Field Service Representatives (FSRs) are a key element of Dowty Propellers’ commitment to keeping its customers’ aircraft flying. They provide customers with a seamless connection to the broader Dowty Propellers team of engineers and support staff to help manage the full range of propeller systems throughout their operational lifetimes. Their skills and dedication are being highlighted in a series of stories that focus on the FSRs that work with military and civilian operators at locations around the world.
In the Persian Gulf, Field Service Representative (FSR) Gregory Cornish is Dowty Propellers’ man-on-the spot – bringing the company’s full resources to maintain the mission readiness of C-130J airlifters operated by the Kuwait Air Force and U.S. Marines in this region’s hot and sandy conditions.
Located at Kuwait’s Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base, Cornish’s resources include an on-site propeller repair shop to support the Kuwaiti KC-130J fleet at this facility, and he also is available for the needs of U.S. Marines aircraft located at a nearby base within the country.
“As an FSR, I benefit from the knowledge of the entire Dowty Field Service Representative community – people who have worked around the globe and done just about everything with our propellers to keep aircraft flying,” he explained.
Dowty Propellers is part of an industry team contracted through the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) organisation to support the Kuwait Air Force KC-130J airlifters – equipped with the company’s six-blade R391 propeller system. In his FSR role, he oversees a full range of services, from depot-level maintenance and shop repairs to logistics support, providing troubleshooting advice, and assisting maintainers for their on-wing repairs.
“I benefit from the knowledge of the entire Dowty Field Service Representative community – people who have worked around the globe and done just about everything with our propellers to keep aircraft flying.”
One of the achievements cited by Cornish during his more than two-year presence in Kuwait is bringing the Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base’s propeller shop – built by another company under contract to NAVAIR – to a full operational status, including guidance that significantly increased its functionality.
In addition to scheduled maintenance activity, work performed in the facility includes stripping and cleaning of the propeller blades, replacing their leading-edge guards and de-icer boots (which can be subject to erosion in the desert environment), along with propeller system component repairs. This reduces the need to send hardware out of the country, lowering support costs and condensing processing times from months to days or weeks.
In one repair solution, Cornish showed the Kuwait Air Force how to borescope propellers in determining the extent of a grease leak – enabling an additional 200 hours of flight time on one propeller, while another propeller was put on an inspection cycle with no flight restrictions as long as it was inspected every 100 flight hours.
“I also have assisted the customer in conducting full propeller repairs when an aircraft comes for its yearly inspection cycle in the hangar,” he continued. “This is a significant accomplishment that lets me be hands-on with every blade, inspecting for potential damage. It also enables me to give hands-on training to the customer. During the inspection sequence, we can repair, sand and paint each blade to increase the life on wing. This also helps the maintainers know how to repair damage on the flight line and understand what is acceptable damage and what is not.”
Cornish brings extensive experience as a Dowty Propellers FSR. A former U.S. Marines engine and propeller maintainer for C130s at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, he subsequently was an engineering manager at a civilian FAA-certified repair shop in Kansas.
Joining Dowty Propellers in 2014, his first assignment was to Ft. Worth, Texas, where a U.S. Marines Reserve unit was transitioning from earlier-version C130s to newer “J” model airlifters with the R391 propeller system. When moving to the Persian Gulf, he applied this expertise as the Kuwait Air Force underwent a similar changeover to the C-130J.
“An FSR’s knowledge, which always is valuable, becomes even more important when operators are introducing new aircraft,” Cornish explained. “We can offer expert guidance for everything from maintenance, repair and logistics support to inventory tracking, performance monitoring and troubleshooting. We’re there to help keep the propeller systems on the wing, ensuring their aircraft are mission-ready.”