A Crew Chief is responsible for the day to day condition of the military aircraft assigned to them. At least that's what they're taught. The best/real crew chiefs are assigned to fighter squadrons. Real crew chiefs have nothing what so ever to do with NASCAR so don't fucking confuse Crew Chief's with those pussy fucking guys who change tires and fill up the cars gas tank. WTF is NASCAR anyway? A bunch of pussie drivers running around in a circle, everyone knows spectators just want to see a wreak not the finish.
Anyway...Crew chiefs own their jet and if a pilot is really polite and not running late, the Crew Chief will allow the pilot to fly "his" aircraft. Pilots spend most of their time drinking and fucking off doing whatever pilots do between their occasional visits to the jet. Crew Chiefs live with their jet. They stay with their jet in blazing hot days, rain, snow, through the night, during air raids and mortar attacks. Crew chiefs make Postal Workers look like pussies.
The Crew Chief's job is to ensure the jet is fully mission capable (AKA Fixed)..duh. A task made difficult by the hang over’s nurse during the duty day. This phenomenon is usually cured by depleting the oxygen system. This condition includes the crew chief and occasionally, the pilot. The one exception is the weapons crew...who stay drunk.
Crew Chiefs that fuck up really bad or show no talent, cross train to Medical, MPF or some other "Nonner" job on the other side of the fence.
The four things a Wingman is allowed to say...
- Lead, you're on fire.
- I'm bingo fuel.
- I'll take the fat one.
The four things a Crew Chief is allowed to say...
- I already fixed that and it's still broke, but don't worry it's written up in the "K's".
- I'll stay late...I've got block training in the AM and need the sleep.
- I'm going for more beer.
- I'll take the fat one.
A typical AC Crew can consist of:
- A Dedicated Crew Chief: Is too busy to fix his own jet because he is always busy fixing everyone else's.
- An Assistant Crew Chief: Does all the work and whines about it constantly. Always thinks he deserves his own jet...be careful what you wish for!
- Third Wipe: Usually in FTD or cleaning the shitter.
- Fourth Wipe: Still in Tech School - Learning how to spell APU. See Air Force Slang for definition.
Although not officially part of a maintenance crew, a crew chief may allow a Load Crew to check argon or bang their heads on the saber drains.
- A Load Crew: Usually three weapons guys (Load Toads) who are crazy enough, or have a low enough ASVAB score, to want to fuck with bombs all day long. They are really good at counting because they have a rounds limiter which counts off rounds fired. Oh they are good at simple math because they can subtract the rounds fired from the rounds loaded to figure out how may rounds are left. This process takes up to 10 Weapons troops due to a limited hands and feet digit capacity. The US Government is working on creating Weapon Troops with 100 fingers and toes to lower cost.
- Specialists commonly known as "Pointyheads" can be useful for redball or blueballs for quick fixes which have to do with pilots fucking up switchology i.e. will not work in OFF mode. Specialist are usually never allowed near the AC unless directed by the crew chief's expediter. The reason being they may hurt themselves or the AC by running into unfamiliar parts of the AC, usually anything behind the cockpit is a danger area for Specialist.
Specialists are the experts, which means they think they know what they are doing but can't figure out what is wrong and usually blame it on a crew chief part. "It must be the stab actuator because everything shoots fine". After two days of maintenance the AC is still broke and the specialist magically finds a recessed pin or a broken wire.
Specialists are strictly forbidden from the AC until after the first go, and then they have to be watched very closely. Oh...and ...NO I WONT PULL YOUR FUCKING PANEL!!!
A Specialist is just that..."Special" or so they think. You can find them huddled up in their truck playing cards or some D&D bullshit. They think they are the coolest. As Clint Eastwood said "You're just a legend in your own mind."
Crew Chiefs can trace their heritage back to Medieval Europe. Back then they were known as "Squires". Every Knight had a Squire who took care of the horse. Grooming it. Feeding it. Shoveling the steaming piles of shit left by the horse and knight. It was the duty of the squire to beat the shit out of armorers to make sure the knights' weapons were sharp.
In 1910, Charlie Taylor became the first man to crew an airplane. He thought Wilbur Wright was a pretty good pilot. Charlie thought Orville was a pussy when he crashed the airplane. Upon hearing that Orville had broken his leg in the crash, Charlie was heard to say, "Good... Pussy".
World War One
Fighter Aircraft were invented during World War One. Crew chiefs during this period were kick ass carpenters. Many crew chief traditions were established. Most notably, fixing everything with nothing. It was hard to be buddies with pilots because they were being shot down and killed about every three days.
Thru-flight inspections were rare since few airplanes ever came back. This was the first time anyone ever fixed an airplane while wearing a fucking gas mask. The names of the crew chiefs of Manfred von Richthofen and Eddie Rickenbacker are lost to history. This established the tradition that pilots don't give a rat's ass who's waving their hands in front of the airplane.
World War Two
The United States entered World War Two when The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on 7 DEC 1941. This established the notion that weekend duty sucks, Big Time. The disaster was compounded when some Production Super told the crew chiefs to tow all the airplanes out to the ramp. "So I can see them". This allowed the pilots of the Japanese Imperial Navy to cheerfully strafe and bomb them. The Pro Super then blamed the crew chiefs when his FMC rate looked like shit on Monday morning.
The crew chiefs of the Cactus Air Force made history by cannibalizing the bombed planes on Guadalcanal and producing Brand New (well...at least different) aircraft. Production Supers have unsuccessfully tried to recreate this miracle ever since. It was during this time that after the crew chiefs had greened up their aircraft, they would grab a rifle and go shoot some Japanese in their off time. This established the concept of Security Police Augmentee.
Crew chiefs in the German Luftwaffe were known as "Uberarschfikkeren". They were the first to crew jets. The Me-262. They were also the first crew chiefs to jump intakes and the first to FOD a jet with a pencil.
After World War Two crew chiefs spent a couple of years fucking off. In 1950 everyone went TDY in the Greatest Recall in History. The lucky few got to crew F-86's. In 1955 most said, "Fuck this shit. Cut me back" and went home. A lucky few got to stay at garden spots like Osan AB or that shithole Kunsan AB.
From 1965 until 1974, crew chiefs proved that they could launch jets while stoned as well as drunk. The AIM-9 and AIM-7 air to air missiles were introduced and quickly proved useless. Crew chiefs and weapons load teams fought each other until it was decided to blame the whole fiasco on Ammo.
The Cold War
Crew chiefs spent these years losing jets on "Routine Training Missions". They quit smoking out and went back to drinking excessively because of piss tests. Life generally sucked until General Wilbur "Bill" Creech took command of the Tactical Air Command and decided that there must be a better way to kill Commies.
When F-15's and F-16's were built it was pretty cool because America finally built jets that were hard to break. Most days were filled launching jets as fast as they could get gas into them. This was done by the "Launch and Lounge Crew" on day shift. Swing shift is the shift to work when you're a glutton for punishment. Swings was the "Maintenance Crew". There was a reason why a mechanic was assigned to mid shift, and it usually wasn't good. This went on for years, day and night, rain or shine. In the snow or in the heat. It still sucked but the pay was better.
World War Four
By 1990 things were looking pretty sweet. The Russians ran out of money and quit. President George "not that one, the other one" Bush was in office, and he had been a Navy pilot in WWII. He was shot down during a mission over Japan, rescued by a submarine, and then spent a month on that sub practicing his "So there I was" story until he could rejoin his squadron. This might lead to some homo suggestions, but since he played in two college World Series and is a member of the Skull and Bones secret society, we'll just move on.
Then the Arabs fucked everything up. All the Saudi Friends came over and Operation Desert Storm bombed the fuck out of Iraq. Crew Chiefs launched so many sorties that they lost count. The bombs we dropped had names that weapons guys didn't even know existed. The Russians saw what was happening and said, "HOLY SHIT! We would have got our ass kicked." Fighting the Iraqi Air Force was like clubbing baby seals. When Desert Storm ended Saddam Hussein still had his job so everyone knew there was going to be a sequel.
Shortly after that, President Clinton was in office so you didn't have to tell because no one was asking. That didn't affect crew chiefs much, but the Specialists relaxed a lot. Monica was busy trying to get out that damned spot and Hillary was eating more carpet than Billy Boy.
Another TDY. This time to bomb what used to be Yugoslavia. It was called Operation Allied Force. Mostly because NATO finally got off their ass and fought. Allied Force was different from Desert Storm because the Serbs actually fought back. F-15 crew chiefs were happy because they finally got to paint MiG kills on their jets. The Reaper ball was the driving force behind the allied victory. This is also the first time an air-to-air kill was made with an AK47. But it was a Predator shot down by a dude hanging out the side of a chopper, and nobody cares. Seriously. Those guys aren't even real crew chiefs. They just enlisted a bunch of schmucks from Hobby Lobby. The damn things are made of balsa and wood glue. Really.
11 Sept, 2001 pissed everyone off. Operation Enduring Freedom was aimed at bombing the Taliban in Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Since they were there already living in the Stone Age, we bombed them back to the Paleolithic Age. Saddam Hussein was still being a pain in the ass so the long awaited sequel "Desert Storm II- Iraqi Freedom" went back and finished the job.
Now crew chiefs can go TDY to new shit holes like Balad AB and Kandahar AB. That actually was a good thing because those TDY's made Osan and Kunsan look like weekends in Vegas.
The relationship between crew chiefs and their pilots hit a historic low with the deployment of the MQ-1 "Predator". Pilots could now spend weekends in Vegas. Hell, they can buy houses and LIVE in Vegas while crew chiefs get to go TDY to Shit Hole #1 (Kandahar) and Shit Hole #2 (Balad). Note: Previous shitholes included Shabaz AB Pakistan, Tallil AB Iraq, and Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.
WTFO???? Traditions live on none the less. When a drone crashes the first thing the crew chief thinks is still "Did the pilot get out?" Yeah, they probably jumped up and ran to the bathroom. Unless they were in the bathroom when it crashed. Or Burger King. Or home fucking their wife. Either way a crewchief will happily accept a replacement AC and affectionately unpack it from it's box, and insert tab A into slot B.
Due to the heavy workloads, crew chiefs are unable to remain vigilant with the security of the parking ramp. This has allowed numerous security incursions and failed Security Police exercises. This alarming statistic has prompted the USAF to institute roving security foot patrols to ensure asset security. Crew Chief presence on the flightline has stepped up but security and AC production have remained flat.
Famous Crew Chiefs
- Richard "Dirty Dick" Olsen- 388FW/388 AMXS/34th AMU
- Charlie Taylor: Crew Chief on the Wright Flyer.
- Technical Sgt. Walter F. McCaleb: Won World War Two by crewing the Enola Gay.
- Msgt Fabian Folmer: Crewed the B-17 41-24577, Hell's Angels
- Tsgt Glen A. Wold: Robin Olds' original crew chief. P-38 "Scat". 479th Fighter Group, 1944.
- G.I. Joe: Nuff' said.
Interacting with Crew Chiefs
- Never say anything bad about their jet. You can call their wife a "Scum Sucking Two Bit Whore". They might agree with you. But if you call their jet a "pig", you're going to bleed.
- Don't fuck with their pilot. An Eagle pilot made the bad mistake to drink with Viper Crew Chiefs. He was left passed out on the pool table. His big Samoan crew chief picked him up and carried him out like a sack of potatoes. All the while accusing the Viper guys of doing anatomically incorrect things to their Mothers.
- Ladies, be aware that Crew Chiefs are crude. They wear JP-8 for cologne and use hydro fluid as a personal lubricant.
- If you encounter a Crew Chief, offer him a beer. Even if he's at work.
- There are female Crew Chiefs. Most of them wander the flight line trying to get pregnant. There are the rare few who are damn good mechanics. Don't fuck with these. They'll kick your ass. Some can fart pretty good too. The fact of the matter is that any female that farts and can push a -60 around by herself... she probably isn't a she at all, but don't ask and don't tell.
- Do not ask the Crew Chief a stupid question. They won't understand it anyway. Our maintenance flight at George AFB had a few F-4C crew chiefs that were civilian pilots. Sgt Lillie was in fact rated as an instructor. One day the aircrew came out to fly. Pilot: "So chief, how's the jet fly?" Sgt Lillie: "You get the ground speed up and pull the stick back. Someone should've mentioned that to you by now, sir."
- Crew chiefs use safety wire to sew the soles back on their boots. You can also find household appliances and carparts secured in the same manner.
- Crew chiefs coveralls are suitable for wear at home, work and play.
- Crew chiefs "preflight" the car while the wife is getting the kids ready.
- Fuck gang signs. Crew Chiefs can have whole conversations with hand signals.