December 12, 2006
Remember, Folks, Checklists are Your Friend
Posted by scott at December 12, 2006 08:30 AM
eMail this entry!
Since I was once a "tin bender" in the USAF, I can certainly say that while we'd be laughing at the pilot and crew that just got stationed on nighttime guard duty in Alaska, we'd also be cursing like hell; can you imaging how damn difficult that's going to be to patch? There's substructure and skin that's going to need to be repaired, not to mention all the tubing, wiring, and other systems that were damaged.
And all on a base that's not set up to do depot level work. Poor bastards. And by that, I mean the mechanics. The pilots deserve the guard duty. Dumbasses.
Plus there's all that fancy classified stealth crap that they paint B-1s with. Hence the multi-million dollar repair.
Even then, the paint will cost less than the crap they destroyed. They're going to have to take much of the bottom of that plane off and spend lots of time cleaning just to ensure they've got no FOD in there. And doing that removes a good chunk of it's structural support, calling for special support structures to be built (which is what depot level facilities have) and utilized. As that's being done, then the repair will be estimated, the parts will be sent in or fabricated, and then you'll have to put everything back together, and not doing it on the assembly line will make it much more problematic*.
And then they've got to paint it.
*I think I've told you the story of us attempting to replace one high pressure stainless tube in an F16's fuselage? It was mildly chaffed and needed to have 5" replaced. By the time we actually were able to replace it with a newly fabricated piece, the resulting replacement piece was 6' long and it took us a full week to do. BTW, none of this was due to incompentence. It was a result of trying to use tools in a manner for which they weren't designed as there weren't other tools that were better.