Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

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johnwill

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Unread post04 Jun 2016, 06:37

An added note. The exposed bulkhead just aft of the fracture is the forward end of fuel tank F-1. If that had broken, the crash investigators would not have had much to work with.
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35_aoa

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Unread post04 Jun 2016, 09:14

I doubt the guy flamed out. That is like the worst of all possible airmanship, and with how scripted these shows are, there wouldn't be room for having maybe almost enough gas to make it. I'd bet my life savings he didn't accidentally run out of gas at least. Like I mentioned before, there are a TON of reasons you can lose your only motor in an F-16.
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tbarlow

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Unread post04 Jun 2016, 10:33

I see by the picture of the chute that's it red-white-blue in color. Is that specific to the TBirds? Also does anyone know if the egress guys got their case of beer yet?
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VarkVet

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Unread post04 Jun 2016, 21:39

35_aoa wrote:I doubt the guy flamed out.


I don't know? ... the way the POTUS rambles on during speeches, (see what I did there?) these guys could have been on Bingo fuel 30 minutes past scheduled execution time?
Last edited by VarkVet on 05 Jun 2016, 01:47, edited 1 time in total.
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tjodalv43

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Unread post04 Jun 2016, 23:25

tbarlow wrote:I see by the picture of the chute that's it red-white-blue in color. Is that specific to the TBirds? Also does anyone know if the egress guys got their case of beer yet?


It probably just looks like that due to the quality of the photo. The chutes are orange, olive green, and white so the pilot can use them for concealment in different terrain or as a high vis signal in friendly territory if required.
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Gums

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Unread post05 Jun 2016, 01:44

Salute!

The odds that the birds held a long time and were low on gas does not compute.

I have been to several ceremonies besides my own, and the worst time hog was Clinton. After his first address, they had a tanker orbiting west of the Ramparts right over my fishing cabin, heh heh.

I think something serious went wrong with the motor. if the guy was really low on gas he would have told lead and landed first.

Gums sends...
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Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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VarkVet

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Unread post05 Jun 2016, 01:57

Gums wrote:Salute!

The odds that the birds held a long time and were low on gas does not compute.

I have been to several ceremonies besides my own, and the worst time hog was Clinton. After his first address, they had a tanker orbiting west of the Ramparts right over my fishing cabin, heh heh.

I think something serious went wrong with the motor. if the guy was really low on gas he would have told lead and landed first.

Gums sends...


True ... but I recovered one jet that was lower on reserve tanks that I could only dream of accomplishing during a defuel.
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VarkVet

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Unread post05 Jun 2016, 02:06

johnwill wrote:An added note. The exposed bulkhead just aft of the fracture is the forward end of fuel tank


They all break there with a hard shunt.

Engineering marvel IMHO if you ever look in that area and see how the cockpit is attached to the rest of the fuselage ... you would think it would break away every take-off.
My eyes have seen the glory of the Lord and the esthetics of the Flightline
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35_aoa

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Unread post05 Jun 2016, 04:47

VarkVet wrote:
True ... but I recovered one jet that was lower on reserve tanks that I could only dream of accomplishing during a defuel.


One thunderbird jet, or one CAF jet that landed low fuel?
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neurotech

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Unread post05 Jun 2016, 21:08

Gums wrote:Salute!

The odds that the birds held a long time and were low on gas does not compute.

I have been to several ceremonies besides my own, and the worst time hog was Clinton. After his first address, they had a tanker orbiting west of the Ramparts right over my fishing cabin, heh heh.

I think something serious went wrong with the motor. if the guy was really low on gas he would have told lead and landed first.

Gums sends...

Speaking hypothetically, Is it possible the engine "rolled back" to idle, but was still running? Would the engine go to SEC and/or the EPU run in that scenario?

The F404 (F/A-18 & CF-18) has had occasional incidents where the engine rolls back to flight idle, with no caution indication to the pilot. This happened to Capt. Brian Bews' CF-18 at Lethbridge, and he had to eject out. The engine didn't actually flameout and kept running at flight idle with reduce fuel flow. The cause was a stuck piston in the fuel control unit. The engine had a N2 RPM of 65% (flight idle).

Could something similar have occurred to this F-16, where the engine didn't give sufficient thrust to make the runway, without an actual flameout?
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MVSGas

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Unread post05 Jun 2016, 22:11

Completely guessing here obviously;
Does #6 do the "Alpha Pass"? Could be it got bird damage out of that, low and slow.
BUCKLEY ANGB ARPT on Denver would be the closes F-16 base and likely suited for ground support for the Thunderbirds. According to http://wildlife.faa.gov/database.aspx, they have reported 12 bird incidents since 2008
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35_aoa

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Unread post06 Jun 2016, 02:08

neurotech wrote:Speaking hypothetically, Is it possible the engine "rolled back" to idle, but was still running? Would the engine go to SEC and/or the EPU run in that scenario?

The F404 (F/A-18 & CF-18) has had occasional incidents where the engine rolls back to flight idle, with no caution indication to the pilot. This happened to Capt. Brian Bews' CF-18 at Lethbridge, and he had to eject out. The engine didn't actually flameout and kept running at flight idle with reduce fuel flow. The cause was a stuck piston in the fuel control unit. The engine had a N2 RPM of 65% (flight idle).

Could something similar have occurred to this F-16, where the engine didn't give sufficient thrust to make the runway, without an actual flameout?


I believe you would have to manually select SEC, unless the DEEC actually shut off due to whatever fault caused the problem…..so maybe, maybe not. Gums certainly can chime in if that is incorrect. I know a couple guys who had roll backs with PW-220 motors just after takeoff, and manual switch to SEC cleared it (if my memory is correct). Granted, that isn't really what the -1 would have you do unless you really can't reach a safe altitude in PRI. The DEEC provides the most comprehensive engine protection and scheduling, and if it hasn't taken itself out of the loop and automatically kicked you into SEC due to whatever failure it has suffered, there is probably a good reason for that and the engine should still give you a flyable airplane, at least most of the time. At least thats what the engineers and the authors of the big book tell us :)

Normally the roll back, and I've had it with the F404 / F/A-18, is momentary, as in if you play around with the throttle, it will right itself. We had a jet for a while who's left engine would often roll back to flight idle, but really only in the standard tanking regime (270-280 knots, mid 20k ft range). You would have to slam the throttle to the idle stop, then forward to the MAX/AB limit and back sometimes a couple times, then it would start working again. Long story short, I haven't heard of a lot of uncontrolled rollbacks that weren't correctable, of course that assumes a guy has the altitude and airspeed to troubleshoot.
Last edited by 35_aoa on 06 Jun 2016, 02:49, edited 1 time in total.
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convair

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Unread post06 Jun 2016, 02:44

The mishap F16s msn is 92-3890
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That_Engine_Guy

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Unread post11 Jun 2016, 03:01

My best guess is a bird-strike.

Based on - aircraft was low, pilot had insufficient power to maintain level flight to reach a suitable landing area, knew exactly what happened and that was fatal to the aircraft/engine without chance of recovery, left the aircraft when he knew it wouldn't hurt anyone else.

As for the speculations so far; is it in SEC? NO - nozzle position indicates an idle or engine out condition. Remember the DEEC (Digital Electronic Engine Control) schedules AJ (Area Jet or Nozzle Position) to maintain proper N1 (Fan) RPM versus EPR (Engine Pressure Ratio). If the fan was damaged and/or not spinning at the proper RPM for PLA (Power Lever Angle or throttle position) the DEEC would have opened the nozzle to reduce overall back pressure through the engine and increased fuel flow and other parameters in the core to make more power. If the engine was in SEC, or the throttle was advanced above IDLE during flight, that nozzle would be very much towards closed.

To my knowledge no PW-229 has ever simply 'rolled back'. Transfer to SEC? Maybe, but still just as much power through MIL as in PRI mode. Flame out? Maybe, but very unlikely for a demo team use to operating at high power levels for more time than operational units, especially without benefit of external tanks.

Maybe someone more 'pilot' will know how to properly extract data from http://www.usahas.com/ to indicate what the threat of bird-strike would have been that day?

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
TEG
[Airplanes are] near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive.
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35_aoa

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Unread post11 Jun 2016, 05:08

I think that's a good analysis TEG, at least with the very limited information/media that is publicly available at the moment.
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