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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/5/2004 7:27:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/5/2004 7:30:13 AM EDT by KA3B]
Wounded A-10 waits in the wings

by Tech. Sgt. Orville F. Desjarlais Jr.
USAF Airman magazine
www.af.mil/news/airman/0504/warthog.shtml

Like a hornet with its wings pulled off, A-10A aircraft 81-987 sits flightless on the ground at Davis-Monthan Air For Base, Ariz. It scowls at nothing in particular.

The aircraft’s painted-on eyes won’t see combat anytime soon. Its wings are stored upright alongside the fuselage. The Thunderbolt II “Warthog” is neither alive nor dead. It’s in a state of limbo. Air Force officials haven’t decided whether to fix the $10 million aircraft or to leave it at the “boneyard” for scrap metal and parts.


an A-10 that was severely wounded over the skies of Baghdad during the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The A-10’s existence lies in the balance at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

www.af.mil/news/airman/0504/040425-f-000g-001.jpg
Really large picture of the same image

If the Warthog were an Airman, this 21-year veteran probably would’ve been awarded three or four Purple Hearts and a Distinguished Flying Cross, then medically retired after an April 2003 incident during Operation Iraqi Freedom (See “A-10 Pilot Brings Crippled Aircraft Home,” June 2003 - www.af.mil/news/airman/0603/oifupsb2.html).

This specific A-10 enlisted April 14, 1983. The Air Force named it 81-987 — 81 was the year the jet was funded, and it was the 987th aircraft rolled off the assembly line that year.

It was created with no eyes or mouth. They would be painted on later. The Thunderbolt II was named after the P-47 Thunderbolt, used for close air support during the latter part of World War II. Its first assignment was to England, where it was stationed at Royal Air Force Bentwaters, and then to Royal Air Force Alconbury.

In December 1991, it was redesignated an OA-10A. In addition to providing close air support, its pilot could also be an airborne forward air controller. But the jet remained unchanged — same equipment, same airframe, same everything.

It was assigned to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., in 1995, and then eventually ended up at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., where it became the primary aircraft for Capt. Kim Campbell, a pilot with the 75th Fighter Squadron.

On March 1, 2003, she and her A-10 arrived at a base near Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“When we heard the plan that we would be doing close air support in downtown Baghdad, we knew it was going to be tough,” she later said in speeches throughout the United States.

Damaged in action
She was right. Things got scary, especially on April 7 when she heard a large explosion at the back of the aircraft while flying over Baghdad. “There was no question in my mind. I knew immediately I was hit by enemy fire,” she said.


Tech. Sgt. Michael Emmendorfen patches the holes of A-10 aircraft 81-987 days after it was riddled with antiaircraft fire over Baghdad. The Hill repair team couldn’t save the jet, so it was dismantled and shipped to Davis-Monthan.

Her plane was crippled. Red hydraulic fluid spurted out as if from a severed artery, as both fluid gauges read empty. She switched the jet to manual control. After many tense minutes that seemed to stretch into hours, she managed to land the injured jet into the arms of its caretakers at home base.

Captain Campbell marveled at the amount of damage the aircraft endured. Shrapnel had torn into the fuselage and sheared the left and right hydraulic lines in two locations. The back end of the jet looked like Bonnie and Clyde’s Ford after the shootout that left both criminals dead. Although not confirmed, weapons experts believe a surface to air missile slammed into the right horizontal stabilizer. Shrapnel had ripped into the right engine. There were even signs that the back end of the jet had caught fire.


Capt. Kim Campbell looks over the damage to her A-10 the day after being hit by enemy fire over Iraq.

“My crew chief, Staff Sgt. Ian Morace, had told me to bring the jet back with nothing on it,” Captain Campbell said. “He was referring to dropping and shooting all the ordnance. But I don’t think what I brought back was quite what he had in mind.”

Maintainers can do a lot of things, but this wounded Warthog needed emergency technical care. Fortunately, an aircraft battle damage repair team from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, was already at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, for just such a crisis.

Aircraft medics make house calls

Since military aircraft came into existence, there has always been a need for aircraft battle damage repair teams. During World War I, mechanics had to improvise and sometimes use parts from discarded French farm machinery to keep aircraft aloft. This ingenuity showed itself time and again during later wars.

“During Vietnam, maintainers just wanted to get the aircraft in the air as quickly as possible,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Firestone, a member of Hill’s 649th Combat Logistics Support Squadron. “So they used discarded Coke cans and rags. They’d cut off both ends of a can to repair hoses. They were hatchet jobs, but they got it done.”


Members of an aircraft battle damage repair team fine-tune their skills on the rear fuselage of a decommissioned Warthog at Hill. To make the training realistic, explosive ordnance teams use C-4 explosives to blow holes in the aircraft to simulate antiaircraft artillery damage.

Today, Kevlar and graphite high-tech solutions are used for repairs. There are repair teams for each airframe in the inventory.

“It’s like taping a football player’s ankle so he can finish the game,” said Tech. Sgt. Dave Sepulveda, an aircraft battle damage repair section chief and trainer at Hill. “Our repairs are done so aircraft can continue in a war.”

Tech. Sgt. Michael Emmendorfen, an aircraft battle damage repair instructor at Hill, was on the team that responded to the ailing A-10.
“When I first saw the jet, I wondered how [the pilot] got it back because all hydraulics were gone,” he said. “I really appreciate her flying skills.”

Like surgeons with scalpels, the team dug deep into its metallic epidermis to determine if it was fixable. Each team member is a sort of jack-of-all-trades. For instance, a sheet metal worker may get exposed to electrical training. Crew chiefs dabble in sheet metal work.

“This way, if the sheet metal guy gets killed, our electrician can do some of the sheet metal work,” Sergeant Sepulveda said. “We train for the casualties of war.”

Their education even includes having explosive experts use C-4 explosives to blow holes in training jets, and then having team members cut sheet metal pieces to use as Band-Aids.

Life in limbo
However, no amount of training was going to help fix 81-987. Although they tried to patch a few holes, the team determined there was too much structural damage, inside and out, to repair the jet at its deployed location. Besides, the team’s war wagon, a road kit that has nearly every tool and material imaginable, didn’t have the equipment required to restore the jet. It was deemed not fixable.

The team spent the next five days dismembering the A-10. They packed it up and shipped it to Davis-Monthan where it sits in the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. It may not fly in combat anymore, but it’s not forgotten.

“For the amount of damage the jet took, it flew extremely well,” Captain Campbell said. “It’s a true testament to the durability of the A-10. Although it may never fly again, I think it had one hell of a fini-flight.”
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 7:32:29 AM EDT
One of the few plane's i love, i hope it never goes away, But it will! There is no better CAS airframe in exsitance IMO.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 7:32:43 AM EDT
1. Fix it.
2. Rename it "Battle-Axe."
3. Wait for next Middle East war.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 7:37:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
1. Fix it.
2. Rename it "Battle-Axe."
3. Wait for next Middle East war.



yup, i agree
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 7:42:50 AM EDT




Link Posted: 5/5/2004 7:50:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
1. Fix it.
2. Rename it "Battle-Axe."
3. Get it back in the war.



Johnny I fixed that for ya.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:03:22 AM EDT
Hogs Rule!!!
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:03:40 AM EDT
These are some bad ass planes. There used to be a squadron of them at the now closed airbase (England AFB) outside of Alexandria, Lousiana. When they would make their strafing runs at the ranges off Twin Bridges Road, you could hear those guns open up. Fires an ungodly number of rounds in about 1.5 seconds. That's where it gets its name Warthog from. Sounds like "Brruummpp".
Really an eerie sound if you've never heard it. Sorry to say the base was slated for closing in one of the military cost cutting rounds and the squadron was moved. This plane is a marvel of engineering with the big turbofan engines.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:20:57 AM EDT
It was the first aircraft to have symmetrical panels that could be replaced on either side of the airframe.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:43:58 AM EDT
I have 3 jets I like-the A-10, F-15C and the F-15E Strike Eagle

Here is "KC" Campbell's A-10 I did in 1/48...the decals are for her aircraft froma company called Two Bob's decals.....




Here is a F-15C I built as a companion for the 'Hog-

Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:50:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/5/2004 8:52:27 AM EDT by tszipper]
I'm sure that if certin members of the Airforce can't guarantee it air worthiness they will ship it to the bone yard! That's too bad I thank it's the best airframe they have! How many other aircraft could have taken that and survived?
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:54:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dog1:
I have 3 jets I like-the A-10, F-15C and the F-15E Strike Eagle

Here is "KC" Campbell's A-10 I did in 1/48...the decals are for her aircraft froma company called Two Bob's decals.....
home.att.net/~dbmsb/wsb/media/132360/site1236.jpg



Sweet... where do you get those at?
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:57:14 AM EDT
I built these...they are 1/48 scale model kits......
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 9:00:45 AM EDT
You're a day late and a dollar short.

Like a hornet with its wings pulled off, A-10A aircraft 81-987 sits flightless on the ground at Davis-Monthan Air For Base, Ariz. It scowls at nothing in particular.




Originally Posted By tszipper:
I'm sure that if certin members of the Airforce can't guarantee it air worthiness they will ship it to the bone yard! That's too bad I thank it's the best airframe they have! How many other aircraft could have taken that and survived?

Link Posted: 5/5/2004 9:23:33 AM EDT
Repair it and give it to Marine air. For some reason the Air Force doesnt want them anymore. Just transfer the whole lot of them to Army or Marine Air and let them GET SOME.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 9:34:42 AM EDT
Look close, that's a hell of a cameltoe.

Link Posted: 5/5/2004 9:41:27 AM EDT
I drove past Davis-Monthan AFB a couple of weeks ago and the mothballed planes are only on one side of the base.
You would not believe the planes that are stored there, F15s, Phantoms, F111s, F14s, Warthogs-just about everything. I didn't see any F18s but I'm sure they're there also.

It's a crying shame to see all those EXPENSIVE warbirds just sitting there wrapped in white plastic.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 10:30:31 AM EDT
I hit it, problem is she would hit me back

Bad Ass War Bird
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 11:38:05 AM EDT
You did some great work on that F-15C Dog1. Nice attention to detail.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 11:41:26 AM EDT
Danka....I have a 1/32nd scale F-15E I'm plodding along on...about 2 and half feet long and weighs so much that it has metal landing gear....

I might post a pic or 2 in the final stages of getting done....
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 11:43:27 AM EDT
She's cute. I mean the pilot.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 11:45:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dog1:
I have 3 jets I like-the A-10, F-15C and the F-15E Strike Eagle
home.att.net/~dbmsb/wsb/media/132360/site1236.jpg
home.att.net/~dbmsb/wsb/media/132360/site1224.jpg



Where did you get that GIANT mouse and keyboard? Oh wait, you said the jets were models... never mind.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 1:25:01 PM EDT

CPT Kim Campbell is a HPOA.

Link Posted: 5/5/2004 4:06:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 4:07:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
CPT Kim Campbell is a HPOA.


What's that mean?
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 4:09:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dog1:
Danka....I have a 1/32nd scale F-15E I'm plodding along on...about 2 and half feet long and weighs so much that it has metal landing gear....

I might post a pic or 2 in the final stages of getting done....



That's a big ass model! Well, if you need any detailed info on the jet, just let me know. I never worked on E models but I have worked on A/B/C & D models, and they are somewhat similar. BTW, I just noticed that your flaps are down on the C model. They are only put down before taxi and during maintenance.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 4:11:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:

Originally Posted By Dog1:
I have 3 jets I like-the A-10, F-15C and the F-15E Strike Eagle
home.att.net/~dbmsb/wsb/media/132360/site1236.jpg
home.att.net/~dbmsb/wsb/media/132360/site1224.jpg



Where did you get that GIANT mouse and keyboard? Oh wait, you said the jets were models... never mind.



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