Monday, September 30, 2019
So, itÃ¢â¬â¢s about 1700 and my flight has just landed and everything went pretty well. We are closing up the bird and getting ready to go home. The helicopter is all tied up and wiped down and everything is start to look good. Then some last minute maintenance comes up and the VELOs need to be tightened an blade pins need to be safety wired. Shortly thereafter, about 2 hours because IÃ¢â¬â¢m a retard and safety wired the VELOs instead of tightening them, but thatÃ¢â¬â¢s another story. We finish the job I come in to sign off the MAFs and BAM!I set my cranial down on the floor or desk I donÃ¢â¬â¢t recall and I didnÃ¢â¬â¢t see it again until the next morning about 70ft above the hangar floor. Now I know the importance of the tool control program I am about to, in detail, explain to you. Hopefully my mistakes will not be repeated. There is a tool control program active in every shop. This program is very important to the safety of the helicopter and the men and women that main tain them and fly them. This program is the responsibility of each and every mechanic, avionics man, air framer, flight equipment men and women, pilots and crew chiefs.Basically, the tool control program established in the United States Marine Corps is the responsibility of every member of the squadron. This program depends on each individual to perform their jobs carefully with the safety of themselves, their fellow marines and the aircraft always in mind. This program cannot afford small mistakes, and definitely no big mistakes. My experience with tool control is a little closer than most would want to come. I have terrible short term memory and it shows in my work.Whether it be in replacing the number one boost reservoir cap after I serviced it, before a flight, or it be in remembering to not leave my cranial just lying around on the shop floor and then never coming back to pick it up or put it in its proper place. My experiences have been numerous and cannot be tolerated on the Flight line, in the squadron or in the Marine Corps. My actions could have in a direct or indirect way been the reason another marine or myself are not here alive today. Thankfully my actions were being closely monitored by the NCOs and other members of the shop .No one was hurt because of my actions and I have to say I am not surprised. The tool control program is also designed to prevent anything awful from happening in the case that a young inexperienced crew chief in training loses two or three rags, his cranial or any other tool he may have while performing a Daily and turnaround inspection or just signing off MAFs. Then never coming in to pick his cranial up and put it in the correct place. The way the tool control program in the Marine corps is set up, it makes it almost impossible to lose tools.It is dummy proof. Almost. Once that tool is lost they have a very effective way of retrieving that tool. The first step in insuring that tools do not get lost is an inventory list. I t is a list of individual items in a tool container. It identifies the tool location within the container by panel and item number. Each tool is etched with a number. When tool sizes do not permit etching the inventory list is noted to draw attention to those small tools. These tools are checked out via a log book kept in each shop witch is updated and checked three times a day.Once in the morning prior to starting any maintenance, again during shift change and again before securing night crew the logs are checked. Too make it easy to identify each tool the Navy and Marine Corps have set up a standardized way of labeling (etching) each individual tool that is large enough to etch. The order the numbers etched on each tool goes like this: First number is the organization code, the second number is a work center code and the third number is the Tool Container number.When the work center is authorized more than one of a certain type of tool container (ie: Pre Flight Kits) the number wi ll be extended to identify the container. The tools that are too small to etch are kept in a special container with a special label affixed to it saying Ã¢â¬Å"CONTAINS TOOLS TOO SMALL TO MARKÃ¢â¬ . Tool issue is not an issue taken lightly because accountability of all tools is absolutely necessary to ensure none are lost. Special and common tools alike fall under this rule that all tools are accounted for.Even things as small as goggles and sound suppressors to things as big as Ladders and Hydraulic Servicing Units need tool tags from specific boxes to be checked out. Hand tools and common tools fall into two groups. They have the Eighty percent (80%) group which consists of tools required to complete eighty percent of the maintenance tasks. These tools are found in the checkout boxes for the shop. They also have the 20 percent (20%) group which is consist of tools not so commonly used inside a box in the shop. These tools can only be checked out individually and a tool tag is re quired for each individual tool.Another reason why the tool control program in the Marine Corps is so successful is because of the thorough methods we have in place that prevent us from completely losing a tool. If ANY tool is found to be missing or lost at any stage of the inventory process, an immediate search of the area will be conducted. We look everywhere we had been with the tool and everywhere we might have been. Once that has been done and the tool is still missing after extensive searching you notify your work center supervisor and another search, probably with a few more marines will be conducted.If the tool still can not be located your work center supervisor will notify Quality Assurance, Maintenance Control and the Aircraft maintenance Officer (AMO). In the mean time you will initiate a lost or missing tool report and give it to your work center supervisor. You will give a detailed statement of what happened all the way up until you realized the tool was lost and you w ill sign the statement for Quality Assurance. Maintenance Control puts a hold on all Air Traffic until the tool is found or Quality Assurance gives the good to go for flights to continue.The AMO is notified by Maintenance Control. You just standby and wait for the hammer. The meticulous tool check out procedures are another way to keep track of all tools in a shop. The procedures are as follows: You open the tool container and do a thorough inspection of the tool container to be checked out, the condition of the tool container and missing or broken tools in the container are what you are looking for. You want to sure all devices used to secure tools in the tool container are not worn out or broken or missing.Inspect the tool container for FOD. You will be looking for things like safety wire, cotter pins, pieces of attaching hardware and pieces of broken tools. You want to ensure that all tools are wiped clean of any foreign fluids or grease. Also, very important, ensure that every t ool is marked and belongs in that particular tool container. After inspecting the container you take it to an authorized member of the shop to inspect again and sign out in the tool container log book. When you bring the tool container back after maintenance is inished you do the process all over again. Including inspections, and signing the tool container back in to the shop. If at any point in your inspections you find a discrepancy in the condition of a tool there are steps you need to take. First of all you do not accept the tool container from the shop. The tool room will initiate a broken or missing tool report. The unserviceable tool should be replaced by a new one almost immediately. If a tool should break while performing maintenance there are also steps you need to follow.First you do an immediate search of the area and collect all the broken pieces of the tool. You initiate a broken tool report. The broken tool will be replaced by a new one and that tool will be marked ap propriately. Tool Control saves lives by preventing numerous hazardous situations from ever happening. It saves time by keeping track of all tools which aids in finding lost or missing tools. The tool Control program saves money by keeping a close eye on all the tools in a shop preventing lost and missing tools from ever occurring.