROTE: When I was a young first lieutenant with the Seventh Air Force Info Office in Vietnam in 1966, I was still totally enamored with anything that flew. Down on the line at Tan Son Nhut Airbase doing some filming one day, I saw a WB-47 about to taxi out. This was an old B-47 at that time. It had wrinkles in the skin like the proverbial trout out of water and it had the patina of wear that could only have been earned having been through the mill. It intrigued me because although I had seen plenty of pictures of the early six-jet bomber I had never seen one up-close, let alone fly...so I stuck around to watch the takeoff. The “button up” was routine and the crew chief was standing in front of the number one engine and twirling his finger for the spool-up phase of the start. Since this was a canopied aircraft I could see the pilot clearly and he was shaking his head. No start. The crew chief very purposely walked back to the crew hatch, reached up and pulled out a stepladder. He then carried it over to the intake of the number one engine and set it up. Climbing up the ladder he stuck one arm into the intake, looked at the pilot again and twirled his finger. When the pilot indicated start, he reached in and flipped the stuck turbine blade to get the engine started...it cranked right up, The crew chief then folded the ladder, stowed it in the entry hatch, climbed in and buttoned up. It was all done in such a well-rehearsed manner that it was obvious this was not the first time. The Stratojet took off without further incident and I stood there amazed and somewhat bewildered as someone who had just witnessed the handpropping of a B-47!
Buttoning Up the BY SILAS FELTON
This tale started when I PCSed (Permanent Change of Station) in late 1974 to San Antonio Air Logistics Center (SAALC) at Kelly Air Force Base (AFB). I was assigned to the Maintenance Directorate, Aircraft Division, working for Col Roy Oakes. The PCS was a great change, since my maintenance experience had all been on F-4’s. Now everything was big aircraft and the military maintenance staff was about 30 officers and just a few more enlisted among 6,000 civilians in the Directorate, all in a gigantic hangar. I was still getting adjusted when the Operation Babylift C-5A crashed near Saigon on April 4, 1975. It came as a surprise 10 days later when Colonel Oakes called me to his office to tell me that I (a very junior captain) would be taking a team to Travis Air Force Base, near Sacramento, California, to comply with urgent action Time Compliance Technical Order (TCTO) 1C-5A-1768. Based on results from the crash investigation, that TCTO would button up the rear loading capability limiting the aircraft to loading through the nose. This
C-5A TCTO was an interim measure to allow the C-5 fleet to operate until a final fix was designed and implemented at the depot. A similar team went to Dover AFB, Delaware, with the same mission. Monday morning April 14th when Colonel Oakes gave me my orders, his words were, “Call your wife, have her pack your bag for a two week TDY (temporary duty travel) to Travis AFB, there will be a C-5A here from Lockheed-Georgia in the morning to take you and a team of 7 of our technicians (riggers, electrical and hydraulic) and an engineer and a similar group from Lockheed to Travis.” I went home, finished packing the bag that was to serve me for two weeks and left my wife with a cubic yard each of sand and top soil in our driveway to spread around the yard. We caught the plane early Tuesday morning and arrived at Travis just before noon. I didn’t know any of my Kelly group nor, of course, any of the Lockheed party. I met them on the plane as I discussed the problem with the engineers and the lead technicians. The Lockheed
team had some preliminary kits that were to implement the temporary fix which had not been tested. We were to develop the procedures for implementing the repair and verifying performance. In retrospect, the electro/hydraulic/ mechanical ramp locking system on the C-5A was the most complicated of any type of system that I ever worked on. I won’t even tr y to describe it here. I met my 60th Wing liaison, the wing Maintenance Control Officer (MCO), who had set up a small office space for our team and a working space in their Aero Repair Shop. He assigned Senior Master Sergeant Dime and Staff Sergeant Strandvolt, both super troops from Aero Repair, to assist us with shop help. We had a large roped off area on the parking ramp, enough for two and sometimes three C-5A’s. The entry control point, controlled constantly by two Security Police, was about as far from the office and transportation as it could be, close to a quarter mile. Someone had rustled up a bicycle as my transportation which helped a lot.
US Air Force photo
We got our line badges and were rigorously indoctrinated on security procedures. This was pretty routine for the Kelly team, but not so much for the Lockheed people. This was a kind of learn-as-yougo TCTO because we still didn’t have details of the crash cause. Thus, part of our role was a threeway discussion with the accident investigation team on what they had learned, what we were finding, and daily conference calls with Gary Mosley in the Systems Management Office and Colonel Oakes at Kelly AFB as we groped for answers. We did know that the right rear ramp locking mechanism had failed between the third and fourth lock sets, causing three locking hooks to disengage. The wreckage at the crash site provided that information. When the three hooks released, the pressure load on the ramp was greater than the ramp structure would bear, causing a catastrophic failure and decompression. Then the ramp tore diagonally and peeled off to the left side of the aircraft. This pushed the pressure door up into hydraulic lines and control cables, FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙
eliminating rudder and elevator control. Then the pressure door separated from the aircraft. The flight crew had only ailerons and differential engine power remaining for control, which they successfully used to return to Tan Son Nhut Air Base. That method of control failed on approach with the resulting crash in the rice paddies. This amazing feat of flying saved more than half the passengers and the crew. As we began our task, the ramp had not been recovered. The Navy later pulled the ramp and pressure door out of the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. The other known, from the aircraft records, was that the ramp locking mechanism had been repaired and re-rigged at Travis Air Force Base, just before the aircraft flew to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and then on to Saigon. Wednesday morning started out a little strange. The 60th Military Airlif t Wing (MAW ) wanted us there, but they didn’t really want us there because we were interfering with their operations and would be straining some of their shops. It was
April, so we still had some chilly weather and rain. The first order of business was disassembling fore and aft ramp locking mechanisms. We sent the parts to the 60th Wing’s corrosion control facility, where they were put in a tank to strip off the paint, and were then subjected to a fluorescent penetrant nondestruc tive inspec tion to look for defects. It became apparent immediately that we had a lot of cracked bell cranks (the operating mechanism and support for the locking hooks) that would have to be replaced. The bell cranks were made from a high strength aluminum alloy that had a tendency to crack under repeated high loads. That was certainly true on these parts. Neither Lockheed nor the Air Force had recognized this problem since there had been no actual failures of the bell cranks. The replacement parts were to be machined from high strength steel. Then the first problem arose. Because there was no anticipated need for replacement parts, the system manager had laid in only emergency levels for the parts ☛
Overview of the C-5A aft ramp locking system
DETAIL VIEW OF RAMP AREA
Detail A shows the left aft hook assembly. The actuator, hooks and pushrods above, and the yokes and floor fittings below.
LOCK NO. 4 RAMP STA 96 View showing no. 4 ramp lock in locked position
Detail B is a view of the entire number 4 locking assembly, showing relationship of a later version of plates, locking pin and bell crank. Note streamer attached to the pin.
1. Yoke 2. Hook 3. Spacer 4. Link 5. Housing 6. Fixed Side Plate 7. Bell Crank 8. Tie Rod 9. Indicator Tube 10. Locking Pin and Streamer 11. Ramp Floor Bracket
3 2 1
(aluminum) we would need in quantity, so we quickly exhausted the supply sys tem (we were competing with the team at Dover for the few available). Fortunately, the engineer from Lockheed was a cracker-jack both as an engineer and procurer. The contract was written so that we could get the special tools we needed and repair parts directly from Lockheed, bypassing a lengthy Air Force acquisition process. We shared Lockheed’s special tooling the first few days until we got our own through Lockheed. Parts trickled in from Lockheed as they fast as they could manufacture them. But it was about a month before supply caught up with demand. There was a steep learning curve. W it ho u t p ar t s available, we survived the early phase by very carefully building shipsets of parts, cannibalizing from the last aircraft into the pipeline. (A shipset is all the parts needed to complete repairs on one aircraft. Cannibalizing means taking a part from one aircraft to use to repair another aircraf t). This earned me my first and only personal message from the four-star general at Military Airlift Command (MAC), that “he didn’t care which command I belonged to, I would not cannibalize parts from MAC aircraft because it set a bad example for his troops.” He even sent a captain, a congenial maintenance officer, to follow me around for a while to monitor my behavior. We never cannibalized another par t from MAC aircraft, but it’s funny how parts identity tags got lost in the stripping tank. Then the work settled down to placing the hook assemblies in their correct over center locked position (with the weight of the ramp on the hooks), locate and clamp the locking plates provided in the TCTO kit, locate the structural attach points, drill holes, and bolt the plates on. This was a slow tedious procedure, one hole at a time. Our work schedule was six days a week, 12 hours a day. We turned out aircraft in three to five FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙
days, depending on part availability and problems encountered. We finished the 60th MAW fleet in just under two months. So much for a two-week TDY. I made extensive notes about our progress and problems for our daily conference call. My notes were confiscated after I returned to SAALC by the legal team dealing with liability litigation. Unfortunately, they were never returned, so this is from my best memory. There were a few memorable instances during the trip, not directly part of the mission. As I mentioned earlier, we had some cold, wet days early in our visit. On one of those days, a Lockheed team member decided he’d take the most direct route to the aircraft, under the security rope. When the team got my attention, he was face down in a puddle and thoroughly soaked. The Security Police wouldn’t release him until they had taken him to their headquar ters and written their report. Their office was air conditioned and colder than it was outside, so Charlie was definitely well-cooled as well as well-soaked by the time I was able to bail him out. He was forever more known by the team as “Cut Across Charlie.” As we worked, we allowed the 60th Wing maintenance personnel to continue working alongside us, as long as they didn’t interfere with our work. Usually they worked on delayed discrepancies; minor problems that didn’t affect safety of flight, but none-the-less needed to be repaired. Sometimes they needed a maintenance stand for access to their work areas. The MCO and I coordinated in those cases. Toward the end of our visit, wing maintenance personnel had a B-1 stand, big and heavy, in the cargo bay of one C-5 working on overhead cables. (The B-1 stand is a large, portable work platform that was adjustable from three feet to ten feet in height.) Because of a problem with the front cargo door, this particular aircraft had to go to Kelly for repair, so we were getting ready to button the aircraft
up — in this case both fore and aft access were to be sealed. I notified the MCO that we’d be closing both ends in two days. The next morning the B-1 stand was still there inside the aircraft. I made a second call to MCO. That afternoon the stand was still there and we closed the front, ready for a morning departure to depot. Then I made a third call asking what he’d like me to do with the B-1 stand when we got it to Kelly. Needless to say, the MCO was not happy that the stand was still there. He sent the shop responsible out to disassemble the stand and take it out through the jump door — a door in the side of the fuselage designed for personnel, not equipment the size of the B-1. That got the message through. There was another incident that did not affect us directly, but since we shared shop space in Aero Repair we were avid spectators. Aero Repair had a staff sergeant famous for his rather nasty practical jokes. One morning when he arrived for work and opened his (locked) tool box, he found it completely filled with grease. During the previous evening, someone had drilled a hole, screwed in a grease fitting, and pumped in a lot of grease. The sergeant spent the morning both cleaning his tool box and searching for the guilty party. There were many suspects, but no conviction! We worked one Sunday, because several of my Lockheed workers wanted to fly home for Memorial Day weekend after six straight weeks of work. I got permission from the bosses at Kelly to work the extra day and have a long weekend. That was the only break in our normal six-day schedule. Having Sundays off allowed me to sneak in two Recreation Center trips to Napa Valley wineries. That’s all I saw of California except Travis AFB. We had completed our work by the end of the first week in June. We returned the same way we had arrived; a C-5A to Kelly which then went on to Georgia with the Lock heed maint ainer s. For ☛
Winter at Kelly never gets really cold, low 30’s, but it’s very humid and there’s a strong wind most of the time. The way the aircraft had to be parked, with both ends open, turned the cargo area into an icy wind tunnel. The answer to that was tarps rigged on fore and aft structure to block the wind. This was done partly for comfort for the workers, and partly to save the time they would have spent going inside to get warm. Mostly my job was just to see that the maintainers had what they needed, when they needed it, so that we kept the line turning out fully operational aircraft. We got a few VIP visits at Travis. We got way more visitors at Kelly
One of the ironies in my return to Kelly was that Gary Moseley, my contact in Systems Management for the daily conference calls, moved to the Aircraft Division to become the civilian Deputy Director within days of my return. We had had some vigorous “debates” while I was at Travis about our findings and methods. Fortunately, we worked well together after he moved to Aircraft Division and the past never became a problem. He turned out to be one of my best bosses. The biggest lesson learned in that year was that neither Lockheed tech writers, nor Air Force tech reviewers realized just how critical rigging the ramp locks was. There were no safety notes, nor cautions. Nor were the instructions clear and concise. This was an accident waiting to happen, and it did. Of course, rigging tech data was completely rewritten to include the changes to the system, and to stress the criticality of the rigging procedure, as well as adding safety lock plates and pins at each station, fore and aft.
Silas Felton is a retired USAF maintenance officer. He joined the Air Force in 1967, and served until 1993.
The lock plates had to be fitted and drilled individually, 44 plates, 4 holes each. Carrying each plate to the shop for drilling after marking required lots of lost time. We ended up putting two work benches, each with a drill press, on the aircraft we were working on, one fore and one aft, to cut down on lost time running back and forth to the shop. There was a lot of experimentation searching for the best way to mark the lock plates for drilling, but with the help of our engineer we finally got the kinks worked out of the process. However, it was still a slow and laborious job.
after the work moved there. Some were members of the Accident Investigation Team, and some came from the MAC Maintenance Direc torate. Usually they just wanted to know what we had found and what we were doing to make the aircraft safe. There was no easy way to describe our process, so it was better to do a show and tell. To cut down on the distraction to the workers, someone came up with the idea of a hook assembly simulator. We constructed a single station using scrapped parts, some scrap metal and wood that in all looked pretty much like an aircraft station. That made it easy to explain problems and fixes. Someone christened it the “Monkey Motion” and that stuck.
me, it was back to the ramp mod problem, helping set up the line to completely rebuild the locking systems both fore and aft. I still had the team I’d had at Travis, plus a lot more people because we were usually working on four aircraft at a time. We became a pretty closeknit group. The mod program ran for the rest of 1975 and well into 1976. My role, in addition to getting everything set up, was to be team trouble shooter and go-for. I had a wonderful engineer, Al Gerdes, assigned to help. He liked to work hands-on, so he was out there on the line all the time helping solve the problems as they arose. He developed some great processes and tooling that expedited the work.
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