HomeNewsArticle Display

T-38 maintenance significant to ISR

Matt Miller, 9th Maintenance Group T-38 aircraft mechanic, begins inspecting a T-38 Talon after a sortie Dec. 5, 2016, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The mechanics’ efforts allow pilots to fly between 12 and 15 sorties a day. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman Tristan D. Viglianco)

Matt Miller, a 9th Maintenance Group T-38 aircraft mechanic, begins inspecting a T-38 Talon after a sortie Dec. 5, 2016, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The mechanics’ efforts allow pilots to fly between 12 and 15 sorties a day. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman Tristan D. Viglianco)

Matt Miller, 9th Maintenance Group T-38 aircraft mechanic, checks for cracks in a T-38 Talon’s exhaust during a post-flight inspection Dec. 5, 2016, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The exhaust will form cracks from expansion and contraction due to repeated heated and cooling. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman Tristan D. Viglianco)

Matt Miller, a 9th Maintenance Group T-38 aircraft mechanic, checks for cracks in a T-38 Talon’s exhaust during a post-flight inspection Dec. 5, 2016, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The exhaust may form cracks from expansion and contraction due to repeated heated and cooling. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman Tristan D. Viglianco)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) --

Along with the U-2 and the RQ-4 Global Hawk, the T-38 Talon can be found in the skies above Beale Air Force Base. While the T-38 may not directly provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, it is a vital tool U-2 pilots use in order to complete their mission and support the Air Force as a whole.

“The T-38s are a part of the Companion Trainer Program for the U-2 pilots at Beale,” said Lt. Col. Paul Wurster, the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron commander. “The U-2 fleet is small so our pilots only get three or four flights per month on average.  The T-38 is used to provide instrument and general flight training which keeps our pilots current and proficient.”

Although various personnel provide support to T-38 flying operations, a group of mechanics play an integral role. These civilian contractors work to keep the aircraft ready to fly whenever necessary.

“We get all of the aircraft prepared for the daily flying schedule,” said Sam Holmes, 9th Maintenance Group T-38 aircraft mechanic. “After each flight we recover the aircraft, we refuel them, inspect them, and send them back up.”

There is a quicker turnaround between flights for the T-38 compared to the U-2 due to the lower maintenance requirements and the larger fleet of them on Beale AFB. This allows the pilots a chance to fly a greater number of sorties.

“We fly almost every day and fly upwards of 30 pilots in that time,” said Matt Miller, a 9th MXG T-38 aircraft mechanic. “We can fly between 12 and 15 sorties, no problem.”

The aforementioned flying schedule is only possible due to the mechanics' level of expertise. They perform almost all maintenance on the T-38 in-house, much of which is maintenance done preemptively.

“The preventative maintenance is to ensure the airworthiness of the aircraft,” Miller said. “A lot of small problems can be stopped from becoming big problems, but things do break. As the issues arise, we work to get the aircraft back in the air as quickly as possible.” 

The comprehensive inspections done by the mechanics catch the larger issues early and ensure the safety of the pilots.

“We do both preflight and post-flight inspections and inspections every 25 and 225 flight hours,” Holmes said. “We have an oil sampling program we do every 20 flight hours.” 

All the time spent inside a T-38 is essential in keeping a pilot’s skills sharp and in turn keeping the nation safe. The time the mechanics spend working on the aircraft is just as important.

"The mechanics make it possible to fly multiple flights a day,” Wurster said. “Their work keeps our flight operations safe and efficient." 

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Let's celebrate the beginning of Fall and the changing of leaves with this optical microscopy of deformation twins in hi…
RT @624RSG: Are you facing a challenge or dealing with a struggle? People find hope in many different ways, whether it's through family, fa…
RT @AF_Academy: You can’t beat this view. You just can’t. 📸@USAFWingsofBlue https://t.co/JLZcPVp7uP
RT @AirMobilityCmd: #Mobilty #Airmen will move heaven and earth to keep America’s promises to its service members. Check out this story of…
RT @DeptofDefense: Bringing them home. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from #WWII through the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The…
RT @USAF_ACC: Today is POW/MIA Day. We will forever remember and honor the lives lost fighting for our country. 🇺🇸 #USAF #POWMIARecognitio
Weren't able to make #ASC19 this year? No problem. We've got the goods. Push ▶️ to hear from first-time attendees a… https://t.co/rEOE1eukwz
Howdy Texans! #AmerciasAirForce is heading to the #lonestarstate on Sept. 27. Hear this #Airman share his love for… https://t.co/BS1ysk4ST3
The return of great power competition requires the U.S. military services to change and adapt quickly. Hear from De… https://t.co/kKiNeHywzp
RT @AirMobilityCmd: The four fans of freedom are blowing strong as a U.S Air Force C-130J Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansa…
RT @ActingSecAF: Kudos to @AirForceAssoc on #ASC19 👏🏻 What a wonderful professional opportunity for #Airmen & industry to expand our compe…
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…
To all those who helped establish the long blue line past, present and future, we honor you and we remember with th… https://t.co/teymF7proy
#ASC19: "We’re all in this together trying to make your service to country the best experience on the planet. We w… https://t.co/rdbCDBJr2c
#VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson speaks on what makes the #AirForce unique. #ASC19 https://t.co/gStwUZoaQC
RT @AFSpace: @AstroHague takes #aimhigh to the extreme by celebrating the @usairforce's birthday from the @Space_Station! #FrontiersofBlue