F18 April Virginia Crash Cause Found

Discussion in 'Current News' started by Ray-Ban, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Ray-Ban

    Ray-Ban Active Member

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    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/02/usa-crash-navy-idINL2E8I2C2820120702

    COMNAVAIRLANT Releases Investigation Results of F/A-18D Crash

    OCEANA, Va. (NNS) – Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic released the results today of its Judge Advocate General Manual (JAGMAN) investigation of the F/A-18D that crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach on April 6, 2012.

    The F/A-18D, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA)-106 and based at Naval Air Station Oceana, was conducting a scheduled training exercise when it suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure shortly after takeoff and crashed into the Mayfair Mews Apartment Complex in Virginia Beach.

    “I know the process has been challenging for some, especially those who lost their homes and personal belongings,” said Rear Adm. Ted Branch, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. “But we are all incredibly fortunate that the crash, which occurred on Good Friday, resulted in zero loss of life.”

    The recovery process was a team effort between Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and the Virginia Beach first responders who quickly began helping the affected residents. The Emergency Response cooperation between the city of Virginia Beach and the Navy is a testament to the close working relationship that has developed over the years.

    “I would like to add my thanks to everyone who acted so quickly to assist our aircrew, treat the injured citizens, and help ensure that all residents of the Mayfair Mews complex were safely evacuated,” said Branch. “This exceptional response almost certainly prevented further injury and perhaps death to affected citizens and aircrew, and more widespread property damage.”

    The Navy has spent the past several weeks doing a detailed investigation into the crash to learn what went wrong and how to minimize the chance of such an event from happening in the future.

    “The aircrew followed their procedures, but given the cascading series of problems and lack of thrust and altitude, continued controlled flight was not possible,” said Branch. “It is our view that the aircrew’s assessments were reasonable given the initial indications, and their actions were in accordance with training and procedure.”

    The JAGMAN investigation found that the crash occurred as a result of two significant, unrelated engine malfunctions, the first at takeoff and the second shortly after takeoff. The right engine failed due to ingestion of fuel into the right intake. The left engine afterburner failed to light when selected by the pilot after the right engine malfunction. Post-mishap analysis indicates the likely cause was failure of an electrical component, but several of the suspected components were damaged beyond the point of conclusive analysis in the crash and subsequent fire.

    “While I recognize that these gaps are less than satisfying, we have a high degree of confidence in the F/A-18 Airframe, and in the F404-GE-400 engine in the legacy Hornet,” said Branch. “The US Navy has been flying the F/A-18 Hornet for more than 30 years, and we have found it to be an extremely safe and reliable aircraft.”

    According to the Naval Safety Center, there has been a steady decline in the overall mishap rate for Naval Aircraft, and the Hornet mishap rate has followed this trend. The Naval Safety Center’s data indicate that the reliability of F404-GE-400 engine has been exceptionally good over the life of the F/A-18 program.

    “We are confident that we can continue to conduct safe operations with the F/A-18, both here in Virginia Beach, and around the world,” said Branch. “Our concern is not just for our pilots and aircrew, but for our community. We operate every day with this in mind, and we are focused every day on ensuring that we have the best aircraft, operated by the best aircrew, conducting safe operations – we can accept nothing less.
     
  2. MAKE VAPES

    MAKE VAPES Registered User None

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    Ok, so let me understand this... the Hornette can't fly away single engine at mil??? Does "AB failed to light" often result in a Class-A mishap?

    How would anyone ever land a Hornette single engine on the boat? (You'd have to be in full grunt dirty the whole time!)... Fuel ingestion, how does that happen??? There has got to be more to the story.

    Hornette systems guru enlightenment requested. Preface all circumspective assertions with "if one were to"... Let us artfully avoid mod pee-pee shwackin.
     
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  3. SteveG75

    SteveG75 Retired and starting that second career None

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    Link to good article and the JAGMAN investigation here:
    http://hamptonroads.com/2012/07/navy-jet-crash-caused-dual-engine-failure

    Note that the JAGMAN is not the mishap investigation but they can interview the same witnesses and look at the same evidence.

    OK, not a Hornet guy but here is my take:

    Basically, crew thought they had a blown tire and fodded engine. So, left gear down which reduced performance. Student pilot also did not jettison externals due to possibility of hitting civilian population. So, heavy, draggy, single engine. Nope, not going to fly away. Sixty seconds from takeoff to ejection. Reminds me of the Prowler we lost at PSAB many years ago because an electrical short resulted in a diagnosis of an equipment bay fire so the crew shelled out. You make the decision with the info that you have at the time. Crew did everything right in my opinion.

    Obviously, landing SE at the boat means that you have a lot less gas and will be a lot lighter. Here is a good story about a Hornet losing an engine off the cat (actually, lost one and damaged second, pilot was a former A-6 RAG instructor of mine).
    http://www.bobnorris.com/spd.php/spi/sea_stories_1
     
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  4. MAKE VAPES

    MAKE VAPES Registered User None

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    Thanks Steve, JAGMAN is very enlightening. Sounds like they did all the could.. misdiagnosis or not, jet was going down it seems.

    This is a good read and lesson for the youngsters -- any given day it could be you.

    I took off the same runway in '99 with 4 total F-14A hours (300ish TT) (not a whole lotta poop coming out the back of that one...), low pressure turbine flew solo out the left motor on rotation... landed with 4.3 hours and my first single engine on take-off and many landings in my logbook (in a jet with two motors anyways).

    Oyster's video still gives me the hebiejeebies. Everyone is trying to kill you on the BGFPAOA!
     
  5. armada1651

    armada1651 Son of a bitch I'm sick of these dolphins None

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    The jet should have been able to fly away at that weight and configuration if the left engine was working properly - according to the JAGMAN, some additional unidentifiable problem caused the left engine to not only have an AB no light, but to produce only about 84% of the thrust it should have in MIL.
     
  6. Renegade One

    Renegade One Well-Known Member None

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    Bad day in Black Rock...unforgiving business...will happen again. Best thing about this is obviously the "no civilian casualties" part. Sometimes "all you can do" is "the best you can do".
     
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  7. Mr. Blonde

    Mr. Blonde My ass is a motherfuckin' champion None

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    We're supposed to be surprised about a legacy delta not performing as advertised?
     
  8. UMichfly

    UMichfly Active Member None

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    There are legacy Charlies and even A+ Hornets performing "as advertised" every day flying actual combat missions. Just because they're legacy jets doesn't mean they're not capable of performing day in and day out. You'd be amazed what a quality maintenance department can do to jets that are well past their prime.
     
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  9. MasterBates

    MasterBates Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but as someone who flew some of the oldest 60Bs in the fleet, and the oldest E-2s on the fleet (not counting RAG/NSAWC) when shit gets that old, sometimes shit just breaks, regardless of how good your maintainers are.

    Some of the legacy bugs are pretty damn old, and are at the age where more things that aren't supposed to happen, do happen, just like the older planes before them

    Sent from my PH44100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. Brett327

    Brett327 Magnum! None

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    Brand new jets break too, admittedly at a lower rate, but anything can happen. Expect the unexpected.
     
  11. MIDNJAC

    MIDNJAC is clara ship None

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    It seems like the F/A-18A-D community has seen it's fair share of unforeseen failures in the last few years. I'd tend to lump "both engines failing for different reasons simultaneously on takeoff" into that category. Just going off what was publicly released.
     
  12. UMichfly

    UMichfly Active Member None

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    Agree with all. However, I don't agree with Mr Blonde's implication that we should expect our jets to fail constantly because they're older and just accept that. That's just no way to live life.
     
  13. Mr. Blonde

    Mr. Blonde My ass is a motherfuckin' champion None

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    Damn umich, you'd think you designed the old hornets by your reaction to my tongue in cheek post. I was jesting about how often the legacys seem to be in maintenance. Can't be a coincidence my Charlie brethren in 122 and 101 take so damn long to finish the rag...
     
  14. pourts

    pourts Marine F/A-18D pilot None

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    Mishap thread isn't super the best place for tongue and cheek humor.
     
  15. Mr. Blonde

    Mr. Blonde My ass is a motherfuckin' champion None

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    Whatever. Guess we're not allowed to joke around anymore. For the record the mishap pilot is a friend of mine and I'm still glad he or anyone else were not seriously hurt/killed.
     

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