Nondestructive inspection technicians showcase abilities to Afghan maintainers

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
  • 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The physical stress on an aircraft and its components in flight can be quite substantial. The different forces can cause the aircraft to break in many different ways, and sometimes, the breakage cannot be easily seen by the naked eye.

This is where nondestructive inspection technicians come into play. NDI is a form of analysis or techniques used to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. These technicians can often find a problem long before it becomes a risk, and it's skills like NDI that will be vital for the Afghanistan air force as the its airmen rebuild their service.

They were able to take the first step in accomplishing this recently, as a group of Afghan maintainers spent six days shadowing Air Force NDI technicians at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan.

During the visit, the technicians demonstrated ultrasonic and eddy current testing techniques and procedures on both A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and C-27 Spartan components, said Tech. Sgt. Yohana McPherson, an adviser with the 440th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group.

"The trip to Kandahar was extremely beneficial to the Afghan air force as nondestructive inspection is a new aircraft maintenance capability to the AAF," McPherson said. "The Afghan technicians got to see on-aircraft nondestructive inspection procedures."

The sergeant said a lot of good information was passed on to the afghan maintainers.

"The Afghan technicians were able to shadow highly trained nondestructive technicians," she said. "It was a very rewarding and successful trip."