Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) celebrated a historic occasion at Naval Air Station North Island January 31 with the induction of its first MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for Planned Maintenance Interval-Two (PMI-2).
The aircraft is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (VMM-362) under the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The command completed its first PMI-1 event on an Osprey in May 2016 at its Miramar site aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar.
PMI-1 and 2 comprise the Navy’s Integrated Maintenance Program (IMP) which targets the structural integrity of the airframe. The IMP model is also applied to other naval aircraft including the F/A-18 Hornet fighter and the H-60 multi-purpose Seahawk helicopter.
PMI specifications were developed by engineers and the IMP lead from FRC East at MCAS Cherry Point.
Aircraft work lead Philip Lockwood and four aircraft mechanics are part of a team establishing FRCSW’s new PMI-2 Osprey work center in Building 333. Work will initially accommodate Ospreys from Marine Corps squadrons assigned to Camp Pendleton.
“We’re not up and running yet, and we don’t have all of the tooling yet,” Lockwood said. “Our whole shop needs to get qualified on the gas turbine systems (engines) and operations on the plane. We’ve been doing the maintenance interval without the operations or checking hydraulic systems, just evaluation and repair. This is a depot event while the work at Miramar and Pendleton is a field event.”
PMI-2 is an in-depth look at the aircraft and replaces or repairs areas and components identified by the PMI specifications. Aircraft are also painted during the event.
Marine Corps squadrons will fly the Ospreys to the FRCSW test line where the aircraft will undergo the induction process, and afterward, be towed to Building 333.
Building 333 may accommodate up to four aircraft.
The squadron will assist in the removal of the engines and other components during this first induction, but FRCSW artisans will likely handle any O-level work during future inductions.
“The processes will be as a normal PMI-1. The only thing being added will be at the test line, removing and preserving the engines and fuel cells during induction, and different panels, but nothing will really change — PMI-1 will just be part of the PMI-2 process that we’ll be doing,” said aircraft mechanic Angelo Anthony.
“We’ll have final assembly here too, and that’s where operations will come into play: We’ll have to check all of the systems,” Lockwood noted.
In the event of out-of-scope repairs, squadrons will need to provide any parts and initiate a Planner and Estimator request to route funding to complete the work.
Kevin Carrasco, FRCSW props deputy IPT lead, said that three more Ospreys are scheduled for induction this fiscal year, and by the second quarter of FY 2020, four should be in work.
Disassembly of the VMM-362 Osprey is tentatively scheduled to begin near the end of this month, and the aircraft is expected to be returned to the squadron in approximately 462 days.