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Unit safety: award of distinction.

While performing routine maintenance on T-38 aircraft 64-3206, an egress maintenance team inadvertently fired an M-27 initiator. The M-27 initiator is connected to the forward cockpit internal canopy jettison handle. An investigation conducted by quality assurance and the wing Safety office determined all technical order procedures had been followed. The problem was isolated to the M-27 initiator having a pre-load on the firing sear, which prevented the maintenance safety pin from rendering the initiator safe. TSgt Devereaux, TSgt St Amand, SSgt Tenpenny and SSgt Faulk realized that serious injury, or even death, could occur if any of the four M-27 initiators in the T-38's egress system were inadvertently fired due to a pre-load condition. The team immediately coordinated and performed a local One Time Inspection (OTI), and identified another T-38 as having the same condition. With explosive safety at the forefront, the four egress technicians coordinated with a team from HQACC and Ogden ALC to meet at Whiteman AFB to investigate the cause of the preload condition. The problem was isolated to an out-of-rig canopy jettison cable. No technical data procedures existed for rigging a canopy jettison cable, so the egress technicians worked side-by-side with the team from ACC and Ogden to author an Interim Operational Supplement (IOS) to Technical Order 1T-38A-2-2. The resulting IOS contained procedures on: properly rigging a canopy jettison handle, inspecting an M-27 initiator to identify a pre-load condition, and procedures to follow in order to correct a pre-load condition, if discovered. The egress technicians' efforts resulted in 752 Air Force T-38s being inspected for a pre-load condition, improvement of Technical Order 1T-38A-2-2, and preventing potential injury or death to aircrew and maintenance personnel.


509th Maint. Sqdn. Egress Section, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Missouri
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Publication:Combat Edge
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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