ROK, U.S. Airmen receive specialized aircraft balance training
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea- -- The Republic of Korea air force joined up with U. S. Air Force quality assurance technicians to undergo specialized aircraft systems training here Oct. 14, 2015.
The joint training covered the weight and balance procedures specifically for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
"Without the aircraft having a proper weigh done every 36 months, you could have center of gravity issues leading to [unbalanced] weight issues and the jets could literally fall out of the sky," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Mulford, 51st Maintenance Group quality assurance manager.
Technicians weigh the aircraft using load cells, digital devices that convert force into a measurable electrical output, placed at key points under the aircraft. The information they produce, once calculated, provides the exact center of gravity.
"We want it within a specific tolerance," said Mulford. "There's a two-foot margin were we want that center to stay."
If an aircraft is found to be unbalanced during this check, extensive research has to be done to locate the source of the increased weight and troubleshoot accordingly. The potential loss of life due to sudden shifts in weight distribution is the primary reason such care is taken.
"Us doing this weigh ensures that proper center of gravity," said Mulford. "If we add munitions, a pilot or anything else to the aircraft we can use this as a basis for reference to do all our other calculations throughout the flying mission."