97 AMXS revitalizes CDDAR Program, improves emergency response

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 97th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron improved the Crashed Disabled Damaged Aircraft Recovery Program by investing in a piece of equipment that enables the emergency management team at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, to be better prepared for damaged aircraft recovery.

The improvements included a recycled plastic cribbing for use in a C-17 Globemaster III and KC-46 Pegasus recovery scenario. The cribbing makes lifting heavier aircraft parts easier and safer while also saving money and time.

“The most notable equipment is the additional cribbing that is used to perform air bag lifts on the KC-46 and C-17,” said Carl Kidder, 97th AMXS C-17 Expeditor and CDDAR Team Chief. “The idea came from recent graduates from the CDDAR qualification course.”

The previous cribbing was made of wood, making the equipment much heavier - 86 pounds per piece - compared to the plastic cribbing which is 22 pounds per piece.

“The advantages of using the hollow construction plastic cribbing is it is lighter, resistant to weather, insects and rot, giving it a virtually unlimited service life even when exposed to extreme climates,” said Graham Weidner, 97th AMXS KC-46 Aircraft Mechanic leader.

Since the previous cribbing was so heavy, it required heavy machinery whenever it was placed above waist height. The new lighter equipment can be moved by hand.

“Having these assets on-hand allows a rapid response,” said Kidder. “With the reusable and more durable cribbing we can now train more realistically than we have in the past, making our team members more familiar with the processes and therefore safer.”