United States Coast Guard HU-25

October 2003


Posted by John C. Evans, ATF3 Online Museum Curator

DISCLAIMER: Centered Text in italics was added by John C. Evans, and is not part of the original email sent by Lowell Kurvin.

I have been looking for quite some time to find material to create a USCG web page for the ATF3 Online Museum since taking over as Curator from Kurt lammon.  Imagine my amazement when I came across these 2003 somewhat humorous email exchanges in my archives.  My thanks to Lowell Kurvin USCG for his excellent stories.

I have edited these emails to add states to the base references, some paragraph breaks and bold text to make the subject matter flow better, and explanations of some of the acronyms such a “RTB” that many readers may not be familiar with.  Although some words may be added, the intent of the emails remains unchanged.

I decided to include these emails, as they are good indicators of the close rapport between the USCG Ground and Flight crews, and the humor they used while performing in a very dangerous career.  The USCG crews are not fair weather flyers.  When the hurricanes are blowing and others are flying their planes out of state, the USCG is launching its aircraft on search and rescue missions.  These crews fly into weather where the only traffic is ships in distress and hurricane hunters.  On top of this they fly treaty enforcement and law enforcement missions, and interface with USCG cutters and ships in numerous other missions.  The USCG personnel are truly unsung hero’s, who are seldom recognized for their dedication to duty and country.

I hope you find this page as enjoyable as I did in participating in these emails and creating this web page.  The USCG performs their duties in peacetime as well as participating in wartime activities.  The next time you see someone in a USCG uniform thank them for their service.

ATF3 Online Museum curator

------------------------------- Original Message ------------------------------

Lowell Kuvin (USCG) wrote:

Subject: Great Site (ATF3 Online Museum)

My name is Lowell Kuvin and I spent two years working on the ATF3 while in the Coast Guard and at Air Station Miami, a very busy place for Falcon Jets.

I have some very funny stories about the ATF3 and how we would scavenge parts for it.  If you are interested and would like me to take the time to jot down a few memories, I would be glad to. I also attended the Garrett ATF3 School in Az. in Aug. of 1986.

Thanks for the (ATF3 Online Museum) site,



Kurt Lammon (AlliedSignal) wrote:

Thanks a lot for the kind words!  John Evans and I put the site together at the beginning of 2002 to document the rich history of the ATF3 engine.  I've been meaning to add more content to the site, and your contribution could be the catalyst for my doing that.  Absolutely, I'd love to hear the perspective of a USCG mechanic!  We engineers always try to design for maintainability, but I'm sure you have a different opinion about that.  Yes, if you have time, please e-mail me some good stories, and I'll put them on the site.  Thanks a lot!


Kurt Lammon=<"http://www.pocketprotectors.com">


Lowell Kuvin (USCG) wrote:

True Engine Story, ATF3 Coast Guard Falcon Fixer

Well Kurt it would be my pleasure.  It has been 17 years since I put a set of fuel nozzles on an ATF3 but I still remember that the studs get torqued to sixty inch pounds, strange that I remember that.

As one of the members of the engine shop at Opa Locka, Florida I know that we always wondered why the Coast Guard decided on the ATF3 for the Falcon Jet.  There were not an abundance of engines or parts for the engines and at times we had to make due by scavenging parts from our own engines to get low airframe time planes in the air.  Air Station Miami Falcon mechanics were very much on the cutting edge of knowledge when it came to fixing the planes.  This was most evident to me when I did some TAD in Corpus Christi, Texas in support of one of the Miami planes.  I ran into a class mate of mine from AD school whom I had not seen since our days in Elizabeth City, NC and when I lent him a hand in changing out some fuel transfer pumps he remarked that this was the first set he had ever seen them changed out.  Well at Miami, FL I had changed out 5 or 6 sets myself.  You can see the contrast.  Well this is where the story begins actually. 

Sitting in their hanger was a large engine box and I asked about the contents.  My friend said that they were sending a bad engine (eating oil: can you say, bad carbons seals) back to the factory.  I walked over to the box and just to check and make sure that no one was getting new engines (Miami had first priority).  I lifted the lid and looked inside.  Low and behold there was a Miami mechanics dream come true, an accessory section filled with spare parts.  I dropped the lid and told my friend yes it does look dead, not wanting to show my happiness at the treasure that I had just discovered.

Later that day, after everyone had gone home and under the cover of darkness, one of the other Miami FL Air Crew mechanics and me snuck back into the hanger and popped the lid on that engine box.  I climbed into the engine box and my buddy acting as my nurse handed me the wrenches and sockets from the toolbox.  We spent a couple of hours removing oil transfer lines, and anything else we could get our hands on that did not require paperwork to transfer.  We had a large box of parts that we hid in the back of our plane and which we knew would be welcomed at our engine shop.

The next day we did some work on one of the engines from our plane (oil sump pressure test) and we found that the pressure on one of the sumps was kind of high and after talking to the engine shop in Miami FL we decided to RTB (Return to Base).  We got the crew together and made plans to move the plane out of the hanger.  Before we could move the plane the co-pilot jumped on board and when he was putting his gear in the back of the cabin he spotted the box.  He opened it up and when he saw that it was filled with engine parts he went to find the drop-master (crew chief), me.  Knowing that he was kind of new out of flight school (Miami FL was his first station after completing flight school) I deiced to have some fun.  I told him that after we had tested the engine oil sump pressures and put everything back together there were some extra parts.  The look on his face was one of disbelief and serious concern.  I then told him that it was not uncommon to have extra parts and that both the engine and airframe shops were filled with boxes of extra parts after years of routine maintenance and that I would be glad to show him when we got back to Miami FL.  Now he really did not know whether to believe me or not but he said, "Oh, ok" and then turned and quickly went looking for the plane Captain (left seater pilot).  I just wish I had had time to talk to the other pilot before he did but all of this was kind of spur of the moment.  I did have time to let the other crew-members know and we gathered by the nose of the aircraft and watched as the co-pilot homed in on the Captain as he made his way across the hanger deck.

Watching the co-pilot stop the Captain and then start talking to him with his arms flailing all over the place and pointing back to our Falcon Jet we all knew exactly what he must have been saying.  It was more than anyone of us could handle.  We all retreated back around the blind side of the plane and just started laughing.  "Oh my God," I said, "I am certainly going to have to come up with a good explanation for this one."  Then the two pilots turned and walked over to the plane.  All of the crew except myself scattered like roaches, wanting nothing to do with this.  I jumped up on the wing to check the engine intake on the right side where I could get a good view through the window to see the co-pilot show the captain the box full of parts.  Both pilots entered the aircraft and to my amazement they both just went up into the cockpit and started their pre-flight. 

What was going on here?  One of the crewmembers walked on board and the Captain asked where Petty Offices Kuvin (me) was.  Since there was no action in the back of the cabin I had jumped off the wing and was heading around the nose of the plane where I ran into the Captain who was stepping off the stairs.  "So Petty Officer Kuvin, where did all of those parts come from?" he asked.  I pointed to the large engine box on the other side of the hanger and told him that we had liberated many good parts and ensured him that the engine was on it's way back to overhaul in Arizona and that the parts would not be missed by anyone here in Texas.  He then told me that he had played along with the joke I was playing on his co-pilot.  He also asked me to please come clean on the joke before we landed in Miami so the co-pilot would not look anymore foolish if he discussed the matter with others in Miami FL.  I assured him that I would take care of everything.  I turned and walked away to arrange for the plane to be towed out of the hanger, the Captain walked back onboard, and the flight crew and I could hardly stop laughing while we went looking for a mule.

This paragraph explains a lot of questions as to why AlliedSignal kept getting cannibalized engines at Phoenix Repair and Overhaul (R&O), and the USCG expecting to get complete overhauled engines returned to them at the contracted overhaul price.  Replacing cannibalized parts cost extra!

Hope you enjoyed it.  It is very true and it was pleasure sharing it with you.

P.S. Were you guys ever there to open the engine boxes when they were shipped back to you?  Boy we use to just pile all of the junk we had in those boxes.  Old fuel nozzel’s, bent oil sump return lines, all kinds of stuff.  I would like to know the reaction on the other end when those boxes were opened in AZ.



Kurt Lammon (AlliedSignal) wrote:

From: "Kurt Lammon"

To: "BlueSeas"= "mailto:BlueSeas@bellsouth.net">

Cc: "Kurt Lammon" ="mailto:kurt@urethanesupply.com"> "John Evans" ="mailto:jcevans@fastq.com">

Subject: Re: True Engine Story, ATF3 Coast Guard Falcon Fixer

Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 22:30:58 -0400

Great story! 

No, I was never at the receiving end of one of those boxes, but John (Evans) may have been. I just hope that when you received the box back from Arizona that everything was in order!  I intend to make an update to the site soon, and I'll be including your story.

Thanks again,


Kurt Lammon, P.S. What is a "TAD" (Temporary Assigned Duty)?


John C. Evans (AlliedSignal) wrote:

SO; YOU ARE THE GUY I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR ALL THESE YEARS!  You do not want to know the look on our faces when we opened these returned engine boxes.  They did not look much like engines when we got them; just skeletons picked clean by the buzzards.  From 1984 to 1996 or so, I worked in project engineering and was assigned to cover the overhaul shop (with overhaul engineer Dale Rogers) for engine performance recovery, and incoming diagnostics/disposition. We were always trying to explain to the USCG why the engine accessories weren't returned with the engines after overhaul. I made several trips to Miami, E-City, and Mobile to support engine and engine/airframe interface issues.


I worked with John Huber (Airesearch Engineer) and Chief (Buddy) Criminale on the engine 150-hour inspections at Long Beach California about 1983-1985 time frame. On one of my visits to Miami I met Chief John Krause.; I also worked with John Ash when he was covering overhaul for the USCG in Phoenix, AZ.


I enjoyed your story. I hope it gets into the ATF3 web page; These personal experience stories along with technical stories will add depth to the page.


John Evans


Lowell Kuvin (USCG) wrote:

John,  (John C. Evan, ATF3 Online Museum Curator)

Hey it was not just me you understand. Don't come-a-looking for me with that six-foot long cheater bar in your hand. We needed the parts and we found them and used them. Plus why would I send an engine to overhaul with a new set of fuel nozzles on it or an almost new hydraulic pump?  The accessories were put to better use staying in the field and in our supply bins than back at Garrett. There were many a flights that I had to make using just one ECU. Sweated my ass off and the pilots that I share my half-gallon of Hagen Daz with them.

I worked in the engine shop in Miami from 1985-1987 with Steve Vrabic and Chief ?.  I must have done about 10 engine teardowns and rebuilds with my specialty being drilling out the main frame (gas section right after the fuel nozzles) retaining bolts. Did you ever see a set of oil sump return lines set up for taking sump pressures? Miami was pretty much on the cutting edge of maintenance for the ATF-3 since we had so many planes and a large and busy area to cover.

Did you ever hear about the dual flame out by a Boriquen Falcon Jet over Provodentialis at about 35,000 ft.? Both compressors stalled with-in minutes of each other due to the shroud retainers giving way due to the new bronze materials they were using. We often talked about that in Miami. The plane of course landed safely in Provo. where the crew got to stay at the Club Med for a week.

The answer is YES.  I ran the Mishap investigation for Garrett in Phoenix AZ.  For additional information about the Provodentialis dual engine flame out (in the Bermuda Triangle) while flying into in-climate weather at 35,000 feet MSL (Mean Sea Level) view the Mishap Investigation page in this web site.

Who was it that taught the ATF-3/APU class in Phoenix in 1986?

Answer: I believe it was either Wilbur (Red) Torry or Grant Mann.

Have a great day guys and thanks for all the old memories.



Created on: 7/31/2009, Updated 12/2/2009


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