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Systems Question - Resetting Circuit Breakers

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
CBs are designed to protect expensive electronic equipment from being zapped from too much current.
Minor but important nitpick: Circuit breakers are designed to protect the wire going to whatever needs electricity (light bulb, pump, expensive box, other widget). Wires are sized to deliver enough power to meet the demand; CBs are sized based on the wire size. If that wire shorts to ground then the CB is supposed to pop before that starts an electrical fire. But CBs aren't guaranteed to protect what's in side the box from an internal malfunction.

(Think about it- 5 amps going the wrong way inside any radio will let all the smoke out of the box... and with no smoke left, the box won't work anymore.)
 

Pags

Positive Void Coefficient
pilot
Minor but important nitpick: Circuit breakers are designed to protect the wire going to whatever needs electricity (light bulb, pump, expensive box, other widget). Wires are sized to deliver enough power to meet the demand; CBs are sized based on the wire size. If that wire shorts to ground then the CB is supposed to pop before that starts an electrical fire. But CBs aren't guaranteed to protect what's in side the box from an internal malfunction.

(Think about it- 5 amps going the wrong way inside any radio will let all the smoke out of the box... and with no smoke left, the box won't work anymore.)
Good technical points on what CBs do (I'm not an EE or electrician). Bottom line: CBs pop to protect the airplane/occupant from electrical fire and resetting CBs is circumventing safety systems.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Next thing you guys are going to tell me is that I'm only supposed to push the AUTO MODE button once. Apparently none of you like to take on additional challenges!
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Just remember, whatever you do, don't hold CB's in!
I know a guy who held a CB that not surprisingly resulting in some scorching, the last in a string of stupid that resulted in him not flying for the Navy anymore.
 

Pags

Positive Void Coefficient
pilot
Next thing you guys are going to tell me is that I'm only supposed to push the AUTO MODE button once. Apparently none of you like to take on additional challenges!
Or you could be the Det OIC who was too impatient to wait for a stab amp to arrive and told his guys to ignore NATOPS, slew it to zero, and man up.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Or you could be the Det OIC who was too impatient to wait for a stab amp to arrive and told his guys to ignore NATOPS, slew it to zero, and man up.
Interesting that you bring this up. For perspective...

Legacy Bravo didn't even allow you to look at the aircraft in direct light if the STAB failed any test, lest it blow up due to safetiness. This was actually a typical HAC scenario to facilitate systems discussions. I can't speak to Legacy F/H, but I seem to remember that it had more room to work with than the B.

SuperHawk R/S allowed failures to happen and still fly, but SuperHawk Bravo still ran to it's den for another 6 weeks. Personally, I'm perfectly fine taking a 0* Stab on a "got-to-go" mission, assuming the "right" stab amp is still working to get us to 0*. But again, more system understanding that one stab amp =/= another stab amp in capability.

But at least we can do one-wheels again...I think...maybe that changed in the recent, brand new, NATOPS. I'm just not professional enough to go grab it out of the car and bring it into the house to be put in the binder again. That's what NATOPS checks are for (kidding).
 

Pags

Positive Void Coefficient
pilot
Interesting that you bring this up. For perspective...

Legacy Bravo didn't even allow you to look at the aircraft in direct light if the STAB failed any test, lest it blow up due to safetiness. This was actually a typical HAC scenario to facilitate systems discussions. I can't speak to Legacy F/H, but I seem to remember that it had more room to work with than the B.

SuperHawk R/S allowed failures to happen and still fly, but SuperHawk Bravo still ran to it's den for another 6 weeks. Personally, I'm perfectly fine taking a 0* Stab on a "got-to-go" mission, assuming the "right" stab amp is still working to get us to 0*. But again, more system understanding that one stab amp =/= another stab amp in capability.

But at least we can do one-wheels again...I think...maybe that changed in the recent, brand new, NATOPS. I'm just not professional enough to go grab it out of the car and bring it into the house to be put in the binder again. That's what NATOPS checks are for (kidding).
I agree with your analysis based on my five year old knowledge. Turns out the missions he was telling his guys to man up for weren't "got to go" missions and because of this and other "ignore that TR chip light" shenanigans he was told that the CO would like a word with him in his office. CO was at home guard and the OIC had three more months of cruise but the CO said he'd love for him to pop home a bit quicker and that someone else would take over the Det. But that letter is better than no mail at all I guess.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
But that letter is better than no mail at all I guess.
Oof. I don't know...even on FFG life, with no mail and barely working email would probably be better than being sent home for being retar....mentally challenged about degradations.

Also, I thought TR Chip Lights just meant the CHIP IBIT test passed, no? Maybe that's just technique.
 

RobLyman

- hawk Pilot
pilot
None
You guys still have stab amps? One of the top 10 60M improvements was losing the stab amps and replacing them with functions within the FCCs. The stab can operate in a degraded auto mode now.

Regarding CBs, with so many electronic components now without a hard On/Off switch, CBs are sometimes the only way to reset a component. But that is more about pulling a CB than resetting one that has popped. My favorites are the Backup Pump Controller and Backup Pump Power CBs. Resetting one is OK. Resetting the other can result in a blown current limiter.
 

xj220

Will fly for food.
pilot
Contributor
I've heard stories about subs where they use breaker bars or tubing to help keep a switch closed. Don't know how true it is but sounds wild.
 

ea6bflyr

Working Class Bum
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I thought circuit breakers were only to make the gear box chip light go away so the "Land as soon as practical" emergency went away. :D
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
My favorites are the Backup Pump Controller and Backup Pump Power CBs. Resetting one is OK. Resetting the other can result in a blown current limiter.
While in the chute for my HAC board, our resident O-4 Yoda (and all-around well-respected dude) was teaching/explaining the unwritten process to get around the current limiters. A Super-JO (who was actually another good dude, even after he became a hinge) was telling several of us to be wary of quoting the "trick" on a HAC board because it wasn't written and the only fall-back was, "Because Dave said so..." I totally get his point, and he was looking out for us, but of course as JOs, we wanted to have that procedure in our back pocket because it showed we understood the system better than NATOPS explained (which isn't always a hard thing to do).

Fast forward a couple of years and when I come back as a CAT Other, low-and-behold, the procedure is in NATOPS. I always appreciate the nuances that "Dave" passed along to us JOs...and to the other O-4s that bothered to listen to him.
 

sevenhelmet

Far from this opera for evermore...
pilot
Regarding CBs, with so many electronic components now without a hard On/Off switch, CBs are sometimes the only way to reset a component.

We ask our maintainers to do that during troubleshooting All. The. Time. The F-18 doesn't have most CBs accessible to aircrew, so resetting simply isn't an option. They don't pop in flight very often, but it can make life interesting when they do.

A couple months ago, I took off to go strafe. Checked on range, squeezed the trigger, and nothing happened. Ran through my checklist about 20 times, squeezed the trigger, still nothing happened. FML. RTB'd because I didn't know what else to do, and I had no idea what was going on in the nose. Turns out, the gun controller CB had popped at some point. Ordies had never seen anything like it. I never found out why.

Then there was the time the fuel dump circuit breaker wasn't pushed in by the PC on pre-flight (the squadron MO had also directed to leave the breaker panels closed during shipboard preflight, so I never saw it). Luckily it was cyclic ops, so I just burned the gas and recovered with no knowledge of the problem. Caught it post-flight when the PC was doing the turn. That could have made life "interesting" had I gone single engine off the cat or needed to recover early for some reason...

Everything else I've seen with circuit breakers has involved either an FCF or troubleshooting on the ground.
 

RobLyman

- hawk Pilot
pilot
None
While in the chute for my HAC board, our resident O-4 Yoda (and all-around well-respected dude) was teaching/explaining the unwritten process to get around the current limiters. A Super-JO (who was actually another good dude, even after he became a hinge) was telling several of us to be wary of quoting the "trick" on a HAC board because it wasn't written and the only fall-back was, "Because Dave said so..." I totally get his point, and he was looking out for us, but of course as JOs, we wanted to have that procedure in our back pocket because it showed we understood the system better than NATOPS explained (which isn't always a hard thing to do).

Fast forward a couple of years and when I come back as a CAT Other, low-and-behold, the procedure is in NATOPS. I always appreciate the nuances that "Dave" passed along to us JOs...and to the other O-4s that bothered to listen to him.
Our -10 (NATOPS) has a caution about resetting the BU PUMP PWR circuit breaker and tells you to secure all AC power prior to resetting it. Most pilots I fly with claim they've never seen that. I'm disappointed, but OK with that unless it is an MTP I'm checking out. They should know stuff like that.

I try to make a big presentation of "switching hats" from IP to MTP if I encounter something that needs to be troubleshot while conducting a training flight. If it requires an MTF maneuver in the MTP checklist, I must get re-briefed. I strongly discourage pulling CBs in flight unless you a) have no better option b) really need the system back and c) are satisfied with a situation that might be worse after pulling the CB (or wrong CB).

I'm not particularly smart or talented, but I've been flying H-60s for a long time. I'm not Yoda. I'm more like Anarkin. But, I have seen a lot. For instance, I can tell you hitting RESET on the hydraulic leak test switch in flight will give you back your pilot assist servos if the system mistakenly thought there was a leak on the #2 side. I can also tell you that in other cases, where there is a leak, doing so will bleed a LOT of hydraulic fluid out of the system possibly resulting in a #2 HYD PUMP caution light. FWIW, landing unaided boost off to a CG at night isn't fun.

So yeah, leave the Yoda type stuff to the Jedi young Anarkin.
 
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