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New maintenance stands cut C-130J inspection times

The Air Force Reserve's 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Inspection Dock at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, received new maintenance platforms, commonly referred to as “stands,” April 14, 2016.The previous stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections, provide more working area and access to power and lighting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

The Air Force Reserve's 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Inspection Dock at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, received new maintenance platforms, commonly referred to as “stands,” April 14, 2016.The previous stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections, provide more working area and access to power and lighting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Cheatham, 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal inspection technician and support equipment manager at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, shows one of the portable lights on the new maintenance platforms, commonly referred to as “stands,” April 29, 2016. The squadron recieved the new stands April 14, 2016. The previous stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections, provide more working area and access to power and lighting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Cheatham, 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal inspection technician and support equipment manager at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, shows one of the portable lights on the new maintenance platforms, commonly referred to as “stands,” April 29, 2016. The squadron recieved the new stands April 14, 2016. The previous stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections, provide more working area and access to power and lighting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

The Air Force Reserve's 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Inspection Dock at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, received new maintenance platforms, commonly referred to as “stands,” April 14, 2016. The previous stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections, provide more working area and access to power and lighting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

The Air Force Reserve's 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Inspection Dock at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, received new maintenance platforms, commonly referred to as “stands,” April 14, 2016. The previous stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections, provide more working area and access to power and lighting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Maintaining the C-130J Super Hercules fleet here became a more efficient process for the 403rd Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Inspection Dock.

The ISO Dock received new maintenance stands April 14.

The first aircraft to undergo an inspection using the new stands is enabling maintainers to test out their new equipment, said Master Sgt. Steven Dahl, 403rd MXS flight chief.

“This aircraft is riddled with heavy maintenance tasks such as removal of the number one engine change, left outboard flap, and all four main landing gear; which is enabling us to completely test the new stands in almost every possible maintenance scenario we will cross all at once,” said Dahl.

Every C-130 in the Air Force undergoes an ISO inspection, which is a scheduled, in-depth examination of the aircraft. Much like a physical, the aircraft is thoroughly inspected to identify problems and then the findings are repaired.

“The new stands enabled us to revamp our ISO process, which is looking as though it will save us about six days for each inspection,” said Dahl. He added that all C-130 ISO docs in the Air Force Reserve Command are projected to receive these new stands.

Not only are the new stands more efficient, saving time, but they are safer, said Dahl. The old stands became outdated, not meeting fall protection limits, and they were not configured all the way around the aircraft. This required the use of rolling B-5, B-1 and B-7 stands, which took time to move and configure for different phases of the inspection process.

The new stands are placed completely around the aircraft to include the nose and tail sections.

“They give us a lot more space to work and access to more areas,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Cheatham, 403rd MXS ISO technician and support equipment manager.

The stands also have more lighting and access to pressurized air and power, he added.

“For us here in ISO, the (stands) make the process a whole lot easier,” said Cheatham.