Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

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ghettobird

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Unread post15 Jun 2016, 19:13

As I recall since its been quite a few years since our least decent air show here in D.C. .. the 'Birds always had their numbers on the sides of the intake, with "5" being applied upside down since he spent most the time flying that way, the crowd with good eyes could read a right side up number
If it aint broke dont fix it, and yes Sir its supposed to leak like that ;)
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structuresguy

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Unread post16 Jun 2016, 17:04

ruderamronbo wrote: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.


The Thunderbirds stopped putting position numbers on the tails when they made the switch to the F-16......in 1982!!! They have been on the intake ever since the swap 34 years ago. It is common for both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds to swap jets positions for various reasons and travel with spare sets of decals for Pilot, Crew Chief and position number. For instance if a primary jet breaks prior to a demo and the tail swap is prior to pilot step (i.e. the night before) the teams make an attempt to swap position #'s. The teams also swap tail positions between 1-4 and 5-6 to distribute airframe wear across the teams jets more evenly instead of just beating up on 5-6 since they see the most wear.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 Oct 2016, 22:06

Investigation ongoing which is said to be unusual: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016 ... orado.html

The Air Force's investigation into the graduation day crash of a Thunderbirds jet in Colorado Springs remains underway, and the service won't say when it will be complete or what steps have been taken.

Air Force guidelines call for most accident investigations to be finished a month after a crash, but Air Combat Command, which includes the flying team, says the probe of the June 2 crash near the Colorado Springs Airport is more complex than that timeline would allow.

[...]
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://tinyurl.com/nluewur
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Gums

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Unread post10 Oct 2016, 16:41

Salute!

methinks a report will come out in four weeks. You know, after the election.

Problem is the rumor of Secret Service interference with the 'birds landing, and POTUS/his party doesn't need bad press now.

I have a hard time believing they were very low on gas, and the 600+ pounds found on the accident jet seems high for trapped fuel scenario. Gotta be more to this than we know. A clean Viper "sips" gas unless in burner, and they didn't go to the stratosphere or cruise more than 20 miles.

I discount the rumor that other flight members flamed out taxiing back in, but you never know, huh?

The ATC audio tapes are hard to decode due to a loud hum on one channel. The T-bird "private" channel using the VHF/FM radio is usually very clear, but we do not have it. I'll bet there was lots of discussion there before the bail.

Gums opines....
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huggy

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 06:23

Probably not a fuel exhaustion.
Going with operator error, though.
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35_aoa

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Unread post14 Oct 2016, 06:38

I know nothing of this specific mishap, and while I wouldn't rule out any of the above, there are a lot of things that can cause a guy to eject from a single engine jet through no fault of the operator. I came damn close one night…….luckily made it a full stop vs a touch and go as originally planned, without realizing I had eaten a bird that destroyed my PW-220. Suffice to say that my mishap board interview was pretty benign.
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neurotech

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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 06:55

huggy wrote:Probably not a fuel exhaustion.
Going with operator error, though.

The strongest indication that it might NOT be a simple "fuel exhaustion" mishap is that Maj. Alex Turner was back in the air so soon. If he'd screwed up and ran out of gas, wouldn't a Flight Evaluation Board be convened before the pilot returns to flight status, especially with the Thunderbirds?

edit: Left out the word "NOT"
Last edited by neurotech on 16 Oct 2016, 07:18, edited 1 time in total.
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neurotech

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Unread post16 Oct 2016, 07:15

35_aoa wrote:I know nothing of this specific mishap, and while I wouldn't rule out any of the above, there are a lot of things that can cause a guy to eject from a single engine jet through no fault of the operator. I came damn close one night…….luckily made it a full stop vs a touch and go as originally planned, without realizing I had eaten a bird that destroyed my PW-220. Suffice to say that my mishap board interview was pretty benign.

Was that a Class-A mishap?

I kind of suspect the Thunderbird crash was a bird strike, because running out of gas doesn't sound like something a skilled pilot would do on a clear day and a long runway to land on.
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huggy

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Unread post02 Nov 2016, 09:21

It was not a bird strike.
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35_aoa

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Unread post03 Nov 2016, 02:12

neurotech wrote:Was that a Class-A mishap?


No mine was initially a B, downgraded to a C upon EI of the motor.
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Unread post03 Nov 2016, 22:37

Salute!

@ #5-aoa, great to hear that the Pratt motors were still hardy years later.

I had an ice intake chunk that broke loose and damaged/destroyed/bent between 60 to 70 blades on the first stage fan disk.

Was original PW F100 motor.

Way I caught it was right after the big time "thump" under my feet when the chunk broke free and was ingested, was when I had already pulled power back for rejoin ( IFR and radar trail procedure) and then pushed up. I thot the thump was a bird strike and looked around. No visible damage and motor gauges looked normal. Was debating an abort when I felt vibrations and knew it was the motor. Went back to last throttle setting and used boards for speed and declared the emergency/precautionary landing. Trust me, folks, it pays to have "touch", as many of my students would not have felt the change in the motor.

Taxiied back to the ramp and as I unstrapped the crew chief took one look up the intake and then shook his head and walked away head down. God bless those heavy Pratt blades, even the 60 - 70 suckers that did not completely fail. It wasn't the first sick bird I got back, and my stock in the wrenchbender community continued to grow, heh heh.

Gums sends...
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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35_aoa

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Unread post04 Nov 2016, 06:02

Yeah, I believe all the significant damage done in my event was in the first stage. That being said, the Smithsonian identified the bird remains as a probable 4-8 oz swallow. For those who don't know, it is common practice at least in military aviation, to send the remains of a bird strike event to their offices for postmortem analysis. I'm not really sure what said data really accomplishes, but after having seen a number of these over the years, it is surprising what such small birds can do to afterburning low bypass turbofans, PW or GE alike. I'll also say I took a stray socket head down the intake upon landing at the boat a number of years ago in a Hornet. Total destruction of motor, jet was craned off the boat when we got back to the pier. That F404 was toast.
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zaltys

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Unread post04 Nov 2016, 19:20

Just curious, at what speed bird ingestion happened?
Some time ago spoke to some Depot engineers, and they told me that blades bend differently depending on ice or bird strike - in one case forward and in other back. Don't remember which is which.
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Unread post04 Nov 2016, 19:46

Salute!

@zalt,

Methinks the dmage is more related to a combo of bypass air and motor RPM and not the aircraft speed. Additionally, the fans blow debris out into the bypass duct and crap doesn't go down later compressor disks or the turbine disks ( depending on motor).

We had a super seagull ingestion at Myrtle Beach in the A-7D TF-41 just at liftoff. Not too much damage as most of the birds all flew out and down the bypass duct. Heh heh, some were stuck back there outside the turbine section and were roasing - BBQ Jonathan Livingston, anyone?

Pilot knew what happened ( like Sully) as there were many birds and some birds impaled on the pylon leading edges. Coughing motor and all he did a 180 and got the jet back on the ground.

OTOH, we lost a Viper at Hill when encountering a 40 pound pelican over the lake. Sucker broke off most of the radome plus the AoA vanes and covered canopy with blood. Pilot flew on gauges for maybe 5 or 6 minutes and FLCS gradually degraded and he punched.

Those birds can be a real problem, but not as much as a SU-24-4 or SA-13 or, or, or.

Gums sends...
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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outlaw162

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Unread post04 Nov 2016, 21:31

The unconfirmed, unofficial, off-the-wall rumors I've heard thru a 'hush-hush' private e-mail server are that the TB aircraft have a special 'pinkie' switch for immediate AB light, and that the normal throttle-quadrant stops, including idle-cutoff, could possibly be adversely affected if there were to occur the classical 'unlikely', certainly unexpected malfunction.

BTW here's what a J-57 looks like when the compressor 'shells out'. Interestingly, the force on the blades when they break takes them forward initially, but then ultimately back down thru the motor. (right side of pic)
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