Apache Downtime Short Due to Depot's "Immediate" Response
July 13, 2010
- CCAD Rotor Head Division artisans answered a request from Ft. Rucker aviation maintenance on an AH-64D Apache Rotor Head
- The team examined, analyzed and had a repair solution for an internally damaged rotor head in less than four hours
- Rucker was provided with comprehensive information about rotor head in question, probable cause of damage, and a recommended fix.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (July 12, 2010) Aca,!" Corpus Christi Army Depot Rotor Head Division artisans answered a hot request within hours from Ft. Rucker aviation maintenance concerning damage to an AH-64D Apache Main Rotor Head. The normal cycle is several days.
The team examined, analyzed and had a repair solution for an internally damaged rotor head in less than four hours according to Jerry New, CCAD's Ft. Rucker based Aviation Readiness and Maintenance Support Specialist. The damage was discovered during a routine 500-hour maintenance inspection.
Due to the high operational tempo for Army Aviation, notably the increase in Afghanistan going from one combat aviation brigade (CAB) to three-plus, flight hour demand ramps up maintenance time, decreasing readiness rates. Training time at Ft. Rucker has paralleled the increased effort.
Rapid component turn-around time is critical to meet the increased demand. The Apache, the Army's primary attack helicopter capable of defeating a wide range of targets, including all armored vehicles, is no exception, the main rotor head is in short supply.
The request arrived just before three o'clock Friday afternoon, June 30. Roderick Benson, Rotor Head Division Chief, convened the team of Apache Program artisans, shop supervisors, Quality Control personnel and Pre-Shop Analysis experts to examine the damage.
"They immediately reacted," said New. "CCAD assembled a team on the shop floor to do a simulation with a rotor head to determine the root cause."
The Aviation Engineering Directorate Liaison engineer at Rucker was provided with comprehensive information about head in question, probable cause of damage, and a recommended fix.
"Without that support, the rotor head would've ended up as an unserviceable asset," said New. "This response got the Apache back in the air much more quickly."