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Mech Vault

Articles 1-50

Don't Pull Chocks Without Groundlocks
by Lt. Zyad Hayo
Coordination between aircrew and ground crew breaks down.

Faulty Door Causes Fall
by AD1(AW) J. W. Zucconi

Two maintainers are surprised when a door designed as a work platform collapses. They fall to the deck, but their PPE prevents serious injury.

Halon in the Evening
by AME3 Crawford and AMEAN Fotopoulos
A stray- voltage check turns ugly when a loud explosion makes two maintainers realize they missed a maintenance step.

Propeller Safety Awareness
by Petty Officer Staggs
A lesson about prop safety and the safety chain.

Prop Safety Chain
by Petty Officer Staggs
Safety lessons about the safety chain, approaching turning props, and how to avoid prop-related injury.

Take the Challenge, Be the Difference
by AO3 Ismael G. Arroyos
The ordnancemen of VAQ-132 find a solution to the heat endangering their ammunition in a ready storage locker at Prince Sultan Air Force Base, Saudi Arabia.

Seven Seconds to Disaster
by LCdr. Frank Mellott
Prop wash knocks down a Sailor as he steps behind the JDB. His body and tools are blown down the deck. Shipmates save him as he heads toward a turning jet.

Required Reading
by Ltjg. Juan Gonzales
A maintenance material control officer recounts a story when he broke "every rule in the book." He had the mistaken belief that he was helping expedite maintenance.

Mind Over Ladder
by Lt. Adams
During an aircrew wash job on a P-3C, a lieutenant finds his rubber boot in harm’s way. He gives a good lesson in SE safety.

Is There Anything Missing?
by AME3 M. L. Alberts
A good story about the need for more than a cursory glance at a toolbox. This becomes critical when a box contains tools with multiple pieces.

Day-to-Day Happenings
by Anonymous
An excellent article that summarizes three SE mishaps and interjects several lessons learned.

Blown Down the Deck
by Anonymous
A Sailor is blown down the deck when gets behind a Hornet’s exhaust. A flight-deck coordinator jumps on top of him to end his tumble, but not before he sustains some minor injuries.

Assumptions Are Just That
by LCdr. Joe Adan
A maintenance officer reflects on a near-mishap caused by a lack of communication and attention to detail.

Anonymous Distractions
by Anonymous
A maintainer is distracted and forgets about a washer.  His mistake cost $44,000 to repair a FODed engine.

Aviation Boatswain's Mates Do It, Too!
by Joe Casto
The ex-editor of Mech builds a story from numerous mishaps to show that aviation boatswain's mates (ABs) face the same hazards as their squadron counterparts.

Those "Stupid" Goggles
by AME1(AW) Glendon Arnold

Real-life story about the usefulness of safety goggles and how they saved some shipmates from injury.  

The Flight Deck Can Kill You
by AT2 B. R. Dufresne

Experience doesn't guarantee your safety, and this firsthand account of a close call proves it.

Jet Blast Can Kill You
by AO2 (AW) L.P. Leslie
The routine task of dowloading a pod and uploading a CATM becomes a challenge.

Hearing the Safety Officer
by LCdr. Mark Stansell
Hearing loss is a serious problem in aviation maintenance.  This safety officer has something to say about it.

Huffer Wins Strength Contest
by Anonymous
After a wild ride on a huffer, the lineman in this story was fortunate his injuries weren't worse.

The Almost Famous One-Eyed Dog
by AMSAN Michael W. McDowell
An incident with MEK makes an aircraft painter a strong advocate for wearing goggles.

Zapped in Canada
by AT1 Bryan Tollefson
An exciting weekend turns sour when lightning strikes at an airshow.

Zapped in Florida
by Lt. David J. Martak
Several maintainers insist on finishing their work while lightning strikes around them.

Beware; Watch for Moving Aircraft
by Lcdr. William Davis
a loose piece of FOD on the flight has people running into danger.

Fuel and Water Don't Mix
by AD1 James McCombe

A rush and incomplete fuel-handling procedures leads to a contaminated aircraft.

Read the Book; Don't Wait for the Movie
by Ens. Juan Gonzalez
Accepting a repair teams analysis, a squadron ends up with a fuel spill from hell.

What Could Have Happened?
by Anonymous

Incomplete maintenance, no inspection, and a rush to complete the job causes a headache.

Blue Warrants Yellow's Respect
by CWO2 R. S. Walecki
A valid point about treating live and inert weapons with the same care and concern.

It's Raining Sonobuoys
by Lt. Thomas Vinson
A load of sonobuoys damage an aircraft when the cart tips over.

Old Paint on "Ol' Paint"
by AMS1 Ron Higham and AMS1 Thomas Resides
Cosmetic painting is taboo, and this story explains why.

Operational Tempo vs. Complacency

by CWO2 John Salgado
Missing spacers cause an FA-18 to lose bearings on landing.

Red Rock Gathers Road Rash
by AO1 Jeff Asbell

Even an experienced Sailor can be bitten by the hazards on the flight deck.

Another Drop-Tank Saga
by AD1 Coulson

A supervisor learns that leadership doesn't stop at one job.

Drop-Checked a Drop-Tank
by AD2 Chad Ryan

This mech learned the hard way to check when someone says a tank is empty.

Drop-Tank Turned Dropped Tank
by AD1(AW) Brian Tourville

A simple task turns ugly.

Ready on the Front? Ready on the Back?
by AD3 Lopez

The infamous tap test doesn't work--again, leaving a fuel spill and an injured maintainer.

The Empty Drop-Tank
by AO1 Steven Bell

Rushing to do maintenance for a short-notice deployment, maintainers end up with an injured Sailor and more work.

My Winning Smile
by ATAA Joseph Young
In a battle with a piece of SE, a maintainer loses the fight and a few teeth.

Nearly Sucked Into an Intake
by PR2 Seth Dyer
A close brush with death teaches a new supervisor some lessons.

Hangar Door Nightmare
by Ltjg. Mark Rowbottom
Closing two hangar doors at one time led to an injured PC and questions about why the incident happened. 

When Safety Practices Are Forgotten
by AT3 Angela Etzell
A rushed job ends when a Sailor splashes Power-X in her eye.

Tools, Lox, Move - Oh My
by AME3 Josh L. Campbell
An experienced maintainer leaves a LOX bottle on the deck and tools in the aircraft during an aircraft move.

Cranial Saves the Day
by ADAN Vidal
Have you ever fallen off an aircraft? This Sailor did and survived because he wore a brain bucket.

Just Another OK-3 Wire or Was It?
by PR2 Brian Fischer
An experienced maintainer finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Time, Place, Scene, and Decision
by Lt. Blake Tornga
An NFO reflects on a lost tool and the role honesty plays in aviation maintenance.

Words to Live By
by AT1(AW) Theodore Barkley
A flight- deck lesson via the 5MC.

Why Did it Sink?
by AD3 Frances Nievera and Lt. Catherene Wilson
ORM doesn't guarantee success, but it will keep you from making this type of mistake.

Saving Grace
by AT3 Christopher Fluery
Any fall is bad, but dropping from the top of a Hawkeye leads to an injury and a hard-learned lesson.

My Enlightening Experience
by AT2 Joshua Webb
440-volts racing through your body could kill you.  This maintainer was lucky it didn't.

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