Our guys stopped at Bakersfield, California, to refuel before pushing on and got a chip light on the forward transmission. The chip detector consists of a pair of magnetized electrodes across which flows the lubricating fluid for the transmission. If enough metallic particles build up, the chip detector will trip and direct you to make sure the transmission isn’t coming apart. As you might imagine, this is a fairly big deal.

The guys pulled the chip detector and found that it was indeed full of metallic shavings. After consultation with our maintenance officer, a new transmission was ordered and shipped to the National Guard unit located at the airfield. It would take three days to arrive. Meanwhile the flight engineer and crew chief entertained themselves tearing down the old transmission in anticipation of swapping it out for the new one.

Once they got the tranny opened up, they realized that the transmission was fine. One of the hydraulic pumps bolted onto the tranny had failed. The enterprising flight crew pulled the pump, had a fresh one shipped out overnight from our unit parts supply via FedEx, and had the aircraft up and operational the day the gigantic metal can containing the new transmission arrived at Bakersfield.