Dismantled...

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
"Isochronal (ISO) inspections...It all began in 1903, when two men stood on a hill..." joked Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Phillips, 6th Maintenance Squadron isochronal dock coordinator, July 31, 2013 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

The isochronal inspection is one of the most thorough inspections that the 6th MXS conducts.

"The ISO inspection is a periodic inspection that occurs every 1800 flight hours or 24 months, whichever comes first," Phillips stated.

The inspection consists of Airmen systematically dismantling a KC-135 Stratotanker from nose to tail and inspecting every inch of it for functionality and corrosion.

Aiming for a two week completion time, Airmen begin the process by washing the aircraft before taking it into the ISO hangar. They then begin detaching the aircraft's paneling to inspect the cables, ducts, ribs, tubes and wires.

"From removing panels to check wires to removing the boom to check the cables, the Airmen do it all," pointed out Tech. Sgt. Orbie Butler, 6th MXS maintenance section chief.

The inspection is a tedious process that requires a significant amount of attention to detail. Airmen open the engine panels to check the wiring, computers and to inspect the flight controls' panels for proper lubrication.

After all components are inspected, the Airmen begin reassembling the aircraft and ready it for operational checks.

"While the aircraft is in the hangar, the process takes about eight days. When the inspection has concluded, the KC-135 is pulled back on the flightline to ensure that all systems are operational, which gives the Airmen a six day safety net to guarantee that all systems are functioning properly and no other maintenance is needed," explained Butler.

Once all system checks are achieved, the aircraft is ready for take-off.

MacDill has a total of 16 KC-135s, each on a different calendar inspections lasting up to 14 days.