Category Archives: Aviation Safety

Quick thinking saved a USAF RC-135 and its 27 crew members after fire erupted during takeoff roll

Disaster averted at Offut Air Force Base last April.

On Apr. 30 2015, RC-135V Rivet Joint, 64-14848, belonging to the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Wing, suffered a major incident at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.

As the aircraft, using radio callsign “Snoop 71,” began the take off roll to start its mission in support of a Special Operations training exercise, fire erupted behind the galley.

Described by one crew member as a “flamethrower”, the fire quickly filled the intelligence gathering plane with dense smoke and burned a hole in the aft fuselage. The aircraft commander (on his first flight, no less) quickly stopped the airplane and the crew egressed as fire fighters extinguished the blaze.

Total damage to the Rivet Joint: 62.4 million USD.

Robert Hopkins, III, a former RC-135 aircraft commander who flew the S, U, V, W, and X models in the 1980s and 1990s, and author of a book on the type, told The Aviationist that the plane very likely would have crashed if it became airborne; the quick reaction by the “baby aircraft commander” made a successful evacuation possible in less than half a minute since the pilot decided to abort takeoff.

“But if we took off – I mean, I don’t know how fast we could have emergency landed I mean – I know it’s quick but a few more minutes stuck on the jet not even able to start egressing would have ya know made it a lot different. So I feel really lucky that we didn’t take off, honestly. I’m also really glad that like no one got seriously injured,” a crew members told to investigators according to the 1,341 report on the mishap obtained by Omaha.com and made available here.

RC135 incident

Investigators were unable to determine the fire’s ignition source, but found that it was fanned by a faulty oxygen system that had been improperly serviced during the airplane’s last depot maintenance by L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas.

The final report noted that L-3’s quality control failed to follow established procedures, and that L-3 installed used instead of new parts. Fleet-wide inspections are underway.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Graphic Video: Hawker Hunter jet crashes into cars at Shoreham Airshow in UK

Major incident at UK airshow.

At about 1.20PM LT the two seat Hawker Hunter T.Mk.7 WV372 crashed into cars on A27 in West Sussex during its display at Shoreham air show near Brighton.

Shoreham airshow website says that the T.Mk.7 was a two seat development of the F.Mk.4, the RAF’s standard day-fighter. WV372 is owned by Graham Peacock and is based at North Weald Airfield in Essex. It carried the markings of No. 2(AC) Squadron when they were based at RAF Gutersloh in Germany. WV372 has been active on the display circuit for many years, first with Jet Heritage at Bournemouth before passing through several other owners and operators.

Based on the video posted on Youtube, the Hunter was performing a loop that it didn’t manage to close.

According to the first reports, 7 people died as a consequence of the incident.

 

Crazy video shows Delta Boeing 737 hit by lightning strike

A passenger has caught on video a direct lightning strike on a Delta Boeing 737 at Atlanta airport.

The video below is extremely interesting. Shot at Atlanta airport during a thunderstorm by Jack Perkins, a passenger of another plane, it shows a lightning strike hit a Delta Boeing 737 on the taxiway.

No one was hurt as a consequence of the lightning as the plane is shielded by Faraday Cage, that blocks out external static electrical fields: charges redistribute on the conducting material and don’t affect the cage’s interior.

In simple words: if hit by a lightning aircraft let the current pass through the fuselage until ground, preserving the systems’ integrity. Furthermore, all commercial and military aircraft have been designed to meet several safety lightning-related requirements needed to get the airworthiness certifications required.

Generally speaking, lightning strikes are rare and do not represent a real threat to military and civil planes, even though, in the 1980s, some F-16 Fighting Falcon jets were lost after being hit. In one case, the lightning ignited the vapors in the empty centerline tank, which exploded causing extended damage to the aircraft’s hydraulic system.

 

Video shows Ukrainian Mig-29 Fulcrum runway overrun accident

Ukrainian Air Force Mig-29 overruns the runway after fast landing.

This video was filmed at Myrhorod, an airbase in the Poltava region of Ukraine, well before Crimea was invaded and the Ukrainian Air Force was decimated by MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) in the subsequent war against pro-Russia separatists in the eastern part of the country.

It shows a Ukrainian Air Force Mig-29 Fulcrum performing a fast approach that leads to a long landing and runway overrun.

The footage shows the aircraft main landing gear’s right leg collapsing before the aircraft came to a halt.

Update:

According to some of our readers, the pilot involved in the mishap is Viktoria Mekotova (the first and only female pilot in Ukrainian Armed Forces). The incident occurred in 2009 and she began transition to the Ukrainian Navy Be-12 in 2010.

It’s not clear how many Mig-29s are currently operational in Ukraine. Most probably just a handful considered that, back in 2013, 15-20 MiG-29 Fulcrums were more or less active with the Ukrainian Air Force 16 of those were planned to be withdrawn by 2015. Since then, two Fulcrums have been lost, one of those allegedly shot down by a Russian MiG-29.

H/T su-27flanker.com

 

Images show that parts of U.S. Army 160th SOAR MH-60M that crash landed off Okinawa were covered to hide some details

A Special Operations Black Hawk performed a “hard-deck landing” on the USNS Red Cloud off Okinawa, Japan.

Seven military were injured after an MH-60M Black Hawk helicopter belonging to the U.S. Army’s 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) performed a “hard-deck landing” on the USNS Red Cloud, 20 miles off Okinawa, Japan.

Aerial footage broadcast by several media outlets showed the helicopter (coded “63”) with part of its tail broken off: screenshots posted on Social Media (special thanks to @AbraxasSpa) shows that main and tail rotors were covered, most probably to hide some details (maybe noise reduction devices and other interesting sensors) of the Special Operations helicopter.

MH-60 Japan 4

Therefore, not a Silent Hawk like the one involved in the Abbottabad raid to kill Bin Laden, but a highly modified chopper with plenty of details that is better to keep away from cameras.

MH-60 Japan 3

Screenshots via @AbraxasSpa