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Keep those goggles down.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

During the afternoon, my ordnance-loading team completed a turnaround inspection on aircraft 401 on the four row. The tempo was quite fast, and everyone worked together to get the job done.

I was very new at the command and unsure of what to do. One of the ordnance-team members saw me merely standing off to the side. He told me to grab a wing crank and hand crank the starboard wing down so we could load an AIM-9. When I started to crank it down, my ordnance QASO ran over to help. He told me to hold the bottom of the crank and to apply pressure upward, toward the wing, so he could crank the wing down faster.

Because of the fast tempo, the QASO did not wait for me to get a firm hold on the wing crank before he started cranking the wing down. After a few short turns, the tip of the wing crank came out of the socket, swung around, and hit me just above my left eyebrow. My cranial was fastened, but my goggles were up, and I had to have five stitches in my forehead.

Since this incident, my shop has implemented a new policy to prevent a recurrence. When cranking wings up or down, we make sure our goggles are down over our eyes. Even though I received stitches from this accident, it could have been much worse. Impact a quarter of an inch lower could have caused severe eye damage.

Despite the seeming urgency of flight-deck operations, we can't afford to let our guard down when doing aircraft maintenance--whether or not jets are turning on deck. We need to make sure leaders supervise their Sailors to enforce safety procedures. Let's keep the PPE vigilance up, and keep those goggles down.

AO3 Aurora Hollie

Petty Officer Hollie works in the ordnance shop at VFA-147.
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Author:Hollie, Aurora
Publication:Mech
Date:Jun 22, 2008
Words:313
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