High school students help repair HAFB plane

CLEARFIELD, Utah — Members of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Clearfield High School are helping to repair a Vietnam-era plane at Hill Air Force Base.

The plane is part of Hill Aerospace Museum at the base. The Junior ROTC program created its own Airframe Structures and Repair class – the first of its kind in Utah.

Students teamed up with museum staff to work on the project.

“We’re actually going to be working on a rudder – removing a rudder – from a C-7 Caribou aircraft,” said Sgt. Darrell Gronau, Clearfield High School ROTC instructor. “This aircraft [...] saw a lot of action during the Vietnam era.”

The rudder was damaged during heavy windstorms in early December 2011. The rudder will be taken to a nearby shop, where students will repair it over the next four months.

Students will need to figure out what materials and hardware are needed for the repair, as well as how many man-hours are needed to fix the rudder.

Gronau hopes the students’ experiences in the project will help them determine whether or not they would like to pursue careers in aviation or avionics.

The repair project is expected to be completed by the end of May.