Brand new AC-130J Scrapped Due to Flying Inverted

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Unread post18 Nov 2015, 07:41

One word: OOPS. The pilot, during a training mission with flight testing accidentally departed controlled flight, rolled inverted and lost 5,000ft of altitude before the pilots managed to recover the aircraft. Aircraft was rendered a total loss because aircraft had exceeded its g-limits and design load. ... sc-419208/

The US Air Force had to scrap one of its brand-new Lockheed Martin AC-130J Ghostrider gunships following a training mishap earlier this year, the service has revealed.

In an Accident Investigation Board report released earlier this month, the Air Force Materiel Command says the adapted Hercules received damage estimated at more than $115 million after a flight-test crew lost control.

Conducted by 413th Flight Test Squadron personnel from Eglin AFB in Florida over the Gulf of Mexico on 21 April, the sortie involved what the USAF describes as an assessment of the AC-130J’s “medium-risk flying qualities”.

While being operated at roughly 15,000ft, “the aircraft exceeded the targeted angle of sideslip until it departed controlled flight,” the report states. It “momentarily inverted, before being recovered after losing approximately 5,000ft of altitude.” The aircraft’s crew – who escaped injury – returned to base and landed safely, but the Ghostrider was rendered a total loss, having exceeded its operating g limits and design load.

Investigators have attributed the incident to the pilot’s “excessive rudder input during the test point, followed by inadequate rudder input to initiate a timely recovery from high angle of sideslip due to over-controlled/under-controlled aircraft,” along with the “wrong choice of action during an operation.”

Contributing factors included: instrumentation and warning system issues; spatial disorientation; confusion; and inadequate provision of procedural guidance or publications to the team; the report states.

The US Air Force Special Operations Command received its first AC-130J at Hurlburt Field AFB in Florida in July 2015, to support testing. Once in frontline use, the type will be equipped with weapons including a 30mm cannon, 105mm cannon and a variety of precision-guided air-to-surface munitions. The service plans to have an operational fleet of 32 of the type by fiscal year 2021, with initial capability slated for FY2017.

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Unread post25 Nov 2015, 10:21

Seems you weren't aware we had posted an article on this subject AC-130J accident report released
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Unread post09 Dec 2015, 01:39

Wonder what will become of the aircraft. Can a lot of it be 'canned' for other aircraft? Perhaps a museum AC-130J sooner than we thought.


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Unread post11 Dec 2015, 16:57

I know they said brand new, but anyone know how many total hours were on the air frame?




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Unread post10 Feb 2016, 21:23

tbarlow wrote:I know they said brand new, but anyone know how many total hours were on the air frame?

299.4 total airframe hours.




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Unread post23 Feb 2016, 01:06

I think it would be a great idea to take this bird apart, ship it to the maintenance tech school at Sheppard AFB TX, put it back together, and use it as a very up to date maintenance trainer.

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