Like most motorists, aircraft squadrons periodically inspect the tires on their aircraft for any uneven wear, gouges or other damage.
When service to the rims or recycling of the tires is required, they often end up in the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) wheel shop in Building 472.
Staffed by six Sailors, three of whom are Sea Operational Detachment (SEAOPDET) providing afloat maintenance service to their respective squadrons, the shop primarily services squadrons from Naval Air Station North Island, but may handle the needs of squadrons assigned elsewhere.
Tires and rims routinely serviced include those of the C-2 transport Greyhound, the SH-60 Seahawk multi-mission helicopter, and the P-3 Orion turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft.
Tires and wheels of the F/A-18 Hornet fighter are handled by the FRCSW’s depot-level artisans.
“Before the rims are sent here, they undergo a non-destructive inspection by a separate shop,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Alexander Sloush, leading petty officer of the shop. “We provide intermediate-level maintenance to the tire and wheel assemblies and do our own visual inspections.”
“We order replacement parts that are determined as beyond capability of maintenance (BCM) and don’t pass inspection. When the part arrives, we’ll rebuild the assembly for reissue.”
The wheel shop processes an average of 70 tires and rims a month.