HomeNewsFeatures

Feature Search

145th Airmen Use Ingenuity for Surprising Time Saver

CHARLOTTE, NC -- Two years ago the 145th Maintenance Group Hydraulics shop spent a lot of time and sweat rebuilding aircraft brakes. It took at least two men nearly half the day to get the brake into the shop and complete the repairs. The job was tough and tedious. Then their creative juices began to flow. As ideas were shared a system came together. "We have a good one!" Maintenance Group Commander David Zartman gushed with pride, describing the successful exploits of his troops. Citing the efforts of Master Sgt. Jon Cammarata and his team, Zartman boasted of "a new brake change kit that saves man-hours and time." Cammarata calls it a system. Zartman believes the local design his maintainer's developed is unique in the C-130 community.

Effort is cut from the time the brake is wheeled in to the shop. Airmen use a cart, custom tool/rig, hoist, custom housing holders and strategically placed test equipment and tools in the more efficient procedure. Cammarata said the system also improves safety. The traditional two-man method that required them to multi-task the job of holding the brake and simultaneously turning wrenches could result in pinched fingers, or worse. He claimed use of a hoist and an apparatus he created that holds the brake securely on a work table mitigates and in some aspects, negates many of the risks involved with lifting the brake or awkwardly holding and manipulating it for access to a myriad of bolt heads.

Just one person is required to wheel the brake on the cart, attach it to the hoist, then use the hoist to lift it on to the work area. Thanks to now-retired Master Sgt. Hubert Ledford, the hoist allows the same person to mount the brake onto the work table rigging that holds it in place to loosen and remove bolt heads, take off the casing and accomplish the overhaul. To get the repaired brake back to the aircraft the process is reversed by the same individual. The time spent on the operation can be reduced by half. Because it also eliminates the need for a second person for twice the time, the overall savings could grow even more, depending on the technician's experience level.

Cammarata said that's it, in a nutshell. After safely, expeditiously performing the task, he said all that's left is to "wash your hands and pat yourself on the back for producing another safe and reliable aircraft brake."