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NEWS | Sept. 5, 2018

Crew chief sets a JB Charleston flying record

By Airman 1st Class Helena Owens Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Dedicated, hard-working, professional – all characteristics Flying Crew Chief leadership has used to describe Tech. Sgt. Jasper Maple, 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production team expediter.

Maple, who recently graduated out of the FCC program, obtained the most recorded flying hours of any flying crew chief who has been stationed at Joint Base Charleston for over a decade, according to FCC manager records. With 4,422 flying hours and 1,194 days on temporary duty locations, ranging from day trips to neighboring states or week-long missions overseas, he has almost tripled the average of 1,500 flying hours normally garnered by his counterparts.

“I never had my sights set on a particular number of flying hours, I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity,” said Maple. “I rarely turned down missions. I was always willing to go on missions and make the most of being in the air.”

Maple has maintained a 99 percent mission completion rate where he was responsible for all maintenance, repair, servicing and coordination thereof on the aircraft throughout his six years as an FCC. His last two years in the program, he served as an FCC evaluator, ensuring that only the best flightline maintainers would continue to be the trademark of the FCC program. Although his days as an FCC are over, he now serves as an expeditor for the AMXS production team.

“One of the main things for FCCs is remaining highly flexible and adaptable to situations and their schedule,” said Tech. Sgt. Travis Boyles, 437th AMXS FCC manager. “Maple has definitely mastered this. Any time we needed him to fly, he was ready, no questions asked or complaints made. He was our go-to guy for years.”

Being an FCC is a special duty, requiring a minimum of two years, though most service members serve three or four years.

“We have kept Maple on board with us for six years,” said Boyles. “He has been the expert trainer for younger Airmen joining the FCC program and it has helped to have him spin up, educate and train these Airmen into the FCCs they need to be. He has been a great asset to this team.”

Spending countless hours away from family and home is one of the many sacrifices FCCs make every day. They work long hours and prepare these jets to complete the mission at hand.

“What kept me going is thinking of the endeavors it took to get into the program,” said Maple. “I was eager to learn as much as possible because I knew I wanted to fly. It was my dream job.”

When Maple realized he had reached 3,500 flying hours, his drive to complete more hours intensified. His competitive attitude came out and he made it his goal to reach the next thousand.

“Early on, I wanted my name to be on the schedule more than anyone’s,” said Maple. “The competitive drive in me fuels my desire to be the best. How can I quit something I love doing? I was living the dream.”

FCCs are trained to work hand-in-hand with C-17 aircrews in austere conditions, often as the only Air Force maintainer at a location. They are tested with making tough calls on an aircraft's ability to fly, even under extreme pressure to accomplish important missions. 

“Maple's dedication isn't summed up by his flying hour total, but rather by the countless lives he has helped save by delivering critical cargo all around the world,” said Maj. Robert Johnson, 437th AMXS commander. “America wins wars and preserves the peace because of Airmen like him.”