Blue Angels #6 Lost in Crash...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by flyandscuba, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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  2. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    Crap.

    I knew and flew in Japan with Kevin "Chickenbone" Colling, one of the last two Blues killed. Sad day for America, then and now.

    Wonder if he hit the tree and then crashed, or was crashing when he hit the tree. Hard to tell at 480 KIAS, 200 feet AGL.
     

  3. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    I just saw an amateur video of the crash:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQM-h_AjfiQ

    Having run thousands of intercepts and join-ups, I offer the following insights. Let me preface them by saying these are my own opinions, based on a ten second video. I might be completely wrong, and reserve the right to change my mind as more facts surface. Just one RIO's opinion...

    1) It looked to me like MA (mishap aircraft) was attempting to join the other five and was extremely hot and then sucked on the running rendezvous, needing to turn harder and accelerate to catch the other five while crossing their extended sixes.

    2) MA was in a descending turn, forcing the MP (mishap pilot) to look up and left while blowing through, sinking below and drifting to the right of the formation.

    3) I think I saw smoke as the MA passed through nose-on to the camera, an indication the motors were working, and possibly that the MP selected AB. As an aside, I think the likelihood of a dual-engine flameout in a Blue Angel Hornet is very small, unless the MA ran out of gas. The likelihood of that happening is also very small.

    4) As the MA completed the turn, its nose sliced low. The MA didn't mush into the trees belly-first; its nose led him in.

    If all those observations are true, my guess is

    Theory A: Attempting to salvage a very hot intercept, MP wrapped up his descending left-hand turn to minimize the separation that was about to occur, probably at military power or in AB. MP chose to under run the formation to avoid going belly-up to them, standard procedure in that case. The combination of the dynamic and unusual intercept, the high g-forces of the turn, and the necessity to look in the opposite direction of his aircraft's travel caused the MP to momentarily lose situational awareness of his proximity to the ground. Perhaps trying to regain airspeed lost in the turn, the MP relaxed his pull and/or dumped the nose, unaware the ground was coming up fast. Pilot error. CFIT.

    Alternate theory B: MP experienced G-LOC in his hard turn and departed into the deck.

    Alternate theory C: MA departed controlled flight in a tight, possibly cross-controlled turn and lacked sufficient altitude to recover.

    Alternate theory D: MA experienced dual-engine flameout, departed controlled flight, and lacked sufficient altitude to recover.
     
  4. Andrew Tacquard

    Andrew Tacquard

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    A or B, it looks like he had a pertty hard turn on and then relaxed the pull. Looks like a gloc to me. Turning and looking over the shoulder is the #1 killer in low altitude mishaps. So theory A looks likely to. Either way it really sucks that it happened.
     
  5. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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    I'm leaning toward theory B.
     
  6. k9medic

    k9medic

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    F14Scott, what would be to potential of a engine failure (turbine failure, etc..) taking out the second engine?

    In our helicopters, the engines are offset for this reason. There have been several catastrophic failures that result in turbine wheels departing the aircraft. If the engines were parallel, then they both would suffer damage.
     
  7. HKMark23

    HKMark23 Millennium Member

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    Grunt early, grunt often....

    I'm not a gambling man but after seeing that vid; the rapid transition followed by shallowing and nose dropping through, I would lay twenty bucks on the table for gloc. I'll bet the HUD tape will show a sudden and high gee load (1 sec to 7+), then a steady but rapid decrease in gees until the prang and static.

    The crappy part is that he was most likely aware for the last few seconds but unable to do anything. Ive wrapped myself round the flag pole and taken myself out more than once, each time motor skills came back after I had regained my wits.
     
  8. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    Possible, but unlikely in that video. If one of the motors blew up big enough to take out the second, we'd have seen the fire.
     
  9. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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    The Blues do not wear G-suits during their performances. Also, their control stick is rigged with a spring to require positive tension (about 35 lbs if I remember correctly).
     
  10. HKMark23

    HKMark23 Millennium Member

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    Ive never heard of an added "spring" being used but I do know that the T-Birds use negative trim in the diamond but the solo's generally do not except when in the delta.
     
  11. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/faq.htm


    What are the major differences between the fleet model and the Blue Angel F/A-18?

    The Blue Angel F/A-18s have the nose cannon removed, a smoke-oil tank installed and a spring installed on the stick which applies pressure for better formation and inverted flying. Otherwise, the aircraft that the squadron flies are the same as those in the fleet. Each Blue Angel aircraft is fleet capable of being returned to combat duty aboard an aircraft carrier within 72 hours.

    Why don’t the pilots wear G-suits?

    G-suits are designed with air bladders (pockets) that inflate and deflate to keep a pilot’s blood from pooling in the pilots’ legs while executing sharp, unpredicted combat maneuvers. Unlike combat flying, the Blue Angels demonstration pilots know the maneuvers they will fly prior to execution, so each pilot knows when one will be pulling heavy gravitational forces. Anticipating the changes in gravitational forces allows the Blue Angels demonstration pilots to combat the G-forces with muscle contractions. In addition, the Boeing F/A-18’s control stick is mounted between the pilot’s legs. The Blue Angels have a spring tensioned with 35 pounds of pressure installed on the control stick that gives the pilot a “false feel.” This allows the pilot minimal room for uncommanded movement. The pilots rest their right arms on their thighs for support and stability while flying. Therefore, inflating and deflating air bladders in a G-suit would interrupt this support and stability, causing uncommanded aircraft movement. In this case, G-suits would detrimentally impact flight safety.
     
  12. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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  13. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Semper Fi CLM

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  14. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

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    Live fast, die young, leave a smoking hole in the ground. :drink: :patriot:
     
  15. dozing4dollars

    dozing4dollars Plasticized ! CLM

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    Bushflyr wrote:
    I take umbrage with your comment in this specific venue. I think its inclusion here is inappropriate and cavalier.

    I doubt you meant it to be flippant and I will bet you are a young guy and a relatively low time pilot.

    I can think of SIX guys right off the top of my head that I knew personally that would disagree with you...so would their grieving families.

    Go to a military funeral for a lost airman and then see if this phrase is still so easy to utter or write.:sad:
     
  16. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

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    It's not supposed to be flipant, just true. As my friend Jimmy, who died 2 days ago in a BASE jumping accident, said, "I'd rather blow up than rust." Dying sucks, but we don't let it stop us from doing what we love.... Let me rephrase. We don't let the threat of it stop us from doing what we love. I've buried a bunch of friends, 2 in the last year alone, but they all died doing something they loved. What more can we ask?

    BTW, I happen to have over 10,000 hours in in everything from paragliders to heavies. South Pacific to the Alaskan bush. But yes, I still feel young.
     
  17. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    Here's one of my favorites with the same sentiment that's a little softer:

    "Everybody dies. Not everybody lives."
     
  18. dozing4dollars

    dozing4dollars Plasticized ! CLM

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    Well said F14Scott! Precisely my point. A softer, more reverent expression would have been more appropriate I think.

    I took exception to the perceived lack of decorum your slogan evoked in me, juxtaposed against the photograph of the fallen aviator's flag draped casket being off-loaded from Fat Albert.


    Bushflyr: I respect your years of aviation experience and the notion that we must balance the risk against the reward of our endeavors. We should all strive to live life to the fullest in everything we do for there may be no tomorrow in this ephemeral life.

    I have been "living the dream" for many decades and feel blessed-not just for the life I lead in aviation but more importantly, my LIFE outside of flying. My spouse(s), children, step-children, siblings, parents, etc. It is those who are left behind when things "go South" and an accident occurs.


    Maybe I'm a little too sensitive...I saw this scene played out real time as a teenager in my own family. I have witnessed the missing man flyover at "the Zoo" for a fallen sibling. I saw the wreckage and broken pieces of aircraft and assorted debris on the evening news. The CNN images of BA6's crash reminded me of those awful days eons ago.
     
  19. GlocknAK

    GlocknAK

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    Thanks for the pic Scott. I wasn't expecting it, and it made me stop and think for a moment.

    No matter how many times I watch one of the demonstration teams it leaves me in awe, and the Angels have always been my favorite.
     
  20. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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