Dyess maintainers learn new refueling procedure
By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Stefanko, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2013
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS -- Dyess maintainers learned hot pit refueling here, Feb. 22, from Airmen with the 28th Maintenance Group from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
Hot pit refueling is a procedure that rapidly refuels an aircraft as maintenance crews perform safety checks, while the aircrew stays in the cockpit with the aircraft running.
New to the B-1 Bomber, this aircraft refueling tactic increases the longevity of the aircraft and decreases the time spent on the ground.
"With the short amount of time we had to teach hot pit refueling, the Dyess maintainers have really shown to be super absorbent as far as all of the information we brought down," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Walker, 28th MXG.
In the past few months, 28th MXG maintainers have incorporated hot pit refueling for their B-1 Bombers and are now passing on the knowledge to Airmen here.
"For this run, the aircraft came in and only shut down the right-side engines so that the Airmen could get in on that side of the aircraft and fill it with fuel," said Senior Airman Mark Moser, 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "This is helpful for the aircrew as it allows them to keep valuable systems running instead of shutting them off, decreasing the time it takes to re-launch the aircraft."
While hot pit refueling decreases the time it takes to launch a sortie, aircraft parts are also being preserved and require less maintenance.
"Think of this process as turning a light bulb on and off a thousand times, the more it's used the sooner it will go out," Walker said. "It's the same way with the components on a B-1, the less you have to turn that component on and off, the less likely it will fail."
By saving time and putting less stress on the aircraft, money and man hours are being saved, crucial for an aircraft that has been around since the 1980's.
"We can use this procedure to launch jets with lighter fuel loads, allowing less stress on the aircraft, which in turn helps with the longevity of the B-1," Moser said.
Though from separate bases, Dyess and Ellsworth maintainers work together to ensure the B-1 stays current and mission ready.
"What we did here in the short amount of time we had to teach, proves that no matter where you are geographically, whether at Dyess, Ellsworth or overseas, B-1 maintainers are some of the best maintainers in the world," Walker said.