A-7 Corsair II Exhibit
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Putting the wings on the Vought A-7 Corsair II Light Attack Aircraft
A-7 Corsair II jet fighter at Bloomington Illinois Prairie Aircraft Museum
Using a crane to put the wings on the Vought A-7 Corsair II Jet Fighter at the Prairie Aircraft Museum in Bloomington Illinois

Vought A-7 Corsair II from VA-125
A-7 Corsair II Recovery Exhibit
Prairie Aviation Museum

Putting the wings on the Vought A-7 Corsair II

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Putting the wings on the A-7 Corsair II jet fighter at the bloomington Illinois aircraft museum
Placing the wings on the Corsair II.

 
 
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A-7 on the USS Kitty Hawk

 

Here's another view of the crane being used to place the wing on the plane.  This is something that we never saw being done in the squadron.  At least I have never seen the wing being removed.  Operations like this would be, normally, at the Depot Level of Maintenance.

Here's a closer look at the Navy Maintenance Levels. 

Organizational Level of Maintenance:
The first level of maintenance is called the Organizational Level.  This is where black boxes are removed and replaced, engines are removed and replaced, wiring problems are fixed, tires changed,  etc.  However, Black boxes are not repaired at this level, engines are not repaired either.  They are sent to a place called the Pool.  The Pool then sends the broken black box for repair in a place called Intermediate Level of Maintenance.  When a technician removes the black box, he fills out a multi-page form called a MAF (Malfunction Action Form) writing down the serial number of the black box, the Squawk (the problem description or gripe), Date and other data. He then tapes the MAF to the Black Box and takes the MAF and Black to the pool and picks up a newly repaired and calibrated black box and places it in the airplane then checks its functions before returning the plane to service.

Intermediate Level of Maintenance:
This is the next level.  The technicians here rarely see the airplanes close-up.  Their job is to repair the black boxes and return them to the Pool.  When a damaged black box comes in for repair the technician is given a MAF (Malfunction Action Form)  and a black box, places the hard copy of the MAF on the In Work section of the schedule board in Maintenance Control, and proceeds to find the problem with the Black Box.  This is where the electronics work is done to the component level.  The same procedure is done with the engines, hydraulic cylinders, and other major subassemblies of the airplane.   When the Black Box is repaired, it is sent back to the pool and all of the paper work is closed out. 

But suppose the problem with the Black Box is not reparable at the Intermediate Level of Maintenance.  Suppose it had a problem with the gold plating coming off of the tuned cavities or a bullet smashed the case.  For every base to have a gold plating machine which would be only used several times a year would be very expensive and impractical.  This is when the Black Box is sent to the Depot Level of Maintenance.

Depot Level of Maintenance:
This is the highest level of maintenance.  Its purpose is to totally rebuild a Black Box, repainting its covers, and doing everything necessary to bring it back to a new condition.  If a Black Box has too much damage, however, it will be BER'd (Beyond Economical Repair) or sent to the scrap heap.

This three level maintenance system allows for a lower operating cost, more specially trained personnel, and a lower turnaround time required for each component keeping the aircraft in the air for more hours and keeping them out of the hangars in the same process.

When the plane becomes obsolete, it goes in a museum so we can say, "Hey, I worked on that plane when I was in the Navy," like I'm doing right here.  Remember in the first page of this exhibit I said that I used to work on this exact plane when I was in the Navy.  Also, at various times in my life, I have worked at all three levels of maintenance.   To me, the intermediate level was the most rewarding.  The Organizational level took the least electronics training and the Depot Level was, by far, the most wasteful and the least rewarding, but it paid the most. 

If I had it to do all over again, I would have stayed in the Navy, it was actually a better life this so called civilian freedom lifestyle.


 


   

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