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-   -   CO writes off P-3 (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/379667-co-writes-off-p-3-a.html)

woptb 1st Jul 2009 17:29

The guy may be a pr1ck,but I'd say its extremely doubtful that there were no systemic failures in oversight that 'assisted' him off the end of the runway.

Deliverance 1st Jul 2009 17:56

I think it's the price of owning more squadrons than we have money to fund. The figure you are talking about for execs is not far from the truth, but for frontline crews. And we used to laugh at 'third world' air forces on a paultry 15-hrs a month!

West Coast 1st Jul 2009 20:10

Navy Cmdr. Llewellyn Lewis was piloting this modified P-3 Orion
Modified indeed.

Captain Sand Dune 2nd Jul 2009 03:21

That CMDR Llewellyn stuffed up is without doubt. But as others have pointed out to ignore the possibility of systemic failures would be foolish. I hope the report includes an objective analysis of any possible systemic contributors.
CMDR Llewellyn sounds like a good (or bad, whichever way one looks at it) example of the “can do” attitude gone wrong. My guess is this is more common in other countries’ military aviation arms than we may care to admit.
I would be interested if the report includes any discussion about the pressures on CMDR Llewellyn brought to bear from above.
[QUOTE]When asked why he failed to maintain pilot proficiency, Lewis “said that CO duties, his desire to spread flight time with junior pilots and aircraft availability” were factors.[QUOTE]
Does this sound familiar?
I concur that CMDR Llewellyn should have been punished for this incident, but I wonder if this is yet another example of the entire blame for an incident being focussed on only one person.

FOGII 2nd Jul 2009 15:25

The endorsing chain is the chain of command. In other words the endorser would at least have to find himself if not the system culpable.

1994 I remember being part of a review with new DOD civilians, congressional staffers, and military. The upshot was that we were wasting resources by setting standards too high and training for too many missions as evidenced by lower mishap rates in certain communities. They singled out the Herk and Hornet communities comparing similar missions to their sister services and the quote the stands out was "when you start dying more then you might need more money but for now you need less cause you aren't spending much blood."

I know of USMC squadrons that when you divide their yearly flight hours by their assigned pilots (i.e. in the squadron and not authorized to fly staff pilots) there are not enough flight hours to maintain legal annual minimums, even with maximum simulator utilization. Part is flight hour funding and part is lack of airframe life left.

Neither excuse not blame but should the squadron CO already but qualified in most missions and be tasked with getting the highest average qualifications and currency for his squadron or have an A team / B team where A is very current and made up of your meat eaters use them to work up your B team when the warning order arrives and you get more assets?

On the tactical approach in a P-3 there use to be a case study at the ASC course in Monterey. A P-3 unit tried to emulate the Herks assault landing after going up for some observation. Their attempt didn't do so well. Upon landing they thought it was pretty smooth but the wings had in fact departed as the gear are attached to the wings. The landing gear not being designed for a firm assault landing became the unplanned for factor. I have to wonder if that case study has been removed from the curriculum of the Commander's course.S/F, FOG

harrym 4th Jul 2009 17:56

CO writes off P3
The P3 incident, plus remarks by Pontius and FJJB, remind me that an occasional tendency by senior officers to think regulations regarding crew qualification did not apply to them is not a new problem.

Way back in the dark ages a certain AOC, when down route on tours of inspection, was wont to take the captain's place in the left hand seat. Arriving at Nairobi one day, the (real) captain pointed out that they were lined up on Nairobi West instead of the correct destination (Eastleigh), only to be told to shut up; the approach continued, with arrival on a too short runway ending inevitably in a cloud of dust and one wrecked York.

I personally found myself more than once in what might have been a similar scenario, when pressure was exerted to allow non-type qualified seniors into the pilot's seat, the most flagrant involving an air-ranking officer on a passenger-carrying transatlantic flight to North America. In the event common sense prevailed in both cases, though not without some grief in the latter.

One might have hoped that such nonsense now lies firmly in the past. although the P3 business might indicate otherwise.

Samuel 5th Jul 2009 01:43

I scrounged rides in anything going anywhere at RAF Eastleigh: Beverley, Twin Pioneer, Hastings, the station hack, a Pembroke etc, and even as a non-pilot I can't imagine how anyone could mistake Nairobi West, [ Wilson Airport from 1960 or so], for Eastleigh! Wilson Airport was purely light aircraft, and had none of the infrastructure, hangars etc, of Eastleigh. Blind Freddy himself wouldn't make that mistake!

Neptunus Rex 5th Jul 2009 06:57

A Great CO
In 1985 I was the Squadron QFI (Instructor Pilot for you USN types) on a P3 squadron in Australia. We were preparing for a night tactical training flight, which would include steep turns at 300 feet, with our CO in the left seat. The CO, affectionately known as 'Bunter,' was one of the best pilots I have ever flown with, and some years before he taught me to fly the P2 Neptune. Of course, as CO he did not get in as many flying hours as the other squadron pilots. We had completed our checks in the cockpit and were waiting for the sensor operators to finish their equipment checks. The Wing Commander CO turned to the Flight Sergeant flight engineer and asked
"What's your job then Jack?" The flight engineer started to tell the boss about systems monitoring, fuel management, emergency procedures et al when the CO stopped him, saying:
"Not quite, Jack. Tonight your job is to keep my a*se out of the water!"


MarkD 5th Jul 2009 23:12

Lewis was assigned to Joint Special Operations Command, Aviation Tactics Evaluation Group, at Fort Bragg, N.C.
All the slots flying rubber dogsh!t out of Hong Kong being taken?

stilton 7th Jul 2009 06:55

'A day off for each 3 hour time change'

I wish my Airline employer had rules like this !!

isaneng 7th Jul 2009 22:14

Can the P3 not select reverse in the air, or is it just SOP not to? IAS limit? (IAS/TAS/Lockheed trials airfield elevation, and sorry, Herc background, no P3 knowledge). Mind you, you don't half go down fast....... More an arrival than a landing.

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