Slowing down, following technical order data helps prevent mishaps
By Master Sgt. Ernest Cuevas , 60th AMW Safety
/ Published March 09, 2006
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
It’s payday Friday! The weekend is finally here! You glance at your watch and it’s almost quitting time. You should be getting off in about 15 minutes but, you’ve just been tasked to go tighten a panel on an aircraft.
As you’re driving the bobtail to pick up a B5 stand, all you’re thinking about is going home to get ready and start the weekend.
You quickly back up to the B5 stand. Hurriedly, you jump out of the cab, run to the rear and hook up the maintenance stand to the pintle hook. You run back to get into the cab, but you remember you forgot to insert the cotter pin to secure the pintle hook. You say to yourself “It’s okay, nothing will happen, I don’t have to drive too far.”
As you’re driving on the ramp you hear a loud thump. You slow down and look through your rear view mirror to see the B5 stand came unhooked from the pintle hook and it veers off to the left. You look to the left and you see the B5 stand smash into the right side of the fuselage of an aircraft.
This unfortunate mishap could have been prevented if you would have just slowed down, taken your time and did everything according to the technical order data.
It is vitally important to adhere to all warning and caution captions listed in the TO.
There’s an old adage that warnings and cautions were written because someone already suffered a mishap. If you fail to learn from other’s misfortunes, in this case by knowing the warnings and cautions, you could be severely injured, lose your life or damage equipment.
The chain of safety starts with the first link. Begin with conducting a “pre-use” inspection of each maintenance stand before each use. In the case of a B5 maintenance stand, do not use stowed Tow Bar or Lunette [in upright position] as a handle to position stand.
Remember to seek help when moving or positioning a maintenance stand – it’s a great way to practice Wingman skills – and never attempt to move the bigger maintenance stands by yourself.
If a rail is to be removed, the stand must be positioned so that the side of the platform where the rail is removed is adjacent to the aircraft in such a manner as to prevent falls [AFOSH standards require 14 inches or less]. The rails should not be removed on sides that are not adjacent to the aircraft.
Always remember to ensure pins required to secure the rails are properly inserted and secured.
As the Travis Team now knows, failure to comply with these important procedures could result in serious injury or death.
Once the stand is positioned, set the brakes by applying sufficient force to make sure that the brakes will remain in the locked position.
Ensure you immobilize the platform prior to use by inserting the swivel lock pins and locking the caster brakes to prevent inadvertent movement. Use extreme caution when getting on and off of any maintenance stand to help prevent you from falling; keep one hand free to grasp the hand rail.
As a final note, the following are repeated from AFOSH Standard 91-100:
- Towing speed is 5 miles per hour when towing two or more maintenance stands
- Towing speed is 10 miles per hour when towing only one maintenance stand
- Four-wheeled units will not be towed behind two-wheeled units
- Safety or cotter pins will always be used to secure pintle hooks and trailer hitches