Low Pressure, Heavy Lifting – CDDAR

A decommissioned U.S. Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon sits at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. on May 22, 2016 in preparation for Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training being conducted by the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing.  A primary objective of the CDDAR program is to return any runways involved in a mishap to operational status as soon as practical and 177th CDDAR team members with unique fields of expertise used compressors, gauged manifolds, hoses and pneumatic bags to simulate lifting the aircraft with a failed landing gear. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

A decommissioned U.S. Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon sits at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. on May 22, 2016 in preparation for Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training being conducted by the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing. A primary objective of the CDDAR program is to return any runways involved in a mishap to operational status as soon as practical and 177th CDDAR team members with unique fields of expertise used compressors, gauged manifolds, hoses and pneumatic bags to simulate lifting the aircraft with a failed landing gear. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gerard Sheehan, left, and Staff Sgt. Corey McPherson monitor inflation of a pneumatic lifting bag assembly during Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016. Twelve stacked lifting bags are filled to varying levels of pressure depending on their position and contact with the aircraft. The members of the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing CDDAR team consist of personnel from the engine, electrical-environmental, weapons, hydraulics and egress shops, as well as crew chiefs, who are selected for the additional duty based on expertise in their field. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gerard Sheehan, left, and Staff Sgt. Corey McPherson monitor inflation of a pneumatic lifting bag assembly during Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016. Twelve stacked lifting bags are filled to varying levels of pressure depending on their position and contact with the aircraft. The members of the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing CDDAR team consist of personnel from the engine, electrical-environmental, weapons, hydraulics and egress shops, as well as crew chiefs, who are selected for the additional duty based on expertise in their field. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

A decommissioned U.S. Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon sits at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. on May 22, 2016 in preparation for Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training being conducted by the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing.  A primary objective of the CDDAR program is to return any runways involved in a mishap to operational status as soon as practical and 177th CDDAR team members with unique fields of expertise used compressors, gauged manifolds, hoses and pneumatic bags to simulate lifting the aircraft with a failed landing gear. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

A decommissioned U.S. Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon sits at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. on May 22, 2016 in preparation for Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training being conducted by the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing. A primary objective of the CDDAR program is to return any runways involved in a mishap to operational status as soon as practical and 177th CDDAR team members with unique fields of expertise used compressors, gauged manifolds, hoses and pneumatic bags to simulate lifting the aircraft with a failed landing gear. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. Edward Fryling, right, and James Dzierwinski review a training guide on manifold pressure operations of a pneumatic a lifting bag assembly during Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016. The members of the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing CDDAR team consist of personnel from the engine, electrical-environmental, weapons, hydraulics and egress shops, as well as crew chiefs, selected for the additional duty based on expertise in their field. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. Edward Fryling, right, and James Dzierwinski review a training guide on manifold pressure operations of a pneumatic a lifting bag assembly during Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016. The members of the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing CDDAR team consist of personnel from the engine, electrical-environmental, weapons, hydraulics and egress shops, as well as crew chiefs, selected for the additional duty based on expertise in their field. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Wagner, left, aircraft maintainer with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, surveys pneumatic hoses connected to a lifting bag assembly under a decommissioned F-16D Fighting Falcon during Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016. The 177th CDDAR team consists of personnel from the engine, electrical-environmental, weapons, hydraulics and egress shops, as well as crew chiefs, who are selected for the additional duty based on expertise in their field. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Wagner, left, aircraft maintainer with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, surveys pneumatic hoses connected to a lifting bag assembly under a decommissioned F-16D Fighting Falcon during Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016. The 177th CDDAR team consists of personnel from the engine, electrical-environmental, weapons, hydraulics and egress shops, as well as crew chiefs, who are selected for the additional duty based on expertise in their field. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J. -- New Jersey Air National Guard maintainers from the 177th Fighter Wing's Crash Damaged Disabled Recovery (CDDAR) team trained at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May, N.J. May 22, 2016.

A primary objective of the CDDAR program is to return any runways involved in a mishap to operational status as soon as practical.

Unit members with unique fields of expertise teamed up to complete annual training using compressors, gauged manifolds, hoses and pneumatic bags to simulate lifting an F-16D Fighting Falcon with a failed landing gear.

"The simulation here today is with the right wing tip touching ground where we would get it up high enough, level enough and stable enough that the guys could come in, swing the landing gear down, lock it into place and the aircraft could hopefully be towed back," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Steve Henderson, 177th FW aerospace ground equipment technician.  "This technology can be used for civilian and military aircraft, up to a C-5 Galaxy, whether the aircraft is on hard ground or asphalt, in the woods or in mud, we have the tools to get it lifted."

Multiple lifting bags, similar to extremely heavy duty inflatable rubber rafts, serve several different functions during the process and are filled to varying levels of pressure depending on their position and contact with the aircraft.

"The contact bags, the ones that make contact with the aircraft, are a little bit flexible and only have 1-3 lbs. of pressure so they can conform to the aircraft surface, while the lifting bags underneath them are much more rigid, and are inflated to 7 lbs. per square inch," said Henderson.

The off-base training location, one hour drive south of the 177th FW is crucial to the team's training.

"The reason we come to Cape May to train is that we can't lift or even touch an FMC (Fully Mission Capable) aircraft with the equipment, " said Master Sgt. Frank Beck, weapons shop NCOIC. " We're able to do some familiarization training and fill our requirements for CDDAR training with this aircraft from the museum."

While the bag lift training is a requirement for the CDDAR Team, the training at the Southern tip of New Jersey also builds morale and camaraderie.

"Just trying to get the time and the logistics together is the hardest part," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Taylor, 177th propulsion element technician. "Fortunately we have the Wildwood museum which is very cooperative and able to give us this aircraft to use for any kind of exercise that we'd like to do. We get wrapped around our jobs at the full-time level so when we get down here to do this it's a big plus. It's one way I can get these guys together and have a good time, but get the job done and get the training done that we need....that we hopefully never have to use."