NAF Celebrates Engineering Feat, Completes 4800-Hour Periodic Depot Maintenance on Dornier 228


In a significant engineering milestone, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) engineers have, for the first time, successfully undertaken a 4800-hour Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on a Dornier -228 (DO-228) aircraft. 

According to Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet, this level of scheduled maintenance on the DO-228 aircraft, previously performed by foreign Maintenance Repair Organizations (MROs), was completed at a significantly cheaper rate and with reduced aircraft downtime. 

Speaking at a brief ceremony recently held to honour the engineers involved in the PDM, the Chief of Aircraft Engineering (CACE), Air Vice Marshal Pius Oahimire, noted that the completion of the in-country PDM was a major boost to capacity building and demonstrates a newfound confidence in aircraft maintenance in the NAF. 

He also noted that the motivation for this feat was no doubt derived from a key enabler of the Chief of Air the Staff (CAS), Command Philosophy which harps on prioritizing logistics support and strong maintenance culture. 

The CACE then commended the Unit Commander, Air Vice Marshal Olanrewaju Oyename, for his exceptional leadership and creating the enabling environment for his engineers to thrive and achieve this remarkable milestone.  

Speaking further, Air Vice Marshal Oahimire encouraged the engineers to continue striving for excellence, restating that the NAF under Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar remains committed to providing the necessary support and conducive working environment for personnel to function effectively and achieve the Service's mission objectives. 

He then appreciated the Chief of the Air Staff for his unwavering commitment to ensuring quality aircraft maintenance in the NAF. 

In his remarks, the Air Officer Commanding the Air Training Command, Kaduna, Air Vice Marshal Nnamdi Ananaba expressed the delight of the Command at the attainment of this feat. 

He stated that the vision for the 431 Engineering Group Kaduna, is to be an MRO and the accomplishment of the 4800-hours inspection indicates that the vision is achievable.

Earlier, Air Vice Marshal Oyename had noted that the inspection of the aircraft, designated NAF 031, began in May 2021 but faced several delays, primarily due to challenges in acquiring necessary spare parts. He then praised the determination, commitment, and expertise of the engineers and technicians who undertook the historic task. 

“This is history, and you made it happen. This is the first PDM on a NAF aircraft conducted entirely by NAF personnel in the First Engineering Unit of the NAF at the Premier NAF Base in Kaduna,” he said. Looking ahead, the Commander emphasized the importance of further specialist training to enhance the maintenance team's capabilities.

Also speaking at the event was the Commanding Officer of 30 Engineering Wing, Wing Commander Micheal Aransiola, who explained that the 4800-hours inspection was the highest level of maintenance carried out on the DO-228 aircraft. 

He then detailed the five-phase processes of the PDM as follows; Phase I involved acceptance, documentation and docking; Phase II included paint stripping and removal of components; Phase III focused on repairing discrepancies; Phase IV involved reinstallation of components and operational checks; and Phase V concluded with ground checks, taxi checks, and a Functional Check Flight. The successful completion of the 4800-hours inspection marks a new era of self-reliance and technical proficiency for the NAF. 

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