The History of Crew Chiefs
-by Walt Chamberlain, 313TFS/AMU

A Crew Chief is responsible for the day to day condition of the aircraft assigned to them. The best crew chiefs are assigned to fighter squadrons. Real crew chiefs have nothing what so ever to do with NASCAR. Why would they? Crew chiefs that fuck up really bad or show no talent work on helicopters or (GOD FORBID!) cargo aircraft.

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.

Crew chiefs ensure the jet is fully mission capable. A task made difficult by the hangovers most of the crew nurse during the duty day. This includes the chief and occasionally, the pilot. The one exception is the weapons crew...who stay drunk.

A typical Crew can consist of:

A Regular Crew Chief: Catches Hell if the jet is broke.

An Assistant Crew Chief: Does all the work.

Third Wipe: Usually in FTD or cleaning the shitter.

A Load Crew: Usually three weapons guys (Load Toads) who are crazy enough to want to fuck with bombs all day long.

Specialists: Sometimes one but usually a herd. They fix anything the crew chief can't. Like the radar, or the cd player. Specialist comes from the root word SPECIAL as in Special Olympics and Special Education.


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. Shoveled the steaming piles of shit left by the horse and knight. It was the duty of the squire to beat the shit out armorers to make sure the knights weapons were sharp.

Charlie Taylor hooking up the fucking tow bar.
Charlie Taylor was 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"

Crew Chiefs doing a Thruflight inspection-1917.
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. . Thruflight 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 ( 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.

Kraut Crew Chiefs doing tire checks-1944.


 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 shit hole Kunsan AB.
Crew chief and his pilot-1950.


 From 1967 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.
Which crew chief is stoned?- 1969.

The Cold War 1946-1989

 Crew chiefs spent these year losing jets on "Routine Training Missions". They went back to drinking en mass 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 Recover 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.
Dropping the damn ventrals- 1989.

World War Four

Desert Storm

 By 1990 things were looking pretty sweet. The Russians ran out of money and quit. President Clinton was in office so you didn't have to tell because no one was asking. That didn't effect crew chiefs much, but the Specialists relaxed alot. 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 number of bombs 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.
That's me, my M-16A1A and my jet in Desert Storm-1991.


 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.
Jones and Hicks doing forms.


 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.
Changing a tire at Shit Hole #2.


 The relationship between crew chiefs and their pilots hit an 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). 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.
Parking a jet(?) at Shit Hole #2.
Famous Crew Chiefs

* '''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'''

* Some crew chiefs are so awesome, the pilots give them call signs. Know any?

* '''Bob "Lips" Phillips'''- 313th TFS

* '''Mike "Dish" Petry'''- 77th TFS / 39th CAMS / 313 TFS

* '''Walt "Maddog" Chamberlain'''- 313 TFS

* '''Joe "Big Joe" Cain'''- 313th TFS

* '''Randy "Griz" Mix'''- 313th TFS

*'''Steve "Sasquatch" Swear 310 TFTS, 312 TFTS, 313 TFS, 80 FS, 39 FTS, 40 FTS

*'''Michael "Chuck" Yeager'''-313th TFS / 19th TFS / 158th FW Det 1

*'''Chris "CrimeDog" McGough'''-313th TFS / 19th TFS

*'''Paul "Why the Fuck Not?" Whynot''' 421st TFS / 313th TFS / 57th AGS / 35th FS / 512th FS / 510th FS / 523rd FS

*'''Chuck "SuicideScreen" Cinque''' 313th TFS

*'''Jeff "All Balls, No Knees" Albanese''' 313TFS

*'''Rob "Bucky" Buchanan''' 313TFS

* '''Richard "DIRTY DICK" Olsen'''- 388FW/388 AMXS/34th AMU

*'''Kevin "Mac" McNeil'''-53rd FS

*'''Dave "Meat Head" Clark'''-53rd FS

*'''Ken "String" Stringfellow'''-53rd FS

*'''Mark "Picka" Faught'''-53rd FS

*'''Al "Coholic" Kale'''-53rd FS

*'''Brett "BB" Benson'''-53rd FS

*'''Pete "Pedro" Williams'''-53rd FS

*'''Bob "Big Chief" Fuess'''-53rd FS

*'''Mike "Big Lou" Lewis'''-53rd FS

*'''Brent "Sal" Salvadori'''-53rd FS

*'''Mike "Iggy" Inguesson'''-53rd FS

*'''Ben "Chili" Chiles'''-53rd FS

*'''Brian "Brain" Anderson'''-53rd FS

*'''Kevin "Kurbey" Puckett'''-53rd FS

*'''Jamie "Mc" Farnell'''-53rd FS

*'''Ernest "Pit" Kundy'''-53rd FS

*'''Jeff "Buffalo" Cody'''-53rd FS

*'''Jeremy "Clem Shady" Clements 60 FS/33 MXS

*'''Mike "Lunchbox" Everett'''-53rd FS

*'''Eric "EQ" Milburn'''-53rd FS

*'''Juan "Fidel" Castro'''-53rd FS

*'''Ken "Foot" Williams'''-53rd FS

*'''Jason "Chops" Boschert'''-53rd FS

*'''Steve "Ozzy" Osbourne'''-53rd FS

*'''Will "Big Will" Brown'''-53rd FS

*'''Will "Soul Snatcher" Powell'''-53rd FS

*'''Walter "Princess" Kondracki

*'''Brian "AZ" Badovinac'''-418th AGS / 612th AGS / 512th AGS / 510th FS / 36th FS

*'''Alfred "Shifter" Hurst'''-27th FS / 35th FS / 46th FS

*'''Bobby "The Brew" Brewer -46th FS / 8 AMXS / 20 AMXS

*'''Brad "Death Dealer" Burt -46th FS

*'''Sam "AX" Hook -55th AMXS

*'''Rob "Harpoon" Harp- 416th FS / 46th FS / 80th FS

*'''Destiny "Hot Mess" Harp- 416th FS / 33rd MXS / 46 FS

*'''Adam "Smitty" Smith - 58th FS

*'''Jerry "Tits" McKellop - 58th FS

*'''Chris "Mangina" Rice - 58th FS

*'''Justin "Little Mangina" Everett - 58th FS

*'''Rodger "Jake The Snake" Jacoby - 120th FW

*'''Adam "Big Cat" Hadden - 58th FS

*'''Brad "B-Rad" Stevens 61st/51st/46th

*'''Joseph "Pancho" Villa-510th/8th/80th

*'''Mark "GP" Boudah''' -VFA

*'''Matt "Wesley" Pipes'''-14th FS / 31st MXS / 555th AMU / 1st MOS / 8th MXS

*'''Marko "FIRE!" Vorkavich'''- 313th TFS

*'''Robert "Shoobie", "Schub" Schubert'''- 313th TFS

*'''Jim "Where The Hell's The Inlet Plug?" Rich *'''David "TommyGuns" Tufano'''-????

*'''Delman "Doc" Ellis'''-VFA-25 / U.S. Navy "Blue Angels" / NASA 852 Dryden Flight Research Center Edwards AFB

*'''Brian "Kapena" Card'''9FS / 80FS / 309FS / 8MXS / 510AMU /31 MOS / AETC SAS

*'''Scott "The Head" Terrill 412 FTS / 80th AMU / 510th AMU / 12th AMU

*'''Brian 'De" De Lorenzo 438th MAW / 93rd BMW / 28th BMW / 1989 Giant Sword / B-2 CTF Edwards AFB

*'''Steve "Popeye" Kelleher JET MECH/crew chief 77th TFS RAF Upper Heyford / F-111 CTF Edwards AFB / 526th FS Ramstein / 34th FS

*'''Eric "Giant" Wheeler '''309FS / 144FW

*'''Noel " I wear pantyhose" Specht '''48th FW RAF Lakenheath

*'''Barry "Ogre" Butcher 325 FW/ 48 FW RAF Lakenheath

*'''Seth "Charlie Brown" Rector 1FW / 8FW-80AMU

*'''Randy "Yakisoba" Williams 52FW/ 22 AMU/ 412 Flight Test/388FW/ 421 AMU/ 8th MXS

*'''Andrew "Worst Dock Chief EVER" Blake 325FW/2ndFS, 95AMU, MXS. 48FW/493FS. 8FW/8MXG

*'''Andrew "Boomhower" Bell 309FS/56EMS Luke AFB/redneck from Georgia

*'''Matthew "Megotsabadteeth" Ross 19th ARW/Robins AFB

*'''Matt "Fuck, I just shit my pants!" Perry 34 FS / 34 AMU / 80 AMU / 510 AMU

*'''Mark "The 2nd Greatest Crew Chief Ever" Dawkins

*'''Kenneth "Gold Crow" Crow 14FS /49MXS / 80 AMU / VIPER

*'''Rudy "Rude Dog" Wilcox 6586 Test / 612 AMU / 4 FS / 36 FS / 34 FS / 80 FS / 388 MOS

*'''Tommy "Tuna-Can/Two-Chins" Pavelchak 71st FS / 104 FW

*'''Daren "gunny" Gunn 357 AMU / 6151 CAMS / 4th AMU / 36 AMU / 307 FS / 69th FS / 510th FS (worlds most combat capable Fighter Squadron)

*'''J. "Q" Mc Ewen 7th FS / 8th FS / 36FS / 13th FS-AMU / 8th AMU / 80th AMU / 31 MXS(Phase dock)

*'''Eric Malichi Malicki 68 FS / 35 FS / 14 FS / 412 Flight Test-- CV22 Test / 388FW/ 421 AMU

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 Kind, Giving Lovers. Be prepared for some vaginal tearing.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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. 

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F-15 Crew Chiefs at War.