US, PHL airmen conduct expert exchange on F-16, FA-50 egress systems

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As part of the latest Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange-Philippines (BACE-P) which kicked off January 18, Philippine Air Force (PAF) and US Air Force (USAF) maintenance personnel have conducted subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) on fighter aircraft egress systems.

American, Filipino airmen perform a visual inspection of a US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon during the BACE-P at Cesar Basa Air Base, Philippines, Jan. 22, 2019. USAF photo

PAF and US Air Force egress system mechanics jointly inspected an F-16 Fighting Falcon and FA-50PH as part of the SMEE.

Aircraft egress system specialists ensure that that pilots can safely eject from aircraft in the event of an emergency.

US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) said egress airmen perform a full visual inspection of the ejection system which includes the seat and cockpit components.

American, Filipino airmen perform a visual inspection of a PAF FA-50 during the BACE-P at Cesar Basa Air Base, Philippines, Jan. 22, 2019. USAF photo

“If anything is found broken or out of technical data specifications, it’s the egress technician’s job to ground the jet and pull the seat to repair the defect prior to returning the aircraft to flying status,”it added 

“Subject matter expert exchanges are an important way for us to learn [from] and teach our counterparts from partner nations,” said US Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ed Edens, 113th Maintenance Squadron egress systems mechanic. “It’s especially important for egress when you have to be on top of your job because we can’t [ops] test our system. Everything that we do has to be perfect.”

“I’ve experienced ejections in the past, and the first thing that goes through my mind, is did the pilot survive,” Edens explained. “Job satisfaction comes from ensuring the pilots are safe and we did our jobs well.”