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12 O'Clock at seven miles.

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12 O'Clock at seven miles.

Old 25th Oct 2018, 21:29
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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The following set of 'Laws' was presented at a RAeS lecture on Aerodynamic Decelerators (a posh name for a parachute). Although these laws were American in origin, during my several years testing Airdrop systems at Boscombe I'm happy to report that they are also applicable to UK systems. Butlers Laws1. The descending parachute and test item will not weathercock; they will, however, home on to the most expensive object on the drop zone.2. The quality of the photographic coverage, telemetry data and all other instrumentation recordings will be inversely proportional to the value of the information obtained.3. The tighter the budget or the time constraints become, the more likely the parachute will malfunction or the instrumentation will fail.4. The higher the rank of a visiting observer, the greater the probability of a catastrophic failure or malfunction. To ensure the maximum damage to the project, have them park their new Mercedes on or near the drop zone (see law 1).5. The personnel recovering the equipment under test will exert maximum effort to obscure any valid conclusions that may be drawn from an examination of the equipment.6. The manufacture of the parachute or load will exert maximum effort to obscure any design errors they have incorporated; they will also exert maximum effort to make subtle changes to their design or test conditions in order to maximise the perceived benefits of their design.7. All personnel involved will exert maximum effort to blame someone else in the event of type of dog-up. In the case of a massive cock-up, the degree of creativity exhibited by the explanation is exponentially related to the cost of the cock-up. This creativity is wasted though because the cause of a massive cock-up is obvious even to senior management.9. The schedule and budget will depart from the projected values at an ever increasing rate as the project progresses; the only way to prevent this is to avoid making a schedule and budget in the first place.10. The probability of aircraft support, range time, and support personnel all being available is very high; however, the probability of all these being available at the same time is approximately zero for any given date more than 30 minutes in the future.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 22:02
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The first VC10 to arrive at Gan was (allegedly) greeted with a large banner saying WELCOME TO COCOS. Courtesy of the 205 Sqn. SAR Shackleton crew.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 22:13
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Or the Army Lynx landing on at Odiham in bad weather when asked what they could see, replied the DanAir 737 at Lasham
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 07:18
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Love it VX, have suffered most of those effects, particularly #5 on numerous occasions.
the comments above regarding the crew running to the ramp was always one of my bug bears. They always got in the way of the camera trying to capture the moment it went wrong. No idea why they insisted in doing that. Not sure if they thought they could defy gravity and catch an MSP or PURIBAD before it went over the ramp.
At least our lot wore a harnes!
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 10:17
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dragartist,
if your comment refers to the Loadmasters following the load out of the a/c then I at least used to do it partly out of relief when I saw that all was well and partly to provide an eyewitness account if all was not well ! Especially on trials. Cameras did not always catch all the action. Then on the heavy drop to retrieve the transfer release cable.
Yes on a Volant Rodeo exercise Dougie M put the platform bang on the DZ marker. This did indeed result in the vehicle being a write off. Doug may still have the pic.
I do not know about the USAF rules for the loadmasters but in the RAF in my time on airdrops before any ramp or door was opened you had to be wearing your safety harness and have it hooked up to an anchor cable. This was the SOP, and was an instant fail on any air check if you did not.
The comment by Mogwi is IMHO correct. It is how the fall of stores was reported to the a/c crew based on the clock (and an estimate of the distance from the DZ letter) with twelve o'clock at the farend of the Dz and six o'clock at the start. So in the clip shown the platform is off the far end of the DZ at twelve o'clock.
Best wishes.
Bill
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 15:57
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Good to hear from you AA62, hope things are well.
it was always the same during trials, so many people on board they all wanted a closer look.
in spite of a reminder during the brief they all made a run for it.
not sure if I sent you the film I had of a US loadmaster almost following the load out but saved himself by hanging onto the jack. It was a very early model with no paint and the big conspicuous USAF star. May see it on you tube.
the US loadmasters wore chutes so I believe.
I don’t think the UK version of the MIsshap (Mal Drop) video SAS put up has made it to the tube yet. Equally entertaining.
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 16:14
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I also remember a pair of Harriers in RAFG who were tasked to drop dummy bombs on some inflatable Russian tanks. They succeeded in almost hitting a group of Challengers some distance away, having miss identified the vehicles..
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 00:47
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Many years ago our boss, ex 35 Sqn, told us eager studes of dropping live 1000lb ers on a range.. When they set the bomb release for, IIRC, 'groups of 3', to be repeated 7 times, just it didn't quite work as advertised...

Bombs released and they counted as they fell earthwards .. one, two, three .. four, (four?) err five, shit six .. you get the picture. The end of the range was rapidly approaching and the only thing they could think of to stop the bloody things hurting anyone below was to close the bomb doors..

On arrival back at Scampton they called for the armourers to come and have a look because there were loose live bombs below.. Apparantly the armourers took one look at the bomb doors, which by sheer force of pressure were holding one said object in their clutches, half in and half out of the bomb bay, for said gentleman to leg it fast and wait until they got proper support and safety kit.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 03:50
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Form post by Dook;
There was one put in the range carpark at Nordhorn………….
There was a similar event where a '104 lobbed a concrete shape into the Officers Mess parking lot at Vlieland.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 10:35
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In my time we used to wear parachutes when supply dropping of all types except ULLA and free drop. However as the kit was improved and the drop heights came down it was realised that the parachutes could never open in time to be of any use. So apart from static line para despatching their use was discontinued and we just relied upon the (awful) safety harness.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 20:22
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It might not come as a surprise but the 'Despatcher's Harness' that Ancientaviator describes as 'awful' originated as a pre WW2 GPO linesman safety harness. The only changes over the years were the use of Nylon bbin and a different type of attachment hook. Come to think of it that description fits quite a bit of airdrop kit still in use.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 21:40
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In my days....wise Air Force Loadmasters wore a parachute and harness.....as it was all too often a Para would grab the Load Master as he went out the door or off the ramp providing the Loadie with what was usually his very first parachute jump.

That was long before PC, HSE, and Para's were granted a certain unofficial tolerance for shenanigans unlike today's world.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 22:44
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.............
Used to fly with an ex-RAF Herk Captain who was involved in a large paratroop drop-ex, in the late sixties.

The very keen Pongo CO was leaping about all over the ship, keeping up morale and monitoring progress to the DZ. On quite a steep turn-in for the drop run the Loadie was heard to say “Ere skipper – Colonel’s fallen out !”

And he had. ........... Said CO had to tab in about 20 miles to catch up with his lads.

...................
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 07:51
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SASless,
yes the ever present danger of being dragged out of the door by the runaway para train meant that we did wear parachutes when engaged in static line parachuting from the para doors.
As for the story of the the Colonel departing the a/c early It is a story that I have never heard before. As we only opened the para doors for the drop at around the two minute point I wonder why the pilot felt it necessary to indulge in such steep turns. At this time the a/c should be straight and level on the run in to the DZ from the TAP. If this Colonel was the No 1 in the stick as suggested he would be stood in the door with the despatcher holding on to his harness awaiting the Red and Green. He could not have been 'leaping about all over the ship' . Given that he probably was not as current as his men I suggest his thoughts may have been elsewhere !

Last edited by ancientaviator62; 28th Oct 2018 at 08:52.
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 11:04
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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VX275,
I did not know the origins of the safety harness so thanks. I attended several meetings to try to procure a better harness. However MOD wanted a harness that was common to all the tasks across all the services. This was impossible, so as is the way of these, things nothing was done. Is the same 'awful' harness still in use ?
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 12:52
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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You don't reckon the Colonel got booted out the door by someone on purpose perhaps!
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 15:02
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AA62, in my 11 years the AD fraternity were always resistant to any alternate harness. VX will know when we were developing 02 Boscombe proposed a cut down jacket to carry the regulator. The chopper lot had got the Mk60/61 with a rather nice harness that could be cut away on a three ring had they needed to run away following a crash. It had modular body armour and survival aid pockets. Leg straps were standard for the crewman.
When Irvin were still at Letchworth and separate to GQ they had developed a 5 point harness with D rings to snap on a standard reserve chute.
There had been incidents on the K where the floor fitting had come out. Brought about by a certain twisting condition with the big double gate hook on the end of the strap. This issue went away with the J
The argument was always, if the strap had been adjusted correctly so the operator could not get to the ramp or open doors there was never a problem.
I should have picked up on your comment the other day about TROC retrieval. If you want to retrieve another I have one in my garage I can send you. Probably one I quarantined when we found a batch with English sleeves on metric cable crimped with unknown tooling.
Sad to hear from VX that there has been little progress with AD kit. Must have the longest gestation period of any capability area. So underfunded.
I found the current AP for abseiling from helicopters on the MoD web site the other week. The harness and kit is not a patch on the Petzel stuff I currently use for climbing and abseiling down Telecoms towers. VX would be proud. Still employs the tear ply webbing bock as developed at Old Sarum!
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 08:16
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SASless,
now there is a thought ! I bet more than one trooper has dreamed of doing such a thing. By my experience and reckoning the Colonel ,if he went out early, could at the very maximum, have left two minutes early if he departed as soon as the para door was open.. Given a drop speed of around 120kts this at most would put him four miles from the DZ impact point. Nowhere near the twenty miles quoted.
If the incident did occur it is far more likely he went out at 'Red On' about five seconds before the 'Green On'. This has happened as the troops are so keen to get out of the a/c. You really have to hold on to them once the para door is open and any relaxation of grip and they are gone.
Never happened on my watch thankfully as the paperwork involved in these things would decimate a forest.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 08:40
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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dragartist,
I must regretfully decline your kind offer of one of your 'mongrel' transfer release cables. I have related on the Hercules thread my experience of one that was manufactured approximately nine feet short. The subsequent premature transfer caused the MSP to start to rotate too early and it struck the 'ducksbill on the back of the a/c. Stuff of nightmares really.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 11:47
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Dropping some Reserve (Think Territorials of sorts) Special Forces Troopers at night during one of their Monthly Training Sessions.....they were quite happy to be dropped anywhere near the designated DZ when they showed up late and had to catch up with those that had already been inserted.

When the OC decided (without informing those being dropped) to make it an E&E exercise) we purposely dropped them about ten miles from where they thought they were going to be.

When the Pilots decided the same....without informing the OC as he was jumping....we upped the distance....just being fair minded and all.

He was a very good Sport about it all.....right up until he invited you for a bit of Indian Leg Wrestling near the campfire while the Moonshine Whisky was being passed around.
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