Engine mech coming off of C-130's and going to F-16's

Looking to change career fields or contemplating to request a new assignment? Here's where you find out if the grass really is greener on the other side...
  • Author
  • Message




  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 09 Nov 2009, 09:34

Unread post09 Nov 2009, 10:10

Hey all,

I am comming of of T-56 engines and am going to work on F-16 eng's at Osan. Just curious if anyone can tell me a little about what the fighter world is like for an eng mech. If anyone has done what I have and give me some insight that would be great. Thanks.


Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2005, 23:40
  • Location: Moody AFB

Unread post18 Aug 2010, 09:22

Its a complete 360. Fighter world IMO is a fast paced work hard, talk fast and play hard world. Heavy world is a slow paced layed back world. I have worked Engines, F-16 C-5 and now C-130J. I was in the fighter world for 10 yrs.
I spent time at Mt Home, Nellis, Kunsan, Dover and Ramstein.

IMO The best thing about the fighter world is the pride you have seeing your hard work take off with you close net fighter buddies...
If it starts, performs, burns and returns, Engine troops made it happen!




  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 03:12

Unread post29 Sep 2011, 00:15

Turn in your tool box and pick up an ohm meter and borescope. You will no longer be an engine mechanic, you are cross training into an engine inspector. The Pratt and the GE are both 3 decades newer technology and there is a lot more going on than the T56 which was a hydro mechanical pig with a cruise control on the temperature (TD) system. The DEEC or DEC depending on Pratt or GE is a whole engine control who's job is to manage airflow and accommodate failures. Each system on the T56 was a sub assembly, the 16 motors are much more integrated. There is a massive amount more in theory and operation but here is the catch you don't need it! If you like the stuff you will really enjoy the engine and reading the DEEC logic book on how and why MFL's happen with fault detection and accommodation. The FI in the T56 world is a joke and never comes off the shelf, can't speak for the "J" guys. On the F100, and F110 it is pretty much your maintenance manual which for me coming from C-130's was like "Huh"! Sadly the reason I say you won't need it is because the engine is pretty reliable and the list of LRU's is very short and what can be done in the jet is very limited and also QA can really be stupid of the T.O.'s "input conditions", many many TCTO's have improved the F100 and F110 versus the T56 and Hamiliton Sunstrand which the Air Force just throws labor at. There is only one engine, it took me a bit of time to really understand the one engine mentality as you will think everyone is nuts but a few months go by and you will look back on some of your "previous practices" and really say wow!

If you are an intermediate level maintenance guy the Pratt is pretty boring and you will feel like a "flange monkey" as it is a modular engine. The GE motor is much more of a mechanic's engine especially during overhaul which is done at field level.

I liked all three engines a lot but as I get older I think of the C-130 and the T56 as a "young mans" game. That was a true mechanics hand's on tinkering motor. The F100 or F110 it is either right or it's wrong, there are full color pictures on where every clamp nut bolt and harness goes and how it is routed and the punt list for parts is very short.

You first "great" experience will be a guy or girl complaining about a safety wire on something being a "%^&VG" and you will just laugh to yourself and think about doing the #2 fuel nozzle on mids in the dark in the rain for fumes in the cockpit, or the stripped 12'oclock thermocouple mount nut or even better changing the power section gearbox rear scavenge pump in the dark with a worn out box end after you already hit your head on the drain mast on a ladder not once but twice.

Remember those task while you sit in a roll around chair in a hush house out of the elements and you will like it!


Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 146
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2004, 00:18

Unread post30 Sep 2011, 18:45

You going to backshop or flightline?

Return to Careers & Assignments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests