New maintenance trainer aircraft arrives
DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- The 919th Special Operations Wing maintainers welcomed their newest aircraft here Jan. 5. The aircraft’s arrival brings an official start to the wing’s newest mission set.
The white and blue C-146 Wolfhound touched down to its new home on the Duke flight line. The aircraft is scheduled to be used exclusively as the training aircraft for the wing’s maintainers to begin learning the new plane’s processes and procedures.
“We are excited to begin this new mission phase with the Wolfhound,” said Maj. Terrell Eikner, the 919th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “Our initial cadre of Airmen have already begun establishing a training plan and developing the best practices for the new aircraft.”
The designated Airmen, known as cadre, will create brand new lesson plans, checklists and maintenance procedures for the aircraft with help from the current contracted maintainers, Sierra Nevada. Up until this point, the aircraft has only been maintained by contractors, centrally located at Cannon AFB, N.M.
Once those plans and procedures are in place, the cadre of Airmen will begin training all maintenance personnel on how to maintain the C-146. This will mark the first time Airmen will be trained on this nonstandard aviation aircraft.
However, this is not the first time the 919th SOAMXS has built a maintenance procedure and training plan from scratch. In 2012, with the arrival of the C-145 Skytruck, the maintainers also created the maintenance procedure and training plan for that aircraft as well.
“We are building the Air Force’s maintenance plan for this aircraft,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jimmy Sands, 919th SOAMXS. “We are incorporating all of the contractor’s maintenance materials along with the factory specifications and creating not just the Air Force’s C-146 maintenance procedure, but also how to train Airmen to do it.”
The first training class is scheduled to begin in April. Once the 919th’s cadre has trained enough Airmen on the Wolfhound, maintenance responsibilities for the aircraft will transfer from Sierra Nevada to the 919th SOAMXS.