F-15QA at Mid-America

Military aircraft accidents/mishaps.
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outlaw162

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Unread post18 May 2021, 20:47

https://www.yahoo.com/news/2-pilots-eje ... 52798.html

Looks like they could have ridden this one out without ejecting.
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basher54321

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Unread post19 May 2021, 16:15

outlaw162 wrote:Looks like they could have ridden this one out without ejecting.


Don't make em like they used to I guess :D
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Unread post19 May 2021, 16:47

and if it had flipped over when it went onto the grass, what then for the pilots?! Probably severe injuries at best… I’m not a pilot but my understanding is that in the event of an unplanned runway excursion at speed, the SOP is to eject in case the ‘flip’ event then occurs.
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outlaw162

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Unread post19 May 2021, 17:32

Speaking of 'flip', there's two sides to that coin:

viewtopic.php?t=57105

This situation brings up another question. Was the ejection initiated from the front or was it a back seat command ejection? In a two seat fighter there's always a possibility that the ejection option is subject to some disagreement. I never had my back-seater in the F-4 ever set the command ejection option (command selector rotated) because of exactly this type situation. The back-seater was certainly always welcome to go on his own, but not to make the decision for me. :shock:

And there's always the possibility of an unintentional ejection. It happens.

It's interesting that the old pork barrel 'white elephant' Mid-America airport has a new lease on life with Boeing and the F-15QA training (in addition to Allegiant Air). We used to use it in the Marshal's 727 for prisoner swaps instead of Lambert because there was little to no traffic at the time. What a quiet place.

edit: Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing them.....all's well that ends well. :D
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XanderCrews

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Unread post19 May 2021, 20:37

outlaw162 wrote:https://www.yahoo.com/news/2-pilots-eject-f-15-185052798.html

Looks like they could have ridden this one out without ejecting.


"Stay off the grass" was really drilled into them in basic?
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outlaw162

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Unread post19 May 2021, 22:02

Haha, you forgot about all the Air Force golf courses. In fact when I went thru pilot training in Del Rio, they made us run our weekly mile on the golf course. Although that may have been because there were fewer snakes on the golf course.

(I know....the Marines run the mile daily. :mrgreen: )

I've seen four aircraft depart the runway. An ANG F-101, an ANG F-100, a Navy A-7, and a USAFR F-4. In no case did the pilots consider ejecting, although the F-101 landing gear did collapse. They built 'em like tanks back then. :D

On the surface, this one is strange.
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Unread post22 May 2021, 02:49

I have an old F-15E 1993 Pilot Manual which at first glance says nothing about this situation. Actions may be elsewhere.

http://www.filefactory.com/file/4zk4v1c ... 201993.pdf (19 Mb)

Always we need more detail about circumstances which will become available in due course (I'll keep me glass eye out).

One may be interested in the RAAF Shornet Ejection during takeoff with nosewheel failure. NATOPS is clear "if leaving the runway at speed - EJECT" I would have thought the same applies to any miljet going on a ditch finding excursion. As has been pointed out above (I recall a Thunderbird F-16 overturning upon landing etc. after departing paved surface). AND AS DRILLED INTO US every day EVERY BRIEFING: "IF IN DOUBT - EJECT"! {actually catch phrase 'IF IN DOUBT - PUNCH OUT!'}

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=57586 Fighter jet involved in crash at Queensland air base
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Unread post22 May 2021, 15:41

NATOPS is clear "if leaving the runway at speed - EJECT"


Turns out, one crewmember was USAF and the other was (gasp) Navy, no info out on who was in which seat or what "at speed" the ejection occurred. "At speed", a somewhat subjective concept. Unlike the RAAF Shornet, this was a landing incident.

I would have thought the same applies to any miljet going on a ditch finding excursion.


USAF may leave this to the pilot's judgement. I don't recall ever being taught to automatically eject if I was leaving the paved runway, only that I had that option....of course good judgement is no substitute for established procedures. :mrgreen:

USAF doesn't use NATOPS, Navy does. Ah, the complications of operating two-seat fighters with back-seat command ejection systems and inter-service interoperability going on in the cockpit.

We'll see.
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Unread post23 May 2021, 09:45

Sure it is complicated however a preflight briefing should clear up how the seats should be configured at least. Then whatever the current flight manual says including any SOPs for that squadron about such matters should ease the pain.

Flying a TA4G with a non-pilot passenger in the rear seat I would not have the ejection control so that the rear-seat could eject the front seat, the rear seater would be warned that 'should WE eject' their seat would go first then 0.5 seconds later the front seat would fire. The rear seater could eject themselves without the front seat going in this instance.

I think I've told the story of an RAN Observer from the helo world going for a ride in humid wet raining conditions. Nothing bad happened except when overshooting from an instrument approach the rear seat aircon started 'smoking' (making visible condensation and probably spitting small ice chunks as well). The OBS thought we were on FIRE and he said so (getting me out of my usual ennui). Thank goodness he did not eject himself because then I would have had to fly the TA4G without a canopy in the fog and rain probably not able to talk above the noise if the radio continued to work. <sigh>

I did reassure him that we were not on fire explaining about the VERY GOOD aircon in the A4G/TA4G. I was used to the condensation/ice but had forgotten to brief the passenger. Always remembered thereafter. We did go on for another approach but not seeing the runway I started to overshoot then through a hole in the fog saw the runway so I descended at idle but cushioned the touchdown with a burst of full power (again with the condensation) to land a bit long braking furiously on our wet short runway. Our Senior Pilot was in the tower (because I might have needed to wander off to another airfield) and he said he fell to the floor [wot a comedian] as I landed off the vertical glideslope with a great rooster tail of water off the wet runway from the full power coming off. Again <sigh> Alls well that ends well. :mrgreen:

Our airfield was in a bowl that filled with water with HUGE deep drainage ditches everywhere, along with the tall dinky undercart no one was going to stay with an A4G going off the runway. ZERO ZERO is YUR FREND! IF in doubt - PUNCH OUT.

BTW the helo OBS insisted he would not fly with me again <phew> :mrgreen:
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Unread post23 May 2021, 17:01

I recall taking a lady reporter for a ride in the F-4. After cautioning with the obligatory, "knees clear", during the flight control check, when I pulled the stick full aft I heard a little giggle over the intercom. Hmmm. Did it again, same giggle. A pleasant flight ensued. Flying with a pax was less of a hassle than flying with some WSOs. At least the pax knew they didn't know everything. :mrgreen:

Ah well, you can take the boy out of the single-seat, but you can't take the single-seat out of the boy.
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Unread post23 May 2021, 20:39

The MACCHI MB326H had a Martin-Baker 4B ejection seat with complicated straps including BOWYANGS to restrain legs & feet during the ride up the rails as well as a CROTCH STRAP which needed to be SUPER TIGHT for negative G restraint. Needless to say the competition for female pax strap in was fierce indeed. PARDON ME MAAM. :mrgreen:
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Unread post23 May 2021, 22:14

A good explanation of the USN RIO (backseater) ejection initiation responsibility can be found in this recent excellent clip.

Ward Carroll was an F-14 RIO of longstanding who also authored a very funny APPROACH cartoon series 'DANGER BOY'. AKA 'Brown Shoes in Action': https://www.airwarriors.com/community/t ... ics.33904/

The Real Truth About Kara Hultgreen's F-14 Tomcat Mishap https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFUXshaaMQM
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Unread post23 May 2021, 23:25

That's one way to do it. I understand what USN intended to accomplish with this approach to command ejections.

Not my preference however. As much as I joke about WSOs, ours were fine folks and represented the usual bell curve of abilities, some outstanding and some not so much.

Their responsibility was simply to set the command selector the way the aircraft commander directed, one on one. There was no broad brush or SOP approach to this. And as would be expected, our F-105 drivers, including myself, transitioning to a two-seater generally preferred not to enable the command ejection option, whereas when we started picking up previous Phantom drivers they were more likely to have the WSO rotate the command selector. Old dog, new trick syndrome. It was a frontseater choice and when I flew in the backseat as the IP I did what the frontseater requested with the command selector. It didn't affect me either way when in the back.

I noted also that the WSOs that flew with me indicated they liked the idea of not have any responsibility for the dude in front. Though it more than likely has occurred somewhere, in my time in the F-4, I never encountered or heard of a situation where a command ejection from the back seat saved anyone....

....and I just cringed at the thought that I wouldn't be ready and willing to go when an ex C-5 nav decided he was, and would end up with a broken back or worse. :shock:

(As a sidebar, not that it necessarily indicates an unexpected command ejection from either seat, but one of two guys in F-15QA was injured....and one was not.)

edit: BTW one of the arguments for was the frontseater incapacitated scenario. I figured if this occurred the WSO was the new aircraft commander and could do what he wanted. :D
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Unread post24 May 2021, 01:13

Yeah we can guess about the incident in question with whys/wherefors about wot regarding injuries. One may conjecture a lot of things including damaging ankles during the quick parachute landing. TA4G two pilots either under instruction or the pupil in back under a canvas hood for instrument training could always have their briefed preference regarding whom did wot to WHO. If I get your gist correct you would rather have the incapacitated front seater augur in with thineself out?

WotISnot a good thing is an ejection by any UNCO backseater that also ejects the pilot frontseater etc. Witness the recent RAFALE back seat inadvertant ejection with thankfully the responsible pilot (not ensuring back seater OK) landing aircraft.

Rafale Ride Leads To Inadvertent Ejection Overstressed Pax 10 Apr 2020 viewtopic.php?f=47&t=56857
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Unread post24 May 2021, 02:27

If I get your gist correct you would rather have the incapacitated front seater augur in with thineself out?


Now, now....what I said was when flying in the back as the Instructor Pilot, I would set the system the way the front seater directed. Turns out, I never had anyone not have me rotate the handle however. Had they ever requested I not, well.....

.....the Instructor Pilot is always ultimately responsible for the well being of the aircraft and its contents, functional or incapacitated, even when in the backseat. WSOs are not, but tend to be moral, upright, loyal, thoughtful individuals as a group anyway...as are IPs. :D

So there it is.

edit: To be clear, the handle could be rotated at any time in the air in case of incapacitation.
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