Bravo Zulu: sailors and marines preventing mishaps.
During final checks on an FA-18A+ Hornet, Petty Officer Hayes noticed a cracked up-lock bracket on the main landing gear. She immediately downed the aircraft for this discrepancy. Had this aircraft been allowed to launch, there is a significant probability it would have developed further complications airborne. Although the daily and turnaround inspections, and the pilot's preflight found no discrepancies, Petty Officer Hayes found this hazard and prevented a potential mishap.
ADAN Pedro and AD3 Norris VFA-192
During a preflight walk-around inspection on Dragon 304, onboard USS George Washington (CVN-73), ADAN Pedro dove the port intake duct and found the rubber seal on the outboard side of the fan frame was not seated correctly. ADAN Pedro immediately notified a QA representative of the situation, and the aircraft was downed. Upon further inspection, it was determined the port engine needed to be removed and the rubber seal reseated.
After a subsequent flight, Petty Officer Norris dove the port intake duct as part of a turnaround inspection. It again was discovered the rubber seal on the outboard side of the fan frame was not seated correctly. Petty Officer Norris notified the proper QA representative, and a more stringent inspection of the port engine assembly was performed. During that inspection, it was discovered that the port engine-mounting brackets had become misaligned. This misalignment allowed for engine movement during aircraft flight. The aircraft again was placed in a down status until maintenance could be performed to realign the port engine.
ADAN Pedro and Petty Officer Norris' keen eyes and attention to detail helped to ensure that a very serious aircraft malfunction came to light. Their performance kept a dangerous situation from developing and putting the aircraft and pilot in peril. Their commitment to safety inspired all who observed them and contributed significantly to the successful accomplishment of VFA-192's mission.
AM3 Joshua Carter HSC-25
Petty Officer Carter was the plane captain of Knight Rider 53 during a routine hot pit and crew-swap evolution. After Knight Rider 53 was parked and chocked for the crew-swap, he noticed that the tail wheel of the MH-60S was not aligned with the aircraft. The misaligned tail wheel, weak brake application, and strong winds caused the aircraft to experience an un-commanded weathervane after the starboard-side chocks were removed in preparation for taxi. Petty Officer Carter maintained his position in front of the aircraft to maintain visual communication with the pilots, while simultaneously ensuring the three other ground-crew personnel were clear of the swinging tail. Once the aircraft motion had ceased, he directed the aircrew to apply brakes and insert chocks to secure the aircraft. His quick response interrupted a dangerous chain of events by preventing the collision of Knight Rider 53 with another aircraft and nearby fire bottle.
AT3(AW) Davin Haapapuro VAW-136
While doing a final-check walk on an FA-18E Super Hornet, Petty Officer Haapapuro noticed that the aircraft main-landing-gear brake-lock-mechanism pin was popped and disengaged. This pin is very difficult to see--especially from a standing position--and was discovered only due to Petty Officer Haapapuro's diligence and attention to detail. Upon finding the discrepancy, he notified the flight-line coordinator. Had the discrepancy not been discovered, the aircraft's braking system could have failed. Petty Officer Haapapuro's attention to detail and actions prevented a probable aircraft mishap.
AME1(AW/NAC) Michah Caston VP-4
Petty Officer Caston was conducting a preflight on aircraft 163006 for a mission in support of the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group when he discovered a discrepancy in the starboard wheelwell. Specifically, a support bracket that joins the starboard mainmount assembly to the firewall had broken due to fatigue. Recognizing this unsafe condition, he immediately reported it to his instructor and patrol-plane commander. Upon further inspection by maintenance personnel, the assembly needed significant action to return the aircraft to a flying status. After 20 maintenance man-hours, the discrepancy was fixed, and the aircraft returned to service.
Petty Officer Caston's keen attention to material condition during preflight and professional performance of duties ensured action was taken to correct the discrepancy and prevented a possible catastrophic landing-gear failure and injury or death to the aircrew.
AM2 Joseph Wolf HSL-45
Petty Officer Wolf used his extraordinary maintenance skills to avert catastrophic aircraft damage and a potential life-threatening injury to aircrew personnel. During installation of the stationary forward and aft swashplate links for a sister squadron's aircraft, he noticed that the cotter pin on the nearby lateral, stationary, swash-plate link was sheared, and the bolt had been installed incorrectly, causing the bolt to chafe against the forward flight-control-bridge port tie-rod assembly. Petty Officer Wolf quickly informed the maintenance-control supervisor, and immediate actions were taken to correct the discrepancy. Through his keen observation, this outstanding HSL-45 airframes CDQAR was able to identify the source of 4 per vibration and thus prevented a potential aircraft mishap and possible loss of life, while assisting a sister squadron's maintenance department.
AWF1(AW) Joel Davidson VP-4
While conducting a preflight of aircraft 160770, Petty Officer Davidson discovered foreign object debris (FOD) in the intakes of the No. 1, 2 and 3 engines. Understanding the gravity of the situation, he quickly notified the aircraft commander and maintenance control. Maintenance personnel found grass in each of the intakes, as well as evidence of possible bird's nesting materials.
His keen attention to detail and quick action prevented possible damage to aircraft engines and the potential loss of an aircraft and crew.
AE3 Ryan Apel VAQ-130
During a hot pump and crew switch evolution with Zapper 501, Petty Officer Apel discovered engine insulation coming out of the port tailpipe. He immediately suspended the re-start sequence and notified the appropriate maintenance personnel to investigate. A significant loss of insulation had occurred, and his attention to detail and quick action prevented further heat damage and a possible engine fire.