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Aircrew flight equipment protect aircrew's lives

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Valerie Hosea
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
The Aircrew Flight Equipment team of the 80th Flying Training Wing work to support the Air Force mission by paying attention to small equipment details that could have a major impact.

"We make sure the pilot's equipment is good to go when they need it," said Staff Sgt. Ricky Yeager, 80th Operations Support Squadron. "We inspect more than 700 racks of equipment for more than 690 student and instructor pilots."

A set of pilot equipment consists of a helmet, mask, parachute and G-suit; more than 140 sets are inspected weekly.

"It takes about 45 minutes to do a thorough inspection," said Senior Airman Keith Halcromb, 80th OSS. "You have to pay attention to detail in this job because the equipment we inspect saves the pilots' lives if anything ever happens."

The equipment starts in the fabrication shop where two trained individuals repair and repack the items. After the first check, the item then undergoes a check from a second person. The equipment is inspected five times to ensure precise examinations before the pilots can use it.

Although the job can be routine and time consuming, the team members feel that it's worthwhile.

"This career field is very rewarding because we give the pilots such a sense of comfort with their equipment that they can focus solely on the mission at hand. They don't have to worry about anything going wrong with their parachutes or anything of that matter," Sergeant Yeager said.

"The team's motto, 'Your life is our business, last to let you go down,' sums up the job," Airman Halcromb said. "That means that without us there wouldn't be any quality equipment out there for the pilots to use. We basically save lives."