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Maintainers repair corrosion on aircraft cargo ramp

Tech Sgt. Daniel Barrow, Staff Sgt. Doug Miller and Staff Sgt. Kevin Cecil sit in office chairs, just the right height to comfortably repair damage to the cargo ramp on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va., May 28, 2020.

Tech Sgt. Daniel Barrow, Staff Sgt. Doug Miller and Staff Sgt. Kevin Cecil sit in office chairs, just the right height to comfortably repair damage to the cargo ramp on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va., May 28, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Staff Sgt. Doug Miller, an aircraft maintainer for the 167th Maintenance Group, clears corroded drainage channels inside a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft's cargo ramp canted bulkhead which had corroded over time due to sealed drainage holes, May27, 2020,at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Staff Sgt. Doug Miller, an aircraft maintainer for the 167th Maintenance Group, clears corroded drainage channels inside a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft's cargo ramp canted bulkhead which had corroded over time due to sealed drainage holes, May27, 2020,at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Staff Sgt. Doug Miller, aircraft maintainer for the 167th Maintenance Group, sprays a coat of paint on a metal panel, part of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft cargo ramp canted bulkhead which had corroded over time due to sealed drainage holes, May27, 2020,at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va

Staff Sgt. Doug Miller, aircraft maintainer for the 167th Maintenance Group, sprays a coat of paint on a metal panel, part of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft cargo ramp canted bulkhead which had corroded over time due to sealed drainage holes, May27, 2020,at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

An eight-foot long metal panel from a C-17 cargo ramp lays on a table in the 167th Airlift Wing’s sheet metal shop after being sandblasted to remove corrosion and primed, May 27, 2020.

An eight-foot long metal panel from a C-17 cargo ramp lays on a table in the 167th Airlift Wing’s sheet metal shop after being sandblasted to remove corrosion and primed, May 27, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Cecil, a sheet metal technician for the 167th Maintenance Group, repairs corrosion in the cargo ramp of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, May 27, 2020, at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Cecil, a sheet metal technician for the 167th Maintenance Group, repairs corrosion in the cargo ramp of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, May 27, 2020, at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, W.Va. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

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.