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NDI Technicians showcase abilities to Afghan Maintainers
A U.S. Air Force Nondestructive Inspection technician demonstrates a technique to Afghan aircraft maintainers at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan recently. (Courtesy photo)
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NDI technicians showcase abilities to Afghan maintainers

Posted 12/20/2011   Updated 12/20/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


12/20/2011 - KABUL Afghanistan  -- The physical stress on an aircraft and its components in flight can be quite substantial. The different forces can cause the aircraft to break in many different ways. Sometimes, the damage cannot be easily seen by the naked eye.

This is where Nondestructive Inspection or, NDI for short, technicians come into play. NDI is a form of analysis or techniques used to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. These technicians can often find a problem long before it becomes a risk.

It's skills like NDI that will be vital for the Afghanistan air force as they rebuild their service. They were able to take the first step in accomplishing this recently, as a group of Afghan maintainers spent six days shadowing U.S. Air Force NDI technicians at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan.

During the visit, Air Force NDI technicians demonstrated ultrasonic and eddy current testing techniques and procedures on both A-10 Warthog aircraft and C-27 Spartan components, said Tech. Sgt. Yohana McPherson, an adviser with the 440th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group.

"The trip to Kandahar was extremely beneficial to the Afghan air force as nondestructive inspection is a new aircraft maintenance capability to them," said McPherson. "The Afghan technicians got to see on-aircraft nondestructive inspection procedures."

The sergeant said a lot of good information was passed on to the Afghan maintainers.

"The Afghan technicians were able to shadow highly trained NDI technicians," she said. "They were able to see an ultrasonic inspection on an operational aircraft component with proper equipment and technical data. It was a very rewarding and successful trip."



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