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SammySu
5th Jan 2010, 21:42
Given the volume of white stuff currently circulating around the UK, and during the idle day in the crewroom that resulted, conversation moved to discussing the (lack) of snow clearance capability. So, does your airfield have any? How about the Q bases or MEDAs? Anyone else remember those jet engine contraptions that were all noise, mesh guards and clouds of snow that used to sit in the MT yard for 362 days a year? Should we spend money on a clearance capability? (I mean proper chewers and blowers, not a plastic plough on the front of a fuel bowser) or is current perceived policy of waiting for it to thaw the best?
Thoughts welcome, dits/photos about pirouetting your jet down icy runways and getting snowed into the mess for a week even better. I am that bored.

5 Forward 6 Back
5th Jan 2010, 21:51
I think those of us in the frozen north are quite happy to let it thaw; especially as it'll take about 2 weeks, and there's nothing to do in the meantime but go ski-ing!

dazjs
5th Jan 2010, 21:56
Let it melt. Saves money on kit and fuel. By the time most Runways and Taxiways are suitable for AC running the surrounding snow has started melting anyway. (thats after trying to clear it for 9 hours(with proper kit))

OmegaV6
5th Jan 2010, 22:05
....Anyone else remember those jet engine contraptions that were all noise, mesh guards and clouds of snow that used to sit in the MT yard for 362 days a year?...

MRD - Mechanical runway deicer .... 2 Derwent engines strapped to the front of a fuel bowser ... and for some reason Lyneham decided in the 70's that only an Air Eng could operate them ... so you sat between these two extremely noisy things .. with a bolt through the thottle mechanism to stop you putting too much power on and blowing your self backwards .... a MAJOR warning from OC Ops about not melting the runway ... and a piece of string that went back to the bowser as the emergency fuel shutoff ....

For some reason it was the secondary duty of a new Air Eng on the Sqn .... and you just prayed that it didn't snow before the next guy got posted in !!

Mr C Hinecap
5th Jan 2010, 22:11
There is still a level of clearance capability. However, the lords and masters have decided that, in the big scheme of things, waiting for the melt is fine for most - the cost of maintaining large fleets of little-used specialist equipment compared to a few down days. Despite not having what we used to, it is a lot more than just a plough on a bowser and to do it properly takes real teamwork from Ops, ATC, Met & MT.

Certain capabilities are always able to take off and sufficient operating surface is maintained for them.

Tiger_mate
5th Jan 2010, 22:17
The wire brushes associated with the trailer mounted jet engines represent a massive FOD problem, and in fairness, the 'let it thaw' routine is wholly appropriate for normal UK winters.

taxydual
5th Jan 2010, 22:27
Snow clearing! The best fun ever! (only if you were an amateur). Topcliffe, in the early '80's, an ATC Landrover and a Landrover size blade. Wow, snow flying the way you want it! Two of us (one professional MTD and me, the amateur) had a blacktop and RNEFTS flying before the big boys at Leeming (with MRD's) had a JP call for start.

The Bulldog Boys really rubbing it in by asking for talkdowns to overshoot at a 'Black' Leeming MDA.

The Doc (JJ) helped by issuing (the duty) rum.

BEagle
5th Jan 2010, 23:34
MRD = Machine, Runway, De-icing, surely? Also good at destroying bowser clutches, peoples' hearing, runway lights, friction courses.....

Rumour hath it that at one large AT/AAR base in British West Oxfordshire, the last serviceable aircraft de-icer finally packed up. So urgent moves were taken to hire one from BA. "Certainly, sir, but the minimum rental period is 3 months". "OK, that's fine...."

In March? They probably used it maybe twice.

Busta
6th Jan 2010, 00:12
The MRD was very good at melting the snow and helping to form vast patches of ice, also removing the black gunk sealant between the concrete slabs!

As OO at Waddo it was my remit one night to supervise the snow clearance operation. While sitting in MT, complete with mukluks and parka I made the mistake of reading the relevant documentation and discovered that if the temperature was low enough, after a specified time period the snow clearance teams were entitled to a rum ration!

I felt it my duty to comply with these instructions and made suitable arrangements.

The next day I had to give OC Ops a good listening to; luckily I had the document reference to hand as well as the met office temperature readings and the MT duty logs.

I understand the instructions were amended soon afterwards; shame!

Nothing matters very much , most things don't matter at all.

Easy Street
6th Jan 2010, 00:40
"Let it melt" is fine if the only cost is the odd down-day. How far do you let that argument run, though? What about a down-week? Or a down-fortnight? What if that down-fortnight is at a crucial period of work-up training for a deploying unit? Perhaps that unit could send a detachment to an airfield with better weather or better clearing equipment - but being away from home just before a deployment would obviously not be popular!

Whilst on this subject, could someone with knowledge of "Clearway" please explain how major airports are able to use it to maintain operations in all but the heaviest snowfalls, whilst most RAF airfields seem to use it to create a surface worthy of Torvill and Dean!

dctyke
6th Jan 2010, 07:22
At Wittering in the 'old' days putting a harrier or two in a hover down the runway worked a treat! Pity they will be going the same way as the MRD's! Whilst on the roads a lot of the Landrovers had blades fitted so everyone was a snow clearer................ H&S has done what the Russians never could.

Mr C Hinecap
6th Jan 2010, 08:50
Most civ airfields have more experience and better equipment to use Clearway - and Ops staff who are more experienced in the whole process. Clearway is very good, if applied and managed properly. Unfortunately, many of the young duty ops types don't have the experience and see taking advice from a Flt Sgt or WO from MT as failure. Being told to lay it when you know it will just snow on top is pointless, but I've seen it done many times. I've seen too much laid as well 'just in case' which doesn't work either.
MT hasn't got the experience it used to have - more dets to hot places, less to MPA and no Germany presence (coupled with a 'let it melt' mentality) means skill fade.
If your Ops staff let you fly off it, and you think it unsafe, you best speak to Ops.

Bladdered
6th Jan 2010, 09:02
Urea :Ethats the answer - plenty of that around

FantomZorbin
6th Jan 2010, 09:06
... and then there was the occasion when a mil a/f laid its annual allocation of urea in the space of a very few days!! Result: beautifully clear movement area but embarrassing questions from the Senior Medical Officer of Health from the local City regarding the quality of the water supply (usually taken from the river) and a recent epidemic of 'the trots'!!

Jabba_TG12
6th Jan 2010, 09:16
Well, not just for the military but to be honest, I cannot see how it could be/should be beyond the wit of the 21st Century UK to be able to deliver some sort of solution so that as soon as we see a flake of snow falling that the whole country doesnt grind to a halt. Its bloody ridiculous, to put it bluntly.

I recall last year, working at Corsham, where the only people to turn up for 3 days in a row during one week were one DE&S civil serpent and three of us contractors... the cs on foot, the rest of us crawling along in cars... Nobody else even bothered.

I'm sure that the 800million GBP we're giving to a certain country in the east who already have a space programme, nuclear weapons and are thinking of buying one of our carriers could go some way towards giving us a national capability to clear the dratted white stuff...

Ken Scott
6th Jan 2010, 09:47
Never mind the MRD to clear the runway, I visited Moscow in a C130 in the 90s (carrying the chaps who counted tanks). If you asked for a deice there the locals offered a similar machine, a Mig 15 engine on the back of a truck which parked in front of you to blow the ice off your airframe.

It was politely declined.....

Green Flash
6th Jan 2010, 11:01
which parked in front of you to blow the ice off your airframe - reminds me of watching a C-130 blow start another!

Yonks ago I was watching the MRD (Mobile Runway Destroyer) at Linton doing it's stuff. I was in local at the time rubber-necking with the great and good and someone said 'wow, thats a really good piece of kit, look at the slabs of black ice it's blowing off!' Quoth Satco as he bounded downstairs 5 at a time 'that's not black ice, it's the bl00dy taxiway!!!!'

Blacksheep
6th Jan 2010, 11:13
After returning from embarkation leave in '69, instead of "clearing", my last duty day at Waddington in '69 was spent operating a Mobile Runway Destroyer. That job was always given to a "gash hand" :hmm:

I arrived at Changi shortly afterwards where it was 32 in the shade (if you could find any) so "Up Yours" Flight Sergeant Thompson! ;)

Fareastdriver
6th Jan 2010, 11:45
In the days when R/R Dewents were used to power Meteors, aircraft were quite handy. A couple of Vampires positioned by tractors could blow of a fair amount of snow. IIRC we cleared a one aircraft wide strip on Oakington's runway in a day from 3 inches. In the V Force days it was imperative for the runway to be clear enough for our nuclear deterent to get airborne. The MRD was invented for that. To many aircraft tugs were being overturned by Victors when the pilot was a bit clumsy on the throttles.

People cause the difficulties.
After a snowfall the duty crew drive around the perimeter tracks and runway and announce that it is covered with snow.
The O/C ATC drives around the perimeter track and the runway and announces that it is covered with snow.
The O/C Operations drives around the perimeter track and runway and announces that it is covered with cnow.
The Station Commander drives around the perimeter tracks and runway and announces that it is covered in snow.
Various other personnel who apparantly have an interest drive around the perimeter tracks and runway and announce that it is covered in snow.

It isn't covered in snow. It has a lot of snow but is now covered by all the ice created by vehicle tyres driving over the snow.

Wensleydale
6th Jan 2010, 11:47
Another Linton on Ouse story: Winter of '77/78. A Shackleton had diverted in from an SAR incedent, but overnight snow prevented its take off. Although the runway was clear, the snow banks at the edges were too high for it to take off. Several hours of wielding a shovel later by us poor students (cheap labour) filled in the black flag day. However, once we had finished the Shack promptly went U/S (Brake Sack leak). The thaw had set in before it finally departed!

Saintsman
6th Jan 2010, 12:13
I remember using an MRD at Manston. We were supposed to clear the runway centreline first and then do either side. Unfortunately there was a slight sideways incline, so the melted snow turned to ice under the' lower' uncleared snow causing even bigger problems.

We also used to have snow-blows - a sideways mounted jet engine on a trailer towed by a tractor and used to clear the taxiways. They were fun too.

Two-Tone-Blue
6th Jan 2010, 12:36
People cause the difficulties.
After a snowfall the duty crew drive around the perimeter tracks and runway and announce that it is covered with snow.
The O/C ATC drives around the perimeter track and the runway and announces that it is covered with snow.
The O/C Operations drives around the perimeter track and runway and announces that it is covered with cnow.
The Station Commander drives around the perimeter tracks and runway and announces that it is covered in snow.
Various other personnel who apparantly have an interest drive around the perimeter tracks and runway and announce that it is covered in snow.

It isn't covered in snow. It has a lot of snow but is now covered by all the ice created by vehicle tyres driving over the snow.

Certainly happened at Waddo in the winter of 81/82 [I think that was the year]. OC Eng arranged for an endless procession of bowsers with blades, up and down, up and down the rw for hours. They compacted the snow into ice, which the blades subsequently rode over without any effect. We ended up with ice nearly a foot thick on the rw edges, which could then not be attacked by the MRD due to attrition on light fittings! I spent 3 days out there [on the grass in a LR] trying to unravel the mess; it only got better when Waddo swapped a staff car for Scampton's snow-clearing enormous lawn-mower thing, which was eventually able to eat its way through the snow/ice banks.

We remained Op capable throughout, though ... except probably NOT for landing.

engineer(retard)
6th Jan 2010, 12:43
The urea hoppers were wonderful..., remember having to climb into them to dislodge the bits that had gone solid. Getting back to find your issue woolenish socks had rotted and only the ankles were left, then your boots curled into arabian slippers overnight. Happy days

regards

retard

ab33t
6th Jan 2010, 12:53
It just amazes me that even airports with International in their title have come to a stand still .

Doctor Cruces
6th Jan 2010, 13:22
MPA winter of 86 (their winter of course).

F4 attached to Unimog and pushed backwards made a wonderful, if expensive, MRD.

A multi million pound, air defence grey, snow blower and taxiway dryer.

Wonderful stuff.

Doc C

:ok:

Yellow Sun
6th Jan 2010, 13:39
People cause the difficulties.
After a snowfall the duty crew drive around the perimeter tracks and runway and announce that it is covered with snow.
The O/C ATC drives around the perimeter track and the runway and announces that it is covered with snow.
The O/C Operations drives around the perimeter track and runway and announces that it is covered with cnow.
The Station Commander drives around the perimeter tracks and runway and announces that it is covered in snow.
Various other personnel who apparantly have an interest drive around the perimeter tracks and runway and announce that it is covered in snow.

It isn't covered in snow. It has a lot of snow but is now covered by all the ice created by vehicle tyres driving over the snow.

It took me sometime to realise that this was in fact a carefully worked out plan. Light fluffy snow is awkward to clear and when you attempt to blow it away with MRDs, or even worse the one that blew sideways, then it only forms large untidy heaps. Once you have reduced the snow to an even layer of ice this can easily be dealt with by deploying a large number of airmen with shovels.

YS:}

deltahotel
6th Jan 2010, 16:10
Still astonished by inability to keep uk open. Spending my time at the mo flying round -15 snow covered europe by night and it just happens. Runways clear, taxy slowly on snow, efficient deicing. My local RAF training a/f runway all white as I drove past this am.

Pontius Navigator
6th Jan 2010, 16:10
"Let it melt" is fine if the only cost is the odd down-day. How far do you let that argument run, though? What about a down-week? Or a down-fortnight?

In days of yore, when we had more airfields than we had MRDs, in the winter of 62/63, we have about 15-18 inches of the stuff and the Staish of Hullavington, one Gp Capt Max, decided that let it lie was the best option.

It lay.

As the Nav School programme was tied in to the next Nav School etc things started to look a bit skew. The plan was hatched to clear about 4000 feet and launch the Varsities to Topcliffe. Good plan.

What we managed to do with lots of studes trampling around on the runway was create an ice-strip of 8 inches of packed snow. It worked though and the aircraft duly boltholed - we had to go by train.

Krystal n chips
6th Jan 2010, 16:20
Bruggen.....winter of 79.....it snowed as it does in Germany...and it froze...temp...-fecking freezing. A cunning plan is devised to clear the snow from the HAS furthest from the warmth....the Sqdn are "invited" en-masse to make this trip.... and watch.... a bad error of judgement here as you can imagine.

Take one Jag...position outside HAS ( not without some difficulty ) and start engines....bingo !.... snow duly does as expected......alas....the laws of physics were overlooked here....what melts, er, freezes.....pdq in this case. Result....one Jag marooned outside HAS....some excellent moguls for those who like this sort of thing.....plus the collective howls of derision for the unfortunate soul whose "blue sky thinking" was, erm, slightly clouded.

I seem to recall that in 77 Brawdy was closed for about a week as it snowed....and the station snow and ice plan wasn't.....as it didn't snow at Brawdy.... Newgale hill was transformed into a classical Alpine downhill run as a result.

Thunderguts
6th Jan 2010, 16:34
Winter of 62/63 RAF Oakington. The 'staish' had the bright idea of getting us students out on the runway with shovels, to help the bowsers with their snowploughs. After two days hard work, there was not a lot to show for our efforts. However the boss had 'a cunning plan'! Vampires had a downward pointing jet efflux, therefore much better to use them than the non existant MRD. So up and down the runway went a series of T11's which turned the snow into slush and water, which promptly froze! So we now had a five thousand foot skating rink. Never did finish the flying course, got my wings early in a sort of parade in the mess anteroom.

As an afterthought was an MRD called a 'sicart'?

Happy days

BEagle
6th Jan 2010, 16:49
No, a Sicard was (is?) a sort of rotary snow redistribution jobber. And if I recall correctly, there's also another snowy-chewy-uppy-thing called a 'Rollba', I think?

We had quite a lot of snow one winter at a certain large AT/AAR base in British West Oxfordshire. The Blacktop chaps did an excellent job in keeping the runway open, so then it was time to clear the main drag through the station. Along comes the duty bowser-with-blade and off it chugs. Minutes later there is an almighty BANG and the bowser comes to a halt with bits of broken ironmongery poking out of the front and the blade sitting on the road looking rather sadly bent.

It seems that a certain, not terribly popular, Stn Cdr had insisted that speed bumps had to be laid on the road to stop people speeding...:rolleyes: Which, though a bŁoody nuisance, could normally be seen quite easily - except when they were covered in snow...:uhoh: . They were certainly made of rather sterner stuff than the bowser-plough...:hmm:

gayford
6th Jan 2010, 16:55
No, the Sicard was a giant brush with a blower behind it, normally towed by a Bedford truck. Very effective on soft snow or after the snow ploughs had done their job. The brushes were originally made from hardened spring steel and became detached very easily. A wonderful FOD hazard afterwards, hence the Airfield Sweeper had a huge magnet slung across the back about 2ins above the ground.
MRDs were also known as Machine Runway DESTROYER, many a time I watched chunks of asphalt fly away in addition to the ice!!

It seems that we had more snow "in the old days" and we were spoilt with loads of available manpower and no apparent budget constraints, and, of course minimal H and S impact.

Mach2
6th Jan 2010, 17:18
Early in 1967, 2 of us flew our solo landaway navexes in JP3s(separately!) from Cranwell to Acklington on a Monday am, briefed to have lunch and RTB in the afternoon. As we arrived at Acklington it started to snow.:bored: By the time we shut down it was blizzarding, and the airfield closed shortly afterwards. So we were stuck there with no kit other than what we were wearing until the airfield reopened 5 days later - dual sorties only! Eventually Cranwell had to fly 2 more JPs with 4 instructors up to recover us home. Until then we had a great time being looked after by the Acklington students - Borrow shirt from one, trousers from another, shoes from another etc - get taken out for the night - hand everything back next morning in hope - repeat the process the next evening, and so on ....:)

Two-Tone-Blue
6th Jan 2010, 17:25
Ahhh ... thank you, BEagle ... it was the Rolba Waddo got from Scampton in 81. Jolly good kit, and great fun to watch the great plumes of snow being expelled from the "Out" part.
As noted, the Sicard had limited utility.

Student aircrew are much better, anyway ... prepares them for the life yet to come :cool:

JamesA
6th Jan 2010, 17:54
Winter 62/3 rings a bell. At R.A.F. And Hedges, the idea was 'let the snow fall and clear it in one go.' Seem to remember it came down on Boxing Day. Naturally by the time everyone got back from grant it had frozen.
Now the problem - the station was closed and of course it was on Bomber Command stand by for equipment support. A Beverly, from just down the road, flew over and dropped a bale of hay, just to rub salt in.
So to the master plan - bring in half a dozen road burners, (the trucks that heat road surfaces prior to re-surfacing), line them up across the runway and proceed to melt the ice. these vehicles to be followed in close formation by all available personnel, i.e. those who had been too slow to disappear at the call, and armed with bass brooms to sweep molten ice back under the burner elements to prevent the runway being burnt/ melted. There is not a big clearance between the burner and the road surface for obvious reasons and many brooms were caught by the burner. So, take burning stick to nearby 3-tonner, exchange for new broom and resume sweeping.
After spell on runway, it was back to the guardroom, where the SWO was in his element doling out the rum ration. Maybe he had to test each batch, that was why he was so happy.

Oh! Happy days. Wot's H & S ???????????????

AonP
6th Jan 2010, 18:09
Back to the original post, how is the RAF managing in the current conditions? Have we been able to keep flying or have we given up? I presume at least the Q bases will have been kept open or aircraft deployed to stations that havent been badly affected. Have we really forgoten everything or do we just not have the money or forward planning to defeat the weather in one way or another to preserve at least a basic capability. I expect the USAF at Mildenhall and Lakenheath have been flying pretty much as normal, doubt the same could be said for Conningsby, Leuchars and Brize!

Pontius Navigator
6th Jan 2010, 19:02
I expect the USAF at Mildenhall and Lakenheath have been flying pretty much as normal, doubt the same could be said for Conningsby,!

What snow?

The noise seems just the same as always.

dazjs
6th Jan 2010, 19:46
Clearway is more effective once laid and constantly adjetated ie vehicles or AC passing over it constantly. If it is laid, diliuted with the snow or ice already on the floor and left alone it will freeze. A guy at Dusseldorf airport once told me if they have cleared the runways and clearway is working, they would employ runway sweepers during quiet periods even if there was no snow, in order to adjetate the clearway, and it worked. RAF airfields are to quiet!

Mr C Hinecap
6th Jan 2010, 20:16
RAF airfields use the towed rotary nylon brushes to agitate the Clearway once laid, so they make the traffic. If there is sufficient (30-40ml/sq m) laid, it can cope with freezing rain and existing ice.

StopStart
6th Jan 2010, 20:33
Whilst out walking through snow swept Norfolkshire over the last couple of days (doin' great things for charidee mate!) I can confirm that numerous F-15s and other sundry USAF types have indeed been buzzing about the skies above me.
I can also confirm that I have not seen a single RAF aircraft :hmm:

dazjs
6th Jan 2010, 20:43
Stopstart.

USAF loadsa money.
RAF not a lot of money

decent Snow and Ice kit costs

vecvechookattack
6th Jan 2010, 20:51
The USAF aircraft are fitted with winter, Northern European tyres especially designed for these adverse weather conditions.

The RAF aircraft are not.

Ali Barber
6th Jan 2010, 21:36
Can remember a winter in Binbrook, sitting in the bar with a Q1 or Q2 plaque around my neck and in a goon suit, reminding me not to drink. If the hooter went off, the jet would be towed onto the runway and pointed in the appropriate direction while we arrived in our batmobile land rover, the snow plough would give it one last shot and turn back to face down the runway with their headlights on - and off you go! And you tell the youth of today...........

VP8
7th Jan 2010, 01:02
MRD's

What memories:}

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/KMCLEAN/RAFMRD4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/KMCLEAN/RAFMRD2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/KMCLEAN/RAFMRD1.jpg

kiwibrit
7th Jan 2010, 01:18
Certainly happened at Waddo in the winter of 81/82 [I think that was the year]. OC Eng arranged for an endless procession of bowsers with blades, up and down, up and down the rw for hours. They compacted the snow into ice, which the blades subsequently rode over without any effect. We ended up with ice nearly a foot thick on the rw edges, which could then not be attacked by the MRD due to attrition on light fittings! I spent 3 days out there [on the grass in a LR] trying to unravel the mess; it only got better when Waddo swapped a staff car for Scampton's snow-clearing enormous lawn-mower thing, which was eventually able to eat its way through the snow/ice banks.

We remained Op capable throughout, though ... except probably NOT for landing.

Hmm. I remember that, except IIRC it was the Duty Senior Snow Clearer Chap (a sqn ldr engineer) who made the decision to keep going - when the bowsers towing the Sicards were compacting the snow since it was coming down so densely. Really, the sensible decision would have been to leave it alone. But it would have been a brave man who explained to the Stn Cdr that the best thing to do all night had been to do nothing - especially as the entire station Vulcan force would have had to come off state. Allegedly we were fit to operate with half the runway clear.

Generally, though, snow clearance worked fairly well in those days. I've been wondering how things worked now. They don't, mostly, it would appear.

West Coast
7th Jan 2010, 06:19
About 26C at the house today. Couldn't find the little umbrellas for the drinks however.

BEagle
7th Jan 2010, 09:18
We had a standard scale of essential ground equipment needed to support our deployments back in the early 1980s - long before we became involved in Middle East wars.

One essential deployment was imminent and the new SEngO started getting involved. He came through to our office and asked what equipment was available at a certain USAF base. We went through his 'tick list' and he was quite happy until it came to 'aircraft de-icing'. We needed a cherry picker to reach the top of the tail and a huge amount of de-icing fluid for a VC10.

"No, sir, sorry, but there isn't any at that base"
"But there must be - we have to be prepared for 24 hour operations!"
"Well, there isn't!"
"But...but..."
"Sir, do you know the name of the civil side of the aerodrome?"
"Err, no. Can you tell me?"
"Yes - the military side is called Hickam AFB - and the civil side is Honolulu International, Oahu. In the Hawaiian Islands!"

:E

Two-Tone-Blue
7th Jan 2010, 10:31
@ kiwibrit ... your memory may well be right. I do however recall having a heated discussion with OC Eng somewhere near the northern RHAG on the subject! ;)

Pete268
7th Jan 2010, 10:34
Back in the early 80's I used to quite like driving in the snow on the airfield until the fateful day when our trusty Land Rover went u/s with a frozen engine (so much for RAF anti-freeze!). I duly went over to MT and borrowed a mobile death trap - a Land Rover fitted with the anti-fod Bar Tread tyres.

I managed to get about half way around the peri track of the secret airfield (now inhabited by rocks) at about 5mph before the damn thing wouldn't stop or steer, it drove itself off the road and overturned.

I was then informed a rather irate WO i/c MT was on his way to inspect the damage. He also made the mistake of using a Land Rover with Bar Tread Tyres in the snow and only got about 200 yards before he too was upside down and shouting for help.

I seem to recall they reverted to normal tyres on Land Rovers not long after.

Pete

kiwibrit
7th Jan 2010, 11:45
Two Tone Blue - looks as though you were closer to the immediate action than I, at the time. Whoever was involved in the decision, it was not much fun trying to clear up the mess afterwards. All ranks from squadron leader down were out futilely hacking with make-shift implements at the highly compacted snow. I do recall that the lesson was learned to minimise traffic on snow after that :}

NutLoose
7th Jan 2010, 12:56
OmegaV6 (http://www.pprune.org/members/194218-omegav6)

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 78


Quote:

and for some reason Lyneham decided in the 70's that only an Air Eng could operate them ...
For some reason it was the secondary duty of a new Air Eng on the Sqn ....



That makes total sense, you wouldn't want to tie up a valuable resource such as us ground Engineers as they used to at Brize :p

sunshine band
7th Jan 2010, 13:58
Snow clearing, 216 Sqn style... it's quite cheap- $10 per brush from Walmart... it's my GEM of an idea- no-ones stealing it!!

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo116/sband/1024zd953bgr230204.jpg

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo116/sband/hideseeksnow1.jpg

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo116/sband/hideseeksnow2.jpg

SB

NutLoose
7th Jan 2010, 14:12
Is it tech?........................ :p

Seems like you are dumping them all over the shop, there is one parked on DHL's Apron at EGNX if my eyes are not decieving me as I gaze out of the office window..:ok:


I remember a 10 sqn (pilot I believe) many moons ago coming up with the bright Idea of adding "pink" dye to the deice fluid so you could see if it had an even coating............. Needless to say is was not looked into :}


I seem to remember in the mid 70's after years of shovelling at Odius they finally bought a sicard and on it's first outing in earnest with the heavy snow they drove it over one of the rolls of barbed wire alongside the taxiway which it did it's best to digest and that was that so to speak.... lol

Mk1 shovel was redeployed :(

Ranger 1
7th Jan 2010, 14:52
Spent Five hours in a Rolba Snow blower here yesterday although built in the 70's it did an excellent jod shifing snow banks that the ploughs had created.

We purchased Three ex RAF Sicard brushes back in the 80's which were modified in house by our MT section (converted from V8 petrol to Diesel engines).
Two were in Service yesterday the third is being brought back into service tonight after a certain person decided to fill the Hydraulic tank on one of our new super new mega expensive brushes with Diesel :mad:

Still have one of your C-130's here which diverted in to us last night, due Wx nice to see you anytime :ok:

StopStart
7th Jan 2010, 17:19
Stopstart.

USAF loadsa money.
RAF not a lot of money

decent Snow and Ice kit costs


Everything "costs" old chap, it just depends on your priorities. Given some of the tosh we spend our money on I find it unsurprising that we happily denude ourselves of an "all weather" capability in this way. Hey ho.

Ps. The USAF don't have loadsa money :ok:

Two-Tone-Blue
7th Jan 2010, 17:22
It was in darkest RAF Stanley in the winter of 1983 [obviously 6 months displaced from UK]. Apparently the coldest winter since WW2. My experiences at Waddo had prepared me for the worst.

It fell to me to collect, from the jetty in Stanley, a newly-arrived flt lt joining my sqn. It was well past sunset as we bumped through the deep snow and ice to the airfield, where he was given a coffee. He was then invited to don all possible clothing, pick up a shovel, and join the entire stn out on the rw, chipping ice from the RHAGs to keep the airfield operational. The wind was so strong that people were being blown over on the ice, and the max anyone could keep going was about 1 hour.

Q remained flyable throughout ... probably.

Ahhh ... those were the days, when even the RAF were men!! :ok:

Romeo Oscar Golf
7th Jan 2010, 17:51
Whilst acting OC Ops at Thumrait in the 80's, I (foolishly) read SFO's (AKA the shortest book in the word of aviation) where I discovered that I was responsible for the implimentation and management of the Station snow plan. Fortunately the experience I had gained many years earlier as OC Station snow plan RAF Tengah proved to be invaluable.
Strange the secondary duties which came my way!;)

Uncle Ginsters
7th Jan 2010, 17:58
Well, firstly i must apologise for not having a story from '67, '79', '89 or even '99!
Things i've learnt today at the not-so-secret Oxonian Airfield (Sorry Beags...but the secret's out now!):

1. Apparently, Urea is a potent substance and can no longer be used. No S**t Sherlock - that's why it melts snow!

2. Apparently, we can no longer afford the right equipment, or a sufficient stock of the requisite fluids to do the job.

3. We only have sufficient assets to free one aircraft in a day, apparently....so when that aircraft goes u/s, it takes another day to free its replacement.

4. There's something very wrong when Sqn aircrew have to dig out their own aircraft to get the job done. Not that they mind, of course.

5. Our techies are capable of building the most immense snow penises.:D


On a wider note - is it me or is all the media coverage incredibly self-pitying? It's all about poor us...don't travel, go to work, walk the dog or pick your nose for fear of slipping. How's about spending some of that valuable airtime explaining to the untrained how to drive in these conditions, or that it might be a good idea to buy a shovel to dig yourself out of it!

Just a thought :ok:

Two-Tone-Blue
7th Jan 2010, 18:39
@ Romeo Oscar Golf ... I think you may be "pulling the plonker", as I have no recollection of a snow plan at Tengah. ;)

@ Uncle Ginsters ... yes, Urea could create havoc with the local water supplies, IIRC. Limited usage only ... and elderly gentlemen, now abed, would have a midnight 'urge' to pee :)

Bottom line, snow-clearing is a bloody complicated exercise.

Shackman
7th Jan 2010, 18:45
Dear Mach 2

Please could I have my shirt back!

As one of the Acklington students it seemed we spent most of those 5 days out on the runway with shovels, brooms and pickaxes (and copious amounts of rum) until it was finally declared usable by SATCO. Cue two Cranwell JPs in, 4 out, a touch and go by one of the first C130's in RAF colours - followed by another blizzard and yet another 6 days clearing snow.

India69
7th Jan 2010, 19:31
Shawbury,late 60's early 70's; 3 vamp engines ? abreast, towed along did the trick, but the noise was terrible.

BEagle
7th Jan 2010, 20:14
Did my own bŁoody snow clearance today - digging out the western drive to BEagle Towers. Not used to manual labour (so working-class), but the old combat-highs were a godsend. Then wandered along to the main road to check the surfaces hereabouts, only to have to help push a local taxi driver (who had no idea about how to drive on snow / ice) up a small slope.....

Has anyone been tempted to try the old Plod-baiting trick? Where you build a snowman, dress it up to look like an RAF copper, then watch as they knock it down with a Land Rover? Then build another, this time around a concrete bollard. Then watch whilst the Plods wrap their Land Rover around the bollard on their next attempt...:E

Uncle Ginsters, that is an appalling reflection on today's RAF. When the contract Malvinas Airbridge cannot get in or out due to MoD being too broke to maintain its operational aerodromes, I hope that the bill the contractor send to the MoD will be HUGE!

Online ACM
7th Jan 2010, 20:43
Can anybody say why I'm now stuck in that fun sandy place because the Tri star can't take off for the 3rd day in a row from that super secret base in West Oxfordshire?

I don't understand how virtually every civvie airfield is open but are main AT base isn't.

Anybody know what the problem is?

Two-Tone-Blue
7th Jan 2010, 20:50
The people can't get to work?

Once upon a time we were expected to live on base.
Now people don't, and can't get to work when needed?
Just a thought that the OH and I were discussing earlier today.

scarecrow450
7th Jan 2010, 21:19
Many years ago at Cottesmore, I got my BCU rover stuck in the snow, ATC rover then got stuck trying to get me out, blacktop rvr got stuck as did blacktop 4 tonner !!
Eventually Crash wagon got us all out.
I was awarded :mad:rick of the week award, funny old thing !!!

SammySu
7th Jan 2010, 21:56
So who's open and who still has a white Blacktop?

Green Flash
7th Jan 2010, 22:13
Sammy

Type EG into the box on ADDS and click METARS and TAFS; should give you all the places that are open (and doing manned observations, not AUTO's) and therefore able to declare BLACK or whatever.

NutLoose
7th Jan 2010, 22:21
Online ACM

One is at Sunny Snowy East Midlands today, diverted in I believe, I should imagine getting everyone and everything that needs to be in one place is the prob with that one.. UK PLC is closed at the moment, East Mids was a sunny day today, but that is no use if everything you need is elsewhere........ Give em a chance, if they are anything like when I was at Brize, the will try to move mountains to get folks home.

But you don't really want to hear that....... Hope you get home soon, dress warm. you're gonna need it!

Raven30
7th Jan 2010, 22:42
Has anyone been tempted to try the old Plod-baiting trick? Where you build a snowman, dress it up to look like an RAF copper, then watch as they knock it down with a Land Rover? Then build another, this time around a concrete bollard. Then watch whilst the Plods wrap their Land Rover around the bollard on their next attempt...http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/evil.gif
Last time I heard this story was at Chiv many moons ago, slight variation being it was built outside the WRAF block ( remember those?) and given a suitable appendage (so RAF copper may be entirely applicable:)). Same result though!

Arty Fufkin
8th Jan 2010, 11:30
Online ACM,

Sorry to hear about your predicament. I guess that when it comes to snow and ice clearance, you get what you pay for!! Latest SNOWTAM for BZZ says that only one side of the RWY is clear of snow but is covered in ice ridges, and taxiways are not available. 30m is too narrow for a Trimotor, and it has no clearances to operate on contaminated surfaces. Taxiways are nice to have as well.
No sign of a thaw and more snow this weekend, all a bit of a c*ck up really.:rolleyes:

Online ACM
8th Jan 2010, 11:57
Cheers Arty & Nutloose,

Thanks for the Info, nobody here seems to know anything but they say I might get home soon! :cool:

Anyway, I just heard from the other half and she tells me the boilers packed up and they are all huddled around the electric heater in the lounge!

You all know who's fault that will be.....maybe I should just stay here after all. At least it's warmer!

NutLoose
8th Jan 2010, 12:52
There are two Tristars now here at East Mids, don't help but I thought I would let you know,

Online ACM you probably will not need heating for the first day back ;)

Romeo Oscar Golf
8th Jan 2010, 13:35
@ Romeo Oscar Golf ... I think you may be "pulling the plonker", as I have no recollection of a snow plan at Tengah. http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gif
Who.......me? The very thought.:p

The B Word
8th Jan 2010, 13:45
I hear that priority pax have been taking civ flights to Dohar as they can't fly BZN to the Deid at present - all that money we could have spent on snow clearing eqpt instead of air fares...:ugh:

collbar
8th Jan 2010, 14:56
That oxford base didnt have a snow problem according to management tues day evening!!! Clearing taxi ways and ac pans wasnt a priority and snow clearing teams stood down!:)

cornish-stormrider
8th Jan 2010, 14:57
Farsical........

You could not make it up. The mighty RAF defeated by some snow, and accountants who decided they would trim the fat, trimmed too far I tell ee boy.

Nice to know you are all ensuring the humour switch is on.

Just walk some scruffy sootie J/T's onto the runway with hands in pockets and beret's at a jaunty angle. fetch Joe and use his apoplectic rage to de-ice the whole base.

BlindWingy
8th Jan 2010, 15:46
Its unbelievable just how poor our Air Force has become. As I write this, I can hear American Jets flying overhead - they must be looking down on us and laughing!

Uncle Ginsters
8th Jan 2010, 16:20
The first jet to get airborne from BZZ in 3 days just did so. Apparently the runway is fit C17 ops only due to the cleared width.
http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs142.snc3/16934_425838965053_639630053_10706840_2491261_n.jpg

ACSfirstfail
8th Jan 2010, 16:50
Arty

"30m is too narrow for a Trimotor, and it has no clearances to operate on contaminated surfaces."

I agree with the first part but unfortunately you're incorrect on the second. There is nothing stopping a TriStar crew getting airborne on a contaminated R/W as long as you make the correct contaminated ops corrections. Whether it's prudent to do so is a different matter.

Regards

ACS

Specaircrew
8th Jan 2010, 18:26
Yes that's true, what scuppered us on Wednesday wasn't the cleared width but the 'poor' braking action despite the valiant efforts of the snow clearance team.........same problem on Thursday too I'm afraid! It's true that some crews couldn't get in to work but those of us who live close by came to the rescue.......no thanks to MT who refused to pick me up from 3/4 of a mile away because I couldn't get the car up the drive! (I would have walked but I'm too old and infirm to carry my luggage as well!)

Speaking of snowmen, there's a great snow 'woman' outside the Officers Mess, Boobs are particularly well sculpted and the brown nipples are a nice touch!

Arty Fufkin
8th Jan 2010, 18:49
ACS,

You're technicaly correct of course. Perhaps I was trying to get my point across a little..........simplisticaly:ok:
If I remember correctly, the good book says that Tristar performance corrections for contaminated ops are a best guess, not the result of trials, and do not give normal perf A saftey margins. There probably are circumstances when you would do it, but they are few and far between. Although these days........

Take care out there,

Arty F

Online ACM
8th Jan 2010, 20:27
Please can someone tell me why I'm still stuck in that other sandy place for another 24hrs with no real explaination. I've checked the TAF's, METARs, NOTAMS, but I have yet to find a reson why we still can't get an aircraft out to pick us up.....Someone must know.

Any info would be great as i think I might get slotted by some very angry army types just for RAF rank..... in fact I might just take it off as i'm so ashamed at our perfomance over the last few days.

Help, Get me out of here, I'm a stick monkey

:ugh:

vecvechookattack
8th Jan 2010, 20:36
BBC News - Chinook stuck in field due to ice (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/8448278.stm)

Wensleydale
8th Jan 2010, 21:15
Speaking of snowmen, there's a great snow 'woman' outside the Officers Mess, Boobs are particularly well sculpted and the brown nipples are a nice touch!

At Waddo many years ago, the Fire Section chaps got bored and built a snowman outside the ATC building (the volley-ball court was covered in the white stuff). This was definately a man with a rather oversized appendige. SATCO didn't like this and told a couple of his minions to dispose of said snowman. This resourceful pair decided that the simple way was to drive a Landrover at speed through the snowman.

Unfortunately, the flaw in their plan proved to be the concrete fire hydrant post that was in the centre of the snowman. The result was a written off landrover and some red faces.

Snowman 1 - ATC 0.:=

SRENNAPS
8th Jan 2010, 21:50
vecvechookattack

Thank you for that link. What a lovely video, that brought a nice smile to my face.

Well done to the crew. Those kids will remember that for the rest of their lives.:D:D

chumbleywarner
9th Jan 2010, 16:06
online ACM

I'm the captain of sundays trimotor, will try and get out to you if at all possible. 30m runway width is good to go and 2750m of runway available as of this morning. but more snow forecast tonight and tomorrow.
We are trying our best and hope to get you home soon.

all the best

chumbley :ok::ok:

cornish-stormrider
9th Jan 2010, 16:28
Can't you do a hi power run while holding it on the brakes and blow the bloody stuff clear? or use 2 forward and one reverse at the top.
Uncle Ginsters - your pic has been stole and put to good use as my desktop. Blinding !

Jig Peter
9th Jan 2010, 16:58
Ref Uncle Ginsters Post 39
Interesting to see the valiant C-17's No.3 engine busily sucking up potential FOD from the "cleared" surface ...
Just a thought ...


PS. It's cold & snowy down this far south too. (Just so you don't all feel lonely in the chillly north ...) Stay warm - and fly safe when the weather gets better.
:8

Uncle Ginsters
9th Jan 2010, 19:45
Cornish- thanks...i'll consider it a honour :ok:

Jig Peter - Not FOD-sucking. When reversing the creation of intake vortices is well known on the C17. Even in summer, when condition are very different, but even more humid the same phenomenon occurs.

I just can't believe how crap things have gotten!

Uncle G:D

Online ACM
9th Jan 2010, 20:07
Take me home Chumbly......Let the mighty trimotor fly!

You'll get a cheer whatever the landing is like (usual cavet...as long as i walk away from it)

PS east Mid, Lyn, Prest, Paris, Munich, Heathro, Gatwick and even wick will all do if BZE gets a bit too white (or do I mean Black?)

TEEEJ
9th Jan 2010, 20:42
Lovely images from today at Brize on the following.

Snowy Brize Norton 09-01-10 (http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19276)

RAF Brize Norton snow clearing team (http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=19277)

TJ

hobnail
10th Jan 2010, 12:21
We have lots programmed in to stop at the half way point and the CAD teams at eastmid and Birmingham are up to speed now you should be home soon even if brize goes completely black. The bus trip back to Brize is a bit annoying if you are going north but better back in blighty.

hippocrates
11th Jan 2010, 05:24
As a trauma surgeon working out here in 'the stan', the team and i would like to say thank you to all the ground and aircrew that kept the aeromed aircraft flying during the recent bad weather.
People needed you and you delivered.
:ok:

Redcarpet
12th Jan 2010, 16:15
Anyone know if the secret oxon airbase is open yet?

stackedup
12th Jan 2010, 17:10
I drove past half an hour ago, runway looks good but no movements! Perhaps they are short of money and can't afford the fuel.

Lou Scannon
12th Jan 2010, 17:40
It sounds as if nothing has changed over the years!

Back in the sixties at RAF Colerne near Bath things were fairly primitive.

One year we called for the de-icer truck only to find it stuck in MT with a frozen block. It was the only vehicle on the Station not to have antifreeze in the radiator.

There were two Hastings Squadrons on the base 24 and 36. The respective Sqn Cdrs had different views on snow clearance.

24 Sqn would wait in the crewroom drinking coffee until the snow cleared itself. 36 Sqn would be ordered out into the white stuff with any vehicle or equipment that came to hand. With suitable displays of enthusiasm the aircrew would compact the snow until it looked as it there had been an improvement.

The end result was that 36 Sqn still had snow on the ramp in June.

One 36 Sqn captain (later it's CO.) penned the following take-off of a then current RAF recruiting advert. I can remember it to this day:

"Flying Officer Willoughby Sludge is co-pilot of a Hastings aircraft based at RAF Colerne. His duties are many and varied and include snow shovelling, snow shovelling and snow shovelling.

Says Sludge:" I enjoys my work. Somedays we shovels snow, somedays we shovels grit, other days we just shovels."

If you are of a subservient disposition and accustomed to extended periods of manual labour...consult your nearest RAF recruiting office and become one of the highest paid snow clearers in the country."

taxydual
12th Jan 2010, 21:24
Whoops, a bit too late with the brooms.......

Snow leaves bomber reaching for the sky (From The Northern Echo) (http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/4846651.Snow_leaves_bomber_reaching_for_the_sky/)

coldbuffer
12th Jan 2010, 21:48
Quote - MPA winter of 86 (their winter of course).
F4 attached to Unimog and pushed backwards made a wonderful, if expensive, MRD.
A multi million pound, air defence grey, snow blower and taxiway dryer.
Wonderful stuff.

Doc C - end Quote


http://img4013.photobox.co.uk/92789250ab4689858c0b480804cf18321feddf74425bc217d50e50c1a06e dbd47b4fab18.jpg
http://avatars.gentlyhosting.co.uk/16394.jpeg

Quernrigger
16th Jan 2010, 17:56
Having stumble on this site today it is with some dismay that I read the snow clearance comments and indeed the attitudes of some to a problem that we were "on top of" some years ago. You hit the nail on the head. The biggest single reason for delaying recovery of the Runway and movements areas is the tyre tracks left by OC Ops, the padre and others discovering there was snow present. One post specifically mentioned "ice ridges" defeated current eqipment and prevented use of runway. Any form of towed snow clearance equipment such as Sicard Brushes leave tyre tracks as do snow ploughs. The much criticised MRDs needed to be understood. The key is to leave the paved surface DRY not wet for icing. It takes timing to do this without removing the surface too. In my three winters at one (secret) airfield in a cabbage patch in Kent, our 9000ft by 200ft (up to 600ft) wide runway was closed for falling snow, but after that was closed for a day only once by ice because we could not use chemicals and got caught by several weather changes ending in 25 kt winds at minus 5. OK, team work, equipment and hard work but the key was the then CO kept everyone OFF the runway and most movement areas until the snow stopped. I love the snow since I retired. Quernrigger:ouch:

30mRad
17th Jan 2010, 19:09
The picture of the Tri* in the snow reminded me of some photos of a trail to Red Flag a few years ago.

Have some great pics of a Tonka being de-iced and other jets surrounded by snow at Bangor.

Just can't attach them to the message - keeps asking for a URL!

Any ideas on how to attach them?!

henry crun
17th Jan 2010, 20:28
30mRad: Try here http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/203154-image-posting-pprune-some-tips-you.html

zhouqjkh
26th Dec 2011, 07:38
Want a huge capacity with 600 cubic meters/minute snow blower can with under below weather condition:
All equipment shall be capable of withstanding the following
climate conditions without any harmful effect to the operations:
1) Ambient temp:-40C~+40C
2) Dust particles as encountered in desert areas
3) Ambient average humidity: winter monthly 38~53%, summer monthly 31~37%
4) Altitude: 1,200 m
5)Wind velocity: max. 40m/sec
6) Solar radiation: Average daily maximum-Jan. 429W/m2
Average daily maximum-Jul. 859 W/m2

can any gentleman or madam help me how I can find it?
Any information, pls send me email: [email protected], address to Jason.

tezzer
26th Dec 2011, 08:02
I'm clearly missing Jason's point here, but why would you want a snow blower that operates up to +400C ?

green granite
26th Dec 2011, 08:58
To say nothing of its ability to operate 126°C below absolute zero

mmitch
26th Dec 2011, 09:27
Perhaps he is on another planet? :cool:
mmitch.

zhouqjkh
26th Dec 2011, 09:44
All equipment shall be capable of withstanding the following
climate conditions without any harmful effect to the operations:
1) Ambient temp:-40C~+40C
2) Dust particles as encountered in desert areas
3) Ambient average humidity: winter monthly 38~53%, summer monthly 31~37%
4) Altitude: 1,200 m
5)Wind velocity: max. 40m/sec
6) Solar radiation: Average daily maximum-Jan. 429W/m2
Average daily maximum-Jul. 859 W/m2

Stuff
26th Dec 2011, 09:46
And why clear snow in 40m/s wind? That's 80 knots. There's not much going to get airborne in that anyway....

L J R
26th Dec 2011, 09:52
Someone from China asking advice on this Forum??...Why doesn't he go through his Iranian intermediaries? Their press office says they can do 'anything'.

Pontius Navigator
26th Dec 2011, 10:09
LJR, indeed. When I was in Tehran they had ample kit. BTW, British Aerospace as was may well be able to knock up what you want.

There is one with swivel nozzles that could be useful for directing hot air directly downwards. If can also be used to heat and clear metal surfaces too.

Or another that can shoot flaming gas our the back but with minimal thrust. It comes complete with balloon tyres that should be good on snow and rough surfaces.

cazatou
26th Dec 2011, 10:58
Stuff

What about the Aircraft that are airborne and want to get down on to Terra Firma?

June - mid 1970's at RAF Leeming:- Met man stood up to give his briefing and stated it was going to snow. Audience laugh until someone enters the room covered with white stuff.

We are then informed that several aircraft short of fuel are diverting to Leeming and the Runway has to be cleared of snow ASAP. Being June all the snow clearance equipment was being serviced. We did manage to keep the Runway open by "borrowing" MPBW's supply of shovels and brooms and all aircraft landed safely.

PS The PCL took all the credit!!!

TorqueOfTheDevil
26th Dec 2011, 18:49
Pontius,

I was going to suggest Westland rather than BWOS - Somerset's finest make several devices of different sizes, which comprise downwards-blowing fans which can, on occasion, lift themselves (but not much else) into position and maintain station for many, many seconds before running out of fuel or developing a fault.

Potential buyers should note that these devices are aimed at the luxury/connoisseurs' end of the market and are priced accordingly. The exclusivity of the brand would be harmed if they were sold to any old operator.

3 years' (or 30 flying hours, whichever occurs first) free servicing and 0% APR not included. Terms and conditions apply. Figures incorrect at time of going to press. Metallic paint extra.

Waddo Plumber
26th Dec 2011, 21:38
During the brutal winter of 1978-9, the Wittering airfield was snowbound for several days despite our best efforts (the A1 was blocked in both directions too, and we had many drivers, two MPs and the entire cast of the Desert Song on base overnight). The ramp up from the OCU hangar to the flight line was clear because of the underfloor heating put in for Blue Steel, but the flight line was an ice rink (complete with Mini tyre pattern ridges). OC OPs instructed us (I was Duty Eng that night) to clear and dry the flight line outside the offices with the MRD - against the judgement of the MTO who said it risked burning the concrete. I remember standing on the MRD next to the operator and being impressed by the sheets of ice the size of carpets flying into the night, and beeing amazed by, the tar sealing the expansion joints melting and flowing over the ice. We duly did the job, only to find a few days later that large areas of concrete had gone brown and crumbly, needing considerable effort to remove and replace the slabs.

I also remember that DoE had put insulation in nearly all the MQ lofts, but had not insulated the water pipes, so when the thaw came, dozens of quarters had water cascading into the bedrooms.

NutLoose
26th Dec 2011, 23:46
Local airport here bought a sweeper from Germany a couple of years back as they are no longer made, but was compatible with the fleet, it sat in a disassembled state for ages on a pan, finally curiosity got the better of me so I asked.....

It had came on two lorry loads, the main unit on one, the brushes and all the hanging on bits on another.... During a night stop near Birmingham, someone stole one of the trucks which had the you can't get hold of anymore brush and hanging on bits on it...

Pontius Navigator
27th Dec 2011, 08:31
WP, it sounded the same as Jan 80 when I was there at the start in a Nimrod.

We had set out for Woodford to drop a team of expert experts from ISK (we were just experts). The weather was delta sierra so we diverted to Finningley but that went out too. So we lobbed in to Waddo.

Waddo was 8/8 blu 96M viz. It was cold. Maybe there was a clue.

The crew declared that we would go to the feeder for lunch - we had already rationed for the usual maritme feast but they wanted to sample bomber's finest cuisine.

I nipped across to 50 to see some mates. While I was there it rained. Still 8/8 blu. When I went to go to the feeder it was sheet ice. In the feeder we indeed sampled bomber's finest but failed to notice through the steamed up windows that it was now 8/8 blk.

We then made another a bum decision and persuaded MT to drive us to Marham, our ultimate destination. We just got passed the guardroom when the MT driver, making the most sensible decision so far, threw the towel in. The second good decision was to pull in to the OM.

The bright spot was I was then able to walk in to North Hykeham and get some spares for my car. I had started on the bus but it was quicker on foot.

zhouqjkh
28th Dec 2011, 09:29
I am working out side door, can some kind person point out the way to the similar product?

M609
28th Dec 2011, 11:57
Snow Removal Equipment & Systems from Řveraasen (http://www.overaasen.no/)

Charlotte Bailey
23rd Nov 2021, 22:57
So you used a Vampire as a snow-killer? Was it stationary at the time? Was there a risk it would melt a hole in the runway underneath the snow and ice?

Charlotte Bailey
23rd Nov 2021, 23:04
You used Vampires to clear snow?!

NutLoose
23rd Nov 2021, 23:17
I have seen pictures somewhere of them pushing a vampire around as a snow blower, they certainly used a Meatbox


https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/939x514/meteor_20snowblower_2e0b480b7657f03a6bb87b7e7ac4e14bd1da7888 .jpg

From

https://www.key.aero/forum/historic-aviation/88188-unusual-uses-for-engines?page=1

Davef68
24th Nov 2021, 00:09
Later they did away with the more obvious Meteor bits

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/639x433/132e5089_d67a_4cf2_b33c_195a44287a25_912fe5e6dcd87a38fe0b469 530f67ff00f87bd03.jpg

Saintsman
24th Nov 2021, 12:13
So you used a Vampire as a snow-killer? Was it stationary at the time? Was there a risk it would melt a hole in the runway underneath the snow and ice?

The MRDs (as shown in Davef68's photo) would damage the runway if you were stationary and the engines were not on idle.

Akrotiri bad boy
24th Nov 2021, 12:13
Ha Ha, I remember trundling round Lossiemouth in that Leyland/Gloster aberration during the winter of '79-'80.

MightyGem
24th Nov 2021, 21:33
You used Vampires to clear snow?!
I've used a Lynx. :)

NutLoose
24th Nov 2021, 22:20
I’ve used a shovel :(

Charlotte Bailey
24th Nov 2021, 22:22
I was scraping ice off the wings off a Yak-3 very early yesterday morning with a credit card. Thankfully we didn't have to do the runway too.

oxenos
24th Nov 2021, 23:53
Do R.A.F.airfields give braking action on contaminated runways? I was very much involved in contaminated runway performance calculations for the Nimrod in the late 70's ( dates me)
When I moved to civilian flying, airfields used a mu meter to give braking action on contaminated runways, but stopped doing so in the early 2000's. Apparently the readings could be inaccurate, and either the lawyers were afraid the airfield operator could be sued or the CAA rulled agaist their use in contamination. It all came down to "Captain's assessment".
Not long before I retired in 2005, I was assured by ATC at a well known airfield that the runway was now cleared of snow. I arranged to start boarding the pax, but in the meantime insisted that ATC take me out to check the runway for myself. Got to the "cleared" runway, got out of the Landrover, and if I had not still been holding onto the door, I would have gone flat on my ass. It was clear of snow, but was like a skating rink. Back to the aircraft, tell pax I am cancelling the flight, and drive home. Very carefully.

Ninthace
25th Nov 2021, 00:56
I do remember sitting burning and turning in a Bulldog at the end of the runway of a top secret West Midlands airfield on a very cold Winter’s morn watching SATCO measuring the coefficient of friction of the runway by speeding down it and vigorously applying the handbrake of a service Cavalier while trying to reverse direction.

Herod
25th Nov 2021, 09:12
oxenos; thanks for the mu meter update. I stopped flying on '04, when it was still in use. You gen saves me writing about things that don't happen any more, and coming across a a boring old f*rt

Nolongerin
25th Nov 2021, 09:39
I was NCO i/c MRD at Wittering in 1974. When getting them both ready for the winter, one developed a rev counter fault. No technical information available, so I referred back to my apprentice training notes (LTNs - remember them?) to find a typical circuit diagram. Fixed it.

I have mixed feelings about working on them, being left to my own devices it was good fun but by the nature of the timing it was also b***y cold.

NutLoose
25th Nov 2021, 10:01
I remember a particularly cold snowy winter when most of the UK airports had shut down because of snow, but one remained open, even I thought it was dubious at best.

https://live.staticflickr.com/1936/45108248312_03427e6bb7_z.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/1920/30218556897_cb928c5a22_z.jpg

oxenos
25th Nov 2021, 12:01
Herod, you are far from being the first to call me a boring old fart. But without us B.O.F.s Pprune would hardly exist.

Yellow Sun
25th Nov 2021, 14:27
I was involved in one of the Mu meter trials in the early 1970s with a Vulcan at Waddington. We had a simple recorder fitted for the trial. The “test” runway section was ~2000’ in length and about the same distance into the runway. The Mu meter readings were taken and we then landed and rolled through the test section without braking inserting an event marker on entry and exit. Rolled to the end, taxied round and repeated the exercise but this time applied the brakes “firmly” on entry. Got airborne again (leaving the gear down) and waited whilst a couple of bowsers made the test section thoroughly wet, we were told it simulated a heavy rain shower. We then repeated the sequence with the wet runway surface. The predictable result was that the aircraft required a brake change afterwards.

I never heard what the results of the trial were or whether or not it was of any value. I did hear however; can anyone confirm this?; that it was repeated at Scampton where the runway friction course was of a different type. A Victor was co-opted for thie occasion and it duly arrived, did the roll through then the braked run. Unfortunately the braking was a bit enthusiastic and it stopped within the test section where it remained until the multiple tyre change was completed.

Looking back, there was so much that could have gone wrong but we were briefed to get in with it!

YS

Saintsman
25th Nov 2021, 15:38
Doesn't look like they have problems here, though it does look like they have to cut grooves in the ice first.

Antarctica landing (https://robbreport.com/motors/aviation/airbus-a340-aircraft-lands-antarctica-first-time-1234649900/)

superplum
25th Nov 2021, 16:30
I’ve used a shovel :(

Snow clearing? - Pah, we didn't need no snow clearing!
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/635x810/another_day_b86b45b2716af0a575b32377802cb3b974ce3dea.jpg

:)

Ninthace
25th Nov 2021, 16:31
Doesn't look like they have problems here, though it does look like they have to cut grooves in the ice first.

Antarctica landing (https://robbreport.com/motors/aviation/airbus-a340-aircraft-lands-antarctica-first-time-1234649900/)
Those grooves appear to be the same as I find on a freshly groomed piste. Perhaps left by the same sort of piste basher?

M609
25th Nov 2021, 17:05
Snow clearance does not always mean remove ALL contamination. Pictures from a previous life, types date them somewhat.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51704978784_f7e2032a23_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51704583493_4c5654560d_c.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51703508502_78fe84ef32_c.jpg

Ninthace
25th Nov 2021, 17:26
Snow clearing? - Pah, we didn't need no snow clearing!


:)
Of course not, Jags need the minimum amount of friction to get airborne :)

NutLoose
25th Nov 2021, 17:48
Snow clearing? - Pah, we didn't need no snow clearing!
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/635x810/another_day_b86b45b2716af0a575b32377802cb3b974ce3dea.jpg

:)

It's all well and good posting a picture of a Jaguar taking off in Norway, but it started its take off roll in Sweden :E

Herod
25th Nov 2021, 17:55
oxenos; You misread me. I wasn't calling you a B.O.F., but thanking you for stopping me from talking about mu meters when they haven't been used for years. No offence was intended.

oxenos
25th Nov 2021, 22:47
No offence was intended.
And none taken, of course.
I believe mu meters are still used, but only to check that braking action has not been degraded by oil and rubber deposits.