Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

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haveblue

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Unread post11 Jun 2016, 20:29

From a friend of mine who flies for the Collins Foundation there is this that he shared on FB:

Bold face is mine, everything else is copy & pasted from his FB.

Interesting read, source unknown ...

Rumors abound at BKF. TBirds took off to the south at C.Springs for the show. The Academy is not even 10 miles away so Bingo fuel was low.

The O-bla-bla talked longer than scheduled – some say 45 minutes. Some BKF guys were listening on the radio and heard No. 6 call Joker fuel.

Leader said to quit using burner and continue with the show for another 10-15 minutes. I am sure they were unaware of runway change to landing north and planned a quick turn to base for landing south.

Six went down 20 minutes after the Joker call. After the ejection, the plane landed flat 4 miles south of the runway and there was no fire. Hmmmmm ...

There has never been an excuse for running out of gas - even for Golden Arm TBirds. Looks like maybe 2 new drone pilots after the accident board gets done with them.

No. 6 had a really bad day.

Another unsubstantiated interesting read ...

Info from the Leekster sez ...

Subj: Thunderbird crash

He ran out of gas. They were holding waiting for POTUS.
The whole team was bingo. Boss and pilot fired. Done for the season.

Interesting and quite possible, investigation will reveal probable cause for occurrence of the accident and full disclosure of facts?

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Lead would have been fired if he cut the show and might have gotten away with the the alternative...screwed either way... But the safety of his team should have come before satisfying the crowd. If you've ever flown in an Airshow you understand the thought process.. " look good or die" is always said in jest, but unfortunately there is truth behind it.

Like · Reply · 4 · June 10 at 10:54pm

You're right WF... screwed either way. Only one question and it goes back to the sage old advice we've all been given... "...runway left behind you and fuel left on the ground...". Why did they take off with less than dull tanks? Not second guessing the Boss... simply wondering out loud.

Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 1:35am


Burner and boards will piss away extra gas.
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Gums

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Unread post12 Jun 2016, 23:05

Salute!

Ya beat me to it, "blue". Fuel starvation.

Heard same exact story from fellow has-been Viper pilot today at lunch. I am not sure they couldn't have loitered for an awful long time and then made their iconic pass and put on the whole show. As I previously relayed, I saw the tanker for one graduation with the birds in tow. Was just west a few miles and not in view of the stadium folks. Doesn't take long to get to the IP and then the troop on the stage watches and kills time to have hats in the air when they roar over.

One thing about that 7200 foot altitude is they DO USE MORE BURNER than down low.

Nevertheless, lead could have easily cut two passes off and not destroyed the overall show. secondly I know I would have declared min fuel and landed first and/or if lead, let the poor guy in first and ream him later for being heavy-handed.

Sad, sad, sad.

Gums sends...
Last edited by Gums on 13 Jun 2016, 02:16, edited 1 time in total.
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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neurotech

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Unread post13 Jun 2016, 01:42

Gums wrote:Ya beat me to it, "blue". Fuel starvation.

Heard same exact story from fellow has-been Viper pilot today at lunch. I am not sure they couldn't have loitered for an awful long time and then made their iconic pass and put on the whole show. As I previously relayed, I was the tanker for one graduation with the birds in tow. Doesn't take long to get to the IP and then the troop on the stage watches and kills time to have hats in the air when they roar over.

One thing about that 7200 foot altitude is they DO USE MORE BURNER than down low.

Nevertheless, lead could have easily cut two passes off and not destroyed the overall show. secondly I know I would have declared min fuel and landed first and/or if lead, let the poor guy in first and ream him later for being heavy-handed.

Some reports say they removed 100 Gallons of fuel from the downed F-16. That is ~675 Lb of jet fuel. Wouldn't the F-16 be fuel emergency at around 2000 Lbs?

Was Maj. Turner still maneuvering when the engine flamed out, or straight and level?

I've heard a few stories of F/A-18s landing with less than 300 pounds in the tanks, and the engines fluctuating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD_mUwzpUs4

Capt. Slater did brilliantly to land, with almost no fuel and a stuck nose gear.
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Unread post13 Jun 2016, 02:13

IAW AFI 11-2F-16V3, emergency fuel for Blocks 40 - 52 is 800 lbs. Emergency fuel for the earlier blocks is 600 lbs. Add 200 lbs for each block category for minimum fuel.
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mrigdon

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Unread post13 Jun 2016, 02:27

Back in 2004, George Bush spoke for 47 minutes.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9588-2004Jun2.html

It's hardly unprecedented for a president to go over. How do you not go up with enough fuel to make it through a long speech? Is this sequester related?
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Unread post13 Jun 2016, 04:52

Yeah 2k is still quite a bit of gas on the F-16. Our min (day) on deck SOP fuel is less than that. Even a legacy Hornet isn't really a fuel emergency at 2k, though it will be pretty soon. If those rumors are true, that sucks, and a shitty situation for all.
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Unread post14 Jun 2016, 00:26

Part of the rumors reported above are incorrect, at least for now. #6 and the Boss are still on the team flying. From the Teams Facebook page.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are excited to announce the return to the 2016 demonstration schedule, beginning this weekend in Ocean City, MD.

The Thunderbirds temporarily stood down for two weekends following an aircraft mishap on June 2nd after performing the 2016 U.S. Air Force Academy graduation flyover in Colorado Springs, Colo. During the stand-down, the Team supported the safety investigation to collect details of the mishap.

The Team looks forward to Thunderbird #6, Major Alex Turner, returning to fly early this week.

"His timeline to return to the demonstration will be made as Major Turner gets back into the air. We want to ensure that Alex is physically and mentally ready to go," said Lt. Col. Chris Hammond, Thunderbird #1, Commander/Leader.

"I have 100% confidence in our Team and our training to go out and perform a safe and exciting demonstration," said Lt. Col. Hammond. "The Thunderbirds are comprised of 130 incredible professionals who believe in the importance of our mission to represent the world's greatest Air Force. The team's resiliency will be on display at the Ocean City airshow; we look forward to performing another safe, precise and exciting demonstration."

Upon arrival to Ocean City, Lt. Col. Hammond will speak to media outlets during planeside interviews.
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Unread post14 Jun 2016, 15:39

Salute!

Good news RUDER

If that plane had 600 lb left as has been rumored, then lead people got a good a$$$ chewing but not more.

You can go a long way at idle with that. Gear down is worse , but I figure 10 or 15 minutes

Gums opines......
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ruderamronbo

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Unread post14 Jun 2016, 23:46

I don't know the validity or history of the source but this is from the Breed of Speed Facebook page. Spelling and grammar gaffes don't inspire confidence... https://www.facebook.com/breedofspeed/p ... =3&theater

Some Info. on the recent Thunderbird Crash at Colorado Springs that few are talking about. Looks like Secret Service s the culpret on this one !!!!! For what it's worth, from a trusted source:

As you know, these events are timed to the second.
The Thunderbird F-16s took off on time and formed up to start the show.
However, the president was behind schedule and the White House (secret service) ground director told the Thunderbirds to hold on our side the show area.
This continued until two F-16s declared emergency due to low fuel. They were told not to land due to presidential security.
One bird ran out of fuel and the pilot punched out.
Another defied instruction and landed but ran out of gas on final. The others then landed without permission.
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ruderamronbo

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Unread post14 Jun 2016, 23:48

Gums wrote:Salute!

Good news RUDER

If that plane had 600 lb left as has been rumored, then lead people got a good a$$$ chewing but not more.

You can go a long way at idle with that. Gear down is worse , but I figure 10 or 15 minutes

Gums opines......


For anyone. Is all the fuel in the Viper actually usable? I.E. , can the fuel system pump and use every last drop?
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ruderamronbo

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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 03:24

He's back in the air. New #6 still needs to be painted? https://www.facebook.com/AFThunderbirds ... =3&theater

Maj. Alex Turner, Thunderbird 6, returned to the skies this afternoon with our Commander/Leader during a practice flight.
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35_aoa

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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 03:34

I'd be surprised if a Facebook aviation fan page had the inside scoop. Also, any aviator worth their wings would just land, regardless of what some secret service clowns said. What are they going to do, shoot the pilot of a military aircraft on landing rollout? Of course you would have some explaining to do, but I wouldn't honor a presidential TFR over saving my own aircraft and self if it came to that.

ruderamronbo wrote:I don't know the validity or history of the source but this is from the Breed of Speed Facebook page. Spelling and grammar gaffes don't inspire confidence... https://www.facebook.com/breedofspeed/p ... =3&theater

Some Info. on the recent Thunderbird Crash at Colorado Springs that few are talking about. Looks like Secret Service s the culpret on this one !!!!! For what it's worth, from a trusted source:

As you know, these events are timed to the second.
The Thunderbird F-16s took off on time and formed up to start the show.
However, the president was behind schedule and the White House (secret service) ground director told the Thunderbirds to hold on our side the show area.
This continued until two F-16s declared emergency due to low fuel. They were told not to land due to presidential security.
One bird ran out of fuel and the pilot punched out.
Another defied instruction and landed but ran out of gas on final. The others then landed without permission.
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Boman

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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 05:42

It would be very strange if secret service would be the cause of fighters crashing - this is just so extraordinary that it just cannot be taken seriously.


On the subject of new #6 fighter, any jet to be transferred to the unit would have to be modified with the smoke system before any paint jobs are applied, and this would naturally take a little more than 2 weeks to perform.
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 13:55

Boman wrote:It would be very strange if secret service would be the cause of fighters crashing - this is just so extraordinary that it just cannot be taken seriously.


On the subject of new #6 fighter, any jet to be transferred to the unit would have to be modified with the smoke system before any paint jobs are applied, and this would naturally take a little more than 2 weeks to perform.


My question was based on the 2nd photo. I seemed to remember the Thunderbird jets having position numbers painted on the tails but checking the team website, it looks like I was wrong (it might be the Blue Angels who do that.) The team has more than 6 jets so I was wondering if one the "extras" would need just a new tail paint job. My memory is failing in my old age.

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=11407&hilit=thunderbird+tail+numbers&start=30

1 - 92-3880
2 - 91-0413
3 - 92-3898
4 - 92-3888
5 - 92-3908
6 - 92-3890
7a - 91-0392
7b - 92-3896
7c - 92-3881
8a - 91-0479
8b - 91-0466
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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 18:34

Salute!

Birds took the numbers off a few years back.

Prolly some PC consideration like a leader and 5 followers. plus made press response easier if they had an abort in the arming area.

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