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August 4, 2015
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I was in the US Navy for just 4 years. During my service, I worked exclusively on C-2A Greyhounds as an Aviation Electronics Tech. Because these planes were built in the 60s and later re-wired several times, they were wrought with software issues. We frequently dealt with software upgrades that were due, but we didn't have the test sets or computers needed to update the plane's software. We also had to borrow test equipment from other squadrons with similar planes and hope that the process would work without the right tools. In addition to outdated software, we also had systems that didn't work correctly, but were deemed functional based on institutional knowledge and operational checks. And on the other end of the spectrum, we had systems that had fully functioning software, but mechanical failure that sometimes went unnoticed until it caused an emergency landing. Although frustrating, most of us looked at the issue comically because there wasn't much we could do about it.

These planes are scheduled to be replaced, thankfully, by the V-22 Osprey in 2017-18. I left the Navy before squadron testing began, but did participate in several test flights with the US Marines. These aircraft are said to be not as capable as their predecessors and have a high crash rate. I'm not sure if this is the lesser of two evils or just another beast.

In my opinion, limited capability in the software, inability to fix existing problems, and limited testing makes this a potential failure. I've personally experienced the delays and flight issues due to bad software and it makes for a headache for all of the aircraft's systems. Also, not having good software support leads to troubleshooting from institutional knowledge that sometimes does not get passed down and is sometimes hard to teach someone new. There is also a risk of losing that knowledge when technicians move to another platform or work space.
by Strategery 3 years ago
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