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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

Old 30th Oct 2015, 13:08
  #3821 (permalink)  
 
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Hydraulic Problem (Ref Post1870)

I was Nav on OC48Sqn's route check Changi-Hong Kong in March 1970. Wx was poor at Kai Tak and we had to hold for 30min. On pre-landing checks nose wheel(NLG) would not lock. We continued in the hold to sort it out. Inspection through the NLG inspection window showed the NLG hydraulic line damaged. A decision was made to divert to Clarke AFB ( Philippines)about 600nms away, as there was a strong possibility of NLG collapse on landing at Kai Tak and blocking runway + poor Wx there. Clarke was CAVOK and had a foam strip available and C130 servicing. En route to Clarke, NLG hatch was removed, and a load restraint chain passed around the NLG and tensioned back to a strong point in the hold. Diversion was at 163kts (the gear down limiting speed), at 12000ft because we had pax on board and no pressurisation with NLG hatch removed. Clarke laid a foam strip for us and with a very gentle lowering of the nose the NLG held firm. Total flight time was 8hrs 30mins and we landed with 1500lbs (about 30mins) fuel remaining.
We carried fuel for the wife and kids in those days, thank goodness!

Guess who the ALM was and,if he did, how did he do it?

Return flight from Clarke to Kai Tak is another story
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Old 31st Oct 2015, 09:08
  #3822 (permalink)  
 
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Dean,
have you read all the posts on this thread ? I assume your last post refers to the person I told the hydraulic stories about. As for how it was done more technically qualified posters could perhaps answer that if indeed he was responsible this time given that you say the hydraulic lines were damaged. However the emergency nosewheel lowering handle was situated on the port side of the cargo compartment forward of the Utility hudraulic system. This would need to be powered by the Aux system or the hand pump. How this operation would damage the haydraulic lines I know not.
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Old 31st Oct 2015, 21:39
  #3823 (permalink)  
 
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Hmm,

Interesting conjecture on this gentlemen. I'm wondering how the emergency lowering system for the nose gear would work, if the system hydraulics lines were "damaged", as I believe, the aux/hand pump lowering would require the integrity of the normal system pipe work (awaiting howls of derision from the ginger beers etc), I do claim age, and a diminishing knowledge of Alberts systems in my defence. I'm sure if a chain was passed around the nose leg and fed back to the freight bay, the para retrieval winch could have been used to pull it back to its locked position, though I doubt a winch was aboard that aircraft. Somehow I have a memory of a tie down point just aft of the NLG access window, under the flight deck floor, specifically for use in such an emergency, maybe my memory is in error. Perhaps Dean could enlighten us all.

Meanwhile, I offer this small snippet. On my way home from a Belize trip, we arrived for the scheduled Gander night stop and I duly set about putting our Albert to bed. We had had a long day as some pre flight engineering problems had to be fixed. So, by the time I was ready to go down to Sinbads, I was truly knackered. Imagine my surprise to see another Albert taxy in and park next to us. Now, there was an unwritten, but always respected in my experience, rule amongst GE's, you do not walk away from a mate who might have problems, so, I wandered over to see if I might be of assistance.

The GE on board was one Joe *on. They were returning from a trip to the west coast of the US and had had a bit of an experience two days before. I must say that Joe, by trade, was an engine man, so "riggering" was not his forte. In the cruise the Nav decided to make the tea and coffe order, on stepping on the galley floor his portly frame overcame the capacity of the structure to support him, and duly collapsed. After the loady had ensured that the Nav had suffered no injury, he noticed that the crew door handle had been moved to the jettison position why the door didn't go is a mystery. The loady, being a very bright bloke decided that the door needed some chains and chock tensioning to ensure it stayed firmly closed. Joe was informed when he woke up for landing. Bloody good crew I say. Now, it turns out that Joe had asked for a new galley floor to be positioned at Gander for their arrival, his intention being to replace it. No problems with that said I, but, we have to re rig the crew door, after its jettison selection. So, some 6 hours later, his aircraft had a new galley floor, full checks on the crew door and a pressurisation check carried out to ensure its integrity. With around six hours to go to "wheels" I decided that the top bunk was my best hotel for the night, not the first occasion. Of course, the galley floor was a secondary issue, but has anyone else experience its collapse, at altitude and considered its operating the door jettison handle ?

Smudge
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Old 1st Nov 2015, 10:41
  #3824 (permalink)  
 
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smudge,
as I recall the SOP when using the Emergency Nose Wheel lever for the intended purpose was to first use the Aux pump handle to ensure that pressure was retained in the lines. If you did not then any leak from the lines would deplete the Aux system very quickly indeed when the Aux pump was switched on and full pressure was applied.
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Old 1st Nov 2015, 12:30
  #3825 (permalink)  
 
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AA62,

Yes, I understand that, I'm thinking of DeanoP's post and the reference to the "damaged" nose gear hydraulic pipes. If the pipes were damaged to the extent that the utility system could not lower the gear, then the emergency system wouldn't work either. If my memory serves me correctly, the aux system is used through those same hydraulic lines. As I recall the emergency lowering system for the nose wheel was intended to cope with a utility system power failure, not damaged pipework. No doubt, someone like Kilwhang or Gopher 01 might throw more light on it.

Smudge
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Old 1st Nov 2015, 12:51
  #3826 (permalink)  
 
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smudge,
yes if the lines were damaged then no amount of Hydraulic 'fiddling' would help. I was trying to understand from Dean's post how they came to be so damaged and whether this could be blamed on our 'suspect'. Or was it just one of those coincidences. The nose gear could be encouraged to freefall by the application of a lever on the co pilot's side of the a/c. Then a mix of speed and gentle manouveres could persuade it to lock down.
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Old 1st Nov 2015, 18:48
  #3827 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps time for Dean to answer his own conundrum AA62. I have to say, I can't quite get my head around the problem. I believe he has given us a nose gear not locked down indication, with evidence of hydraulic pipe damage on inspection through the window. As you suggested, some rearward coercion through the removed window aperture, and judicious application of G might coax the leg in to locks. Mind you, he isn't really telling us it wasn't locked down, merely indicating an unlocked indication, a micro switch could achieve that, with the gear down and locked !! Ahh, Sunday afternoon quizzes

Hope you are well

Smudge
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 07:25
  #3828 (permalink)  
 
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smudge,
just to add to the 'confusion' (in my head anyway) when we first got the 'K' I seem to recall the nosegear ground lock was a largish wedge shaped bit of kit. Quite what the mod was to the nosegear that resulted in the pin being substituted I know not.
There was originally a tie down scheme for the nosegear but again I cannot recall how valid it still was with the modded nosegear.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 14:50
  #3829 (permalink)  
 
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aa62

I remember the wedge-type nose gear lock but can't access my memory bank regarding the mod that introduced the nose gear pin. After all, it was over 40 years ago.

I also remember that some, if not all, of the early Ks were delivered with main gear tyre treads that resembled Brillo Pads (ice grip? - or were they for electrical 'grounding' prior to the prong system). These treads were quite painful to any naked parts of the anatomy that happened to come into contact with them while attempting to enter/exit the MLG area.

Harking back to those early days of the K, at Colerne there was a local order that required the MLG doors to be pinned into the raised position for ground movements, i.e. towing. This somewhat baffling rule was in force for a few months before being rescinded - my grey cells refuse to cough up with any valid reason why this rule was introduced in the first instance, but I have a hazy recollection of it being partly to assist the wash-bay team on pre-inspection bath time.
I believe the introduction of the 'inspection-team wash' may have led to the MLG doors-up order being abandoned.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 19:25
  #3830 (permalink)  
 
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Null,

I well remember the requirement for MLG doors pinned up for towing at Colerne circa 71-73 but can't ever remember there being a "wash bay team". I was on White team (Base 3) Fosse way Air Force and we washed our own aircraft. I have a very fond memory of helping to wash a 70 Sqdn, crud and custard, airframe, inbound for Base 3. Whilst scrubbing the structure to the rear of the RH MLG my brush head disappeared inside the skin. We subsequently found a large hole in the skin, camouflaged with black bodge tape, and never a mention in the aircraft documents. I'm sure you had similar experience.

Smudge
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 20:08
  #3831 (permalink)  
 
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Smuj
In the late 60s there was a 'dedicated' wash team of sorts: a corporal rigger was i/c a couple of civvies and these were occasionally boosted by some casual RAF 'volunteers'. The team wash system was introduced while I was on Blue Team in the very late 60s, quite an enjoyable diversion for us hangar-bound techies in the summer, but not a totally enjoyable experience in the cooler seasons!
I heard about the 'aertex' Herc from 70 but, like yourself, didn't know how/why/what happened to it.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 20:26
  #3832 (permalink)  
 
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Heh heh, thanks for that Null, you obviously predate me at Colerne by a couple of years, 69 I started at Halton. I well remember the wash bay, over where the old museum aircraft were stored. To this day I remember there being a large container labelled "descaling fluid" at the side of the pan. I always wondered what it was used for, you can imagine an 18 year olds curiosity, and it's ability to clean up a penny was amazing. Do you remember the stuff, and was it used on aircraft ? As for washing the aircraft, pre Base 3, another memory was doing undercarriages or flap bays, wearing a "zoot suit" and getting back to the block with more black grime over me than if I'd helped do the wash in a pair of shreddies. The second was waiting around 3 days for my eyes to get back to being able to see again, after the detergent we used had spent the day finding its way into them. Happy days though, Colerne was a great place to learn your trade in the early 70s.

Best

Smudge

Now, DeanoP, give us the story on your nose leg problem, and put us out of our collective miseries.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 22:19
  #3833 (permalink)  
 
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Hydraulic Problem (Ref Post1870) & (3821)

AA62 & Smuj

The ALM involved was the same as AA62 referred to.
I am ill qualified to comment on the technicalities of the event having little knowledge of the `hydraulic system. As far as I know the the NLG unlocked and indicated unlocked. It 'freefell and dangled in the airflow and needed drawing back in to a supportive position. I was on the flight deck all the time and did not see what was happening under the flight deck. As far as I recollect there was no discussion about the application of 'G' because I think that being down, it just needed pulling back. I do not think we ever got a 'down' indication after the tie back and just hoped it would not collapse on landing.
The recovery to Kai Tak was at night in good Wx conditions for landing. After T/O the gear was selected 'Up' but all the wheels did not move and remained in the locked position. The captain called for the gear selector to be returned to the down position and we continued en route.
On approach to Kai Tak the captain felt undemanded inputs to the control column, and this was confirmed by the copilot. The A/C was handed over to HAEC for investigation.
The second incident adds to the circumstantial evidence but from your technical comments the first incident appears to be a coincidence.
I believe there was a mod, sometime later, to the NLG that did not allow the gear to be tensioned back any more
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 08:48
  #3834 (permalink)  
 
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I have had a good 'thunk' and have convinced myself that after the nosegear mod the NLG tie down scheme became obselete. We were thus left with only the MLG as having a tiedown option.
As Dean says the control 'snatching' may well have been an additional action by our suspect but I still cannot work out how he could have been responsible for the NLG problem. Perhaps he used it to mask his control 'inputs'.
Dean, I notice some nice pics of yours on the Khormaksar thread. Do you have any of the 'K' you could post here ?
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 15:08
  #3835 (permalink)  
 
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C130K XV192 Ferry Flight 12th May 1967

Crews stayed at the Pine Forest Motel


1010 deg TIT in those days and no Autopilot.


At Kindley AFB Bermuda.



En Route to Lajes.

DoD Approach Charts for arrival at Lajes.

Last edited by DeanoP; 4th Nov 2015 at 10:44.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 16:13
  #3836 (permalink)  
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Many thanks Dean ...

Simply wonderful to see pics of Albert at the start of his service life ... That polished aluminium is stunning even if a little impractical. What a clean crisp cockpit ... Just love the new flying gloves for the ferry flight

Hopefully you have a few more little treasures
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Old 4th Nov 2015, 06:25
  #3837 (permalink)  
 
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Dean,
great pictures. Ah 1010, the famous High Speed Cruise !
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 10:45
  #3838 (permalink)  
 
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Proper engine instruments as well !!
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 19:11
  #3839 (permalink)  
 
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Too true Ksimboy.

DeanoP,

Smashing photographs sir, and a joy to see, so far in to our tour of K history. I for one was never fortunate enough to see, let alone wrk with, a shiny K. Thanks for posting, I'm sure you must have more records of the history of this finest of transport aircraft. The last trip I did in 192;

27-Oct-94 to 28-Oct-94 24 Squadron Crew on a JACIG trip. 9.15 recorded flying hours taking in Kiev/Riga

Unfortunately the crew were not recorded in my records. Curiously, it seems it's also the only trip I did as a GE on XV192 in six years as a GE.

Smudge

Last edited by smujsmith; 5th Nov 2015 at 19:24.
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Old 6th Nov 2015, 08:38
  #3840 (permalink)  
 
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AA62

Re 1010 TIT - was that setting always used during the K's life? I remember hearing that our Commonwealth allies used 980 and thought we were strange for using the higher figure.

A nav' on 30, Pete Hicks, produced reams of paper extolling the virtues of always using Long Range Cruise - I must say from a strictly range point of view I wasn't convinced. It remained HSC up to when I left in late '73.

Smuj,

You probably know this already but the shiny silver only lasted until handover to Marshalls on delivery from the US.

Dean,

I seem to recall that Marshalls fitted some of the nav' gear, particularly Decca and Loran - apart from the sextant what else did you have on the delivery flights?

I've just remembered that awful Decca Flight Log gizmo that was fitted above the engine instrument panel ( ? ) on the Thorney Hercs - we didn't have them on 48, I wonder if 36 & 24 had them?
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