Metal, structural technicians keep Hurks airborne Published Nov. 16, 2008 By Senior Airman Tammy Cario 911th Public Affairs PITTSBURGH IAP ARS -- Have you ever gotten on a plane and had an overwhelming sense of dread? Have you ever been midflight and wondered, what is keeping this airplane in the air? If so then you might want to take a look at two shops tucked away in Hangar 418. At one end of the hallway, Aircraft Metals Technology Technicians (Machine/Welding shop) work on metal parts of the aircraft. They design, manufacture and modify parts as needed such as special tools, bushings, Main Landing Gear door support brackets, as well as checking vital components for wear and tear such as engine mount bolts and cones along with performing welding operations on engine tail cones and Aerospace Ground Equipment components. "If it's made of metal, we fix it," said Tech. Sgt. Isaac Clink, an aircraft metals technician with the 911th Airlift Wing. Aircraft Metal Technology Technicians are not limited to just aircraft parts. "We work on Support Equipment and Aerospace Ground Equipment parts," said Tech. Sgt. Clink. "We've also fixed B-1 and B-5 (aircraft) stands." "You can do a lot with this job," said Senior Airman Mark Parker, an aircraft metals technician in the same shop. "If you have any kind of mechanical ability, this is a great job to help you work around the house and on your car," he added. At the other end of the hallway, sits Structural Maintenance (Sheet Metal/ Corrosion shop). Master Sgt. Casey Otto is the structural maintenance shop chief with the 911th Airlift Wing. "We take care of the aircraft skin, internal structures, cable and tubing assemblies such as flight control and troop door cables, oxygen and hydraulic lines respectively" he said. They also perform the painting and corrosion removal operations. Depending on the aircraft, Structural Maintenance can work with a wide variety of metals, plastics and composite materials. Though hidden and often overlooked, these shops are integral to the mission of the 911th AW.