Mishap Info

Military aircraft accidents/mishaps.
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TC

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Unread post14 Feb 2004, 09:09

Since the topic of aircraft mishaps has come up in other threads, I figured I'd start a thread dedicated to none other than a/c mishaps. So, I'll strike first.

Does anyone remember this one out of Alaska around 87 or so? An F-15 was leaving either an airshow, or an exercise, loaded down with 3 drop tanks. He took off in full blower, and flew out to where he could gain enough speed, and then turned around and made a low pass over the runway going near transonic. When he got to the end of the runway, he snatched back on the stick (remember, still full of gas) and in the process, over-G'd the plane, and the jet disintegrated.

Anyone remember this one? Anyone know where he was from, or why the dumf*ck was doing what he was doing, other than showing off, and being a complete horse's @$$
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Jorgo

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Unread post15 Feb 2004, 18:51

I've heard of a similar accident (surely this hasn't been done twice).

I believe he was showing off, pulled on the stick like a schoolboy, and the engines accelerated away (after losing 20 tons of jet) and were found about 20 miles away.
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kmceject

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Unread post16 Feb 2004, 04:18

Jorgo, the story may be true, oddly I never heard of it, but the magnitude of your numbers seems high. I tend to doubt a 20 mile toss of the engines. 2-3 miles easy, since we are talking the same kind of 'delivery' as toss bombing, subtracting the energy loss of tearing mounts and airframe, plus adding the high drag of an uncased, unstable engine fragment.

Kevin
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Unread post16 Feb 2004, 07:26

From all accounts that I've heard concerning this mishap, they pretty much buried the poor b@$tard in a matchbox. The F-15 completely disintegrated. Obviously, the pilot was instantly killed. This was a waste of perfectly good machinery. It's a shame though, for him, killing himself being stupid, and wasting a perfectly good plane. Pilots always need to be aware of not only the aircraft's limitations, but their own. Pilots who believe they have an "S" on their chests don't last long, either by being weeded out, or having an unfortunate incident such as this occur.
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kmceject

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Unread post18 Feb 2004, 16:23

TC, This is about the mishap you mentioned on the A-7 thread. I figured it made more sense to respond here. I reviewed my tape which shows two aircraft at a bombing range. The range is very hilly with the flats on the left of the tape and rising hills to the right. First aircraft makes a pass left-right and drops at the base of the first hill. Second aircraft approaches from right to left and splashes right on the other drop site scattering debris across the flatland area. The image on my tape isn't clear enough to determine aircraft type let alone tail codes I'm afraid.

Matter of fact, the whole tape is seriously degraded. The section this is in is labled TailHook Teaser '91, and has 20+ mishaps. Several of them from the PLATS cameras are so degraded I am really hoping I have a copy of the tape somewhere that isn't as bad. (I made several copies for friends over the years.)

Among the more interesting mishaps there is a F-18 that had some form of problem, perhaps with its gear. The plane comes in and lands on a runway, and the first footage shown is from the HUD tape where there are rapid occilations ending with the aircraft pointing off the runway about 45 degrees at a 20-40 degree tilt to the right. In the middle of the sliding view the HUD tape breaks up for a fraction of a second. About 3 seconds later as the aircraft has slid to a halt the pilot appears and makes a typical pilot PLF (aka sack of potatoes crashing to earth) dead center of the HUD. He rapidly slides out of view dragged by his parachute. They then show the view from outside as the plane lands, slides and the pilot ejects. Within 15 seconds of the plane touching down the emergency vehicles are on their way, and the wingman overflys the scene. The last thing I can make out before the cut to the next mishap is the pilots parachute fully inflated off on the very edge of the frame, obviously dragging him off into the distance.

Kevin
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TC

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Unread post19 Feb 2004, 05:31

Thanks for the info on that mishap Kevin. That has to be the same one I'm thinking of. I got a couple of details mixed up, but then again, I haven't seen the video in 12 years! Wonder what became of the Hornet pilot you mentioned. Also, seems odd to me that he would have waited until after impact to punch out, unless he was on fire maybe...
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kmceject

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Unread post19 Feb 2004, 19:13

TC, it looked like he was trying a landing, but when the gear collapsed and the aircraft headed off-road, he decided that it wasn't a 4x4 so he ejected.

Kevin
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Jorgo

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Unread post19 Feb 2004, 19:16

Hi Kevin,

Well the instructor that relayed that story to us was an exaggerator (he was telling thousands of stories that were hundreds of miles off the mark). So the numbers were probably a little generous. However the engines still had thrust for a short amount of time, and probably assisted their trajectory, unlike a standard toss bomb lob. Apparently. Or maybe not.

That's it, I'm going to check my facts from now on, and not push rumours. :wink:
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Lawman

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Unread post19 Feb 2004, 21:16

kmceject wrote:TC, it looked like he was trying a landing, but when the gear collapsed and the aircraft headed off-road, he decided that it wasn't a 4x4 so he ejected.

Kevin
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He got it, the crash in question Involved a Plane that was very high up in its hours. The A-D model Hornets main landing gear assembly has its weakest point being a support brace, and there have been a few crashes over the years of that brace failing on landing. Not the pilots fault, maybe not the maintainers fault just a bad part that nobody caught.

The gear have been redesigned on the new Hornets for this very reason.
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TC

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Unread post20 Feb 2004, 05:25

I was thinking it had to be some sort of Depot issue, concerning the landing gear. I'm sure they've corrected the problem via, a new TCTO. All I know, is if you do manage to collapse the gear of a Hornet, you have definitely done something! You have to work EXTREMELY hard to bust an 18's gear. They are bulky, very strong, and can survive the roughest of landings. Obviously, because they know a Navy jock will, invariably, plant one, like he's trying to hit a pinhead on the runway.
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Unread post20 Feb 2004, 16:41

Salute all!

I'm afraid that I'll consider the Eagle story an urban legend until I see a newspaper article, USAF Accident Report, eyewitness account, etc. Too many things don't add up, IMHO.

Will try to find a newspaper account.

out,
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Jorgo

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Unread post21 Feb 2004, 12:53

It was at Elmendorf apparently. I have had no luck sourcing any offficial info, but here is a response from an F15 pilot.
A high speed pass, an attempted pullup, followed immediately by the aircraft breaking up and falling wingless into the water. An F-15 with 3 full fuel tanks and at high subsonic speed is extremely G-limited and the F-15 will quite happily allow the pilot to almost instantaneously pull through the allowable limit to beyond the structural failure point.

Consider that each fuel tank carries around 4000 pounds of fuel so each G will increase the load on the plane by 12,000 pounds. The F-15E is strengthened to accept higher fuselage-wing loads so it can pull a few G's with bombs on the fuselage, but the F-15A-D was not built to withstand that much additional load. I am morbidly curious as to whether the wing pylons ripped out of the wings before the wings ripped off the plane, but I'm sure it happened so quickly that it didn't matter much. The instantaneous load and rebound forces would spike both before and after material failure of the tanks, tank mouting lugs, pylons, or pylon attach points regardless of which failed first.

I remember how amazed I was at the low G-allowable displayed in the HUD the first time I ever flew with 2 bags... At the low level entry I saw somewhere under 4 allowable, a function of my speed, altitude, and gross weight of the plane and fuel tanks. As soon as a couple of thousand pounds burned off that number went back up to 9 where it belongs, but for a while the limit was very restrictive.
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Unread post21 Feb 2004, 23:29

Ok, well, at least that is on par with the version I heard. The guy had 3 bags, and ended up tumbling wingless into the Yukon River. Would imagine he G-LOCed as soon as those wings went in the opposite direction that the ship was going. Your Eagle Driver friend is also correct, in that, if he had tried that in a Strike Eagle, he MIGHT still be here to tell his version of the story.
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Unread post21 Feb 2004, 23:42

Salute!

Thanks, Jorgo.

Credibility going up, but something still sounds fishy.

BTW, the Viper wing tanks are rated approx 7 gees (maybe higher), and the centerline is 9 gees. The Cat 3 switch helps to keep Joe Baggodonuts from pulling the wings (or the bags) off, regardless.

STBY and Cylon can give us the currect restrictions on the tanks.

Biggest problem we had with the early Vipers wasn't symmetrical gees, it was rolling gees. Not only did it stress the airframe, but it also put you closer to departing controlled flight. Lord knows how many wings we twisted in those early days.

later,
Gums
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Unread post22 Feb 2004, 05:23

Out of curiosity, which F-15 was this? F-15C or E-version?

I thought the C-version is structurally designed to handle 7g+, while the E-version is re-inforced to be a fully 9g plane. (really for taking on prolong punishment of the rough nature of low attitude flying).

I get the feeling its more like an exaggerate story to scare pilots in not doing stupid things with expensive equipment paid by taxpayers. :)

It would be interesting to see an official report or investigation about it.
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