A Vietnam-era plane platform going through a difficult provide posture appears an unlikely candidate for an underdog victory story. However that’s simply what occurred when Fleet Readiness Middle East (FRCE) artisans made a tough push to the end line to finish and return to the fleet two H-53 heavy-lift helicopters – every having seen numerous phases of labor stoppage throughout their restore on the depot – earlier than the top of fiscal yr 2021. With a cross-disciplinary group of assist entities behind them, the crew completed the job just below the wire, delivering the primary plane Sept. 29 and the second Sept. 30.

These two plane helped FRCE’s Rotary Wing Division meet its aim of delivering 43 accomplished Deliberate Upkeep Interval (PMI) occasions in fiscal yr 2021. The division contains the H-53 line, together with the UH-1N line and the V-22 manufacturing line at FRCE and its distant websites on the North Carolina World TransPark in Kinston; Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina; and Hurlburt Discipline in Florida. Typically, the H-53 manufacturing line at FRCE has to work with engineering and manufacturing applications throughout the depot to supply a one-off half or develop a brand new process for a restore course of that hasn’t been performed earlier than.


“Having the H-53 line push onerous to the top helped fill a crucial want for H-53 plane throughout the fleet. This effort is a good instance of the talent and dedication shared by our whole crew at FRC East. I couldn’t be extra happy with the workforce and their continuous efforts to supply the very best stage of service to the fleet. The H-53 crew faces hurdles that no different line faces merely due to the age of the plane, and I’m very happy with the crew. I can’t say sufficient in regards to the assist we obtain from manufacturing and engineering to resolve points which have by no means been seen earlier than.,” mentioned FRCE Commanding Officer Col. Thomas A. Atkinson.

Fleet Readiness Middle East’s H-53 manufacturing line conducts floor flip operations on plane present process the ultimate two Deliberate Upkeep Interval occasions the road accomplished in fiscal yr 2021. The H-53 line completed the fiscal yr with a tough push to the end line to finish and return to the fleet two H-53 heavy-lift helicopters – every having seen numerous phases of labor stoppage throughout their restore on the depot – and assist FRCE’s Rotary Wing Division meet its aim of manufacturing 43 accomplished PMI occasions earlier than the top of the fiscal yr.

The H-53E is a sundowning plane, mentioned David Williams, director of FRCE’s Rotary Wing Division, which suggests it’s nearing the top of its life cycle throughout the fleet as its deliberate alternative, the brand new CH-53K King Stallion, completes testing and analysis. This standing could make it tough for FRCE’s companions in Naval Provide Techniques Command and Protection Logistics Company to supply the elements wanted to keep up and restore the plane. The one approach to overcome these points is to work cooperatively with inner and exterior companions to develop modern options.

The crew used strategic schedule labored an efficient execution plan developed by the crew’s supervisors, work leads, plane evaluators and high quality assurance specialists which allowed every worker to know what the necessities are for assembly the completion aim by setting out measurable and achievable objectives alongside the way in which. This bold however lifelike plan set the crew up for fulfillment, and an modern resolution to a provide constraint helped seal the deal. Whereas disassembling H-53 plane, FRCE’s mechanics and evaluators have just lately been discovering increasingly harm and corrosion on T caps and substructure fittings, which make up the plane’s decrease bilge frames beneath the cabin floorboards. The T cap is important to the construction of the plane for load-bearing functions.

FRCE’s manufacturing store produced new T caps based mostly on authentic specs, however throughout elimination of the previous T cap on one plane, unserviceable fittings within the substructure have been discovered. With an extended lead-time to acquire materials and manufacture these elements, the crew wanted a brand new resolution in the event that they have been going to have any probability to make the fiscal yr deadline. FRCE is North Carolina’s largest upkeep, restore, overhaul and technical providers supplier, with greater than 4,000 civilian, navy and contract staff. Its annual income exceeds $1 billion. The depot gives service to the fleet whereas functioning as an integral a part of the larger U.S. Navy; Naval Air Techniques Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Facilities.

US Navy Fleet Readiness Center East H-53 Heavy-lift Helicopters Line Ends Fiscal Year with Strong Push
Doug Merrell, aircraft captain on Fleet Readiness Middle East’s H-53 plane line, communicates with Capt. Ryan Boyer, H-53 useful examine pilot, and Sgt. Matthew Hotelling, H-53 crew chief – each within the cockpit – in the course of the “floor flip” of a Navy MH-53 heavy-lift helicopter, one of many last two Deliberate Upkeep Interval occasions the H-53 line accomplished in fiscal yr 2021. A floor flip is an important operational check of all of an plane’s methods and elements.