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BBMF Grounded

Old 17th Aug 2017, 23:14
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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i've seen Dunkirk and the engine out performance of even a Mk 1 Spitfire is just incredible
Quite agree - dunno why the chap was so intent on chalking fuel/time left.
Obviously that Marque of Spitfire didn't have a Merlin but a witch's broom, as evidenced in the fire at the end.
That allowed space to be used for millions of extra rounds of .303 and a performance equivalent to a Merlin engined MkI.

Sad that this occurred so soon after the BBMF 60th anniversary. I don't recall any special mention of that back in July.
What's the situation with privately owned merlin engined aircraft, Spits, Hurris and Mustangs? If BBMF ground all theirs, surely so should they all?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 07:07
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According to the Telegraph, the problem is with the pin that holds the engine in!


Also states that the Hurricane with the problem had only just flown in a Royal Flypast insinuating the Queen was lucky not to have had a Merlin fall on her head.


Don't you just love the press.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 07:17
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Why can't they just say what the problem is instead of fueling all this speculation?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 07:54
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I recently visited BBMF. We were told that after XV230, things had become a lot more stringent safety wise. No bad thing I guess.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 09:11
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I recently visited BBMF. We were told that after XV230, things had become a lot more stringent safety wise. No bad thing I guess.
Perhaps no bad thing to a point, but there has certainly been an 'over reaction' by many involved in aviation. Thankfully BBMF has probably been one of the very few outfits where common sense has invariably prevailed in allowing activity to be completed (perfectly safely) rather than the 'stop everything until everything is perfect' attitude.

Imagine the scenario: Wind steady on the limit but gusting somewhat above - albeit straight down the strip. V V V important flypast to do. Two options: keep hangar locked and go home; ask Stn Cdr to ask AOC if ac can be towed to threshold, flown safely, flypast completed, landed safely by more than capable crew.

If you over-prioritise safety you can invariably find an excuse not to do fly.

Later in the same month, needing to do some CT in a modern twin-jet to be told - 'only one landing available'. We sheepishly asked why to be told the main door counterbalance spring needed changing (it's life was tied to the number of landings). 'Can we do just one cycle on the door but lots of landings' we asked - 'Nope'. Of course it was raining so we opened and shut the door 4 times during the see-off. Absurd, but the guys just had to do what the book said!!!!

Oh, the flypast was admired my the many thousands who saw it - probably all but a tiny handful unaware of the very slight increase in risk to achieve the TOT!

Last edited by H Peacock; 18th Aug 2017 at 09:21.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 09:55
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dakkg651 View Post
According to the Telegraph, the problem is with the pin that holds the engine in!


Also states that the Hurricane with the problem had only just flown in a Royal Flypast insinuating the Queen was lucky not to have had a Merlin fall on her head.


Don't you just love the press.
The Telegraph also said that the BBMF would continue to fly the Griffon-engined Chipmunk!
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 09:58
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the Griffon-engined Chipmunk
Bet that has an interesting C of G!
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 10:10
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Make a great glider tug! They could call it a Chipfire or a Spitmunk.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 10:10
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Torque rolls would be exciting......
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 11:03
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Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
Torque rolls would be exciting......
If you could actually taxi it first!
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 11:04
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Originally Posted by noprobs View Post
The Telegraph also said that the BBMF would continue to fly the Griffon-engined Chipmunk!
Whats even more worrying is that there are no doubt lots of others who know a bit about their subject (be it ships, medicine, plants, finance, joinery etc etc) who are shaking their heads in disbelief over all the other articles in the newspaper!
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 11:07
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Originally Posted by mikemmb View Post
Whats even more worrying is that there are no doubt lots of others who know a bit about their subject (be it ships, medicine, plants, finance, joinery etc etc) who are shaking their heads in disbelief over all the other articles in the newspaper!
Thats exactly what I always think. Bit like intelligence, news has to be filtered and confirmed from more than one source these days...

Forgive my ignorance but why is the Dak grounded? A separate issue to this one, I assume, as I don't think they ever made radial Merlin engines...?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:07
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Originally Posted by thunderbird7 View Post
Forgive my ignorance but why is the Dak grounded?
I believe its currently not equipped with its full compliment of engines.....
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:09
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Speaking as a not-so-humble Continuing Airworthiness Management Engineer: There are no Emergency Airworthiness Directives from the CAA for either the Spitfire or Hurricane aircraft, nor the Merlin engine - so civilian Spitfires and Hurricanes are not grounded. Why all the secrecy? If the Royal Air Force are aware of an airworthiness problem that justifies grounding their fleet, their duty on safety grounds is to share that information with all operators of the same type. Is it a due to (heaven forbid) a "Maintenance Error" within the BBMF? Have they for example, overrun a scheduled or mandatory inspection?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:10
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Thunderbird7. Unfortunately they've had problems with another engine. I visited BBMF last Thursday and the Dak had its starboard engine removed and needed a replacement. Have seen elsewhere that it will be grounded for the rest of year.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:29
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Perhaps no bad thing to a point, but there has certainly been an 'over reaction' by many involved in aviation.
That is something of an understatement
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 13:08
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Originally Posted by Blacksheep View Post
Why all the secrecy? If the Royal Air Force are aware of an airworthiness problem that justifies grounding their fleet, their duty on safety grounds is to share that information with all operators of the same type.

Unless the issue relates to procedures, processes or documentation relating to (say) a subcontracted P.145 organisation which is unique to that organisation or the contractual relationship they have with the BBMF.

Personally I dismiss the "metal particles in the oil" story that's floating (sic) around - the BBMF's merlins cover a range of marques and they're all at different life-states, so I can't see that as a reason for a generic grounding.

PDR
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 14:18
  #58 (permalink)  
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When it comes to air safety there are no "Unless" issues apart from, in this case, something within the military's own organisation - which is the point I was making.

As no airworthiness issues are identified in the civil environment, the problem seems to lie within the BBMF alone. If it were otherwise it would (or should be) a matter that needs to be shared with all operators of either Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft or Merlin engines, as well as other non-EASA "Permit to Fly" types that have Merlin engines installed. As the grounding affects different aircraft types and different marks of the Merlin engine, I suspect oil or fuel system contamination or something similar as a most likely scenario.

Last edited by Blacksheep; 18th Aug 2017 at 14:33. Reason: To add a root cause opinion
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 18:54
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NIGE321. I was unfortunate enough to hear the Jeremy Vine piece.Air show organiser on it, who was fine. Woman 'Historian' who was completely off the wall, hadn't got a CLUE about aircraft, engines, flying. or the world in general, .
Her main concern was what would happen if the Lancaster stalled on take-off at an airshow and crashed into the crowd!!. All these old aircraft should be in museums, not in the air putting the public in danger all the time she crowed. Even my wife [non aviation person] was in hysterics at her rantings. DIRE!!!!
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 15:19
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Blacksheep View Post
As no airworthiness issues are identified in the civil environment, the problem seems to lie within the BBMF alone. If it were otherwise it would (or should be) a matter that needs to be shared with all operators of either Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft or Merlin engines, as well as other non-EASA "Permit to Fly" types that have Merlin engines installed. As the grounding affects different aircraft types and different marks of the Merlin engine, I suspect oil or fuel system contamination or something similar as a most likely scenario.
Stitching together the few facts on here and stirring in a little more speculation like everyone else is...
This thread sort of suggests that the RAF (BBMF) may have selected a supplier to manufacture new shafts/gears and may have installed the same standard in all their Merlins. If this was the case, civil owned Merlins may not have used the same supplier and, therefore, not be affected.
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