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Aviation Shop Wars

Posted January 13, 2013 12:00 AM by joeymac

When on deployment everything is about routine and it can get really repetitive and boring. Sometimes you just feel like you're going nuts. To break up the monotony we'd have shop wars between one or multiple divisions of a squadron.

There were the mechanics, hydraulics technicians, electricians, electronics technicians, air framers, and a couple of other shops that would participate in shop wars. Today this would constitute as hazing but as we saw it, it was having fun and breaking up the sour mood people would get into sometimes. When the boredom got really bad all it took was a spark from someone to start a shop war and it didn't take much to escalate it.

I remember when an argument broke out between the mechanics and air framers over a mistake that was made on the aircraft that caused the other shop a lot of work and aggravation, and that's all it took to start the war. The air framers struck first by kidnapping one of our guys (a mechanic) and mummifying him with ordnance tape, except his head. That would have just been too painful. Keep in mind ordnance tape is stronger than duct tape. They leaned him up against our door, knocked on it and ran away. We opened our door and down he went making all kinds of sounds which I'm sure were full of expletives since he had tape over his mouth. Let's just say that after all the tape came off there wasn't much hair left on his arms and legs.

So that little episode started it. When most of the air framers were out on a launch there was just one guy in their shop, so we ended up bum rushing him and we had our fun with him. We ended up crucifying him by taping two broomsticks to look like a cross, and then we taped him to it and taped his mouth too. The rafters had these metal hooks up on the wall which was perfect and we hung him on the hooks to look like he was crucified. We also added magic marker on his stomach. We were laughing so hard while taping him down and he was a good sport about it too; he was actually laughing as well. We waited down the hall for the air framers to get back from the launch and when they walked in we hear "What the hell?" That war went on for a while before it was over.

Shop wars usually lasted no longer than a month. Everyone gets the anxiety and frustration out of their system and it usually ends over a beer or two. We all have our laughs discussing what we did and who had the funniest or most original prank. It was all good fun and the squadron is like a family and like any family, there are good times and there are confrontations.


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Re: Aviation Shop Wars

01/14/2013 10:23 AM

When I owned a design and fabrication shop, we would have to develop jigs and fixtures on some test beds for food processing for proof of design..

One particular job comes to mind was that we had to develop a way pump cheese where rheology plays a big part, we needed shear but because the cheese is heat sensitive, (The heat would induce texture characteristics to the product.) We had to limited the amount of heat.

Well, we tried a this pump where it would require a stuffer pump to feed the cheese into it. This stuffer pump we did not have, and to order one was (2) weeks out. So I had the shop fab together a sanitary 4" pneumatic cylinder with a Actetal puck to push the cheese out and stuff the shear pump.

The customer supplied us with about 3000 lbs of various cheese.

It worked great, but it did not take the shop personel to find out how fun this would be to use it as a super soaker type squirt gun.

This would shoot a 5/8" rope of cheese 40-50 feet., I was po'ed at the mess, but the problem was, it's hard to be taken seriously when your po'ed and laughing and the same time.

“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
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