Tag Archives: photos

434th Maintenance Group

My adventures as a Grissom Honorary Commander continued in September with a visit to the 434th Maintenance Group. This group has the mountainous task of maintaining and repairing the planes at Grissom Air Reserve Base.

From fabricating sheet metal to changing tires to replacing an engine, this crew does it all. They have machines to suck the nitrogen out of the air to fill tires, they have a giant drill press with bits that go up to 3″ in diameter, they even have jacks to lift a KC-135 off the ground.

We visited the nondestructive inspection unit, which is like a science lab for mechanics. They have all the fun toys. They can run all kinds of tests to determine the strength and conductivity of metals. They can do a magnetic particle inspection and use blacklight to find cracks in metal parts. Then they can use a microscopic camera to look at the cracks up close and determine whether they can be repaired. They also have a really cool machine that can test the makeup of oils and help them determine which part of the plane is breaking down and may need maintenance.

You never really think about all the work that goes into keeping these planes running and looking great. All those moving parts and instruments have to be working all the time. The KC-135s were made in the late 50s/early 60s and the 434th Maintenance Group keeps these planes running like new. Many of the parts are no longer manufactured, but this group can fabricate new parts or recycle old parts when needed. They have one amazing task, and they’re doing an amazing job.

At the end of the day, we took a detour to the new $7.5 million air traffic control tower. Wow! It is beautiful and a much-needed upgrade from the old tower. It is amazing to look out those windows at the airfield. We had a great opportunity to walk out on the catwalk just as a KC-135 was coming in for a landing, and we watched it taxi in just a couple hundred yards away. Another awesome day at Grissom!

Grissom 434th Maintenance Group

Grissom 434th Maintenance Group

Drill bit sizes

Teeny tiny drill bit, giant humongo drill bit

Fabricated metal parts

Fabricated metal parts

Machine shop

Machine shop

Machine shop

Staff Sgt. Shawn Cherty, 434th Maintenance Squadron metals technology specialist, shows us some of the machines in the shop.

Ultrasound machine used on metals

Using an ultrasound machine to test metals

Sheet metal shop

Wheels get repaired, shined up and reused to save cost

Grissom Air Traffic Control Tower

Grissom’s new $7.5 million air traffic control tower

Grissom's Air Traffic Control Tower

About to watch a plane land from 9 stories up at Grissom’s new air traffic control tower

Grissom's Air Traffic Control Tower

Watching a KC-135 land from atop Grissom’s new air traffic control tower

Kahuna Henge

Kahuna Henge!

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Florida Vacation!

Bonita Beach

Sun and Sand!

Me at the Beach

Getting some sun!

Chad at the Beach

Chad at the Beach

Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs


At the beach

Trying to take a pic with no sunglasses

Going to the movies

Going to the movies

Sunset over Nashville Tennessee

Driving home - Sunset over Nashville

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My backyard turned into an ice rink!

Central Indiana was blanketed with a sheet of ice this week while the rest of the Midwest was buried under 2 feet of snow. Icepocalypse as we called it, caused 3 days off school, lots of accidents, cabin fever, some creative outdoor activities, and some great pictures. Here are some photos and videos that I took, all of which are posted on my Flickr.

Ice pellets
Ice pellets

Icicles dripping down the bushes
Freezing bush

My dog Jude
Dog on ice

Chad sliding down the driveway

Me sliding down the driveway

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How to make your own recipe book

I made my own personalized recipe book as a Christmas gift this past holiday season. It took some time, but it was really quite simple.

As I made some of my favorite recipes throughout the year, I snapped some snazzy shots of the finished products. Then I gathered all of my recipes and photos and started to create a photobook with my favorite online photo store, Snapfish.

If you’ve never made a photobook before, it’s incredibly simple. You can choose different sizes, hardbound/soft cover, number of pages, different themes and layouts for each page. You can truly make it your own. Just upload your photos, choose your layouts, and drag and drop your photos onto the pages.

Here is my finished recipe photobook.


(Note: If I said I love Snapfish, why is this photobook in Shutterfly? Because I love a good deal. I did make my gift recipe books in Snapfish, but after the holidays, Shutterfly sent me a discount code for a free 8×8 book, so I made another one. I chose to link to the Shutterfly book because it doesn’t require you to log in like Snapfish’s share feature.)

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