MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
Aircraft maintainers at the 167th Airlift Wing recently completed a sheet metal repair on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, a rare event since getting the C-17’s at the wing.
The maintainers repaired the cargo ramp canted bulkhead after deterioration was discovered during a refurbishment inspection conducted jointly by the 167th’s sheet metal and home station check sections.
Drain holes in the bulkhead were erroneously covered in production, a problem found in some of the earliest C-17’s produced.
“There was a change to the [technical order] in June of last year,” explained Master Sgt. Aaron Moats, home station check coordinator for the 167th Maintenance Group. “That changed the refurbishment inspection to include inspecting that part of the aircraft.”
With the drain holes covered, sitting rain and water caused corrosion in that particular area. The left side of the cargo ramp canted bulkhead had more extensive corrosion than the right side prompting the sheet metal shop to remove an approximately eight-foot-long damaged panel.
About 350 fasteners had to be removed in the process.
The panel was sandblasted to remove the corrosion, primed and repainted. The drainage channels inside the bulkhead, on both sides, were cleaned to allow water to drain properly and the corroded fasteners were replaced.
The repair was completed in 10 days.