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Aero Precision provides OEM part support for military aircraft operators across more than 20 aircraft

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Well I've told this story before, but forgive me for telling it once more. Especially today.

It's hard to believe that it's been 35 years since the loss of 0543. At the time I was assigned to the 62nd and had gone out with students the day prior (05/12) to drop CDS with 0543. We got everything rigged, completed all briefings, fired up and taxied out to go attack the moles living underneath All American DZ once again. During run-up I noticed that we had severe leakage coming out of the saber mast on # 3 motor, let the Eng. know, who came back to take a look and then promptly told the AC to head back to parking. MX came out pulled everything apart, did their magic and told us to try again. Which we did with the same results. We ran that sucker up a total of 3 times until a 9-level finally made the decision that an engine change was required, put the bird on a Red X and our day was done.

On the 13th a 50th crew was assigned 0543 for a morning Tac sortie and had the same thing happen to them that we had on the 12th. Likewise they ended up cancelling for MX.

On the evening of the 13th a 62nd crew was prepping for the night Tac sortie and their bird took a dump near station time. The AC was a hard charger and made the decision to go to the spare. Well as fate would have it the locked and cocked spare that night was 0543. The crew jumped onboard, fired her up, taxied out, blasted off to catch up with the formation and never made the join-up.

Bottom line is that the first crew to get that aircraft airborne never got to make the trip back to the squadron in the crew bus. So tragic.

RIP my Brothers.      

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