Crew Chief Profiles

 SSgt. Joshua "Sparkey" Larkin

My profile

Name SSgt. Joshua Larkin
Unit 80th Fighter Squadron "Juvats"
Crewing F-16s
Contact j_larkin Send me a private message
I have been crewing F-16's for 8 years. I'll be turning in my stripes to pursue my remaining education this summer. This has been an interesting career, and I will miss it.
My first assignment was Nellis AFB, NV. I worked at Viper AMU on 3 blocks of F-16's for the Aggressors (32/42), and Test aircraft(42/52). I worked there for 3 1/2 years. I went TDY a couple of times as well, to Tyndall AFB, FL, for various exercises. A year and a half of that I worked as the TODO in support. There I helped to write many TO's including the Sniper pod, and many others.
My second assignment was to Kunsan AB, ROK, where I worked at the 80th AMU. There I worked (for a year obviously) on block 30's for the Juvats, and occasionally on the 40's for the Pantons (35th AMU). Here I learned a lot about troubleshooting and fixing the aircraft. This was the best assignment of my career. While there I went TDY to Paya Lebar AB, Singapore. Also my best TDY ever.
My third (and final) assignment was to Spangdahlem AB, Germany. I got lucky and was sent to EMS to work in the F-16 Phase Dock. There I worked on 22FS and 23FS's block 50 aircraft. While there I really learned the aircraft in and out. I also recieved my engine run and 7-level certifications. I went on a couple of TDY's to Nellis AFB, NV, for RED FLAG. That was just before deploying to Al Udeid AB, Qatar, and Balad AB, Iraq for OIF. Also during my tour I sewed on SSgt, and was a double award winner at ALS (Leadership and Honor Graduate Awards). I enjoyed being at Spangdahlem for the European experience, as well as the deployment.


Al Udeid AB, Qatar/Balad AB, Iraq

My Jets & Assignments

88423 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron "Green Bats" [Unit History]
Period 2002 - 2003
Current: 88423  USAF 422 TES F-16C Block 42 [act]
First I wanted to be on an Aggressor as a new airman. The camo paint job looked much cooler. So they put me on the Test side. Then I thought, okay... any one but 423. It was the ugliest looking one. Always dirty, old paint job, and it leaked everything. So naturally, they put me on 423.
88442 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron "Green Bats" [Unit History]
Period 2003 - 2003
Current: 88442  USAF 422 TES F-16C Block 42 [act]
When I took over this jet, it had just arrived from Lockheed Martin. It was the first MMC/CSEP modded block 40. The acceptance inspection was interesting. Bare metal, primer, and grey camo paint faded to white panels held on by 2 screws. Then they made it a CANN bird. Great idea by avionics ripping boxes out of a jet configured in a way you've never seen before. They had to send a rep from LM to put it back together again. Flew great though, and the pilots loved it.
90809 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron "Green Bats" [Unit History]
Period 2003 - 2004
Current: 90809  USAF 422 TES F-16C Block 52 [act]
I enjoyed being upgraded to a Block 52. But this one had issues. It spit a rivet out of the flame holder every flight. It has a bent wing (go to Nellis and look at the station 1 and 9 launchers, the left one doesn't hang as low as it should). It had been in a mid-air collision and had even replaced the left wing, but either the one they got from depot wasn't straight, or the frame is messed up. I spent months trying to trouble shoot an "uncommanded roll", because a pilot wasn't paying attention when he was approaching mach and got scared when he noticed he was upside down. After replacing stab bearings, flap seals, and everything else that wouldn't do any good to change (and ignoring the bent wing stairing them in the face), they just told the pilots to trim it out. Thanks. Good jet other than that.
91374 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron "Green Bats" [Unit History]
Period 2004 - 2005
Current: 91374  USAF 422 TES F-16C Block 52 [act]
After my gig was up as a TODO, and just before I PCSed to Korea, I was finally made a DCC of this bad boy. I loved this one, because it had the only half-glass paint job. They didn't want RAM paint losing its effectiveness, so I didn't have to clean the skin. In an AMU that didn't let people go home on Fridays until their jets sparkled, this was a much appreciated break. I just had to keep the gear clean. Loved that about it. And it flew good, the pilots liked this one too.
86290 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 80th Fighter Squadron "Juvats" [Unit History]
Period 2005 - 2006
Current: 86290  USAF 18 AGRS F-16C Block 30 [act]
This aircraft was great. Though overflown like all the block 30's in the 80th, this one flew great. I kept it really clean, and well serviced. Which wasn't as strict in Korea as it was like the big show we had to put on at Nellis. The pilots enjoyed riding in it, and the rapport between pilots and crew chiefs there was unlike any other assignment.
Unit USAFE - 22FS and 23FS - 52 EMS
Period 2006 - 2009
At Spangdahlem I worked all of the 51 assigned Block 50 F-16s from both 22 and 23 FS's. At Phase we worked all timed inspections (over 400 FLT HRS), and many TC items, including ADGs, EPUs, JFSs, and whole Landing Gear changes. Great assignment. I finish my first term here.

Visitor Comments

Leave a comment

Note: Errors and omissions in the above text can be added here. Please note: your comments will be displayed immediately on this page.

If you wish to send a private comment to the webmasters, please use the Contact Us link.