“It’s Iowa. It’s winter. You’re going to have this,” says Chief Master Sergeant Mark Wankum, the maintenance chief for aircraft at the base. “Granted, this year we’ve had a lot more snow than in the past couple years, but you know we just all come out. We get together. We do it. We come up with a game plan.”
A special solution is used for the “de-icing” process.
“We heat that in the truck to 185 degrees and then we spray the aircraft with that,” he says. “That’ll help melt off any more ice that’s left behind or any snow that just won’t leave. Then, once it melts it off, we can just blow the big chunks off with the hot air.”
“Of course, you’ve got to allow more time,” Wankum says. “It takes a little longer to get around…just because of the slick conditions…You’ve got to be careful so we’re not letting everybody fall all over.”
Wankum’s crews spent part of last week preparing planes for missions in warmer climates.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City; photos courtesy of Iowa Air National Guard)