August 6, 2010 (by SrA Tabitha M. Lee) - Flying at more than 1,200 mph, F-16 pilots rely on Avionics to keep their jets going. The Avionics Intermediate Sections is responsible for the maintenance on all avionic components of Aviano's Fighting Falcons.
From left, A1C. Michael Kilburn and SrA. Mark Lester, 31st MXS Avionics Intermediate Section journeymen, perform communication tests on an ultra high frequency radio on August 6th, 2010. The Avionics Intermediate Sections is responsible for the maintenance on all avionic components of Aviano's F-16 Fighting Falcons. [USAF photo by SrA. Tabitha M. Lee]
"The mission of the 31st Maintenance Squadron, AIS is to provide back shop avionics support for two squadrons of F-16 Fighting Falcons aircraft," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Young, 31 MXS Avionics Flight NCO
in charge. "They provide inspections, bench checks and repairs Line Replaceable Units."
Avionics is the science and technology of the development and use of electrical and electronic devices in aviation.
"During the past 12 months this section has screened 539 two and three level maintenance assets with a 51 percent return-to-service rate and a cost avoidance of over five million dollars," said Sergeant Young.
The AIS has also repaired 109 three level maintenance assets resulting in a 92 percent return-to-service rate. Turnaround is a matter of days as compared to weeks in other shops. Line replaceable units processed through the AIS are returned quickly to the supply system, without having to use time and money for shipping to a centralized intermediate repair facility or being returned to depot. Transportation time would dramatically hinder asset availability.
"This section regularly performs routine and maintenance-to-maintenance tasks on various suspected-bad LRUs that greatly assist the flightline technicians in troubleshooting failures on the jet," said Tech. Sgt. Jason White, 31st MXS AIS dayshift production supervisor.
This troubleshooting ability is a tangible benefit to having on-scene screening capability. It is also crucial in the cases of impounded jets. With our equipment, we are able to quickly extract memory dumps to determine exactly what occurred in-flight.
"This is an extremely valuable resource for the flightline maintainers, the depot and the commanders, to determine the cause of failure and get the jet airborne as quickly as possible," said Airman 1st Class Michael Kilburn, 31st Maintenance Squadron Avionics Intermediate Section journeyman. "We are here to support the Aviano mission by getting aircraft back in the air as quick as possible with the highest maintenance standards."