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Tire inspections prevent FOD damage

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Mark Sobus
  • 36th Wing Safety Office
Foreign Object Damage, commonly known as FOD, costs the Air Force millions of dollars every year, not to include countless man-hours spent removing and replacing damaged engines.
These FOD incidents also reduce our Air Force combat capability by preventing scheduled aircraft to launch on time and perform their mission.
Whether it's an object embedded in a tire (rock, screw, nut, etc.) or loose items haphazardly placed in the bed of a truck, FOD is everyone's responsibility. The basic rule is: "If you see it, pick it up." Don't just drive past a pile of rocks on the flightline; stop to pick them up. If it's a big problem, call for a sweeper or notify Airfield Management to check out the ramp condition. We all have a responsibility out there; don't think that somebody else will take care of it. With the recent arrival of F-16s from Cannon AFB, N.M., FOD awareness and attention has gone up. The F-16 has only one engine and its intake sits close to the ground, increasing its chance of ingesting a object off the taxiway or runway. We need to step up our battle against FOD and strive to maintain a FOD-free environment.
FOD checkpoints are located at each entrance to the airfield. Perform your FOD check correctly before driving on the airfield.
Failure to do a proper FOD check will result in revocation of flight line driving privileges.
Check your tires for objects and perform the mandatory rollover check to see if there are items embedded that you didn't notice on your first check. Don't just walk around the vehicle and pretend to look at your tires; the foreign objects you miss may find their way into an engine, destroying that engine or plane risking the life of an aircrew member.
Make sure all loose equipment is secured and take the extra time to ensure your vehicle is ready to travel on the flightline. If you operate a vehicle on the flightline, make sure that you have the required flashlight, FOD picker, and FOD container in your vehicle.
By following the proper procedures everyone can help the Air Force focus its manpower and money on the mission.

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