PPRuNe Forums

PPRuNe Forums (https://www.pprune.org/)
-   Military Aviation (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation-57/)
-   -   T-45C Crash Report (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/607806-t-45c-crash-report.html)

ORAC 15th Apr 2018 06:00

T-45C Crash Report
 
Pretty savage indictment of the system.

Leadership failures in Navy pilot training squadrons led to Tennessee T-45 crash

The Navy’s official investigation into the Oct. 1 crash in rural Tennessee of a T-45C Goshawk from Training Squadron 7 concluded the crash was the fault of the instructor pilot, even though at the time of impact, he wasn’t at the controls.

Investigators said that the instructor pilot was “flat-hatting” by flying and directing his student to fly too close and too fast to ground, which is against the Navy’s procedure for such training of student pilots, the Navy’s investigation into the crash concluded. The report also said that the investigation shows that such out-of-bounds flights and unauthorized training had become part of culture in the VT-7, but also throughout all the Navy’s tactical jet training, which investigators called a “failure of leadership.”.....

“The investigation further demonstrated [Ruth] was overly confident, nonchalant and aggressive at low altitude training, with limited awareness of the performance capabilities of the T-45C in the [low altitude awareness training] environment,” Bynum wrote. “This attitude influenced [Ruth’s} instructional style and conditioned [Burch] to fly the aircraft in an aggressive manner, without correction from [Ruth].”.....

Bynum also said it was questionable that Ruth was even qualified to fly the T-45C or teach the low-level maneuvers, because there was no record he’d completed the requisite training in the T-45C himself and in the end formally concluded: “It was their actions flying the aircraft in violation of the [chief of naval air training] syllabus and training objectives that resulted in the mishap.”.....

Airbubba 15th Apr 2018 07:11

As a famous Naval Aviator would say, "Jumpin' Jehosaphat!" :ugh:

Bob Viking 15th Apr 2018 08:43

Not again...
 
I wrote something similar on a thread only a few days ago. If you’re not going to do low level training properly don’t do it at all.

I don’t like LLAT for reasons I have already discussed. This does nothing to change my mind.

I don’t like sitting in judgment on cases like this but I hate it when history repeats itself.

BV

Just This Once... 15th Apr 2018 09:43

Remarkable that a USN pilot can join, train, fly orbits on the E-2C for his first 3-year tour, get posted as a fast jet instructor before wiping himself and his student out. Only now do they wonder if the instructor was even qualified on the T-45C.

Cows getting bigger 15th Apr 2018 13:26

I would say it is more criminal than remarkable. I mean, WTF?!!!

Airbubba 15th Apr 2018 18:33


The report also said that the investigation shows that such out-of-bounds flights and unauthorized training had become part of culture in the VT-7, but also throughout all the Navy’s tactical jet training, which investigators called a “failure of leadership.

Bynum also said it was questionable that Ruth was even qualified to fly the T-45C or teach the low-level maneuvers, because there was no record he’d completed the requisite training in the T-45C
The former VT-7 skipper has retired. Will CNATRA (Rear Adm. Bynum) step down as well?

I'd be hard pressed to think of a case, civilian or military in the big leagues, where an instructor was never trained on an aircraft (s)he instructed on. There have been cases of missing signatures in a file and the like.

Was the instructor training done but not properly documented? Or, were things 'pencil-whipped' to expedite Lt. Ruth's qualification as a T-45C instructor?

I believe the Navy fires more skippers than the rest of the services combined. I would think some heads should roll if the facts are as presented in the article.

Anybody find a link to the actual accident report? Often these are published on an obscure military air safety database with a media release at happy hour on Friday afternoon.

gums 15th Apr 2018 21:35

Salute!

A sad finding, but not one I dismissed back last year.

The debris field and the "witness" that saw the plane very low a minute before gave me the clue.

I was in the system when USAF decided that we had to make our stateside low altitude nav "legal". So we let down to lower than 500 feet AGL and practiced. Being in the VietNam group, we flew as low as required to get the job done whether a CSAR or CAS or interdiction mission. Then we came home and had restrictions. That all changed about 1974, and we trained to fly lower and lower. It worked.
++++++++

I have a hard time with a "nugget" IP that does not have a lotta hours in tactical planes serving as an instructor.

RIP.

tartare 16th Apr 2018 09:40

Gums - out of interest - roughly what's the lowest you'd estimate you've flown in a fast jet `stateside when training?

gums 16th Apr 2018 14:09

Salute!

Before it was legal to go lower than 500 feet I got down one or two times low enough to experience ground effect! I was stoopid and very young.. Never did it again after realizing how stoopid it was.

In combat I would routinely get down to about 200 to 300 feet but that was for weapon delivery and not nav. Escorting a Jolly for a CSAR we would usually be about 500 or 600 feet in a race track about the Jolly. Ditto when escorting the Ranch Hand spray birds, you know the guys....
" Only we can pervent forests!"

After we changed things circa 1974, I was cleared to 200 feet legally, although sometimes you would have to get closer to the rocks when clearing a ridge or such.

At Red Flag when our flight defeated the SA-6, they showed the tape from the missile site at mission debrief for all to see and we never got lower than 200 feet but used the intervening hills and "beaming" maneuvers to break missile lock.

Coming out one day we spotted a Canadian F-5 that was so low his shadow was almost his size. Trouble with being that low is you can't fly a formation and you can't look around. So wingie and I joined above him and escorted him out. He was startled, and we saw a sudden wing dip, then an obvious wing rock and he came up a bit.

Gums sends...

Lonewolf_50 16th Apr 2018 21:30


Originally Posted by Airbubba (Post 10119375)
The former VT-7 skipper has retired. Will CNATRA (Rear Adm. Bynum) step down as well?

For what?

I'd be hard pressed to think of a case, civilian or military in the big leagues, where an instructor was never trained on an aircraft (s)he instructed on.
Good thinking, why have you changed your mind now?

There have been cases of missing signatures in a file and the like.
Yes, or an expired qual, or someone flying a maneuver in a stage/phase they are not qualified to instruct in.

Was the instructor training done but not properly documented? Or, were things 'pencil-whipped' to expedite Lt. Ruth's qualification as a T-45C instructor?
The latter is unlikely; TW-1 has an ITU, and you don't get to sign for the bird and take any student up until you pass through the IUT syllabus. If you think that TW-1 pencil whips the IUT's, you better be able to back that up.

I believe the Navy fires more skippers than the rest of the services combined.
Heh, that is a fine old Naval Tradition. :ok:

Anybody find a link to the actual accident report?
Mishap reports are not for public release.

Often these are published on an obscure military air safety database with a media release at happy hour on Friday afternoon.
Do you mean the FOIA requests for the results of the JAG investigation? Any mishap that results in a fatality, or that has pilot error as a contributory cause, will typically have a JAG investigation as well. I've seen the JAG investigations take more time than the mishap investigations before.

Or do you think that, maybe, the journo is full of crap? I do. That has happened before.


Just This Once

Remarkable that a USN pilot can join, train, fly orbits on the E-2C for his first 3-year tour, get posted as a fast jet instructor before wiping himself and his student out. Only now do they wonder if the instructor was even qualified on the T-45C.
Given that they can't, it is really remarkable that you made that up. two questions for you:
Did you actually serve in the armed forces as a pilot?
Did you, as I have sometimes done, Post Whilst Pissed? :}

Here are a few facts for you:
Fact 1. E-2 pilots go through strike training pipeline. That includes T-45 and carrier qual.
Fact 2. E-2 pilots are some of the IPs sent to Meridian and Kingsville to instruct, since all communities have to offer people up for IP duty.
Fact 3. All T-45 instructors at TW-1 and TW-2 have to complete the IUT before flying a single student "X."
Fact 4. I actually know something about how this works. PM me if you are interested in other facts.

Flap62 16th Apr 2018 22:14

I’m a bit confused by this Lonewolf. You post a blow by blow rebuttal yet there seems to have been catastrophic errors made. Indeed even the Admiral says


Bynum also said it was questionable that Ruth was even qualified to fly the T-45C or teach the low-level maneuvers, because there was no record he’d completed the requisite training in the T-45C himself
Am I missing something?

Lonewolf_50 16th Apr 2018 22:58


questionable that Ruth was even qualified to fly the T-45C or teach the low-level maneuvers
That bolded part I addressed, and is possibly what the journo was talking about. I do not find it credible that this person walked into the hangar in Mississippi, and was given a T-45 for an instructional hop without having ever gone through the ITU.

Not credible; that looks to me like a reporter putting the words into an Admiral's mouth ... or an Admiral speaking without precision. (It Happens! How many admirals and generals have you worked for? I've worked for a few ...)

So here are the question that is germane to the points I have addressed:

Was the IP's NATOPS qual out of date? If out of date, then technically the IP is no longer NATOPS qualified until the annual NATOPS check is flown and passed.
Was the IP's Instrument qual out of date? If out of date, then technically the IP would be no longer NATOPS qualified until instrument check is flown and passed.
If scheduled for a hop, and either of the above is true, then the skipper ought to resign. That stuff is boiler plate.

Was the IP assigned a hop when he wasn't current in that stage/phase of instruction? This is where the Standards Officer and the Ops Officer, and the Scheduling Officer, earn there pay. This question also gets into 30, 60, 90 day quals on various stages of instruction. If this IP was qualified in, for example, the Carrier Landing and Instrument stages, but was not current in the TacForm stage (not enough flights in last X days/months) then technically "not qualled" for a TacForm hop. (see also low level nav, weapons, ACM, etc. Each differing training stages for the students. )

An example from my dim and distant past, when I was an IP.
When I was teaching formation flights, I got sick and was grounded for six weeks. When I came back up, I was not allowed to be assigned instructional flights before 1) a warmup was flown and 2) a formation warm up was flown (me in the back for a form flight, usually as a sand bag for a IUT flight) before I could fly a student flight for formation .. staying sharp, etc.

Lots of questions that are germane to qualifications not being up to date; If this IP wasn't current (foul! OpsO).
If this IP was doing stuff not current in, or a stage not yet checked out to teach in by the Standardication department, Foul! (on the IP)
Nothing to do with "not qualified to fly the T-45C on instructional hops."

The other question in the back of my mind is this; did the IP go out on an instrument or ONAV hop and start doing maneuvers for a different stage of training? (Foul! Four Minute Major!) I know a guy who lost his IP qual for doing exactly that, some years ago. Got into a real crap storm, and got to go and see the Wing Commander (Commodore) for "tea and biscuits with no tea and no biscuits" ...

That kind of thing by the IP might also lead to a "not-authorized" or "not-qualified" comment, since that aint' how it's supposed to be done and every IP and CO knows that.

You buying the journo's BS?
Go ahead. Ignorance is bliss.

I don't buy it, because I know the details of how CNATRA and its subordinate units work.
A few of the posters here, and for sure the Journo in question, do not seem to understand that.

(I am pretty sure that Airbubba knows how CNATRA works well enough, some things haven't changed ... ).

gums 17th Apr 2018 00:07

Salute!

I am not all that hyper about the IP filling all the training and currency squares as I am about "personality", "reputation" and such of the IP.

I infer that the "board" had clues about the style and record of the IP. Maybe testimony from students? Check rides by other IP folks?

If the IP was "loose" and maybe very agressive, then that could lead to letting the student fly a bit lower than most of us would wish. But the debris field seems more like simply trying to fly 5 feet lower than the dirt. I cannot find the original thread, but seems I recall it was a Sunday and the folks had gone someplace and spent the night or two before returning to Meridian. A common scenario, and one that many of us experienced to get the nuggets trained to see strange fields and various ATC procedures and so forth.

Regardless of all of the above opinions, I lean toward lack of supervision and folks not telling the IP to 'back off' as contributing factors.

Gums opines...

megan 17th Apr 2018 01:12


I got down one or two times low enough to experience ground effect
One FJ who had a low flying penchant said that once you got down onto the ground cushion you could push forward, attitude would change, but that's all. Degree of attitude change or degree of push not quoted. Did see gun camera of going under power lines.

Airbubba 17th Apr 2018 02:46


Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 (Post 10120608)
:Mishap reports are not for public release.

Do you mean the FOIA requests for the results of the JAG investigation? Any mishap that results in a fatality, or that has pilot error as a contributory cause, will typically have a JAG investigation as well. I've seen the JAG investigations take more time than the mishap investigations before.

Maybe they are not for public release but here's 81 pages of the command investigation report into the mishap with endorsements:

https://news.usni.org/2018/04/16/fin...-goshawk-crash

As you suggest, the missing qual seems to be a paperwork error. I don't see anywhere that the instructor wasn't qualified to fly the T-45.


Originally Posted by Airbubba (Post 10119375)
The former VT-7 skipper has retired. Will CNATRA (Rear Adm. Bynum) step down as well?


Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 (Post 10120608)
For what?

Since the admiral cites a culture at CNATRA at large to go beyond the curriculum and a failure of leadership to oversee training operations as contributors to the cause of the accident it almost sounds like he's falling on his own sword. But, maybe not.

Both the skipper and the commodore have already retired. The commodore had already put in his papers before the mishap. Oddly enough, I met both of these men at a TW-1 ceremony at Navy Meridian a couple of years ago. The field is named after Senator John Mc Cain III's grandfather, Admiral John S. Mc Cain, Sr. (John Junior was an admiral as well).


Rather, this mishap resulted from individual pilot error, a culture within VT-7, and Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) at large, which fostered IPs and SNAS flying their aircraft beyond the bounds of approved Naval Air Training Command (NATRACOM) curriculum, and a failure of leadership to oversee training operations to ensure strict adherence to all approved publications.
From the admiral's endorsement of the command mishap report in the link above:


Executive Summary

a. On Sunday, 1 October 2Ol7, at approximately 1600 local (EDT), a T-45C jet aircraft assigned to Training Squadron SEVEN (VT-7) and piloted by LT Patrick Ruth (Instructor Pilot (IP)) and LTJG Wallace Burch (Student Naval Aviator (SNA)), impacted an isolated area of the mountainous National Forest near Tellico Plains, Tennessee. Tragically, neither the IP nor the SNA survived the crash.

b. The cause of the mishap was not due to mechanical, maintenance, or weather related issues. The cause of the mishap is not related to a physiological episode on the part of either the IP or the SNA nor due to inadequate written training procedures or directions. Rather, this mishap resulted from individual pilot error, a culture within VT-7, and Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) at large, which fostered IPs and SNAS flying their aircraft beyond the bounds of approved Naval Air Training Command (NATRACOM) curriculum, and a failure of leadership to oversee training operations to ensure strict adherence to all approved publications.

c. The mishap flight was the second leg of a properly scheduled Operational Navigation (ONAV) Low Altitude Awareness Training (LAAT) flight on an approved military training route (MTR). The aircrew was returning to their home base of Naval Air Station Meridian, as the final event in an approved weekend cross-country mission during which several ONAV LAAT training events were conducted.

d. As documented in the Second Endorsement, the IP was “flat hatting” (flight conducted at low altitude and/or a high rate of speed for thrill purposes) during various parts of this particular cross-country training event, and actively encouraged/instructed his SNA to follow his example.
The investigation further demonstrated that this IP was overly confident, nonchalant, and aggressive at low altitude training, with limited awareness of the performance capabilities of the T-45C in the LAAT environment. This attitude influenced the IP’s instructional style, and conditioned the SNA to fly the aircraft in an aggressive manner, without correction from the IP.
e. At the time of the mishap, events were being flown at the direction of the IP that exceeded approved training curriculum, specifically tactical type maneuvers. This included aggressive ridgeline crossings and descending tums that took them below the minimum altitude of 500 feet above ground level (AGL) many times, to include potentially as low as 210 feet AGL. Per the written syllabus they should not have been operating so close to the limits of the aircraft’s performance. Such advanced skills and abilities are the responsibility of the Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRSS) to train and are not part of the NATRACOM curriculum.

f. Approximately 35 seconds before the mishap, the IP told the SNA that they would deviate from the direct line of the MTR in order to follow terrain. The IP assumed control of the aircraft 26 seconds before mishap, and commenced a descending tum to demonstrate terrain following techniques. The IP nonchalantly returned the aircraft to the SNA I0 seconds before the mishap, and then instructed the SNA to make a hard right tum. What neither the IP nor SNA knew was that they were too slow and too low relative to the rising terrain in front of them and that the attempted control input to recover was beyond the limitations of the aircraft. In response to their maneuvers the aircraft entered into a stall. By the time the aircrew realized they were in extremis, it was too late to eject safely.

Lonewolf_50 17th Apr 2018 04:11

@Airbubba

Thanks, I was of course right, and the journo and the know-nothings who I responded to were as I depicted them: both ignorant and wrong. What got me to respond at all was the foolish commentary on qualifications.

I don't see anywhere that the instructor wasn't qualified to fly the T-45.
Of course not.

The previous CNATRA got fired over the OBOGS thing (among others). Trying to lay this all on current CNATRA is (IMO) absurd. Aside: he ought to have had fair warning when the JO's felt empowered to make what looked like "going on strike" was their attitude. The culture he feel in on was already sick. (I have spoken to two senior O-6's whose root cause analysis of cultural problems reach to the sequester issue ... but that's a different topic).

When you and I were nuggets, the number of deaths like those described in the report were "not uncommon" in terms of occurrence rates. Flat-hatting has been a bogey chased by CO's of squadrons since before you and I were born. We in the aviation community attract Type A personalities. A side effect off that is the risk of the above: sure, I can do that! It's been in the NATOPS(OPNAVISNT 3710 series) for a very long time: rules covering flathatting, and how wrong it is, predate me earning my wings nearly 40 years ago. I suspect that Orville and Wilbur had a few heated conversations over who was doing what with their one plane, way back when. :p


a failure of leadership to oversee training operations to ensure strict adherence to all approved publications
I have written flag officer endorsements on both JAG investigations and mishap reports for fatal accidents. (That's part of why I drink). I am fully aware of what goes into the kind of document you provided excerpts from. (Thanks). The critical leadership failures are the usual suspects: CO's and Wing Commanders who do not do a thing called "deck plate leadership" (Also a a fine old Navy tradition.) and Ops O's who don't ride herd on a bucket full of Type A personalities, or, and this is another recent problem, whose hands are tied by the current Navy culture from putting a boot in the right arse at the right time. (I've seen both ...)

When I was an IP the Ops O's freedom to stuff in the boot was not so constrained.

FWIW, if you want to read a few pages of "it makes me sick" accident summary, go to the late 90' and a mid air collision in a VT squadron. A few lives lost... and part of that problem was an unbriefed formation flight, sort of an ad hoc formation that ended in tears.

Flap62 17th Apr 2018 08:30

Sorry Lonewolf.

Still don’t get it. You, very aggressively, rail against the journo and know-nothings for inaccuracies(if you include me in the know-nothings then you are too kind but I’ve done a fair bit of this stuff cheers). I’ve read and re-read the article and can’t see anything where he doesn’t directly wuote from the report or the Admiral. A dangerous, poor instructor existed in an atmosphere of poor leadership and supervision, with ill disciplined flying practices. That ultimately led to the death of two pilots. I really struggle to see what you are so vehemently defending.

BEagle 17th Apr 2018 08:48

After finishing my Gnat course, I held for a while waiting for the pre-TWU Hunter refresher course. One day I went flying with a new QFI who had come from a non-FJ background. His flying was aggressive and not that good, to my inexperienced eyes. After a session of aeros, he had no idea how to fly the normal TAC dive procedure to Point Alfa, so I had to talk him through it....

Once back in the visual circuit, he exhorted me to pull to the buffet when turning downwind "otherwise you're not really trying hard enough" :rolleyes: I didn't go flying with him again and it didn't surprise me when he had a landing incident a few weeks later, badly damaging the aircraft.

Another non-FJ QFI killed himself and his student after mishandling the Gnat at Shawbury.

But a third pilot (ex-Victor), going through CFS to the Gnat, had the good sense to ask for a posting change as he felt that the little jet was too much for him.

It strikes me that it's those who feel they have something to prove, having never flown a FJ beforehand, who need to be watched the most when instructing on fast jet trainers. Maybe the ex-FJ pilots have a stronger sense of self-preservation?

Lonewolf_50 17th Apr 2018 13:56


Originally Posted by Flap62 (Post 10120996)
Sorry Lonewolf.

I really struggle to see what you are so vehemently defending.

I am not defending anything; I began by attacking the foolish statement (see the post by Just This Once) about an E-2C pilot not being qualified to be an IP in a T-45 (pure horsecrap), and followed up with attacking the assertions that the person was unqualified to fly the T-45. Also horsecrap. If the assessment was that this IP was flathatting, it's another tragic case of "the system learns, but individuals sometimes don't believe" that's killed people over the years.

Beyond that, this is sadly not the first time ever that an IP did something outside the box. (See my note about the tea and biscuits episode ). The midair I referred to (ad hoc formation, it's been almost 20 years since that one) IIRC did not, even though there were lives lost, lead to as many heads rolling as I would have expected.

If the command climate at the squadron, and in Trawing One, was indeed too loose then an episode like this was one of those things that was going to happen sooner or later. As stated, have been on the investigator/report writing side of that more than once.

As to firing training command CO's, and training wing commanders: it's a bit harder than you might think, but it happens now and again.

KenV 17th Apr 2018 15:02


Originally Posted by Flap62 (Post 10120996)
Sorry Lonewolf. Still don’t get it. You, very aggressively, rail against the journo and know-nothings for inaccuracies(if you include me in the know-nothings then you are too kind but I’ve done a fair bit of this stuff cheers). I’ve read and re-read the article and can’t see anything where he doesn’t directly wuote from the report or the Admiral. A dangerous, poor instructor existed in an atmosphere of poor leadership and supervision, with ill disciplined flying practices. That ultimately led to the death of two pilots. I really struggle to see what you are so vehemently defending.

I thought Lonewolf was very clear and quite detailed in his rebuttal. I suggest you re-read what Lonewolf wrote rather than re-reading the article. There's a lot you appear to have missed.

Flap62 17th Apr 2018 16:13

Read his posts? Thanks Ken, hadn’t thought of that.

I’ll leave you with the words of the Admiral


Bynum also said it was questionable that Ruth was even qualified to fly the T-45C or teach the low-level maneuvers, because there was no record he’d completed the requisite training in the T-45C
Given that, the JTO post was entirely reasonable but I’ll leave you guys to beat yourself to death with mnemonics and so on.

ORAC 17th Apr 2018 16:37


I began by attacking the foolish statement (see the post by Just This Once) about an E-2C pilot not being qualified to be an IP in a T-45 (pure horsecrap)
I cannot cut and paste all of it, but following the link at #15, and reading the restatement of opinion 22, page 59, subpara i, it would seem to cast doubt on the foolishness of the statement.

...”As an E-2C pilot prior to joining CINTRA, Lt Ruth did not have prior experience in dynamic flight regimes......

”Throughtout the weekend Lt Ruth and his student had numerous excursions right to the edge of the aircraft’s performance envelope, with no real understanding of the danger.......”

Lonewolf_50 17th Apr 2018 17:32


Originally Posted by ORAC (Post 10121441)
I cant cut and paste it, but following the link at #15, and reading the statement of opinion 22, page 59, subpara i, it would seem to cast doubt the foolishness of the statement.

OK, I get to page 8, which gets to report page 59, which gets to opinion i. 22:
sorry, you are badly mistaken.
See above my point about the IUT syllabus. These three links provide: two training instructions for T-45 IP qualification and ONAV qualification, as well as the IUT syllabus that the IP has to complete to be QUALIFIED to fly a T-45 as an IP.

That an E2-C pilot did not fly low level missions in an F-18 is irrelevant to his qualification as an instructor in a T-45. CNATRA and the Wing has that training syllabus for just that purpose; to make sure IP's are qualified to instruct in each stage of training. If you don't pass that check ride you don't instruct in that stage. I repeat for all of the ignorant: any claim or assertion that this instructor was not qualified to fly or instruct in the T-45 are a load of bollocks. Whether he was a good, bad, or in between IP is another matter. The opinion offered (rather casually) that the E-2 community background informs this mishap is dubious, at best ... but I won't get into the reasons for that here.

The report is blatantly obvious in its conclusion:
1. This IP exceeded curriculum standards.
You, and a few others, are fishing for a red herring.

Look into the very same paragraph and read the following: "Many of the habit patterns and techniques he chose to use during low altitude flights were both violations of existing guidance and unsafe." That has bloody fork all to do with what aircraft he flew in the fleet.

The irritating part about this write up (for me)is that if these habits were known previous to the mishap, then why wasn't he called in for tea and biscuits with the Ops O or the CO, and had the LL quall pulled until he straightened up?
That's the issue with command climate that gets me smashing my head into the desk ... and it's not the first mishap endorsement that I've ever read that had something like this in it.

If you go to the end of the report, you can sum up this mishap with some alacrity:
2. IP demonstrated overconfidence in own abilities. (Gee, the first time this ever killed someone, right? Nope).

3. Contributing factor: it appears that peers and higher up the chain were aware, or partially aware of this and failed to correct it.
(And here I smash my head on the desk again).

@Airbubba: this appears to be an excerpt from the JAG investigation.

ORAC 17th Apr 2018 17:40

Lone_Wolf,

When I go to it the document in the reader starts at page 52 (of the document, not the reading tool), just scroll through the first 7 pages on view.

Just This Once... 17th Apr 2018 18:05


Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 (Post 10120608)
Fact 4. I actually know something about how this works. PM me if you are interested in other facts.

Thanks for the offer of a PM but I am pretty clear on the report and the journalist's summary. My original quote above remains factual and having digested the linked report I should have probably written it in bold type.

The report states that:


"...as an E-2C pilot, the IP had no exposure to low altitude flying in previous tours, and very limited exposure in this tour. The syllabus used to train him and the oversight it proscribed did not properly prepare him to instruct in the low altitude environment."

Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 (Post 10120608)
Given that they can't, it is really remarkable that you made that up.

Seems like they can and that the USN believes this contributed to the accident.

Your brashness is rather quaint but please excuse me if I don't join in.

Just This Once... 17th Apr 2018 18:56

This extract from page 51 is particularly revealing with respect to IUTs:


We also need standardized instruction in CNATRA, and not all IPs bring the same level of experience in low-altitude fast jet operations, which is a very unforgiving regime of fight. The gradual expansion and de-standardization of the scope of the ONAV syllabus was extended to IPs whose background does not adequately prepare them to fly, let alone instruct, the expanded scope of a mission they are learning to perform for perhaps the first time in their career.

The safety net of verified and approved fight procedures does not exist in publications or lectures, or even at all for this aircraft. We rely on IUTs to request additional IUT sorties until they feel “comfortable” instructing ONAV missions. In this, case, it appears LT Ruth was essentially making up his own procedures and was clearly comfortable with aggressive maneuvers at low altitude.

I believe his comfort level was built upon overconfidence and a misperception that the level of knowledge, experience, and oversight provided to him as an ONAV instructor was adequate. It was not.

I don’t know if he would feel comfortable flying a T-45C at the edge of its envelope at low altitude, but I don’t believe he was given the tools, including oversight, to even recognize he was there. The system failed at every level: the cowboy attitude of the individual, the lack of oversight by the squadron and the Wing, and the lack of adequate training resources from CNATRA.

gums 17th Apr 2018 19:44

Salute!

Thank you, "Once".

I have to go with the disdain for the "cowboy" attitude, and we may never had known about the mishap flight or previous flights without recovering the HUD video and other recorders. I flew one of the first planes with the HUD and radar and flight data recorders. We recovered most, so if you lived you couldn't lie at the accident board. Have a sad one of a friend barely missing recovery and last thing you see is that the sage brush is now visible.

I really didn't get "scared' enuf to stop showboating, but had sound leadership and counsel. And that was that! Survived first combat tour and became an IP in that jet back stateside with only about 1500 total hours, 400 hours in type. Then another tour and another "sentence" to be an IP for next 700 hours in a new jet. Along the way, I saw many good management and leadership examples involving training and in combat. Our training went to good progressions of skill levels and increasing difficulty or envelope considerations as a result of that war. We also preached that the Pk of the rocks was 99.999% and being hit by a SAM or AAA was lots less than that.

I was surprised that the ridgecrossing maneuvers involved so many gees. I made many, and can't recall ever getting more than 2 or 3 gees except for initial pull. Hell, my best wingie and I would be coming home and roll in formation ( about 1000 feet line abreast) completely inverted and coast over a ridge, then roll back and press on. Staying at 500 feet was last thing we thot of. So being overly aggressive can get you in trouble quickly, like burying the nose and being 50 knots slower that you paraticed. And then you have to really know the envelope, which did not seem part of this IP's kit.

Oh well, RIP

Gums opines...

Just This Once... 17th Apr 2018 21:36

Yes the 4g inverted does sound extreme and well beyond the way we flew the Hawk... although we did teach and fly 4g for all low level turns - something we don’t do on the frontline.

The low-level cruise speed on the Goshawk seems a bit odd too. We cruise at 420kts at low level in the Hawk, keeping more energy and performance in hand. As well-matched 1v1 Hawk fights frequently end up with both players at base height / opposite sides at 300kts or so we are attuned to the rubbish performance at such low speeds. The comments suggest the 360+-30kts cruise is to mitigate bird strikes, but thanks to one regular poster on this forum the front screen was considerably strengthened on all Hawk derivatives many years ago. Flying in the 300kts range in rising terrain is not a great place to be. If you are trying to pull 4g at that speed the AoA will climb rather rapidly and the energy will drain away - a very poor place to be in a Hawk / Goshawk.

ORAC 17th Apr 2018 21:47

So let me summarise my, non-pilot, understanding of what occurred.

1. The original training system did not cover tactical low level flying, or the limits of the aircraft performance envelope. According 2nd tour pilots, including from non-tactical tours, were considered as suitable instructors.

2. Somewhere along the line the syllabus was expanded to include elements of tactical flying. No review of instructor background or experience was included and IPs without the required skill levels were appointed and neither given the required training or supervision for their duties.

3. Perhaps due to the undefined nature of the additional tactical training required, and perhaps induced by those experienced pilots who were happy with the entire skill set, the system allowed the IPs to introduce even more elements beyond even those required - and nobody in the chain of command queried the requirement creep or the qualifications of their subordinates to safely perform it.

4. Junior IPs, encouraged by the ethos around them, and without adequate supervision, are now performing training both outside the syllabus and their own training, and perhaps ability, without realising the danger - and without knowing it.

5. The inevitable happened.

Two questions immediately arise. Firstly, were any flags waved by anyone in the training system prior to the accident. Secondly, was the failure caused by a fault in the training design/review system or someone overriding the system?

Was this a case not over a cocky IP killing his student, or a fatally flawed system killing both an IP unqualified for the tasks he was attempting to perform and his student? If so, where did, or does, the responsibility lie?

Lonewolf_50 17th Apr 2018 23:00


Originally Posted by ORAC (Post 10121863)
So let me summarise my, non-pilot, understanding of what occurred.

OK

1. The original training system did not cover tactical low level flying, or the limits of the aircraft performance envelope.
What are you talking about? Are you claiming that, in a syllabus that teaches students to fly and has ONAV as an element of flying that they don't teach that?

? Did you read the syllabus.
Did you read the NATOPS manual?
Did you read the FTI?
The NATOPS qual i nmodel covers performance limits of the aircraft. That's before you get trained and earn the qual in a given stage of training. (Instruments, deck landings, ACM, etc).

According 2nd tour pilots, including from non-tactical tours, were considered as suitable instructors.
What is a non tactical tour? Please explain your terms.

Here's a note for you: just as over 50% of the primary instructors (ab initio training, before one can get to the jet pipeline in the T-45) are fleet or FMF helicopter pilots. They teach fixed wing ab initio students.
Now, you need to understand something.
E-2C pilots have to go through the T-45 so that they can earn a deck landing qual.
You have to learn how to fly the T-45 before you get to fly the E-2C.
Do You Understand?
Any Of You?
Deal with it. That's reality. If I were to believe the foolishness in this thread, in the past 10-12 years every E-2C pilot who went to a T-45 squadron should have died in a flaming wreck on an ONAV hop. Funny old thing, though, That's Not What has Happened.

The T-2 Buckeye used to be the car qual bird for the E-2, but that stopped over a decade ago when the T-2 went away.

2. Somewhere along the line the syllabus was expanded to include elements of tactical flying.
No. Tactical flying has always been in the T-45 syllabus. (Sadly, a bit over a decade ago, Guns went away "to save money." )

No review of instructor background or experience was included and IPs without the required skill levels were appointed and neither given the required training or supervision for their duties.
Incorrect. No review of Instructor Background? Horse Apples. Where do you come up with this?
The required training is in the syllabus, but whether the standards of training were upheld is to me a question that has been answered in the negative. Here's a clue for you: there's been more than one E-2C pilot who has instructed in a T-45. Just sayin' ... and some of them do not pursue, for example, the ACM qual. I knew a few who did, but it's been some years ... huh, they didn't end up as smoking holes either. Fancy that.

3. Perhaps due to the undefined nature of the additional tactical training required
-- ONAV has been in the T-45 syllabus for as long as I can remember ... OK, thanks, ORAC, I am now reliving the hell that is a curriculum conference. Arrrgggghhhhh

How a wing selects and qualifies its IPs to teach that will include how many IP's are there and who qualifies in that stage as an IP. If the IP can't meet standards, the qual should not be earned, or it should be pulled if standards are not maintained. Failing to adhere to the syllabus/FTI constraints appears to be a core problem, which is informed by your next point ..

4. IPs... encouraged by the ethos around them, and without adequate supervision, are now performing training both outside the syllabus and their own training, and perhaps ability, without realising the danger - and without knowing it
. Possibly true, and it would not surprise me. The report you have access to lays some serious lumber on that core point. That some IP's strayed (as in more than this particular IP) looks to have been a norm that a blind eye was turned to, rather than the boot up the arse I mentioned previously. Stuff like that is why you have (are supposed to have) Stan departments, to rid herd on that.

5. The inevitable happened.
If enough people are, during dual hops, teaching and doing things beyond the curriculum limits, and in this glaring case beyond their own capability, the chances go up for it to end in tears.

Two questions immediately arise.
Firstly, were any flags waved by anyone in the training system prior to the accident.
Good question. If flags were raised, were they addressed and corrected? It appears not.

Secondly, was the failure caused by a fault in the training design/review system or someone overriding the system
?
What do you mean to 'someone overriding the system' ... not making sense here.
Breaking the rules, particularly at high speed and low altitude is called flat hatting. It's been forbidden for a long time. People (can) get their wings pulled for that. (I knew personally of five cases that I can remember with ease (in terms of I knew the pilot personally) in both the fleet and in the training command where flat hatting led to a loss of wings).

Was this a case not over a cocky IP killing his student, or a fatally flawed system killing both an IP for the tasks he was attempting to perform and his student?
You keep using that word
unqualified
It doesn't mean what you think it means. It's like me trying to describe neurosurgery, ya see ...

Let me spell this out for you. To get your NATOPS qual, and your instrument card, and to be assigned to fly instructional hops for VT-7 (in this case) you have to qualify in the aircraft. Secondly, to teach in each stage of training, you have to earn and maintain your qualification and currency in that stage.

That is what qualified means. What you flew in the fleet is somewhat irrelevant if you can show that you are able to teach the required maneuvers. (The VT squadrons used to be picky about who the ACM instructors were, for example. For good reason).

Let me illustrate the word qualified:
I was a qualified primary aerobatics instructor for about two years, and a standards instructor in that stage for about a year.
(I flew helicopters in the fleet, none of which were aerobatic aircraft). I was qualified to fly and teach the maneuvers that were in the syllabus. I was not qualified to do airshow flight demonstrations, eh? I was not qualified to do low level high energy maneuvers, nor to teach them.

Some fools in this thread would assert that, due to me having flown helicopters in the fleet, I was by default not qualified to teach aerobatics, which is in fact a wrong assertion.

What we were teaching to the students was nothing fancy:
loop, wingover, aeileron roll, half Cuban eight, barrel roll, simple inverted flight straight and level ... things like hammerheads and tail slides were strictly verboten. VFR, must have visual reference on the ground.

The system could not help me, for example, if I had gone out on my own and tried to do aerobatics in IFR conditions; if I had done aerobatics below the minimum 5500' ceiling, or had been teaching those maneuvers over an overcast layer, or tried to pull a lomcevok maneuver in that aircraft (it wasn't made for such things).

If this mishap IP was performing, and even worse teaching, maneuvers at altitudes and angles of attack not within the curriculum standards, the system can't help him unless it discovers that he's doing it, gets his attention, and then does one of two things:

1. Pulls the qual (temporary or permanent; in the former case ...)
2. Retrains to standards and "get his mind right."

That the command climate element, not bringing people back into the fold when they stray, was a significant contribution here seems to be a solid finding.

Oh, by the way, ONAV wasn't invented last year. It's been in the T-45 syllabus for something like 20 years. This is not to say that it never changed.
Training gets tweaked a lot. That's part of the system also.

Lonewolf_50 17th Apr 2018 23:40


Originally Posted by Just This Once... (Post 10121566)
"...as an E-2C pilot, the IP had no exposure to low altitude flying in previous tours, and very limited exposure in this tour.

What he flew in the fleet is a red herring.
As I noted to ORAC: the majority of the IPs in the USN who teach ab initio training, T-6 and the T-34 before that, were fleet or FMF helicopter pilots. Been true for about 25-30 years. According to you, it would appear that they should not be instructing fixed wing students.
Sorry, JTO, that's not reality.

The syllabus used to train him and the oversight it proscribed did not properly prepare him to instruct in the low altitude environment."
Apparently so. What he flew in the fleet hardly matters (actually doesn't matter) if that piece isn't working properly. If the Wing or CNATRA bugger up that piece, as a system, any IP

PS: to correct yet another error in that post of yours ... the oversight is not proscribed in the syllabus, though standards are.
Oversight is a command function, and it is laid out in the body of regulations, SOPs, Orders, and more that Training Wings operate under, to include the Standards instructions and regulations.
And OPNAVISNT 3710.7
And the T-45 NATOPS manual.

jimjim1 18th Apr 2018 06:10


Originally Posted by Airbubba (Post 10120842)
here's 81 pages of the command investigation report into the mishap with endorsements:

https://news.usni.org/2018/04/16/fin...-goshawk-crash

Thanks.

I found the original report almost impossible to read in any combination I tried due to the way it is embedded within another page. Here is the report on it's own which seems to improve matters.

CMD Investigation Into Trng Squadron SEVEN Class a Aircraft Mishap T 45C BUNO 165632 Vacinity of Tellico Plains TN 1OCT2017

There is a link to the "Original Document (PDF) »" on that page however the one above renders better for me for reasons that are entirely beyond me.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/doc...EVEN-Class.pdf

One very fine thing about html is that it is often easy enough to untangle such instances without real technical understanding.

View Source
Search for txt immediately above the point of interest
"too late to eject safely"
Desired link is often right there below and can be copied out.
There may be an even easier way but I didn't find it in this case.

Just This Once... 18th Apr 2018 07:54

Lonewolf, your tone and manner does not help in promoting your argument. Your repetitious apportioning of USN opinions that I have quoted, accurately and faithfully, to me personally is doing you no favours.

If you disagree with the USN report then feel free to offer your opinion as to why you differ. The USN has questioned the wisdom of placing an individual who had done zero tactical low-level flying outside of his initial training years earlier and undertook just 4 low level sorties in benign terrain during his IUT, becoming an IP in that role in more challenging terrain. Other USN commentators have agreed with that viewpoint and signed their name to it.

As an independent observer who has spent all of his career routinely operating at low level, in peace and war, I do share the concerns raised in the USN report. Like a number of others on this forum my career included both ME aircraft and FJ, with a small amount of rotary time in the test community. Switching roles offered me zero shortcuts when it came to training and the experience required, so to the UK posters above the USN practice does look odd, so you could consider cutting us a little slack.

Lonewolf_50 18th Apr 2018 15:58


Originally Posted by Just This Once... (Post 10122288)
Lonewolf, your tone and manner does not help in promoting your argument.

I am going to tell you this again: blaming this on the IP being an E-2 pilot is a red herring.


and undertook just 4 low level sorties in benign terrain during his IUT, becoming an IP in that role in more challenging terrain
Indeed a systemic issue: that has to do with IP training, not what aircraft he flew in the fleet. Your FJ bias is obvious in your posts. It is as present in the USN (within aviator culture) as it appears to be on your side of the pond.

Rather than blame the IP on his background, the core issue is: was the IUT implemented well, correctly, and was the follow up present? The report argues that the answers are not positive: there were holes a-plenty in that block of swiss cheese. The Navy assigns the IPs they have to where they go, and it's been long practice to assign E-2 pilots to T-45 squadrons, and for about 35 years we have had EA-6B pilots in VT squadrons as well: T-2, A-4, T-45. But wait, you will now protest, all they do is fly around beaming EW rays, they don't do low level attack in the fleet! (The occasional Italian cable car excepted) Gee, the funny old truth is that EA-6B pilots aren't constrained in effectiveness as IPs due to fleet platform either.

It is up to the training establishment to ensure that the IP meets standards before taking the first student event. The other problem of pilot overconfidence in own abilities is not confined to E-2 pilots. (Shoreham Air Show, not so long ago, for one example among hundreds).

I have a different ax to grind with the Navy over the T-45 syllabus in particular, which is that when you keep cutting the number of hours and events in a syllabus that was rationally designed through the ISD method, to replace the two phase T-2 to A-4 jet syllabus, and that had already had a "cut 10% because it's cheaper" (Rumsfeld era), and following that came the annual efforts to trim a hop here and a hop there, that attitude (which comes from a bit higher in the Nav than CNATRA, but is sometimes found in that HQ as well) begins to have an impact on the internal culture where "how little can we get away with doing" becomes far too common of a thought process. It takes someone to now and again stand up and raise a BS flag (which is not infrequently career suicide).
I note that the report fails to address that cultural problem, at all. This kind of systemic pressure gets hidden far too often, or is not addressed, and even gets edited out of formal reports during the drafting stages.

1. Please pardon me if I don't hold the report as a holy writ.

2. Blaming the pilot's fleet platform is quite simply bullshit.

Your experience as a Hawk pilot is respected. You know how the Hawk flies.
Your post

Remarkable that a USN pilot can join, train, fly orbits on the E-2C for his first 3-year tour, get posted as a fast jet instructor before wiping himself and his student out. Only now do they wonder if the instructor was even qualified on the T-45C.
is complete bullshit.

GreenKnight121 19th Apr 2018 07:53


Originally Posted by Airbubba (Post 10118837)
As a famous Naval Aviator would say, "Jumpin' Jehosaphat!" :ugh:

Grampaw Pettibone!

http://navalaviationnews.navylive.do...paw-pettibone/


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:33.


Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.