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B-52 crew chiefs earn zero-defect rating during inspection

  • Published
  • By Airman Jesse Jenny
  • 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


Crew chiefs from the 5th Maintenance Squadron earned a “zero-defect” rating during a Lubricant Inspection of a B-52H Stratofortress at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, March 19, 2019.

This inspection, which evaluates the structural integrity of the aircraft, blended both speed and accuracy, flawlessly.

“A typical Lubricant Inspection takes eight days,” said Staff Sgt. Shane Vandevelde, 5th MXS crew chief. “We achieved it within four days without a single defect.”

The crew chiefs worked on the B-52 past normal duty hours because they wanted to evaluate if they can reduce the time it would typically take to lubricate the aircraft.

“The faster the aircrafts are pushed out, the faster we can get them in the air,” Vandevelde said “It took a lot of communication, but we did it.”

Senior Airman Pfeenix Tramill, 5th MXS crew chief, said the team stayed and worked together to make sure everything was done properly.

“Even though we finished lubricating the aircraft in a day, we took our time making sure that there wasn’t anything out of place,” said Tramill.

Vandevelde said his team of Airmen took the initiative to earn the zero-defect rating.

“They just knew what to do,” said Vandevelde. “We’re a close-knit family and we came together to get the job done.”