Military Flight Safety

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Jagan » 23 Apr 2014 20:50

The IAF's former flight safety boss (and then AOC-in-C, Western Air Command) Air Marshal P.S. Ahluwalia tells me,
"From the information available, there appears to have been a breach of flying discipline on two fronts. One, by the ill-fated aircraft, which may not have updated and compensated its flight path to accommodate wake and other turbulence during closely formated flight. And two, by the lead aircraft itself."


http://www.livefistdefence.com/2014/04/ ... pline.html

I heard something on similar lines. the flying into turbulence happened atleast once or twice in the same sortie, and the lead aircraft was noted warning the No.2 about it.. some say the lead ac should have cancelled the sortie as soon as this happened once or twice..

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 23 Apr 2014 21:57

Any turbulence is bad. But going through a known, man made, one is even worse. Especially at low levels.

the flying into turbulence happened atleast once or twice in the same sortie, and the lead aircraft was noted warning the No.2 about it.. some say the lead ac should have cancelled the sortie as soon as this happened once or twice..


How does the lead aircraft know about this?

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Jagan » 23 Apr 2014 22:44

NRao wrote:How does the lead aircraft know about this?
Could be radio comm/ radio chatter, could be a second set of eyes reporting it..

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby putnanja » 24 Apr 2014 01:34

Shouldn't the aircraft following maintain more distance if the lead aircraft is causing turbulence? That is how it is handled for civil aircraft. Boeing 747 has around 6 km separation, while for A380 it is 10km, to reduce effect of turbulence. If they had observed it once, then they should have increased the separation. Lead aircraft can't do much other than switching off its engine

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby saip » 24 Apr 2014 01:34

Because of this wake turbulence, ATC/Crew constantly refer to some of the aircraft as 'heavy' before their call signs obviously to indicate to other aircraft in the sky about the wake turbulence. Few years ago an aircraft crashed in Queens, NY and it was attributed to wake turbulence caused by a 747 that took off earlier .

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 24 Apr 2014 01:43

saip wrote:Because of this wake turbulence, ATC/Crew constantly refer to some of the aircraft as 'heavy' before their call signs obviously to indicate to other aircraft in the sky about the wake turbulence. Few years ago an aircraft crashed in Queens, NY and it was attributed to wake turbulence caused by a 747 that took off earlier .


Taken from Appendix A of the FAAO 7110.65R "Air Traffic Control"

"AIRCRAFT WEIGHT CLASSES

a. Heavy. Aircraft capable of takeoff weights of more than 255,000 pounds whether or not they are operating at this weight during a particular phase of flight.

b. Large. Aircraft of more than 41,000 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight, up to 255,000 pounds.

c. Small. Aircraft of 41,000 pounds or less maximum certificated takeoff weight."

Any aircraft that is classified as a heavy in this manual must use the word heavy when communicating with airtraffic control on or near the airport, with the exception of the Boeing 757, which also must use "heavy". The use of the word "heavy" may be ommitted when an aircraft is operating within the en route envirnoment, aka "center".

Notice the word "capable" above. Even if a heavy aircraft does not weigh more than 255,000lbs at takeoff, it still must be referred to as a "heavy". Also, in other parts of the world besides the U.S., the weight limit is 300,000lbs if memory serves me correctly.

Source:
I'm an En Route Center Air Traffic Controller, and also have certified in 5 airport control towers over the past 15 years.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Ashwin B » 24 Apr 2014 19:22

Has the cause of the Ecquadorean Dhruv crash of Feb 21 been determined?
I don't see any news reports since then.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby tsarkar » 25 Apr 2014 00:09

vasu raya wrote: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.


If you relied on materials better than glossy brochures published by companies marketing super duper solutions or cool programs on Discovery Channel for your knowledge, you would have come across this.

For your hearing, of 75 Tomahawk missiles were fired in Operation Infinite Reach in Afghanistan, six fell en-route. That's a whopping 8%.

Here is MIT Technology Review http://www.technologyreview.com/news/40 ... t-part-ii/
In 1998, when the Clinton administration launched 75 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Osama bin Laden’s bases in response to al Qaeda’s bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, six of the missiles misfired and landed across the border in Pakistan. It has long been suspected that these unexploded missiles were studied by Pakistani and Chinese scientists.


Here is LA times http://articles.latimes.com/1998/aug/30/news/mn-18024
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Demolition experts in Pakistan's army on Saturday destroyed a second unexploded U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile that fell in southwestern Pakistan after being fired at Afghanistan last week, the official APP news agency reported. It quoted official sources as saying the missile, one of several fired Aug. 20 on suspected Islamic terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan, was found in the remote Hoshab sub-district of the Mekran coastal area, off the Arabian Sea.


Please note the location - midway between the Arabian Sea & Afghanistan. So its not a launch failure nor a final terminal targeting failure. These missiles were lost in the super duper infallible TERCOM Terrain Contour Matching cruise phase.

Like I said earlier, terrain following technology today is at best effective for a miniscule percentage of the entire spectrum of fighter or transport flying operations.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 25 Apr 2014 01:17

What about terrain avoidance technologies?


Even following techs should be far better today.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2014 07:51

Terrain avoidance tech is of no use if the cause of the crash was a powerful downdraft and loss of lift resulting from wake turbulence or other freak weather condition.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 25 Apr 2014 08:19

True, if turbulence is the cause.

However, the original theory was that the plane hit the hillock. that is where the discussion of avoidance started - or the reliability of similar technologies.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Sid » 25 Apr 2014 17:44

tsarkar wrote:Please note the location - midway between the Arabian Sea & Afghanistan. So its not a launch failure nor a final terminal targeting failure. These missiles were lost in the super duper infallible TERCOM Terrain Contour Matching cruise phase.

Like I said earlier, terrain following technology today is at best effective for a miniscule percentage of the entire spectrum of fighter or transport flying operations.


TERCOM had issues in those areas due to flat regions where there is more or less no difference in height (not altitude). And low resolution radar maps of such featureless, desert terrain are not helpful for TERCOM ingress routes. Since INS drifts over a longer range and TERCOM cannot correct because it only stores low resolution radar mapping data for ingress routes. Similar issues with DSMAC, it complemented TERCOM but suffered from similar problem.

It has since been augmented with GPS which vastly improved its navigation in Block III with success rate touching 90%. And this was more then 20 years ago. Systems have only improved since then. Storage and processing capacity have increased manifold and resulted in way better navigation then before.

Point here is that this kind of navigation has been made possible on unmanned systems where corrective actions cannot be made in time. Of course there is nothing called 100% full proof, but you expect more from a manned platform. Combination of such systems and humans in the loop vastly improves mission success rates.

You don't expect pilots to take a nap on nap-of-the-earth flight profile. They are still flying the platform.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby rohitvats » 25 Apr 2014 17:51

Picture of IAF C-130 in formation flying. So, this crash is not a 'simple' case of a/c flying in the wake turbulence of lead a/c; would be combination of couple of factors.

Image

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Sid » 25 Apr 2014 20:00

^^^ thanks for posting.

I was about to post similar shots of C-130 in close formation.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2014 21:07

rohitvats wrote:Picture of IAF C-130 in formation flying. So, this crash is not a 'simple' case of a/c flying in the wake turbulence of lead a/c; would be combination of couple of factors.

Image

Altitude.

Wake turbulence at those altitudes may cause sudden descent but there is no ground below to hit - at least for quite a distance.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby NRao » 25 Apr 2014 21:42


Altitude.

Wake turbulence at those altitudes may cause sudden descent but there is not ground below to hit.


I addition, to avoid the hillock, he could have had to climb some and then to maintain his altitude, after crossing the hillock, come down, hit the turbulence and the combo could have sealed their fate. A man-made micro burst of sorts.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby vasu raya » 26 Apr 2014 06:51

They do formation flying as well as fly in storms, two different facets, flying at a low altitude in turbulence is way extreme. we don't know if wake turbulence is close to 'clear air turbulence' so that it can be simulated or the flight replayed in a simulator.

This is what wiki has to say, Clear-air_turbulence

Wake turbulence is another dangerous type of clear-air turbulence, but in this case the causes are quite different to those set out above. In the case of wake turbulence, the rotating vortex-pair created by the wings of a large aircraft as it travels lingers for a significant amount of time after the passage of the aircraft, sometimes more than a minute. When this occurs, the lingering turbulence caused by the wake of the wing tips can deflect or even flip a smaller aircraft on the ground or in the air. This phenomenon can also lead to accidents with large aircraft as well. Delta Air Lines Flight 9570 crashed at the Greater Southwest International Airport in 1972 while landing behind a DC-10. This accident led to new rules for minimum following separation time from "heavy" aircraft. American Airlines Flight 587 crashed shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2001 due to pilot overreaction to wake turbulence from a Boeing 747.

A major component of wake turbulence is the wingtip vortices. Many aircraft are now made with wingtip devices to reduce such turbulence (which also improves both the lift-to-drag ratio and fuel economy).


The winglets are one type of wingtip devices seen on later model passenger planes, C-130J doesn't have them but has a different type,

C-130J Super Hercules showing scimitar propellers with raked tips

why didn't that help?

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby tsarkar » 28 Apr 2014 01:39

I'm reminded of the accident at INAS 315 in 2002 where two Il-38 collided. Unfortunate part was that the squadron was celebrating 25 years of accident free flying for over 30,000 hours.

I do not recollect the board of enquiry findings for the reasons for the collision.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby anand_sankar » 28 Apr 2014 13:29

The case of the IL-38's:

The number two aircraft's number four engine, contacted with the MAD boom of the lead IL-38. The MAD boom sheared off with most of the tail and the lead aircraft went into a spin. The number two aircraft suffered extensive damage to wing structure from shrapnel. The crew were not able to regain control of the aircraft.

Inquiry finding was not adhering to SOPs.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Austin » 21 May 2014 11:31


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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Karan M » 21 May 2014 18:01



RIP sir. Amazing courage

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby parshuram » 27 May 2014 11:28

Mig 21 Bison Crashes Over South Kashmir. Pilot (Sqdn, Leader) Killed . RIP :-(

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Nikhil T » 27 May 2014 11:51

parshuram wrote:Mig 21 Bison Crashes Over South Kashmir. Pilot (Sqdn, Leader) Killed . RIP :-(


Incredibly saddening for the family and us countrymen. RIP brave officer.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Kartik » 27 May 2014 15:17

Dhananjay wrote:At 3:40 he pulls the lever between his legs to eject, I guess it'll be same in all other planes too?



no, there were some jets that had the ejection handle placed behind and slightly abve the pilot. The pilot would need to pull on it like a curtain from behind. The position of the spine at the time of ejection was considered to be better in this situation. Several pilots suffered serious spinal injuries as they bent down to pull the ejection handle placed between their legs.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 27 May 2014 16:15

parshuram wrote:Mig 21 Bison Crashes Over South Kashmir. Pilot (Sqdn, Leader) Killed . RIP :-(

http://idrw.org/?p=37916#more-37916

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby member_26622 » 28 May 2014 00:17

Why don't we start making LCA in hundreds and stop flying these old airframes. I really cannot fathom this lack of speed for doing the obvious. Ask Reliance to start making LCA's along with HAL to speed up the replacement process. Just get going.

Losing precious lives every year!

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby saje » 28 May 2014 06:57

The decision to let only senior pilots fly the Mig-21 was a step in the right direction, but the flip side is that we'll lose experienced hands in crashes from now.

The next step needs to be a change in the mission profile of the Mig-21 from what it is now, to a purely close air support bird in the deserts. This will hopefully ensure that these birds are no longer used for training for fancy air combat stuff (which the SU's are anyway good at) and are used for training for only the plain vanilla CAS-type missions in clear skies,clear weather and against jihadis armed with clubs and catapults (just kidding...meaning to say lightly armed hostiles with no surface to air toys!).

So basically, base the Mig-21 squadrons only in/near desert areas and expect them to practice for plain bombing/rocketing/strafing runs.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Shameek » 02 Jun 2014 19:13

Don't know if this has been posted earlier. The image in the news article is of course wrong.

ALH Siachen problems

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby merlin » 03 Jun 2014 12:24

Shameek wrote:Don't know if this has been posted earlier. The image in the news article is of course wrong.

ALH Siachen problems


Hmm. Looks like a part of MMS give away Siachen to the Pakis abhiyaan. Not ordering light helos in time.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby wilson_th » 03 Jun 2014 14:01

Don't know if this has been posted earlier. The image in the news article is of course wrong.

ALH Siachen problems


Misleading article. and the comment on this is worth quoting here.

A Concerned Citizen >Air Warrior • 14 minutes agoDear Air Warrior, Let's please stay focused on the point that I am making. The two Dhruv MkIII accidents on the Glacier were NOT due to any technical or systems malfunction. You may please check the facts.

The case for replacement of Cheetahs is definitely justifiable, as I already said. A light helicopter is required to land on those tiny postage stamp sized helipads and on those helipads atop small ice-pillars.

However, fudging the statistics and bashing the Dhruv, so as to butress this replacement case is DEAD WRONG. Also, having flown the Mi-17, Cheetah and Dhruv Mk III on the Glacier and in the know of all performance details, I stand by my statement that the Dhruv Mk III FAR outperforms either the Cheetah or any of its intended replacements in terms of performance and handling. Have a word with the boys in the Sqn /Units out there in the field flying the Mk III to verify the facts, if you will.
And finally if I may suggest, we also need to throttle back on the scaremongering on just about everything indigenous being absolutely rotten and that only pure imports will be able to save the day. That's perfect talk for perhaps only a banana republic and is a route that leads to trouble. What is needed is a strong industrial complex based in-country (PSU, Private and Joint Ventures) supporting the military. However, that's another discussion!

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Kartik » 04 Jun 2014 13:41

Don't know if this was posted earlier, if so, please excuse me for posting it again.

IAF looks for 3 spatial disorientation simulators for rookie pilots

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Shreeman » 10 Jun 2014 16:18

Please to humor me, leaving these contextually relevant events here: Mirage2000 in Niger, Eurofighter in Spain.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 25 Jul 2014 19:30

NRao wrote:7 feared killed in IAF chopper crash

An Indian Air Force helicopter on Friday crashed in Sitapur with all seven persons on board feared killed.

The Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv had taken off from Bareilly. Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sidhauli, A.K. Srivastava said that the chopper was engulfed in fire as it crashed in Manipurwa in Ataria area.

“A helicopter of airforce has crashed here. It is engulfed in fire and it is feared that all on board might have died,” Mr. Srivastava told PTI.

Attempts were underway to douse the fire. Senior officials of district administration and police have reached the spot.

District Magistrate, Sitapur, J.P. Singh said that the helicopter took off from Bareilly and was going towards Allahabad.

“According to our information, there were seven persons on board the chopper including a pilot and a co-pilot. As per the reports received from officials, no one is appeared to have survived,” he said.

Sitapur is nearly 160 km from Bareilly and over 90 km from Lucknow.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Sid » 25 Jul 2014 19:55

^^
Really sad. Invaluable lives lost.

RIP.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby deejay » 25 Jul 2014 20:01

RIP friends.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby member_26622 » 25 Jul 2014 21:45

Terrible tragedy - RIP to the lost souls.

A troubling thought here and timing is not perfect to discuss this but don't want to lose more lives if the thought holds -

We launch Arihant/Vikramaditya and lose a sub - in same week.
We order more Dhruv's and lose one - in same week

Seems to be a recurring theme after every acquisition/order in recent times.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Nikhil T » 25 Jul 2014 22:04

Incredibly saddening for the families and IAF/HAL. May the souls rest in peace.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby SSridhar » 26 Jul 2014 06:12

Very sad to hear the loss of so many IAF lives.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby shiv » 01 Aug 2014 17:55

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 415075.cms

IAF's Jaguar fighter plane crashes near Bhuj, pilot ejects safely

AHMEDABAD: An Indian Air Force fighter aircraft on a routine flying training mission crashed near Bhuj in Kutch district of Gujarat on Friday.

The Jaguar fighter had taken off from Bhuj air base at 11.40 am and it crashed 30 km north of Bhuj at Nakhtrana at about 12.06 pm.

The pilot of the aircraft had ejected safely and there were no casualties on the ground. The plane had crashed at an open space at Nakhtrana.

The Indian Air Force has ordered a court of inquiry into the crash of the aircraft. The aircraft was airborne when the pilot decided to eject after ensuring that it crashed at an open space, sources said.

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Re: Military Flight Safety

Postby Nikhil T » 04 Aug 2014 07:53

Source: Rediff
20:44 40 Dhruv choppers grounded: The Indian Air Force has grounded its fleet of around 40 Advanced Light Helicopters Dhruv helicopters in view of the recent crash, in which seven of its personnel were killed. The ALH Dhruv choppers in IAF fleet will not fly till thorough checks are carried out on them, IAF sources said. The Army, which uses the ALH for its high altitude operations is also learnt to have taken similar precautions before allowing its pilots to fly them.


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