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B52 in 'emergency alert' over Gloucestershire

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B52 in 'emergency alert' over Gloucestershire

Old 26th Sep 2020, 11:37
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B52 in 'emergency alert' over Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Live reporting this
https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.u...-alert-4551362

The report says "The US Air Force B-52 bomber transmitted a squawk code 770" sic. Flightradar (below) says 7700. The report also talks about Minot air force base stating that there had been a 'general in flight emergency'. Flightradar earlier showed the orbits over Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury taking place at 10,000ft.


Flightradar24 coverage just after BAL0052 landed at Fairford

airsound
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 12:03
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Just happened to be watching this live on ADS-B yesterday, as a mate had sent a photo through of the 4 of them passing over him in Wellingborough....

It was the last of the 4 to land that squawked 7700....one of the pair to spend an hour or so orbiting Gloucester, the previous 3 to land had all also done a run and break to land as well at Fairford, but the last one landed straight in, but it didn't start squawking 7700 until after it ended the orbits of Gloucester and had started its decent.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 13:56
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Trying to work out where the story is here - or is it just me?
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 14:47
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Originally Posted by Chris Kebab View Post
Trying to work out where the story is here - or is it just me?
No, there isnt one.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 15:07
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They were circling for more than an hour I'm sure, kept coming over our office, a pair together then one broke off and went low over our house as I got home just after 5.30pm.

Didn't I read they weren't squawking the emergency code and in fact the 'papers' got it wrong? GL is a cesspit of a local rag so wouldn't surprise me!

They have done these circuits in pairs before too a few weeks back. I just assumed they had too much fuel to land and therefore were burning it off?
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 15:36
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The version on Fighter Control is that four of the six B-52 currently on deployment at Fairford went out on a mission over Poland yesterday. Two were due to return to Fairford, and the other two were scheduled to return to Minot direct from Poland. However their refueling tankers were out of crosswind limits (Mildenhall presumably) and couldn't launch, hence a late decision to return all four to Fairford. However the Minot-bound pair were overweight for landing and hence orbited Gloucester for an hour and a half burning off fuel. During this, one of the pair picked up a crew entry hatch warning light and declared an IFE and corresponding squawk of 7700. It landed safely and was met by the airfield rescue services.

Five of the six have departed today back to Minot, with yesterday's IFE aircraft the one left at Fairford for now.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 15:37
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salad-dodger, Kris Kebab
Actually, I think there is a story. How often do you find one, and sometimes two, B52s in a roughly 13nm orbit, at 10,000ft-ish over rural Gloucestershire - for about 1 hour and 20 minutes? Don't you think it would be interesting to hear what they were doing - particularly perhaps for the people they were overflying?

As far as the 7700 squawk goes, BirdmanBerry, you're correct - they were only squawking that for not long before landing, according to flightradar24.

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Old 26th Sep 2020, 15:39
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Crossed with roger4 - thank you very much for that. Sounds very plausible.

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Old 26th Sep 2020, 15:48
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Originally Posted by airsound View Post
salad-dodger, Kris Kebab
Don't you think it would be interesting to hear what they were doing - particularly perhaps for the people they were overflying?

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(extra letters to submit)

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Old 26th Sep 2020, 16:43
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Orbiting their Fail-Safe points......😉
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 18:11
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Originally Posted by airsound View Post
salad-dodger, Kris Kebab
Actually, I think there is a story. How often do you find one, and sometimes two, B52s in a roughly 13nm orbit, at 10,000ft-ish over rural Gloucestershire - for about 1 hour and 20 minutes? Don't you think it would be interesting to hear what they were doing - particularly perhaps for the people they were overflying?

As far as the 7700 squawk goes, BirdmanBerry, you're correct - they were only squawking that for not long before landing, according to flightradar24.

airsound
However this isn't the first time they've done this orbit. As I say a few weeks back they did the same, one then broke off to head to Fairford and the other circled a little longer and then went too, assuming to give the first one time to land.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 18:46
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Wink

Perhaps they had engine trouble and had to land just using the remain seven . . .
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 19:24
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Originally Posted by Yarpy View Post
Perhaps they had engine trouble and had to land just using the remain seven . . .
Not the dreaded 7 engine approach,having to to do an asymmetric approach and landing.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 22:15
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Originally Posted by spitfirek5054 View Post
Not the dreaded 7 engine approach,having to to do an asymmetric approach and landing.

7 engine approach used to be scary, then they remembered they can move the gear in line with the assymetry...
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 23:34
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There wasn't that much drama TBH. When it became apparent they'd have to return to Fairford the original plan was burn fuel by orbiting over the North Sea, then the Brize area, then finally over Gloucester. The frame which had the hatch problem was I believe the same one which had a pressurization issue earlier in the day. The crew did discuss with bomber ops about whether to declare an emergency but presumably decided between them to wait until they were within weight limits before doing so.

I believe the local press got wind of the fact two Buffs were orbiting for nigh on two hours over Gloucs, found out about the hatch issue and put 2 and 2 together to get 11. The Daily Fail then got hold of the story...

What was more interesting was the comms between the two crews as they mused whether they should land, refuel and change cabs in order to get back stateside, as was their original plan. They clearly weren't that enamoured about having to return to Fairford.
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 00:49
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Originally Posted by dead_pan View Post
..... They clearly weren't that enamoured about having to return to Fairford.
Thats saying something if they would rather be at Minot rather than Fairford!
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 02:14
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Why not Minot?
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 07:06
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Originally Posted by salad-dodger View Post
no

(extra letters to submit)

Hint. Need less than 10 characters? Type a series of whatever you want (dots for example) for the extra characters and colour them white. I'm not sure if they appear when being quoted though, so keep it clean.
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 07:45
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Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy View Post
Why not Minot?
Freezins the reason
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 08:49
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Originally Posted by roger4 View Post
<snip>
During this, one of the pair picked up a crew entry hatch warning light and declared an IFE and corresponding squawk of 7700. It landed safely and was met by the airfield rescue services.
</snip>
It's going to be quite interesting to see how well the B52s last. I know they're all pretty old already, and look to be carrying on indefinitely, but as they age then all sorts of things could crop up. There must be quite a lot of things on an aircraft that the original designers didn't necessarily determine a service life for because they were, so they thought, over engineered. But after 25, 50, 75 years of use, perhaps some of these things will start becoming a significant availability nuissance. I'm sure they've got a good grip on the aging of the airframe structure and everything to do with safe flight, but there's bound to be various items that could just wear out and hinder mission readiness.

Time will tell. Though these days efficiently dealing with problems like this is much easier than previously. The classic car world has been revolutionised by 3D [email protected] scanners, 3D printing, CNC machining, etc, which has made parts reproduction very easy.

Any reports for someone finding a B52 crew entry hatch in their back garden?

(Apologies for the thread drift)
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