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New milestone for the ever changing 145th MXS

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran
  • 145th Public Affairs
The 145th Maintenance Squadron recently received their long awaited C-130 Isochronal Inspection (ISO) Aircraft Maintenance Platforms at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The stands started arriving May 23rd and were completed June 3rd, 2015. These stands are part of an Air Force-wide mission to replace aircraft maintenance stands for all C-130 aircraft. Engineered and built by Flexible Lifeline Systems of Houston, TX, at a cost of 1.2 million dollars, these stands will improve overall safety for maintenance personnel and provide better access to all parts of the C-130 aircraft for the maintainers.

"These new stands will increase maintainer's efforts to provide high quality dependable aircraft in support of the Wings dynamic mission requirements," said Senior Master Sgt. Chris Mueller, 145th MXS Inspection Dock Supervisor. 

Built of high strength aluminum and ruggedly constructed using anti-slip and anti-bounce safety tread, aircraft maintainers will have a larger work platform under and around the aircraft for heavy maintenance jobs and ensured firm footing during complex maintenance task.  All stands are built to rigorous OSHA Standards and help provide additional fall protection when working at or above aircraft wing heights.

"Our new maintenance stands will help us do our job in a safer manner." said Lt. Col. Cecil 145th Maintenance Group Deputy Commander, "These stands provide much better lighting for under the wing and wheel well areas. They are big and hard to move but in the end they will make it safer for our Airman to complete the mission!"

Previously when an aircraft went in for heavy maintenance, stands were brought around the aircraft once it's was parked.  With these new platforms being larger and more ridged, the aircraft will now be pulled into the fixed stands like a boat pulls into a dock.

The new stands are designed with safety being the primary driver of the design. "With the old stands we had to provide additional fall protection for our maintainers," said Cecil, "With these new stands, there is a much greater surface area for the maintainers to move around on and the entire area is surrounded by safety railings. It enhances our fall protection and allows us to do quicker more efficient maintenance actions on the aircraft."

In fact, the new stands have more than 4,000 square feet of surface area compared with the 1,885 of the old stands. They also incorporate built in electrical, lighting and pneumatic systems that were not present on the previous version. They fit together around the aircraft in segments that are mounted on wheels for easy positioning. The sections are attached to each other with turnbuckles and sliding panels come together to form a continuous platform around the aircraft. The huge surface area provides many options for maintainers to move and position themselves where they need to be.

The last set of 145th MXS stands date back to the 1980's. These stands will now be turned back into the Air Force Supply System to be utilized elsewhere out in the C-130 fleet. The 145th MXS is excited about the improvement to the work area and look forward to working on the stands for many years to come.