F-18F Catastrophic Failure

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popcorn

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Unread post16 Mar 2018, 05:26

Sadly, the crew was unable to eject. :salute: :salute:

Eyewitness report: Navy F/A-18F exploded before fatal crash

An eyewitness said that the Navy F/A-18F aircraft that crashed on approach to Naval Air Station Key West yesterday, killing two aviators, may have exploded in midair.

Navy officials said late Thursday that the aircraft was on final approach to the base from a routine training mission when the mishap occurred, but couldn’t go into further detail while undergoing the preliminary stages of the investigation.

One eyewitness, however, who lives along the aircraft’s approach path to the base, told Military.com yesterday that the crash “looked like something out of a movie.”

Barbie Wilson had stopped to watch the F/A-18 flying overhead when she saw what she called a “massive malfunction” in midair.

“The wings went vertical, and there was a fireball, and it just literally dropped out of the sky,” Wilson said in the report.

Source: https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-nav ... tal-crash/
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Unread post16 Mar 2018, 13:09

The crew were able to eject and did eject, but some reports say that the jet rolled before bursting into flames, suggesting that they didn't have enough altitude for their chutes to open fully. They were also ejecting over water, they could have been hurt during / prior to ejection and depending on where they landed (one news report says they were found nearly a mile away from the aircraft, but I think that's probably misreported) they could have landed in water with coral (which can be razor sharp).

The plane was on final approach to Boca Chica Field, NAS Key West when the event occurred; a source providing information to Defense News says the Super Hornet was operating on one engine and was coming in for an arrested landing (which collaborates with the fact that photos show the hook deployed) when something happened to the plane approximately 1 mile from the runway.

As for what happened to the plane, a bird strike or second engine failure might have been the culprit, with the plane possibly rolling due to pilot error while reaching for the ejection handle, but I'm not certain that the investigation will find the cause to be that simple; I might be wrong and Occam's Razor might apply, but I get the impression from photos like these that the jet might possibly have experienced a fuel cell #1 rupture or something similar (the fuselage may have separated on impact, but they were on final approach (with whatever occurred likely slowing the plane's forward airspeed further), the bottoms & sides of the engine bays at least look fairly undamaged and the water doesn't look high enough for the forward fuselage to have floated away).
Last edited by Dragon029 on 17 Mar 2018, 04:20, edited 1 time in total.
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element1loop

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Unread post16 Mar 2018, 15:56

Occam's Razor does apply, this result requires only one failure.

Residual fuel leaking into the combuster after a compressor fails can do this. Change in O2 availability, such as airflow striking the fan starts free-wheeling the seized/damaged compressor once again pushing O2 in, pooled hot fuel vapor detonates in the combuster, pressure rises exponentially faster than it vents --> uncontainable explosion --> what we see.
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Unread post16 Mar 2018, 17:40

But if it was just an engine explosion failure, big enough to be described as a fireball from over from a mile away, wouldn't we expect to see more damage to the rear fuselage?
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Unread post17 Mar 2018, 01:59

"... Barbie Wilson, who lives near Naval Air Station Key West, said she saw the crash from her pickup while running an errand.

"It was going in to land, and all of a sudden, the whole thing flipped sideways and I saw a fireball," witness Barbie Wilson told CBS News. "Then the plane just dropped out of the sky."

Wilson said her husband later told her he had heard two loud booms from their house nearby. She said the plane landed upside down in water that's barely deep enough for a kayak.

"It was just a matter of minutes, and there were rescue helicopters," she said. "You can't get to it by boat or car."

Justin Duane Hults, who also lives near the base, said the roar of the jet's engines sounded abnormal right before the crash.

"They were coming in to land like they always do," he said. "But (the engines) got real loud and then really quiet instead of (the roar) being long and drawn out."
...'

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pentagon-h ... -key-west/

----

This might account for it:

Aircraft enters approach AOA and speed, changed duct airflow hits fan, starts to turn the failed/seized engine core again, which did not cool down much as no air was passing through the seized compressor.

There's an on-going fuel leak into the combuster creating hot vapor but only enough air for a brief small fire, then first small(er) detonation, which escalates immediately as the fan spins up or the compressor case was opened up, a rush of air then allows a more powerful explosion within the combustor.

The turbine casing manages to prevent the hot section blowing open under pressure, so combuster blows open into the compressor again, and into bypass duct, letting more air in ---> large fireball.

High-power single engine approach.

Fire warning sounds as initial small fire starts.

Confused distracted pilot almost immediately feels a first strong detonation, shock, distraction, confusion, presumes shutdown engine can't be problem, suspects good engine is now having a problem, second strong detonation frags engine core into airframe, can't assimilate this, feels he must almost immediately pull the good engine to idle to prevent another blast, but quickly stalls, drops wing, inverts.

Severe distraction and sensory overload narrows pilot into an error which seemed like an essential thing to do.

Highest drag configuration did the rest -- really quickly. AOA increased as speed fell.

It may not be this, at all, but one engine failure can account for it.
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Unread post17 Mar 2018, 04:15

Or maybe the two loud booms were just each ejection seat escaping.
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Unread post19 Mar 2018, 09:01

pushoksti wrote:Or maybe the two loud booms were just each ejection seat escaping.

Or maybe you didn't read the whole story. Say it with me... THEY DID NOT EJECT :bang:
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Unread post19 Mar 2018, 11:11

dragracingmaniac wrote:Or maybe you didn't read the whole story. Say it with me... THEY DID NOT EJECT :bang:

https://theaviationist.com/2018/03/15/u ... rted-dead/
Reports indicate the crew did eject from the aircraft prior to the crash.

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-nav ... -key-west/
The pilot and weapons system officer ejected and were recovered, but U.S. Naval Air Forces reported late Wednesday night that both had died.
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rheonomic

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Unread post20 Mar 2018, 00:51

Or we could wait for the AIB report and actually get the facts...
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Unread post20 Mar 2018, 04:13

Navy doesn't do AIB's, though JAGMAN is the equivalent.......SIR is the actual mishap safety investigation, and is not publicly releasable, even via FOIA request. JAGMAN is a separate board, convened for legal purposes, and does not share the concept of privileged information like the SIR. It is sometimes FOIA'd, mainly in higher profile mishaps, but not released as a standard practice like USAF AIB's.

Since someone will probably mention it, Kara Hultgreen's actual SIR was leaked to the media, illegally.
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Unread post20 Mar 2018, 08:56

Dragon029 wrote:
dragracingmaniac wrote:Or maybe you didn't read the whole story. Say it with me... THEY DID NOT EJECT :bang:

https://theaviationist.com/2018/03/15/u ... rted-dead/
Reports indicate the crew did eject from the aircraft prior to the crash.

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-nav ... -key-west/
The pilot and weapons system officer ejected and were recovered, but U.S. Naval Air Forces reported late Wednesday night that both had died.

Oh....
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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 03:31

Virginia Beach-based Navy jet that crashed near Key West was flying with 1 engine, document says
27 Mar 2018 Brock Vergakis

"The Navy jet that crashed March 14 off Florida’s coast and resulted in both crew members’ deaths was flying with only one engine as it attempted to land, according to the Naval Safety Center....

...The pilot, Lt. Cmdr. James Brice Johnson, and weapons systems officer Lt. Caleb Nathaniel King ejected, were picked up in water near Key West and were taken to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead....

...Witnesses reported seeing a fireball and then the jet falling out of the sky into shallow water. Photographs showed the jet upside down in the water with its landing gear down. The jet was removed from the water late last week, according to Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman...."



Source: https://pilotonline.com/news/military/l ... 045ce.html
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rheonomic

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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 03:46

35_aoa wrote:Navy doesn't do AIB's, though JAGMAN is the equivalent.......SIR is the actual mishap safety investigation, and is not publicly releasable, even via FOIA request. JAGMAN is a separate board, convened for legal purposes, and does not share the concept of privileged information like the SIR. It is sometimes FOIA'd, mainly in higher profile mishaps, but not released as a standard practice like USAF AIB's.


Huh, never knew that about the Navy.
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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 16:08

element1loop wrote:Occam's Razor does apply, this result requires only one failure.

Residual fuel leaking into the combuster after a compressor fails can do this. Change in O2 availability, such as airflow striking the fan starts free-wheeling the seized/damaged compressor once again pushing O2 in, pooled hot fuel vapor detonates in the combuster, pressure rises exponentially faster than it vents --> uncontainable explosion --> what we see.


Mate, with all respect, you do not know what you are talking about.

Explain why, on final approach, as the aircraft is decelerating, there would suddenly be an increase in dynamic air pressure that is enough to windmill the previously shut down engine?

Perhaps if you knew the Hornet family you would even know what airspeed you need to keep an already shutdown engine windmilling? Or how fast you need to go to get a static engine to spin up?

Let the professionals do their job!
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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 16:53

south wrote:Let the professionals do their job!

^Amen
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