DVIDS – News – From crash to recovery: Pilot, maintainers show resilience

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga .– A pilot climbs into the cockpit of an aircraft, which was very different from what it was the day a catastrophic cannon malfunction prevented the landing gear from deploying and ripped off the canopy in flight.

In a base surface attack in 2020, Captain Bye, the 75th Fighter Squadron standardization and assessment chief, safely landed A-10C Thunderbolt II tail-995 after this in-flight emergency.

The tail number 995 has been recently restored, and who better to fly the plane than Bye. On November 3, 2021, Bye made a sortie in the same A-10C.

As she approached her departure on the plane, she demonstrated total resilience.

“I’m excited,” Bye said. “My first flight home was a step and it will be another. I think it will help me build my confidence to learn how to fly and master the A-10. At the very least, I’ll know that won’t stop me from flying and continuing to pursue my passion.

While the events surrounding the theft can be a mental challenge, Bye said she remembers the advice from her mentors.

“A ‘G’, zero knot is something I’ve heard from experienced pilots,” said Bye. “So sitting (on the plane) at zero knots is the best time to make decisions, because going 300 miles an hour is not the time when I want to make a decision without thinking about it.” .

“That’s why I think the Air Force and the Army in general do a great job practicing emergency procedures, because the more intuitive they are, the more likely you are to handle the situation better.” , Bye continued.

Along with its courageous flight are the extraordinary efforts of the 75th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to repair the aircraft. Bye’s confidence in a successful flight can be attributed to the 75th AMU’s hard work to restore the tail-995.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before in my career,” said Staff Sgt. Austin Duffey, 75th AMU cann manager. “It was one of our biggest challenges because we had no experience rebuilding a crashed jet.”

A cann manager is responsible for keeping a record of the parts extracted from a cannibalizing jet. The A-10 being an increasingly difficult airframe to maintain, there were times of uncertainty for the restoration of the aircraft.

“Previously (the 75th) didn’t know if they would fly again,” Tech said. Sgt. Ryan Foltz, 75th AMU cann manager. “We dealt with thousands of maintenance anomalies on 650 pages of records in a matter of weeks. Overall it was a 584 day project that lasted a long time, but once we started moving forward you could see everyone getting excited about it. ”

Even though the 75th AMU faced adversity with the rebuilding of the tail-995, they always faced it with a fighting spirit.

“It doesn’t matter what challenge the 75th faces,” Foltz said. “We are attacking it head on and are still accomplishing the mission.”

After the flight, Bye exits the plane. She and the A-10 may look like they did when it took off in 2020, and the resilience and innovation of maintainers and operators make it all possible.

Date taken: 05/11/2021
Date posted: 05/11/2021 3:35 PM
Story ID: 408794

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