Exercise SINDEX: IAF and RSAF

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Exercise SINDEX: IAF and RSAF

Postby JaiS » 11 Oct 2004 20:22

Please post all news and information about Exercise SINDEX in this thread.

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE AIR FORCE AND INDIAN AIR FORCE IN INAUGURAL BILATERAL AIR EXERCISE


Six F-16C/D Fighting Falcon jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be conducting the first bilateral air exercise, codenamed SINDEX, with the Indian Air Force from 11 to 27 Oct 04.

The F-16s, which had just concluded a 15-day air exercise in France with the French Air Force, flew into Gwalior Air Force Station in Western India for the exercise. Two KC-135 tankers, for air-to-air refuelling, supported the six F-16s during the three-day journey from France to India. The Indian Air Force will deploy Sukhoi-30, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Mirage 2000 aircraft for Ex SINDEX.

SINDEX marks another milestone in the growing defence cooperation between the two countries. The Singapore Armed Forces and the Indian Armed Forces interact regularly through exchange of visits, as well as participation in each others' courses and seminars. SINDEX provides the RSAF with a valuable opportunity to train alongside the Indian Air Force and to conduct air operations in realistic and challenging conditions. The bilateral air exercise will also promote professional exchanges, strengthen the friendship and enhance inter-operability between the two air forces.



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Postby JaiS » 11 Oct 2004 20:33

A slightly tangential post but it helps in explaining the reasons for the current exercise.


EXCERPTS OF QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION WITH MINISTER TEO CHEE HEAN


Monday, 13 OCT 2003


On the question of whether Singapore lacks the strategic depth to make effective our weapons and hardware since we have to train overseas and also because we are sandwiched between Malaysia and Indonesia… …

Our air force is really quite a miniscule air force. 140 fighters is miniscule by Indian standards, certainly not large by international standards.

We therefore create space for ourselves by deterrence and diplomacy. Deterrence for the armed forces is the ability to act in our interests, pursue an independent foreign policy and engage with other countries. Diplomacy involves working with like-minded friends to act together in times of need or trouble when we face common problems. That is basically how we create space in the international sphere.


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Postby vonkabra » 12 Oct 2004 02:51

The Indian Air Force will deploy Sukhoi-30, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Mirage 2000 aircraft for Ex SINDEX.


The IAF seems to be deploying its latest and best. It will be good experience for our pilots to take on the Falcons after the Eagles.

Any idea which version of the Su-30 is going to be deployed this time around?

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Postby Anurag » 12 Oct 2004 03:10

vonkabra wrote:
The Indian Air Force will deploy Sukhoi-30, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Mirage 2000 aircraft for Ex SINDEX.


The IAF seems to be deploying its latest and best. It will be good experience for our pilots to take on the Falcons after the Eagles.

Any idea which version of the Su-30 is going to be deployed this time around?


The Mk-1!

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Postby vipin » 12 Oct 2004 06:40

Hi
I was under the impression it was the MKI. Good news its not the MKI (if true). No point showing our best for F-16's.
vipin

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Postby Sohum » 12 Oct 2004 06:51

Lay people will always confuse MKI with MK-1. I won't be surprised if some idiot starts ranting how MKI were last minute addition to this exercise -o

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Postby Anurag » 12 Oct 2004 06:52

Yup, the only time the MKI needs to show up is with a Ra'am (F-15I), Raptor or Eurofighter!

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Postby vipin » 12 Oct 2004 07:04

Or maybe when the Pak-fa :twisted: is flying in our colours :D

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Postby Aditya_M » 12 Oct 2004 08:34

I would add to the list the F-16I (Storm, is it?) and the UAE's block 80s, if they ever turn up and if we ever exercise with them.

Else I agree, lets throw our vanilla Su-30s at them and watch the fun :)

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Postby Anurag » 12 Oct 2004 09:19

Block 60 not 80!

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Postby Pranay » 12 Oct 2004 17:48

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... 882188.cms

IAF Mirage crashes near Gwalior.. Pilots safe...

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Postby Jagan » 12 Oct 2004 19:20

Pranay wrote:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/882188.cms

IAF Mirage crashes near Gwalior.. Pilots safe...


Wheel fell off again? This is crazy, Lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice - or does it? :shock:

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Postby Subra » 12 Oct 2004 19:26

That is why I beg to stop posting anything which says "IAF crash rate good or better"

Even if the IAF chief said that :roll:

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Postby Ved » 12 Oct 2004 19:29

Any idea which version of the Su-30 is going to be deployed this time around?[/quote]

The Mk-1![/quote]

Do you mean the 'K'? That's the equivalent of the 'Mk-1'

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Postby Jagan » 12 Oct 2004 19:34

c The Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) - An Indian Mirage 2000 fighter jet taking part in exercises with the Singaporean air force developed a technical problem Tuesday and the pilots - unable to make a forced landing - ejected safely, allowing the jet to crash, the air force said.

The French-made Mirage ``developed a technical snag'' after taking off from Gwalior Air Base in central India, Squadron Leader Mahesh Upasni, the air force spokesman, told The Associated Press.

``The pilots decided to turn back and carry out a forced landing, but for some reason they decided they could not and ejected safely,'' about 7.5 kilometers (4.5 miles) short of the air base, he said. No one on the ground was injured and there was no damage other than to the aircraft, he said.

The exercises were continuing ``as per schedule,'' he said.

Although the cause of the crash and the nature of the technical problem are under investigation, he said it appeared the jet ran out of power before it could reach base.

Upasni said there was no truth in a report carried by the Press Trust of India, quoting local magistrate R.K. Jain, as saying the wheel of the aircraft fell off after it takeoff from Maharajpur air base.

``It had nothing to do with the wheel. It wasn't missing a wheel,''
Upasni said, and he said the aircraft took off from Gwalior Air Base and was trying to get back there.

The area is 290 kilometers (180 miles) south of New Delhi, the Indian capital.

It was the second crash in three weeks of one of India's French-made Mirage aircraft. In a Sept. 23 crash in the same Gwalior area, the pilot also ejected to safety. The cause of that crash has not yet been determined.

It was the fifth Mirage 2000 crash since the planes were inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1987, PTI said.

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Postby JaiS » 12 Oct 2004 20:48

Cross-posting from the General Aerospace Discussion thread.

The aircraft involved was KT 207.


Enquiry ordered into Mirage crash


A Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft today crashed near Gwalior while taking part in a joint exercise with Singapore Air Force.

The crash took place this morning when the fighter was returning to Gwalior Air Base after detection of some technical snag.

The pilots found that the aircraft would not be able to make it to the airfield and decided to eject.

Technical snag

Once again, it appears that a technical fault is to blame for the crash. But the exact reason will only be known after an official enquiry into the accident.



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Postby Rakesh » 12 Oct 2004 21:58


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Re: KT-207

Postby JaiS » 13 Oct 2004 11:26

It is now confirmed that the aircraft involved is indeed the KT-207 ( it's picture in NavBharat - Hindi, 13th Oct 2004 ). A quick check with Scramble's database tells that the aircraft was first noted ( f/n ) in 1988, so the delivery time of the aircraft should be during the 1988-early nineties period. The paper which I have mentioned also stated that there was a problem in the engine of the aircraft and the pilots had attempted to approach the runway to make a landing but the considering the rapidly deteriorating situation they decided otherwise. The rescue helicopter reached the crash site within 5 minutes, the black box has been retrieved, one of the pilots got minor back injuries. More later.

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Postby JaiS » 13 Oct 2004 11:33

Joint India-Singapore air exercise to proceed as per schedule


The joint exercise between Indian and Singapore air forces, 'Exercise Ankush', will proceed as per schedule, despite the crash of an Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft near Gwalior today, Defence Ministry said here.

While a Court of Enquiry has been instituted into the accident, a Ministry spokesperson said that there was no damage to civil property and no one was killed or injured when the two pilots safely ejected from the aircraft on detection of a technical problem.

The mishap occurred between 1130 hours and 1140 hours when the fighter was returning to Gwalior Air Base soon after take-off.


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Postby JaiS » 13 Oct 2004 11:40

Pretty detailed report. Italicized emphasis is mine.


IAF scrambles after losing third Mirage in 3 weeks


NEW DELHI: The Mirage-2000 H fighter squadrons based in Gwalior are under fire from Air Headquarters after another aircraft crashed on Tuesday morning during joint exercises with the Singapore Air Force.

This was the third Mirage to go down in the last 20 days. The Mirage fleet, considered one of the most reliable arms of the IAF, had until now a high safety record. Since its induction in 1985, only five have been lost _ three in the last three weeks.

The crash on Tuesday involved a Mirage trainer, piloted by Wg Cdr Venkatesh and Flt Lt Rangachari. It was ditched after its engine stalled, apparently because of a compressor failure. ( this confirms what has been published in NavBharat-Hindi )

Preliminary reports indicated that the trainer experienced engine trouble at 18,000 feet. It stalled at 1,800 feet, still four nautical miles away from the Maharajpur runway. The pilots ejected safely.

While the maintenance wing has come under the Air Hqs scanner, it's learnt that a French air force Mirage too met with a similar engine problem recently.

On September 23, a Mirage, piloted by Sqn Ldr H S Gill, went down and there's prima facie evidence to suggest it had to with maintainence problems.

On October 3, a Mirage fighter, piloted by Sqn Ldr Ram Kumar, crash-landed at Plaisance airport in Mauritius. Preliminary findings point to pilot error.

A French technical team from Dassault Mirage is already in Gwalior, working with IAF and HAL experts to get to the bottom of the problem. The IAF has two Mirage squadrons: Tigers and Battle Axes.

While Air Hqs is tightlipped, it's learnt that action may be taken action against some of the officers involved.

What has upset the IAF most is the September 23 crash where the nose wheel fell because some bolts had corroded. This clearly pointed to slackness on the part of the maintenance wing in Gwalior.

The Mauritius incident, on the other hand, is being attributed to pilot error because the undercarriage was not lowered in time before landing. Sources said that the aircraft's auxiliary fuel tank, emptied while in flight, took the impact. Had the tank been full, the aircraft could have exploded. At the time of landing, the aircraft speed was some 220 km per hour. The Mirage, undergoing repairs in Mauritius, will soon be ready for the flight home.



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Postby Jagan » 13 Oct 2004 12:30

Image

The aircraft seems to have impacted the ground at a very slow speed - Maybe after stalling . the wreckage is in one piece from Radome to Tail. even one of the ejection seat gun guide rail is in place. The pilots must have ejected at the last moment ..

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Postby daulat » 13 Oct 2004 12:53

If anyone has the AFM (or other) accident report - can they run a quick analysis on M2000 crashes? Has there been a recent upsurge?

if bolt corrosion is a problem - it may be Indian conditions that make it worse than in other countries. a combination of 20 years of monsoons and lots of (takeoff and landing) cycles could have worn the bolts down pretty effectively. maybe time to replace Mg-Al alloys in IAF a/c in the same way as they navalise a/c?

Unlike us, the armee de l'air would probably have fewer cycles - due to more use of in flight refueling and perhaps even lower sortie rates, so the problem may not be apparent.

also - the bolt and other debris could have been ingested into the air intakes causing the compressor problem.

I am sure that the IAF/Dassault team on the ground in Gwalior are giving this their fullest attention.

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Postby dipesh.c » 13 Oct 2004 19:32

Does anyone know how many operations these fighters flew before being serviced? What kind of servicing was actually done? These babies have been working hard on exercises the past couple of years. Wouldn't prolonged operations during war-time bring such stress on the fighters? If so, this doesn't speak well for the ground staff..

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Postby Kartik » 14 Oct 2004 03:39

it does'nt speak well for the ground staff at all. period. the very fact that a couple before this one had suffered from landing gear problems meant that the Mirages should have been inspected thoroughly. after all, these are among the most expensive fighters in the IAF inventory. no excuses can be made for any kind of negligence on the part of the ground staff.

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Postby daulat » 14 Oct 2004 12:40

Kartik wrote:it does'nt speak well for the ground staff at all. period. the very fact that a couple before this one had suffered from landing gear problems meant that the Mirages should have been inspected thoroughly. after all, these are among the most expensive fighters in the IAF inventory. no excuses can be made for any kind of negligence on the part of the ground staff.


sometimes mechanical problems cannot be spotted by regular inspections. you learn from costly mistakes in aviation. if its a hairline crack in a bolt that is not normally visible, no ground crew guy is going to spot it.

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Postby Shankar » 14 Oct 2004 15:04

Daulat this is not a good enough excuse .There are several methods of detecting hairline cracks like dye penetrant check, ultra sonic flaw detection,close visual inspection after cleaning up the suspect componet with a solvent ,magnetic flaw detector etc .Also just for this kind of problems there is well laid out procedure for replacing the wearable components after so many fixed hours of flight irrespective of that is rusted /damaged or not.
It is true IAF mirages have seen lot of srvice in last few years including extended flying and simulated combat but that is all the more reason why preventive cum anticipatory maintainance should have been pushed up the priority ladder .If you look at all the three recent acciedents - all were avoidable with some careful maintainance and attentive flying -please let us not be ostrich minded.

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Postby daulat » 14 Oct 2004 16:30

i didn't give an excuse - i gave a reason. the tests you are talking about are not routine, they are done during more exhaustive investigations and not on the line. the type of problem may also be a new one, and the procedures may not include looking for it - because no one knows what it is as yet. you have to assume that the IAF is largely professional and is doing things by the book and doing the right thing. air safety is a subject that is unfortunately learnt the hard way.

so far on this thread we have much speculation (including from myself) and NO FACTS. we have to allow the facts to come out before we judge.

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Postby ks_sachin » 14 Oct 2004 16:46

The mauritius accident was pilot error. forgot to lower undercarriage!!!!

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Postby ks_sachin » 14 Oct 2004 16:48

rather than these hypotheticals please read up on maint schedules and cycles and what each entails..

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Postby JTull » 14 Oct 2004 17:03

ks_sachin wrote:The mauritius accident was pilot error. forgot to lower undercarriage!!!!


COI has not completed yet, so stop repeating yourself. Why are you deliberatly maligning the pilot?

It is possible that the front undercarriage didn't lock, and collapsed while landing.

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Postby vksac » 14 Oct 2004 21:41

Ok time for my quote. Dont know if I should start a new thread but if you guys think its worth a thread please do so under the title ' Recommended change in procedures for flight safety in IAF'.

We have been seeing the rate at which these accidents occur. Mostly occuring during intense exercises, Eg: Golden Eagle, Ankush, Kargil(Mig-27 developing engine trouble and pilot bailing out, Jaguar accident where the pilot died due to faulty fuse.

Stories going around indicating bolt inspection, complacency due to aircraft record, etc.

Here are my recommendations:

1. Each aircraft type must come under a 'group' consisting of a limited number of aircraft with a maximum strength of say 5 or may be less compared to the available man power. Each group should have a set of pilots being familiar with the plane and a lead ground maintainence team followed by a backup team. Each team should consist of mechanical, electrical/electronics, aerospace specialists. Their numbers should be small because that brings added responsibility.

2. There must exist a seperate peer review team 'group' in place that inspects the aircraft inspection report. Each team in this group should be able to perform the same job functions as the inspection teams of each aircraft type do, as described above and must do so pre-flight.

3. Ground inspections should take place post and pre-flight for each mission with peer review for pre-flight. There should proper data on flight characteristics from pilots view.

4. Another thing that comes to my mind is that our pilots are taught how to fly and combat. But are they introduced to aerospace and aircraft mechanics? Pilots need to be taught about engineering aspects of the aircraft to a considerable point where they understand concerns of ground crew in evaluating flight worthyness of aircraft. So they can provide feedback to ground crew.

5. Aircraft evaluation can be done in the following 2 levels: Critical, Non-critical.

Critical checks should at least the following:
1. Hydrolics.
2. Engine inspections.....should be based on probability reports.
3. DFBW.
4. Under-carriage inspection.
5. Process to check whether things instantiated in the cockpit take effect in the aircraft especially critical. This should not be done once or twice but for a certain period of time.

6. Weapon inspection---> mandatory...should not explode in mid air. Especially safety procedures.

Non-critical.

1. Radar.
2. Lights.
3. Mission computer.
4. Navigation.
5. Communication.
etc

7. Pilots should review ground crew reports of aircraft pre-flight. Peer reviews should be the last action being done on the aircraft before flight. This way we can easily also identify any security issues. Also, every team member should have a record indicating what he found and how he found a problem. Also, It is matter of debate whether inspection by peer reviewers should be done in the presence of the lead ground crew team or not.

8. Now comes the hard part. How do you set up precedures to monitor aircraft which are on operational readiness. The ones which are used for scramble operations. I think a cycle of team review and peer review should be done 1 once a week for it or less than 1 week.

9. In case any event occurs in flight, TACDE or another institution should develop tactics especially to tutor our boys to handle it from the start....which I think they already do but other possibilities need to be explored. Second, there should be an area of soft sand around strategic airfields, such as gwalier, where aircraft which crash lands and be recovered also. with no much damage.


There is one question that comes to my mind.....why did'nt the pilots make the mirage glide to the airfield. Because if there was engine trouble at 18000 and your about 10 kms away....I think you can easily glide back....because most gliders cover this distance. The article says the engine stalled at 1800 feet...that also pretty good enough. When you experience engine trouble, just cut the engine and let the aircraft glide.
Were they really far from the airfield...like 30 - 40 kms away or something?

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Postby Jagan » 14 Oct 2004 22:43

Modern Jet Fighters glide like a rock. If the Gliders of Soaring clubs can cover 10 feet distance to every foot lost, the Modern jets are almost exactly opposite, covering 1-2 feet for every 10 feet lost. There is not much 'Glide' one can coax from a Mirage 2000 and i think the pilots did just that, finally giving it up when the aircraft stalled that distance from the airfield.

JTull,

KSSachin said he has his own IAF sources, I wouldn't discredit him without a strong reason in the first place. (like having my own sources that say the opposite).

JMT.

Jagan

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Postby Himanshu » 15 Oct 2004 08:28

Are'nt we deviating from the main topic..

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Postby ks_sachin » 15 Oct 2004 11:37

[quote="Jagan"]Modern Jet Fighters glide like a rock. If the Gliders of Soaring clubs can cover 10 feet distance to every foot lost, the Modern jets are almost exactly opposite, covering 1-2 feet for every 10 feet lost. There is not much 'Glide' one can coax from a Mirage 2000 and i think the pilots did just that, finally giving it up when the aircraft stalled that distance from the airfield.

JTull,

KSSachin said he has his own IAF sources, I wouldn't discredit him without a strong reason in the first place. (like having my own sources that say the opposite).

JMT.


Thanks Jagan. Yes i do have my own sources. yes I have discussed these and other mirage crashes and other crashes quite in depth and also SOPs. Also discussed other instances of undercarriage forgeting issue in IAF. but you telling me that it may not be the case - thanks. will lokk into it.
Anyway last post on this issue.

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Postby daulat » 15 Oct 2004 15:31

vksac - well done for your suggestions. i think you might find that much of what you say is already standard practice in aviation circles.

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Postby Jagan » 15 Oct 2004 15:38

ks_sachin wrote:
Jagan wrote:I wouldn't discredit him without a strong reason in the first place. (like having my own sources that say the opposite).
but you telling me that it may not be the case - thanks. will lokk into it.


Sachin,

Theres a misunderstanding here. I should have said "Unless I have my own sources that say the opposite , I would not discredit Sachin". So I am not claiming it is a Tech Defect and not pilot error,

I have no sources telling me that the Mauritius crash was a Tech Defect and the pilot was not to blame. Infact right from the moment I started reading about the reports, I had a nagging feeling that it was a case of Pilot Error.

So I am more likely to believe what your sources told you .

regards

Jagan

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Postby shiv » 15 Oct 2004 19:13

vksac wrote:There is one question that comes to my mind.....why did'nt the pilots make the mirage glide to the airfield. Because if there was engine trouble at 18000 and your about 10 kms away....I think you can easily glide back....because most gliders cover this distance. The article says the engine stalled at 1800 feet...


The quote from the article says this:
Preliminary reports indicated that the trainer experienced engine trouble at 18,000 feet. It stalled at 1,800 feet, still four nautical miles away from the Maharajpur runway. The pilots ejected safely.


It is likely that the aircraft stalled at 1800 feet, Not the engine. It is possible that the engine died at 18000 feet. (Unlike car engines, the word "stall" is used for aircraft behaviour and not engine behavior)

An aircraft that is gliding down has to try and keep its speed down by pointing the nose up in the air so the wings "catch" the airflow. This Mirage was 8 Km (5 miles/4 nautical miles) from the airfield when it stalled. An aircaft that stalls at 1800 feet is as good as gone.

Commercial aircraft, under power (not gliding) - tend to descend 1000 feet per minute for landing. That is why you will start feeling the descent 30 minutes before touchdown for an aircraft cruising at 30,000 feet. That means, even WITH engines working an airliner can go only about 2 minutes from a height of 1800 feet. That works out to about 5 nautical miles at 150 Kt - with working engines.

The Mirage, with engine stopped was 5 miles away after having glided down as far as the pilots could take it. And once the aircraft stalls - the next step is not gliding - it is an uncontrolled fall.
Last edited by shiv on 15 Oct 2004 19:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby daulat » 15 Oct 2004 19:26

from the news reports it sounds like the following happened

1. at some point close to lift off, something drastic happened to the nosewheel

2. debris from the nose wheel flew off, probably got sucked into engine immediately and started causing serious problems

3. pilots judged that safest thing to do was to get airborne and climb quickly, instead of trying to land back - not enough runway or obvious that nose wheel had gone, perhaps hopeful that engine would burn off the debris and recover

4. debris had probably started to damage the engine seriously

5. pilots climbed as much as they could to buy time

6. attempted to relight engine - now seriously damaged and failing rapidly

7. pilots trying to recover to field, remember that they have to go around and try and come in into the wind


8. altitude loss too great, no hope of making field - decision to eject

sounds like the work of experienced, cool headed pilots


p.s. remember the concorde crash? that was tyre burst upon hitting metal debris on runway and debris ingestion into intakes

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Postby shiv » 15 Oct 2004 19:41

Daulat there could be another nosewheel-engine link Something like a massive hydraulic failure or something that started with loss of power to raise the nosewheel and graduated to a complete engine failure.

We just don't know.

Raju

Postby Raju » 15 Oct 2004 19:46

So what's happening in the Sindex ?? Any pics, news ??


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