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C-17 down Elmendorf (Merged)

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C-17 down Elmendorf (Merged)

Old 14th Dec 2010, 08:30
  #81 (permalink)  
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I suspect that the comments regarding 57° and 62° indicate that the pilot was attempting to turn the aircraft at its absolute limit rather than at the bank angle defined for the display.

That meant he was exceeding his authorisation. However, whilst that might have been an error of discipline, his failure to recognise and recover from an accelerated stall in the turn was a fundamental handling error, with fatal results. He had ample time to recover at the incipient stage, but persisted with his mishandling until the aircraft entered an irrecoverable fully developed stall.

Safe rule stretchers? If you can prove that the rule itself is too restrictive, then get it changed. Selective obediance to flying orders is a dangerous notion - a pilot flying 'well outside of various limits for significant parts of the job' is an accident waiting to happen.

Last edited by BEagle; 14th Dec 2010 at 11:54.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 11:55
  #82 (permalink)  
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60 deg AOB limit...bugger...the 90 deg AOB 320kt run and break I did in one the other day was...fab fun actually!!!
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 11:56
  #83 (permalink)  
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Captaincy is the art of knowing exactly when to ignore precisely the correct sections of the rule book.
And then going home and justifying it to the authoriser.......
Even for you that is complete and utter bolleaux.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 12:06
  #84 (permalink)  
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old medal gathering SAR job wind conditions
I think that a BoI would count immediate life-saving in desperate conditions as a strong mitigating factor for using the winch outside limits, were this to result in aircraft damage/loss of life. Please explain the relevance of this to the C-17 case?

Last edited by TorqueOfTheDevil; 14th Dec 2010 at 12:40.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:12
  #85 (permalink)  
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People struggle to understand that there isnt a difference. If someone will rule-break to get the job done under life saving conditions (when someone isnt looking), they will do it when they are trying to make a limited display area by turning too tight at low speed (when someone isnt looking).

Really they will.

Dont believe me?

OK, how many on here speed to work? How many of you have driven home from work after one more than 2 pints, or know someone, a "good egg" thats done the same? Is that not "breaking the rules?" So, when you pile into a little girl crossing the street, whats the difference between you and aforesaid captain? A holier than thou attitude and luck pure and simple.

You still do it though, and you still do it for the same reasons people push sh!t vis on a medevac and the same reason people kill themselves practicing for an air display. Its human nature. Unfortunately, the other crew concerned were partly let down by poor supervision and a stepwise approach to display limits.

Last edited by VinRouge; 14th Dec 2010 at 16:29.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 17:26
  #86 (permalink)  
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That's priceless! I think my favourite part of the high comedy which VR has kindly provided is the concept of display flying when noone is looking!

How many of you have driven home from work after one more than 2 pints
Not me - there are things called mates or wives who can bring one home after a few drinks. Maybe you don't have any...ever heard of a taxi?

Is that not "breaking the rules?"
Yes it is - which is why I don't do it, both for my sake and for the sake of all the little girls who might be crossing the street. Am I alone in this?

Last edited by TorqueOfTheDevil; 14th Dec 2010 at 18:01.
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 02:42
  #87 (permalink)  
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I particularly enjoyed the "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°"

You must be an amazing pilot to have never gone to 62° when trying to fly 60°
Tourist - You're missing a lot of relevant points here - and suffering from the same preoccupation with one detail, that ignores other vastly important details, as the crash pilot.
The information about the bank angle of the aircraft in question, is posted as merely indicative, relevant information, not causative information.
The information about bank angle is provided, as one of the facts, to be considered in conjunction with the other facts.

Neither I, nor any accident investigator, stated that exceeding the manufacturers recommended bank angle by 2°, was a major causative factor in the crash.

The relevant points are, that: The aircraft was being operated at a maximum recommended bank angle. No problem.
However... the addition of heavy control stick input, to carry out an excessively tight turn, in conjunction with inadequate airspeed, inadequate height, a lack of correct stall response... COUPLED WITH... maximum bank angle... were all contributory factors to the crash.
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 07:09
  #88 (permalink)  
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If I am wrong, then why is there always the "Nothing in these regulations obviates the Pilot from doing the right thing if it is in the best interests of............blaa blaa blaa" at the start of the bible?
I am struggling to see how disregarding the approved display profile and the stall warning could be "in the best interests of the service" when the stakes are, on the one hand A) a nice tight display to impress all your chums, and B) spanking in a C-17 with the loss of all aboard.

Your (correct) quoted exemption is to allow people to break the rules in the appropriate circumstances. It doesn't say what those circumstances are because we are expected to use our military judgement to decide them. My military judgement is that anyone involved in display flying who thinks they can use that get-out clause is an accident waiting to happen. The stakes are never higher than A) above.
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 13:26
  #89 (permalink)  
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So let me get this straight.

1. You don't, and have never broken any aviation rules.
2. You don't, and have never broken any driving rules.
You're far from straight, my friend. I never said any of the above. But I don't break aviation rules for the purpose of showing off, and I don't drink drive!

sometimes rules must be broken in the interests of operational effectiveness and sometimes even safety.
Very true - but how can you justify the C-17 pilot, on a training flight, flying his aircraft so far outside the rules that it crashed? Where's the safety or operational effectiveness in that?
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 17:14
  #90 (permalink)  
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97 posts and the crew, as I understand it, is still dead.

My experience (limited but real) is that there are pilots who are both gifted AND willing to push the rules. I was never uncomfortable flying with them, because they never 'pushed' to please an audience, never bragged about it, and never belittled others for not 'pushing it'.

What did make the hairs on my neck stand up was when less able pilots tried to emulate their heroes. They wanted to fly through 5 bar gates or ensure the pigeons had to 'break upward' to avoid them.

I did a season on the display routine as a crewman. The two I flew with flew the routine as we had practised: they did not want to impress the F-16 jocks or the Reds. They were comfortable in their own skin (which they still shed about once a month as far as I know).

For my part, I never had to ask them pointedly, "Are we authorised for this?" It worked quite well with the wannabees.

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Old 15th Dec 2010, 19:38
  #91 (permalink)  
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Give those guys an A400M next time. It will bank to 110 degrees.
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 19:52
  #92 (permalink)  
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Tourist, you really do talk nonsense.

A show off, using unofficial techniques, screwed up his climb out, level off and a straightforward steep turn. The laid down display technique was fine; his unofficial method wasn't.

He then killed his crew.

Quite why his co-pilot and/or saftety pilot didn't yell "UNLOAD, YOU F**KWIT, RECOVER!!" is frankly beyond me. A simple relaxation of AoA and roll to wings level would have avoided the death of 4 people and the loss of an aeroplane worth millions of dollars.

If I was your boss, I'd have you taken off flying duties tomorrow - your attitude to regulation is dangerous and wholly unacceptable. Please tell me that it isn't common in the RN....
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 21:27
  #93 (permalink)  
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Much as it gauls me to admit it but I have to agree with BEagle.

I have a very relaxed attitude to acceptable risk in the military environment but in 10 years of occasionally trawling this site I doubt that I have ever read such dangerous, mis-informed hoop as you have been spouting about military flying and captaincy in general.
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 12:21
  #94 (permalink)  
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They werent [sic] trying to be twats, they just were.
What kind of defence is that?! And it's not even true for the pilot!

Your entire angle on this is flawed. The rules are there as a result of hard-earned experience about what is and isn't safe or worthwhile, and many good people have died providing the corporate knowledge which informs the rule-makers. While noone places blind faith in the hierarchy these days, I do at least trust them, when they write the rules, to strike a fairly sensible balance between allowing us to achieve worthwhile training while putting in place certain restrictions which reduce the chances of us meeting a sticky end in the process. If you seriously believe that rules should be routinely ignored even in the training environment, then you must have plenty of luck to make up for your seeming total lack of judgment!
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 13:08
  #95 (permalink)  
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Your comments are extremely worrying and a cause of grave concern.

I know several test pilots and I know what an aircraft goes through before the rule book is written. To disregard it because you think you know better is irresponsible, stupid, arrogant and irresponsible.

Sadly, the pilot of the C-17 was like you and thought he knew better than the book - I guess the outcome proved that he didn't. It's just a dreadful shame that he took another 3 souls with him.

Maybe you should get in the sim and try it 'your way' ignoring the book and see what happens. I have tried it in my sim and I can tell you that the book is right EVERY time!
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 21:27
  #96 (permalink)  
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Deleted thanks to Tourist's generous offer to edit his post

Last edited by SAR Bloke; 16th Dec 2010 at 23:41.
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 21:31
  #97 (permalink)  
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It’s interesting to see the different views stirred up by a report of ‘pilot error’.
The ‘new way’ of thinking about human performance urges us to look beyond pilot error, thus in this accident it could be failures in investigation and reporting, and not necessarily of those of individuals which generate debate.

Cook and Nemeth (Refs) discuss error, their views might apply to this accident.

1. A defense against entanglement with accidents – “As an organizational defense, human (operator) error serves as a kind of lightning rod that conducts the potentially harmful consequences produced by an accident along an (organizationally) safe pathway.

2. The illusion of control - “If accidents flow from error and error may be lodged in an individual, then exerting control over the individual may be used to prevent accidents.

3. A means for distancing - “Others feel less at risk if error can be ascribed to a practitioner’s deeply seated, but personal, flaws. If accidents arise from forces and circumstances in the environment, then the experience of my colleague has relevance for me and the event increases my sense of hazard and uncertainty. By attributing my colleague’s accident to his inattention or stupidity, though, I make it possible to believe that the accident has no relevance for me. This is because I do not believe that I am either inattentive or stupid. Distancing limits and obscures the deeper examination of the sources of accidents. It marks an area of research interest, but it also sharply limits the value of post accident attributions.

4. A marker for failed investigations - “The most important value of ‘‘human error’’ is that it provides an acceptable end point for adverse event investigation. … it forms a ‘‘cognitive barrier’’ beyond which investigators do not make much progress, mainly because it is so difficult to work through the psychology and behavior of human agents. …. ‘‘operator’’ or ‘‘user error’’ is a catchall term for those events that cannot be identified as overt mechanical failure. This is not error by the practitioners who were involved in the accident, but rather error by the analysts who assessed the accident’s source and evolution.

‘‘Those found responsible have been sacked’’ Observations of the Usefulness of Error. Cook and Nemeth

Perspectives on Human Error: Hindsight Biases and Local Rationality. D. Woods.

The emperor’s new clothes: Whatever happened to human error? E Hollnagel, R. Amalberti. On "human error"
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 22:33
  #98 (permalink)  
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I think you have completely lost the plot. You need to see a medic fast, because your brain just isn't working mate.

You don't need to be impressed just because I know a few TPs. Some of them I flew with on the Nimrod fleet,another was a mate I knew on Victors and another was from the E-3 fleet. There's nothing impressive about that, so what are you going on about?

What I do know is that they were all very experienced pilots who went off to ETPS and Q'd as TPs. One was even a TP on the A380 program, but you don't need to be impressed by that either, I'm simply stating facts.

Your tirade of 'who has NEVER..........' displays a somewhat worrying mental problem you appear to have, compounded by your opinion that you know better than any flight manual. Ever considered being a TP yourself??

I don't ever recall an aircraft crashing because the captain was wearing a sqn T shirt instead of an issue one. As for your comment 'passenger carrying section in BR767. Nobody knows what it even means' if that is the case, then why haven't you do something about it?? Oh I know - because you know better than the book, that's right isn't it??

As for the use of the sim, I was merely suggesting that you take a perfectly understood and well-practiced procedure in your aircraft, and go and perform it in the sim, ignore the rule book and do it your way. Make up your own speeds, flap configuration, heights etc and see what happens.

I myself don't need to look for other ways of doing things that contravene the flight manual. If you had thought just a little bit more before launching your tirade, you would have understood that I was trying to educate you to try it your way in the sim and see if it works, thats all. I have no doubt that the USAF have flown that very same profile in the sim a hundred times and come to the same conclusion every time that it 'aint going to work. And they were right - it didn't work, did it??

I hope you get help soon before you come to grief.
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 23:59
  #99 (permalink)  
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You're right, I've never flown with you and therefore I can only go by what you have said here, and not what I have (not) seen. But what you have said on this forum is a serious cause for concern.

To advocate that you (or anyone else with the relevant experience) knows better than the aircrew manual or whatever it's called these days in the military, is crass stupidity, and shows an arrogance that is dangerous.

The loss of the C-17 was down to one man who believed that he knew beter than the book, and he didn't. What is there to argue about? We are not talking about the speed being out by a few kts, or the angle of bank a few degrees, we are talking about very serious breaches of flight safety which put the airacrft well outside the envelope. Even the most basic of errors - letting the aircraft stall. Those are the facts.

To argue whether we are of the same mentality because we choose to wear a Sqn T shirt over an issue one is crazy, and I don't see your point. Yes I used to wear a Sqn t shirt, because it caused less fatigue on me than an issue one. But as I said before, no one has ever crashed an airacrft for wearing the wrong t shirt, or underwear, or any other flying kit as far as I am aware (eg 55 sqn Dominie wear full flying kit - 32 sqn Dominie don't)

I hope that by tomorrow morning, having slept on it, you might consider your comments and have a re-think about what you said earlier.

I'm just off to the sim now, to see if I can my 400 odd ton 747 airborne with just 3 engines, in 600 yds and with a 45 kts cross wind. The book says NO, but I'm willing to give it a go! What do you think??

Night night
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Old 17th Dec 2010, 04:24
  #100 (permalink)  
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Tourist, the trouble with ignoring the small pointless rules is that it makes it easier to ignore the big important ones. It's called "risky shift" I believe. There's been enough of it around over the last few "can do" years that it's now taught on the supervisory courses; this follows a number of accidents, with the Baghdad Puma det saga being a prime example. No doubt you will now tell us that you are capable of deciding which are the pointless rules and which are the big ones... unfortunately many others have not demonstrated your ability.

I am also proud to say that the RAF middle-management has finally stopped allowing senior leadership to dump all the operational risk down the chain of command - real progress has been made in getting their Airships to understand exactly what is going on at the front line, and material changes are being made in the way many of the deployed units operate. However, if we really want the senior officers to take proper responsibility for the risks under their command, the payback is clear - we have to stick to the regulations they issue as far as is reasonably possible.

Last edited by Easy Street; 17th Dec 2010 at 04:48.
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