Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Specialist on a Red Ball

Red Ball maintenance happens when one of our glorious Air Force pilots has a system problem, normally avionics and the specialist comes out and attempts to get a fix before taxi. As an old retired avionics technician I can not count how many hundred times I had to deal with know it all pilots who simply would not follow instructions from the ground. It must be a generational thing, back in the 80;s  we had tons of Vietnam veteran former F-4 drivers flying F-15s almost to the man they cooperated and really helped us trying to get a fix on their jet. In the 90's up until a I retired it became the exact opposite. I've never dealt with guys who thought they knew more than they did own systems. When I was a specialist flight chief as a Master Sergent I personally would have to get on the head set and explain to the crew of an F-15E what we were prepared to do and what I needed them to do for a successfull fix. I ended up ground aborting many aircraft that when we finally got on it to do ground checks were found to be functioning normally.

The classic "sir it doesn't work in O.F.F. mode"

This animation capture the moment, and yes we are specialist not crew chiefs, I was cross utilized trained as an F-15C crew chief but I was an avionics technician first.

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