Military Flight Safety

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shiv
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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 29 Mar 2014 16:50

The black patch where most of the C-130 seems to have burnt itself is fairly small. It was possibly full of fuel. A plane that breaks up in mid air at height will leave a trail over a large area. So far no reports of parts along flight path, or way outside this patch.

Four engines do not go kaput even after manpad. A plane at low level undergoing sudden loss of control can do this. Sudden loss of 4 engines could only result from a common source. I don't know if all 4 get fuel from one exact common pathway. Seems unlikely but that is a guess.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby vasu raya » 29 Mar 2014 23:18

if the plane grazing a small hill is true, this low level flying requires terrain following radar as well as terrain maps, does US share such detailed maps with a non-NATO country?

if it was a manpad, hopefully a MAWS warning was recorded into the black box


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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Brando » 30 Mar 2014 09:58

Training accident and a pretty bad one at that it looks like:

IAF's Hercules may have hit hillock, say preliminary reports on crash

NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force's C-130J aircraft that crashed on Friday killing all five on board may have banged into a hillock, lost control, and hurtled into the Chambal area, according to preliminary dependable information available.

A senior IAF officer told TOI that the information, provided mostly by the crew of the other C-130J, which was the lead aircraft in the formation, show that ill-fated aircraft missed the hillock in an otherwise plain landscape. The first aircraft pulled up as it reached the hillock, but the second aircraft went and banged on it. The input is also corroborated by the angle in which it crashed into the ground, he said.

The preliminary information could be revised after the detailed court of inquiry into the crash is completed. While specifics of what exactly happened in those ill-fated moments to the four-engine US aircraft would be only known after the inquiry, the information available now douses fears of possible sabotage.

Despite what is known now, IAF top brass is worried about the loss of precious lives and a strategic platform. "We can't just forget this as an aberration. We need to be worried—about training, about exercises, about everything that is professional," a senior official said.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby negi » 30 Mar 2014 10:42

Hitting a wire or hill theory sounds highly likely for then the nose dive part becomes obvious , i.e if a wingtip or tail hit a wire then plane would loose speed and pitch in one direction violently and at low altitude recovery would have become almost impossible .

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby vipins » 30 Mar 2014 11:02

As per local hindi newspaper , plane was diverted towards open area near chambal river to prevent it from crashing over the populated area near karauli where kaila devi temple mela is going on leading to heavy rush in that part.
हादसे के बाद से माना जा रहा है कि कुछ ही दूर करौली मेले को ध्यान में रखते हुए विंग कमांडर राजी ने गड़बड़ी आने के बाद जहाज को उससे दूर उतारने की कोशिश की। इसी कोशिश में उनकी और उनके साथियों की जान गई। यदि विमान करौली में गिरता तो हादसा भयावह हो सकता था।
link

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby rsharma » 30 Mar 2014 15:13

Article dated Jan, 2013 -

Fake parts in Hercules aircraft called a genuine risk

The U.S. congressional investigation reported the fake Hercules microchips were originally made by the Korean electronics giant Samsung in the 1990s, and more than a decade later, had been recycled, refurbished and remarked to appear genuine by a company in China.

Samsung told the investigation by the powerful U.S. Senate armed services committee "it is not possible to project the reliability" of the altered parts.

The U.S. investigation reported that the problems on the Hercules first came to light in 2010 when the instrument panel failed on an aircraft during active duty. No other details of the incident have been made public.

At the time, the supplier of the cockpit display systems, L-3 Communications, had the suspect counterfeit parts tested for authenticity and performance at a leading U.S. laboratory.

The lab reported the parts were fakes, and that 27 per cent of them had failed during stress tests.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Prabu » 30 Mar 2014 18:35

They will make sure that we will never know the exact root cause for the crash ! :roll:

C-130J Super Hercules crash: IAF sends black box to US for decoding data

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Brando » 30 Mar 2014 19:50

^^ You can bet they will tell us all about how badly the IAF screwed up and let everybody else know about it as well.

Given that this crash happened during training exercises, its strange that the IAF has not released any official statement so far on the crash and neither has the MoD.

It's also strange that since this is an election cycle, this tragedy hasn't become politicized already with AK Anthony taking heat.
Last edited by Brando on 30 Mar 2014 19:56, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Brando » 30 Mar 2014 19:51

vipins wrote:As per local hindi newspaper , plane was diverted towards open area near chambal river to prevent it from crashing over the populated area near karauli where kaila devi temple mela is going on leading to heavy rush in that part.



This seems highly unlikely - if the aircraft was "diverted", the pilots would have radioed a "mayday" and reported their problem to ground control. Flying "nape of the earth" doesn't give any opportunity to "divert" anywhere. Most likely this crash happened very quickly - possibly inside 60 seconds.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby chetak » 30 Mar 2014 20:13

Brando wrote:^^ You can bet they will tell us all about how badly the IAF screwed up and let everybody else know about it as well.

Given that this crash happened during training exercises, its strange that the IAF has not released any official statement so far on the crash and neither has the MoD.

It's also strange that since this is an election cycle, this tragedy hasn't become politicized already with AK Anthony taking heat.


^^^
Don't think so. This will be an exercise with the IAF in full attendance.

A whole paltan of IAF experts, C130J qualified (test) pilots and engineers, would be physically present when the blackbox is opened and the paltan will remain until the data is completely milked and read

The Lockheed team would have immediately flown out to India to help in the investigation. Everyone is very keen on a quick and fair investigation.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby chetak » 30 Mar 2014 20:18

Brando wrote:
vipins wrote:As per local hindi newspaper , plane was diverted towards open area near chambal river to prevent it from crashing over the populated area near karauli where kaila devi temple mela is going on leading to heavy rush in that part.



This seems highly unlikely - if the aircraft was "diverted", the pilots would have radioed a "mayday" and reported their problem to ground control. Flying "nape of the earth" doesn't give any opportunity to "divert" anywhere. Most likely this crash happened very quickly - possibly inside 60 seconds.


Were they in formation at low level??

Didn't the accident happen to the second aircraft??

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 30 Mar 2014 20:28

A post on DFI says rumour has it that the plane was flying nap of the earth and pulled up to go over hillock. Pull up was a bit late and tail struck the hillock as nose rose above. Tail broke off - remained intact. Rest of plane finished.

Other plane was ahead I think.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 30 Mar 2014 21:32

I am rather confused.

For such SpOps planes, I would have thought, they would have techs to defend against such situations. It was stated that these planes could land in total darkness. So, I am wondering how is that they missed a hillock in bright day light. Hard to believe that there could have been a human error, especially on this plane.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Austin » 30 Mar 2014 22:36

At the risk of speculating , Could easily be the case of Equipment Failure that does Nap of Earth flying to Pilot Error revealing it was too late to pull up inspite of instrumentation alert , both cases are very much possible. Neither Equipment are failproof nor Pilots are god that they wont commit mistakes or error of judgement.

Only when they decode the FDR will the truth come out till then its all speculation.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby SaiK » 30 Mar 2014 22:38


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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 30 Mar 2014 23:01

Well, I could be dead wrong on this, but, my understanding was that the terrain following feature was totally automated - no human intervention.

IF the argument is that the pilot got an alert and did not respond in time, then that is a collision avoidance system - nothing to do with the prior.

In such SpOps planes, what ever is there should be redundant - my expectations.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby member_28502 » 30 Mar 2014 23:10

So a la Squadron 633 movie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzNrX12hGo

watch 34.20 to 35.00



Last edited by member_28502 on 30 Mar 2014 23:34, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Viv S » 30 Mar 2014 23:18



^^ Its a pretty good record. Only two C-130J crashes (plus one KC-130J), until this loss.

The RNAF 2012 C-130J accident seems quite similar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Norwegian_C-130_crash

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Philip » 31 Mar 2014 06:10

Fake Chinese parts? That seems to be the suspicion with this report from the TOI.
In the past we've had grey market MIG-21 parts bought after the USSR collapsed,from dubious sources that were allegedly responsible for MIG crashes,but if this is true,it is an OEM using these parts in brand new aircraft.Not only our new C-130Js but also the P-8Is are in mortal danger after this disaster!

This is also a brilliant way in which the Chinese have effectively sabotaged innumerable western defence systems,by supplying such parts to OEMs who are indifferent,or vendors have been "looked after".In the light of these disclosures and disaster,India should ban ALL Chinese components and parts from its defence and communications industry in particular.

Did IAF’s 'US-made' C-130J Super Hercules that crashed have fake Chinese parts?
Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN | Mar 30, 2014,

WASHINGTON: India's newly-acquired American C-130J Super Hercules plane that crashed last week near Gwalior has been under intense scrutiny in the United States and Canada after a Senate investigation concluded that counterfeit parts in the aircraft's display systems could cause it to "lose data or even go blank altogether" in midflight, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

A 2011-2012 investigation by the US Senate armed services committee eventually traced the counterfeit electronic parts used in the C-130J, C-27J, and many other US military systems to a company in Shenzhen, China, called Hong Dark Electronic Trade Company. Hong Dark sold the parts at issue to Global IC Trading Group, an independent distributor in the US, which in turn sold it to L-3 Communications Display Systems, which in turn supplied it to Lockheed Martin, the US military's prime contractor for the C-130J.

READ ALSO: IAF sends C-130J's black box to US for decoding data

Amid scathing observations by the Senate panel, the US air force suspended and banned Hong Dark in 2012 from competing for government contracts and subcontracts, but testimony before the armed services committee showed stunning lapses in the supply chain and procurement procedures for the military systems, including the C-130J Super Hercules, six of which New Delhi contracted to buy in 2010 for $1.1 billion, around Rs 1000 crores apiece.

India has plans to buys six more to augment its transport fleet with the much-acclaimed aircraft, which has won plaudits for its safety record and its versatility. The acquisition enables the Indian military to put boots and supplies on the ground in remote and inhospitable terrain, giving it matchless reach in the region.

However, the aircraft display systems itself will now come under scrutiny — if it already hadn't been under the scanner — although the cause of the Gwalior crash is yet to be determined. The US Senate committee report is withering in its observations not only about US procurement and supply chain system, but also the casual manner in which private contractors treated the issue once the counterfeit parts were detected.

The story begins in November 2010 when L-3 Display Systems detected that the company's in-house failure rate for a chip installed on display units used in C-130J and C-27J had more than tripled from 8.5 per cent to 27 per cent. L-3 also noticed that the same part had previously failed on a fielded military plane. The company sent the chips for testing, which resulted in identification of "multiple abnormalities," with the tester concluding that the parts were "suspect counterfeit."

"Failure of the memory chip could cause a display unit to show a degraded image, lose data, or even go black altogether," the Senate report said, noting that "unfortunately, L-3 Display Systems had already installed parts from the suspect lot on more than 400 of its display units," including those intended for the C-27J, as well as the C-130J.

In effect, what the IAF's court of inquiry will need to look at is whether India received any of the contaminated display units in the six C-130J it bought from the US, and if it did, whether the US, including Lockheed Martin, alerted IAF to it. India's own procurement process, including whether the buyer tracked and followed up the troubles associated with the C-130J, including the Senate's investigation, will also have to be reviewed.

At least in Canada, another C-130J customer, a CBC investigation in early 2013 highlighted the troubles with the aircraft's instrument panel, although the government there glossed over the issue initially.

But the Senate investigation offers a disturbing picture of people up the supply chain not particularly alarmed at the contamination of crucial display systems with counterfeit parts. According to the senate report (page 35), following the detection of the fakes, L-3 Display Systems on November 4, 2010, issued a part purge notification, quarantining the company's own stock of the suspect memory chips.

It did not, however, recommend to its customer that assemblies affected by the suspect counterfeit chips be returned for replacement of those chips. As a result, hundreds of display units intended for and installed on C-130Js and C-27Js included the suspect counterfeit memory chip, well after its discovery by L-3 Display Systems.

Lockheed Martin, the US military's prime contractor for the C-130J, does not cover itself with glory either in the episode. The Senate report notes that when L-3 notified Lockheed of the problem, Lockheed engineers discussed the matter internally and decided "no action" was necessary and the display units did not need to be returned for repair. Lockheed Martin also "did not formally notify the Air Force of the suspect counterfeit chip in the C-130J."

According to Senate investigators, while Lockheed Martin told the Air Force that the suspect counterfeit parts were "functionally complaint" to authentic genuine parts, the Air Force was apparently not informed that the failure rate of the part had tripled during acceptance and environmental stress testing.

The Senate report concluded that since its investigation, hearing and public release of information about the counterfeit chips, the US Air Force had reported that they are aggressively taking action to remove the parts in question, audit the supply chains etc. But as of March 2012, the report noted, Lockheed Martin had removed and replaced only a handful of the display units in the C-130J that are affected by the suspect counterfeit memory chip.

The worrying part for Indian defense planners is that the Senate panel talks of several other US military platforms, such as Boeing's P8A-Poseidon — a custom-made variant of which has been supplied to the Indian Navy — being contaminated with counterfeit Chinese parts.

According to the US air force, "approximately 84,000 suspect counterfeit electronic parts purchased from Hong Dark entered the DoD supply chain, and many of these parts have been installed on DoD aircraft."


In additional details,the TOI says that the US Senate has been "withering" in its observations of how casual the contractors have treated the issue,the entire procurement and supply chain,after the counterfeit parts were detected! This is simply scandalous and shows an utter disregard for the safety of the aircraft and those who operate it.They should be crucified.

These problems were known as far back as 2010 by L-3 Display Systems,whose failure rate tripled from 8.5% to 27% on C-130Js and C-27Js.They found that the same part had failed on a mil. plane. Such a failure could cause a "display unit to show a degraded image,lose data,or even go black altogether.The IAF's court of inquiry will need to look whether such chips were installed on the aircraft and whether Lockheed alerted the IAF about it.Our own procurement must also be scrutinised.Canada had a problem with an aircraft's instrument panel,but glossed over it initially.

Until the matter has been investigated,we should cease any further purchases from LM and Boeing,as there is no guarantee that the weapon systems have not been contaminated in any way,and systems acquired examined for such fake parts.In the light of this revelation,could the cockpit console problems faced with the SU-30s also be due to fake Chinese parts? Russian eqpt. in general never use any parts manufactured outside Russia or plants set up by it in former Soviet bloc states. An examination
here too would be advisable.In any future weapons/sysetms buys,India should categorically insist on NO Chinese parts whatsoever and huge penalties ,etc. ,part of the contract for supply of such fake parts.In fact the manufacturers should be blacklisted.



With no boats to cross river, MP cops were mute spectators to IAF's burning C-130J Super Hercules

P Naveen,TNN | Mar 28, 2014,

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 31 Mar 2014 07:05

This is a legitimate concern.

However, provenance is/has entered the supply chain. And, this should be on India's door steps, do not know if India will bite, which is totally different story.

The problem is everyone wants least cost (NOT cheap they will tell you, although that is what it is) and China is perhaps the best at both low price AND just-in-time supply. Others are challenged at doing both at the same time. Check the F-35 story in the past month or so, on this topic. Not pretty.

Why is India not picking up on such matters (making reliable chips, etc) is beyond me. I think this is a great time to knock China out.






BTW, any statisticians among us? Triple the failure rate at the chip level. : )

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Philip » 31 Mar 2014 08:54

There was some news item about our semiconductor plant new one or planned.The one in the north,CGarh,was allegedly sabotaged in an accident sometime ago.Why we haven't teamed up with Taiwan on this on chip manufacture in India,beats me.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Indust ... 125233.ece

Two electronic chip manufacturing units, which entail a combined investment of Rs.51,550 crore, and would enjoy government subsidy, are likely to be operational in the next two years.

Two consortia — one led by Jaiprakash Associates in association with IBM, and the other led by Hindustan Semiconductor — have proposed setting up these plants.

Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said the setting up of electronic chip facilities would also be of the nation’s strategic purpose as chips had security implications.

“There are strategic sectors like atomic energy sector, space, defence and power. In all of these you need chips. There are security considerations. It will serve our strategic purpose. There are security considerations. The fabs should be operational in about two years from now,” Mr. Sibal said here. At present, there is no electronic chip manufacturing or semiconductor wafer fabrication plant in India. Over 90 per cent of the domestic electronic requirement is met through imports.

The government will also hold 11 per cent stake in each project, while technology providers are required to hold 10 per cent stake.

Department of Electronics and Information Technology Secretary J Satyanarayana said: “One plant is proposed by a consortium led by Jaiprakash Associates, along with IBM Microelectronics and the system integrator is Tower Jazz. The outlay of the proposed fab is about Rs.26,300 crore.” This unit is likely to come up in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

“The other plant is from Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (HSMC) along with France-based ST Microelectronics and Silterra (Malaysia). The outlay of this proposed fab is about Rs.25,250 crore,” Mr. Satyanarayana said. The proposed location of this plant is in Gujarat.

The government is yet to work out the details of subsidy the proposed projects will enjoy. Subsidy will depend on detailed project report to be submitted by the two consortia.

Mr. Sibal said that the about 60 per cent of incentives approved by Cabinet were already covered under existing policies. In addition to this, the Finance Ministry had agreed to give them status under Section 35 AD of I-T Act which meant capital investment amount would be set off against profit.

“They will be given interest-free loan. This along with recognition under Sec. 35 AD will constitute balance 40 per cent of incentives to be provided to them,” Mr. Sibal said.

Also, the loan amount given to the companies would be converted into 11 per cent equity in these projects, Mr. Satyanarayana said.

Mr. Sibal said that electronic chip manufacturing was highly capital-intensive business and had long gestation period.

“No body was interested in setting up wafer fab here unless you give them large concessions. It is zero duty in any country. We had to attract investors,” he said.

Joint Secretary in the Department of Electronics and Information Technology Ajay Kumar said that the plants would start making chip size of 90, 65 and 45 nanometers (NM) in the first phase, phase 2 will see 28 NM and it would go down to 22 NM in phase 3.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby member_28502 » 31 Mar 2014 09:02

NRao wrote:
I agree and wonder with you


But in Indian context we can explain many thing logically or rationally.

Import always best, local not good becuause even local make thinks import good.

We short on self confidence, pride in making quality stuff. Just look at Anchor Switches, Havels (with collaboration) and other consumer electricals , cables, wires circuit breakers... (there are exceptions like cutler Hammer Siemens very few)

Recently I was attempting to upgrade my sisters hoem wiring especially the switch board, with old porcelain fuse holders etc , the new ones with 5 Amp reating were charing out at less than 5 amps...

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 31 Mar 2014 09:27

Nijalingappa wrote:Recently I was attempting to upgrade my sisters hoem wiring especially the switch board, with old porcelain fuse holders etc , the new ones with 5 Amp reating were charing out at less than 5 amps...

Nijalingappa garu - most people nowadays use (imported?) circuit breakers - not fuses with wires.
http://cd.indiabizclub.com/uploads05/29 ... 280752.jpg

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby raj.devan » 31 Mar 2014 12:25

Considering that the news report about 'fake Chinese parts' in the Hercules was from Chidanand Rajghatta, can anyone find any earlier reports about this? I've been looking for reports about the 2011-2012 investigation by the US Senate armed services committee which is supposed to have initially exposed this a couple of years back, but have not been successful.

Every reference on the net to this committee investigation dates back to after the crash last week, and every single one of them quotes Chidanand Rajghatta as their source.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 31 Mar 2014 12:50

Canada, I think, had one for the c-130. The US had one for the F-35. Do not know about the c-130 in us
http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1 ... stems.html

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby pushkar.bhat » 31 Mar 2014 20:25

The latest C-130 crash is even more painful when you have known people who were affected. R.I.P Air Warriors.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby SaiK » 31 Mar 2014 21:02

on the circuit breaker discussions (in my case was the ELCB/RCCB) make was "Standard" - is this indic or import? no idea. The replacement recommended by electrician was havels/legrand both being imports.

imho, India can do much better in terms of component based engineering and product-lines support to various industries.. not just chippandaish copying stuff and replication process., which more or less we are doing it behind and not saying it out loud.

either we are doing it safely (importing), or copying it like chinese.. this is going on.

/ot

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby chaanakya » 31 Mar 2014 21:34

SaiK wrote: was havels/legrand both being imports.


/ot

Havels is purely and Indian Brand with HQ in Noida.

Check this.
http://www.havells.com/milestones.aspx

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby SaiK » 31 Mar 2014 21:35

duh! joint venture with china eh...

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby chaanakya » 01 Apr 2014 00:17

SaiK wrote:duh! joint venture with china eh...

Well looks like it started small in 1958 in India
I don't see that chinese JV in their Milestones. German JVs are there. But then it started out in India and remains manufacturing company in India. For Tech if it has JVs does that make it Foreign? And which Chinese JV are you thinking about eh,....?

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 01 Apr 2014 07:55

Air Force rules out reports that C-130J crashed due to counterfeit Chinese parts

"After reports in 2012 suggested that Chinese counterfeit parts were fitted on some particular batches of C-130J aircraft, equipment on board our aircraft was sent to Lockheed Martin in batches for verification about the presence of Chinese counterfeit parts on our aircraft," a spokesperson of the Air Force said.

"Almost all the batches of our equipment have come back and the firm has confirmed that such equipment was not present on our systems but the last batch of our equipment has not yet arrived and we are waiting for it," he added.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby krishnan » 03 Apr 2014 13:50

how do we known their are telling the truth

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby JTull » 03 Apr 2014 13:58

krishnan wrote:how do we known their are telling the truth


how do you know the plane crashed? did you visit the crash site and see for yourself? If you claim that you did , then how do we know you're telling the truth?

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby tsarkar » 03 Apr 2014 17:41

shiv wrote:A post on DFI says rumour has it that the plane was flying nap of the earth and pulled up to go over hillock. Pull up was a bit late and tail struck the hillock as nose rose above. Tail broke off - remained intact. Rest of plane finished.Other plane was ahead I think.


One of the challenges/complications offormation flying at night is that one is so attentive keeping an eye on the other members of the formation that one gives lesser attention to terrain & other factors. This was compounded by the extremely low altitude flying undertaken. Which is why the first plane was able to take corrective action but the second plane reacted a fraction of a second too late.

NRao wrote:Well, I could be dead wrong on this, but, my understanding was that the terrain following feature was totally automated - no human intervention. IF the argument is that the pilot got an alert and did not respond in time, then that is a collision avoidance system - nothing to do with the prior. In such SpOps planes, what ever is there should be redundant - my expectations.


No, technology has not reached - and will never reach - the level of maturity to be a panacea for all problems. Terrain following systems do provide a level of safety, but not completely.

Read how AF447 stalled & crashed at full engine power.

shiv
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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 03 Apr 2014 18:02

tsarkar wrote:
shiv wrote:A post on DFI says rumour has it that the plane was flying nap of the earth and pulled up to go over hillock. Pull up was a bit late and tail struck the hillock as nose rose above. Tail broke off - remained intact. Rest of plane finished.Other plane was ahead I think.


One of the challenges/complications offormation flying at night is that one is so attentive keeping an eye on the other members of the formation that one gives lesser attention to terrain & other factors. This was compounded by the extremely low altitude flying undertaken. Which is why the first plane was able to take corrective action but the second plane reacted a fraction of a second too late.


If the crashed plane was following - wake turbulence from the aircraft ahead could have caused an accident.

NRao
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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 03 Apr 2014 18:36

No, technology has not reached - and will never reach - the level of maturity to be a panacea for all problems. Terrain following systems do provide a level of safety, but not completely.

Read how AF447 stalled & crashed at full engine power.


Not an expert, but engine and terrain following capabilities are two totally different things IMHO. Granted both are technologies.

1) So, consulting Terrain-following radar, we have:

The system works by transmitting a radar signal towards the ground area in front of the aircraft. The radar returns can then be analysed to see how the terrain ahead varies, which can then be used by the aircraft's autopilot to maintain a reasonably constant height above the earth.

This technology is primarily used by military strike aircraft, to enable flight at very low altitudes (sometimes below 100 feet (30 metres)) and high speeds, avoiding detection by enemy radars and interception by anti-aircraft systems. This allows the pilot to focus on other aspects of the flight besides the extremely intensive task of low flying itself.

Some aircraft such as the Tornado IDS have two separate radars, with the smaller one used for terrain-following. However more modern aircraft such as the Rafale with phased array radars can look forward and at the ground simultaneously.

Most aircraft allow the pilot to select the ride "hardness", to choose between how closely the aircraft tries to keep itself close to the ground and the forces exerted on the pilot. The F-111 used a switch to select for a hard, medium or a soft ride.

The TFR computer will consider many factors in determining the flight path for the aircraft. These factors include, distance to the forward terrain, aircraft speed and velocity, angle of attack and quality of signal being returned.


2) And, the C-130J flies nowhere close to the speed of a Rafale, as an example.

3) Besides, the C-130J is expected to fly in total darkness - including landing in inhospitable areas. That has got to be the most technology reliant situation one can think of.

I would prefer to wait for an official report, but it is very hard to believe that something like this could have happened because of (redundant?) technology failing. But then, who knows (yet?), it can too. The airmen without a doubt were top notch.

tsarkar
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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby tsarkar » 03 Apr 2014 19:05

NRao wrote:The airmen without a doubt were top notch.
I hope Bharat Rakshak members see this as an example of how hard Indian forces train, that rarely gets noticed or appreciated by general public, because Indian Armed Forces dont brag like our Western Neighbour or photoshop like our Eastern Neighbour.

TFR like Antilope on some Mirage 2000 points downwards. If the terrain changes to an elevation gradually, as graphically represented by this / then TFR can follow it. However, if a steep hill comes forward as graphically represented like this _|, it will simply not be detected by TFR pointing downwards.

I've had numerous discussions with Vasu Ray on this and its meaningless & time consuming to repeat. Technology is expensive to develop, and salesmen use colourful english. However, given the vast envelope of combat flying scenarios, even for transports that have lesser envelope than fighters, there is no technological panacea to cater for all contingencies that may arise. I rest my case.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Indranil » 03 Apr 2014 19:38

shiv wrote:A post on DFI says rumour has it that the plane was flying nap of the earth and pulled up to go over hillock. Pull up was a bit late and tail struck the hillock as nose rose above. Tail broke off - remained intact. Rest of plane finished.Other plane was ahead I think.


That could be the case, but certainly the tail did not break off on contact with the hillock. It stayed with the plane till the final impact. Firstly, because you wouldn't have seen the tail within 100-200 metres from the point of final impact. And secondly, because that tail is far too unharmed for it to have broken off and then tumbled to a rest.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby vasu raya » 04 Apr 2014 18:33

Most likely they were flying manual, the flight on a bright morning suggests so, not sure why they wanted to do it. In enemy territory we didn't want any emissions from TFR? this flight was an exercise in that.

tsarkar, if terrain hugging flights are such unreliable means, we should be seeing many cruise missiles crashing into obstructions in terrain, never heard about CFIT of a cruise missile while en-route, given there is route selection during mission planning.

Anyways, are these pilots from the transport stream or with Jaguar or Mig-27 background?


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