The Air Force loadmaster (1A2X1) accomplishes loading and offloading aircraft functions and performs pre-flight and post-flight preparations of aircraft and aircraft systems. This job specialty computes weight and balance and other mission-specific qualification duties. The loadmaster provides for the safety and comfort of passengers and troops, and the security of cargo, mail, and baggage during flight. They will also conduct cargo and personnel airdrops.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Air Force LoadMaster
The loadmaster reviews aircraft weight and balance records and cargo manifest. They also determine the quantity of cargo and passengers or troops loaded and proper placement in aircraft. They compute the load, cargo distribution, weight, and balance and determine the amount of weight to be placed in each compartment or at each station. The loadmaster considers factors such as fuel load, aircraft structural limits, and emergency equipment required. Here is a list of more of the duties and responsibilities:
- Accomplishes initial pre-flight of aircraft according to flight manuals
- Pre-flights specific aircraft systems such as restraint rail and airdrop equipment
- Operates radios, pre-flights aerospace ground equipment, and applies external power to the aircraft
- Performs in-flight and special mission specific duties as required
- Supervises aircraft loading and offloading
- Uses equipment such as 25K, 40K, and 60K loaders; forklifts; and winches
- Ensures cargo and passengers are loaded according to the load distribution plan
- Directs application of restraint devices such as restraint rails, straps, chains, and nets to prevent shifting during flight
- Checks cargo, passengers, and troops against manifests
Comfort, Meals, and Emergencies
The loadmaster also is involved in the general care of the crew and passengers from nutrition to general comfort and emergency procedures on long flights and missions. Many of the duties are the following:
- Ensures the availability of fleet service equipment such as blankets and pillows.
- Signs for and stows in-flight meals.
- Briefs passengers and troops on the use of seat belts, facilities, and border clearance requirements. Dispenses meals and refreshments.
- Demonstrates the use of emergency equipment such as oxygen masks and life vests, and ensures access to escape hatches.
- Monitors cargo and passengers in-flight and assists passengers as required.
- Conducts cargo and personnel airdrops according to directives.
- Attaches extraction parachutes to cargo and platforms.
- Inspects cargo and platforms, extraction systems and connects static lines.
- Checks tie-downs, parachutes, containers, suspension systems, and extraction systems to ensure proper cargo extraction or release.
- Operates aircraft personnel airdrop system and supervises paratroopers exiting the aircraft.
Specialty Qualifications of the LoadMaster
Knowledge. General and Specific Knowledge is mandatory of the types, capacities, and configuration of transport aircraft, arithmetic, emergency equipment, and in-flight emergency procedures, personal equipment and oxygen use, communications, and current flying directives. The loadmaster is responsible for interpreting diagrams, loading charts, and technical publications, border agency clearance dispensing and preserving food aboard aircraft, and cargo restraint techniques.
Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school with courses in mathematics or general science is desirable.
Training. Completion of the Aircraft loadmaster course is mandatory for award of AFSC 1A231.
Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated:
1A251. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A231. Also, knowledge of types, capacities, and configuration of transport aircraft; weight and balance factors, arithmetic; cargo restraint techniques; emergency equipment and in-flight emergency procedures; using personal equipment and oxygen, communications; current flying directives; interpreting diagrams, loading charts, and applicable technical publications; border agency clearance requirements and forms; principles of dispensing and preserving food aboard aircraft; operation of cargo loading equipment; and cargo and personnel airdrop techniques and equipment.
1A271. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A251. Also, experience in types, capacities, and configuration of transport aircraft; airdrop techniques; weight and balance factors; arithmetic; emergency equipment and in-flight emergency procedures; personal equipment and oxygen use; communications; current flying directives; interpreting diagrams, loading charts, and applicable technical publications; border agency clearance requirements and forms; principles of dispensing and preserving food aboard aircraft; and cargo restraint techniques.
1A291. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A271. Also, experience in directing functions such as loading military cargo aircraft and establishing procedures for maintaining related records.
Strength Req: K
Physical Profile 111121 K (Vision uncorrected 20/400-20/400; correctable to 20/20-20/20)
Required Aptitude Score: G-55 (Changes to G-57 after 1 Jul 04).
- Enlisted Aircrew Undergraduate Course, Lackland AFB, TX, 2 weeks, 3 days
- Combat Survival Training Course, Fairchild AFB, WA, 17 days
- Water Survival-Parachuting Course, Pensacola NAS, FL, 4 day
- Basic Loadmaster Course (see note 1), Altus AFB, OK, 5 weeks
- Basic Loadmaster Course (see note 1), Little Rock AFB, AR, 5 weeks
Note 1: Will attend one course, not both.
Note: This career field requires initial training at the Enlisted Aircrew Undergraduate Course.
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- Hurlburt AFB, FL - AC130
- Kadena AB, OK - MC130P
- Little Rock AFB, AR - C130
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- Mildenhall RAF, England - MC130P
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- Pope AFB, NC - C130
- Ramstein AB, GE - C130
- Travis AFB, CA - C5
- Yokota AB, Japan - C-130