173rd FW CDDAR team trains for aircraft crash recovery

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Penny Snoozy
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

The 173rd Fighter Wing’s Crash, Damaged, Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) team specializes in tasks necessary to recover a crashed or disabled aircraft. During the June regularly scheduled drill, the CDDAR team had the opportunity to practice an aircraft recovery in a controlled environment.

Using a Ground Instruction Training Aircraft assigned to the unit, the CDDAR team was able to simulate a downed aircraft and physically practice what it takes to use an airbag to lift the aircraft off the ground, as they would following a mishap.

“This hands on training provides our team with the closest thing they can get to preparation for situations that have so many unknown variables,” said Senior Master Sgt. Israel Mackey, 173rd FW CDDAR team chief.

The CDDAR team consists of Airmen from various work specialties. Having members with experience in all areas of the aircraft allows the team as a whole to makes quick decisions in emergency situations while having the expertise and considerations for multiple systems.

"This is a thinking team, we have to think our feet," said Mackey.  “We have general guidelines on how we recover an aircraft, because no situation is going to be the same.”

The CDDAR team consists of airmen from various work specialties. The wide array of experience allows for planning to take in all considerations in a short period of time. This allows for quick, well-thought-out decisions which increases efficiency, speed, and safety of the team’s operation in what can be dangerous emergency situations, said Mackey.

The training conducted was an airbag lift. This approach would be implemented with a downed or damaged aircraft that needs to be repositioned to allow for safe inspection and removal.  This allows the team to remove the aircraft from the scene while minimizing damage during the process, protecting valuable assets.

Having the most experienced maintainers and staff keeps the pilots and aircraft as safe as possible; but for the unpredictable accidents that can occur, the skills learned and practiced by this team become indispensable.