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C-17 down Elmendorf (Merged)

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C-17 down Elmendorf (Merged)

Old 12th Dec 2010, 08:39
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Considering how much engineering and technology go into "idiot-proofing" aircraft nowadays (shakers, pushers, warnings, etc), there are individuals around who demonstrate ways to 'out-idiot' the engineers. Airshows attract such people. Sam
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Old 12th Dec 2010, 16:43
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Another Airshow Crash + Pilot-Error

Airshows attract such people. --Sam

Probably. But also the airshow 'environment' frequently prompts sober pilots to bend the rules & take very unnecessary risks.

General probability of pilot-error in any airshow related mishap is over 80% {versus ~ 50% in normal aviation incidents}.

Airshows are always popular, but the world safety record over many decades of these events is terrible. Not worth it in lives and lost resources... but airshows {.. and tragic mishaps} continue unabated.




http://www.pprune.org/5839003-post13.html
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Old 12th Dec 2010, 23:45
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Watching that video just makes me so sad. They served there country and do the most incredible of jobs, one lapse in judgement and they paid the price, we can all say at one point we have done the same but got away with it.

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Old 13th Dec 2010, 00:13
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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one lapse in judgement
That's not strictly accurate, is it?

we can all say at one point we have done the same but got away with it.
Speak for yourself! I can honestly say that I have never set out to violate the rules & regs; on the frequent occasions when I have made mistakes and got things wrong, I have tried to learn from them (an ongoing process!) rather than repeating said errors in the name of excitement. There's plenty of fun to be had within the rules!
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 02:25
  #65 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
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one lapse in judgement
As TotD says, it wasn't one lapse. There are plenty of examples of lapses in judgement - overflying maintenance, ignoring a Bingo fuel, busting an assigned level. These are all serious enough, but unlikely to kill you instantly.

This guy on the other hand ignored repeated stall warnings, failed to ever achieve the correct speed for the aircraft configuration, failed to establish his assigned minimum height, and when the laws of physics invariably took over, he failed in a fundamental way to recognise, correct and recover from the stall - that most basic but critical of flight manoeuvres.

As for CRM, the co-pilot learned that the price for reacting to a "Flaps" call without ensuring the correct flying speed was attained, was the same as the price the safety observer paid for failing to ensure the sortie was flown within the aircraft and authorization limits - and that was the real tragedy.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 03:27
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Torque,

There's plenty of fun to be had within the rules!
Are you saying you have never bended the regs or broke the regs to assist the RAF, to achieve a mission, especially on ops? Really?

Certainly not my experience on operations. In fact, its only recently (post Haddon-cave?) That I notice individuals turning round more and saying "No, thats crazy", or
"we need to weigh up the risks here".

I dont think I would have flown much on ops if we had stayed within the regs. I know of many times in which regs were changed to fit ops.

This guy on the other hand ignored repeated stall warnings, failed to ever achieve the correct speed for the aircraft configuration, failed to establish his assigned minimum height,
Ask your self this, WHY was the individual doing these things, and who was there to stop him? Was he doing it for thrill-seeking? I personally think not. I think it more likely that he was doing it to achieve the best display for the service. Was there external pressure to achieve? None of this relieves him of his responsibilities, but id hazard a guess that if stronger supervision had taken place, monitoring of postflight data, this accident would never have happened.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 06:33
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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VinRouge,

Pressure to achieve a task on operations is one thing - and you are right, there is a move towards better management of risk in recent months. However, lives are at stake on ops, and soldiers might die if the rescue helicopter / CAS asset / supply drop (delete as appropriate) is cancelled purely due to "the rules".

There are only a few things at stake at an airshow. The end-of-season display prizes are one. Another is the display pilot's pride. The only other thing at stake is public reputation, and arguably the steady stream of display practice accidents does more harm than good in that regard. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have displays - I just wonder why this C17 pilot thought that his 'special' display would impress the viewing public so much more than the cleared one; why a Tucano pilot thought a stall-turn below a low cloudbase would win him a trophy; why the already world-renowned Red Arrows' synchro pair ended up colliding on the opposition manoeuvre (which looks impressive enough from the crowdline without needing to actually graze paint). I get the feeling that all of these guys are trying to impress either themselves or their fellow professionals - the average hamburger-munching airshow spectator couldn't give a monkey's about the technical merit, he just wants to see a competent display and not bear witness to a fireball.

Sorry to get all that off my chest but risk-taking and rule-bending of the level seen recently belongs nowhere except the front line, and even then only when the operational situation demands it.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 07:25
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Two's in, I agree, sort of. There were three people who could have stopped the accident. The real tragedy was the poor soul sat down back who had no chance of influencing the outcome.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 09:54
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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you have never bended [sic] the regs or broke the regs to assist the RAF, to achieve a mission, especially on ops?
Perhaps I was unclear. When I said "I never set out to violate rules and regs", that doesn't mean "I never violated...". The point being that my violations of rules & regs have occurred because a situation has unexpectedly cropped up and the lesser of two evils, due to operational pressure, has been to violate something. The decision to do so has been made in consultation with the crew, and the violation has been kept to a minimum, in terms of degree and duration, required to achieve the task.

This (to me) is quite different from an individual who launches on a training flight with the deliberate intent to carry out manoeuvres which he is not cleared for and which are appallingly dangerous.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 10:25
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Having displayed, I can say that the urge to tighten the show is always present - especially when it comes to repositioning......and being aware of personal limitations and your jet and its unforgiving nature (esp at lower levels), must be at ones minds forefront if you think that a few seconds can be saved to put the beast back to crowd-front. Sometimes it is simply a bad judgement call......


Regardless...RIP chaps.....
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 11:00
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Ok sorry my wording was a bit innapropriate. Just a sad thing to happen.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 11:24
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Just a sad thing to happen.
Agreed. RIP indeed.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 13:32
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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There's another perspective from which it pays to view this disastrous event. Just say, the PIC was the sole survivor of the crash?
Right about now, he'd be facing a court martial, and the articles of the UCMJ he'd be facing charges under, would likely be...

Article 92: Failure to obey regulations or orders...
Article 108: Loss or damage of Govt Property...
Article 111: Recklessness in the operation of an aircraft...
Article 119: Manslaughter (3 counts)...

The majority of these Articles provide substantial prison terms for any major violations of the relevant sections. A term of imprisonment in the military usually results in being busted to the lowest ranking enlistee.

More importantly, he'd have to face the bitterness and anger of the many family members of the people he killed with his negligence and arrogance.

Remember, these are the relevant facts.
The PIC never reached the instructed climbout speed. Because he chose a 40 angle of climbout, rather than meeting the required climbout speed... when he levelled off, he ended up 26kts below minimum climbout speed.
The target climbout speed was 133 kts. He only reached 107 kts.
He levelled off at 850' AGL, rather than the mandated 1500'. He conducted two particularly tight turns where the bank angle firstly reached 57, and then 62. The bank limit for the C-17 is 60.
He had inadequate airspeed for the turns, and then increased the danger by continuing to apply aft control stick pressure, and full right rudder. The wing load increased to 2.4G's.
Just after commencement of stall, part-way around the second turn, the aircrafts deep stall protection system (the AoA Limiter System - ALS) commenced to operate, but was overcome by the aggressiveness of the PIC's control system inputs.
When the stall warning sounded, it continued to sound for 12 seconds, until impact.
The PIC did not initiate any proper stall recovery technique, until 2 seconds prior to impact, when he commenced to actuate a left roll. There was inadequate airspeed for the aircraft to respond to the left roll input satisfactorily.

Remember, this was a peacetime exercise. The PIC didn't have to exceed the aircrafts design limits, unlike a wartime operation. His responsibility was to the people under his command, the aircraft crew.
He showed no responsibility befitting an officer, in particular a senior and supposedly competent officer.

An event like this is just like throwing a rock in a pond. You only think of the initial big splash when the rock hits... but the ripples extend far and wide, and affect so much more, on a much wider scale, than you ever possibly imagined, initially...
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 14:45
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Green Granite:

Surely it only has a close parallel to the Bob Holland incident if the pilot had been pulled up for similar occurrences before the accident flight. If this was his first transgression, although the accident had very similar causes, the failures of higher command wouldn't exist.
The parallels are striking and show a complete breakdown in the command structure of the USAF as it pertains to air shows. After the Holland crash the command structure established a form of air show C.R.M. Apparently, it was just a paper drill.

The ill-fated crew in this tragic, unnecessary, and very expensive crash were trying to to it better for the "home team." What kind of mentality is that? I thought the entire USAF was the "home team."

Last edited by aterpster; 13th Dec 2010 at 15:21.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 15:20
  #75 (permalink)  
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aterpster That was written before I had access to the full report, however I didn't actually see in the report that he'd been warned about his flying being unacceptable so it's management failure by abdication of responsibilities.

That, coupled with him teaching that stall warnings can be ignored during sim training without being censored, should mean that senior heads should roll.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 16:42
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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If you look at Page 8 of the report then locate the crash site on Google Earth it is ironic that the crash site is nearly the same place as the tragic crash of a Boeing E-3 (Yulka 27) that had a fatal ingestion of birds just after becoming airborne (Sep 22, 1995). That killed 24 souls.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 17:21
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Remember, this was a peacetime exercise. The PIC didn't have to exceed the aircrafts design limits, unlike a wartime operation.
Of course, if one exceeds op design limits in war time, and crashes a Full C-17, the outcome is much worse than the four lost in this case. I think we all appreciate that exceeding limits induces an untrained for risk to any operation ...
His respons ability was to the people under his command, the aircraft crew.
He showed no responsibility befitting an officer, in particular a senior and supposedly competent officer
Your considerable sound and fury in this thread isn't as important as something I was taught on my first flight: make sure to keep your airspeed in your scan, and fly the proper airspeed for the maneuver.

That this aircraft commander didn't do that strikes me as twofold in origin:

Higher command picked the wrong guy for this mission. Airshow maneuvers require a great deal more, not less, flight discipline and preparation than ordinary flying, and a flight crew/pilot who are zealous in their attention to detail and precision.

The precise gates/checkpoints in the maneuver to be attained had either not been determined, or not correctly rehearsed, and the "go no go" points for each high performance maneuver had not been agreed and rehearsed in both training and briefing.

Seems to me the rehearsal phase of this airshow (both on the ground and at altitude) was shorted.

Maybe an insidious problem was that the C-17 "cargo" guys are not be as attuned to a "knock it off" call as the fighter guys (who perform high performance maneuvers frequently) are, in both the giving and responding.

Airspeed.

From the various summaries, and some of the comments, it appears that airspeed dropped out of the scan of the pilot flying and was replaced by something else ~ ground reference?

Not sure.

That, coupled with him teaching that stall warnings can be ignored during sim training without being censored, should mean that senior heads should roll.
Indeed. Negative training has all sorts of sad after effects.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 17:50
  #78 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
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it appears that airspeed dropped out of the scan of the pilot flying and was replaced by something else ~ ground reference?
The report also states the throttles were firewalled for take off and remained in that position - easy to make an assumption that full thrust will always save the day when you're light.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 20:17
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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A pretty good definition of arrogance is to think you're smarter than the book.
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 22:19
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Yep, I'm ignorant.
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