Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 06:58
by VarkVet
Thunderbird F-16 goes down near Colorado springs

The leading edge flaps are down so he didn't have weight on wheels. Probably not an engine anomaly either as the motor doesn't appear to have transferred to SEC.

Only other issue I can think of is the asymmetry brakes locked out the LEFs at an extreme position where landing the jet would be risky. Colorado Springs has thin air.

Thoughts?

thunderbird-crash-colorado-2016-003.jpg
Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press

thunderbird-crash-colorado-2016-002.jpg
Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette

Re: Thunderbird Down

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 07:24
by 35_aoa
Without more info, I'd say it could probably have been anything. In my short time flying the thing, I've had enough engine issues (to include a class C bird ingestion/strike that destroyed my motor), I'd not discount that. If it landed that way, I doubt it was FLCS or HYD related.

As an unrelated to mishap aside, I am pretty surprised that a Major, particularly on the T-bird team, only has 1200 hours of flight time. I left my first operational tour as an O-3 with more than that.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 08:53
by Lieven
Here's a picture of Alex "Tuna" Turner firing up his jet in preparation for the 2016 United States Air Force Academy graduation flyover:


Alex 'Tuna' Turner fires up his jet in preparation for the 2016 United States Air Force Academy graduation flyover. [Photo by Anthony Cornelius]

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 10:26
by Patriot
VarkVet wrote:Probably not an engine anomaly either as the motor doesn't appear to have transferred to SEC.


How can you tell actually there were no SEC motor mode apllied? EPU doors are not visible from upper side of the fuselage... ? right? If he switched to SEC the the infamous hydrazine kicks in right?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 11:44
by mischieviouscrewcheivious
If it had transferred to SEC the exhaust nozzle would be in its closed position.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 14:36
by thadutchman
Not to take away from this indecent, it seems we lost birds from both Demo teams on the same day. F-18 went down as well an hour apart. Both birds were #6:

https://theaviationist.com/2016/06/02/i ... -same-day/

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 15:17
by desertdog
Two things: The aircraft EPU operation and SEC mode on the engine have nothing to do with each other, The engine nozzle on a Pratt engine is always in a "mostly" closed AJ position during flight except when augmentor is sequencing or gear handle down.
In primary mode the engine DEEC schedules the nozzle <20% closed when the gear handle is down the DEEC then enables reduced idle thrust and opens the nozzle. If the throttle is advanced above idle the nozzle will then schedule closed.

Transferring to SEC fully closes the nozzle when the landing gear handle is down thus disabling reduced idle thrust, therefore if the engine was operating is PRI or SEC the nozzle should look closed in flight.
The fact that the nozzle is open was the first thing that concerned me about the photo. With the aircraft and engine mostly intact this investigation will have a lot to work with.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 16:11
by VarkVet
^^ Forgot about nozzle in flight ... he may have put EPU in off, shut the motor down, banged out for a controlled augur-in

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 16:30
by Gums
Salute!

The wreckage looks just like 013 except for the broken nose. Seems the Viper almost always breaks right at that place just behind the seat/cockpit, hmmm. Maybe John Will can comment.

013 was "ejected " from the pilot at a similar low altitude when gliding and gear down. Pilot had run outta gas and was deadstick the sucker onto a dirt road. So the FLCS and hydraulics kept the wings level ( no roll command) and the thing trimmed up to max AoA for gear down ( what? 17 or 18 degrees?). Plane made hard landing and broke one main gear and slithered to a stop with EPU still firing and strobe flashing!!! Plane was used as a maintenance trainer last I heard.

The aysmmetry brakes didn't work on my flaps or the next two/three. The pictured flaps look like a bit morethan normal leading edge down, but within reson for the hard landing and gear handle down. Ditto the nozzles in the RIT position.

So my intitial proposal is engine failure due to a) engine itself, or b) no gas.

Pilot looks like he realized he wouldn't make rwy ( maybe a mile and half away) and had enuf height to clear the last road and homes before punching ( good pic from a motorist, amd I have driven that road myself).

Gums sends...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 16:48
by Lieven
Gums wrote:Pilot looks like he realized he wouldn't make rwy ( maybe a mile and half away) and had enuf height to clear the last road and homes before punching ( good pic from a motorist, amd I have driven that road myself).


Thanks for sharing your opinion Gums. Very insightful, as always. Here is two pics provided by KKTV:

13310465_10153537621260824_5934124171036636117_n.jpg
Photo via KKTV


13305148_10209070442061322_5271205647009200848_o.jpg
Photo via KKTV

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 18:12
by jetblast16
Flame-out? Looks like the aircraft made a belly flop landing (pilotless) with gear up, and slid its way to a stop. At least the pilot is safe and no one on the ground was injured.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 19:16
by Gamera
Before the editors here ask the usual question... about S/N...

http://us.airliners.net/photo/USA---Air ... 3092e8b4b3

Reportedly, Thunderbird #6 was 92-3896 on 7 June 2015.

http://us.airliners.net/photo/USA---Air ... 3092e8b4b3

But it was 92-3888 on 15 March 2015.

So the current #6 can be either or none of these two.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 22:46
by johnwill
Gums wrote:Salute!

The wreckage looks just like 013 except for the broken nose. Seems the Viper almost always breaks right at that place just behind the seat/cockpit, hmmm. Maybe John Will can comment.



With so little apparent damage done to the fuselage aft of the inlet, the airplane must have landed smoothly nose up. So when the nose flopped down, the inlet structure supported the fuselage, leaving the cockpit area cantilevered out, unsupported. The highest stresses would be right where it broke.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 00:17
by Gums
Salute!

TNX. John Boy. I always wondered. First one I saw was a nugget that caught a crosswind gust and did not go àround and rolled. They had to use jaws of life to get him out.

More I look at map, he may have been on base leg. Option two was landing on Powers , but traffic was the problem.

Gums sends....

P.S. edit update
My old roomie that lives there has told me that #6 was in normal base turn with the other Birds and then "cough, cough" errrr,,,,,, and punches. We should be glad they were using the north rwy, as landing to the south would have been a lot worse. Just look at the map on Google. Plane hit just north of Fontaine about a half mile east of Powers.

Secondly, the terrain rises where he punched. The final resting place may look level but the inpact was possibly a hundred feet or more below the rwy alt.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 06:02
by VarkVet
Wow :shock: Flame out is very logical with new info received.

Sorry for my dramatic CNN breaking news drivel. :D

Speculation ... it's not good, but it's what we do!

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 06:37
by johnwill
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 09:14
by 35_aoa
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 10:33
by tbarlow
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?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 21:39
by VarkVet
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?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2016, 23:25
by tjodalv43
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 01:44
by Gums
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...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 01:57
by VarkVet
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 02:06
by VarkVet
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 04:47
by 35_aoa
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?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 21:08
by neurotech
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?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 22:11
by MVSGas
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

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Jun 2016, 02:08
by 35_aoa
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Jun 2016, 02:44
by convair
The mishap F16s msn is 92-3890

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2016, 03:01
by That_Engine_Guy
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

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2016, 05:08
by 35_aoa
I think that's a good analysis TEG, at least with the very limited information/media that is publicly available at the moment.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2016, 20:29
by haveblue
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?

Replies to this post:

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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2016, 23:05
by Gums
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...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 01:42
by neurotech
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 02:13
by fulcrumflyer
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 02:27
by mrigdon
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?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 04:52
by 35_aoa
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2016, 00:26
by ruderamronbo
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2016, 15:39
by Gums
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......

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2016, 23:46
by ruderamronbo
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2016, 23:48
by ruderamronbo
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?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2016, 03:24
by ruderamronbo
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2016, 03:34
by 35_aoa
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2016, 05:42
by Boman
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2016, 13:55
by ruderamronbo
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

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2016, 18:34
by Gums
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.....

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2016, 19:13
by ghettobird
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

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Jun 2016, 17:04
by structuresguy
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2016, 22:06
by spazsinbad
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.

[...]

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2016, 16:41
by Gums
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....

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2016, 06:23
by huggy
Probably not a fuel exhaustion.
Going with operator error, though.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2016, 06:38
by 35_aoa
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2016, 06:55
by neurotech
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"

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2016, 07:15
by neurotech
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2016, 09:21
by huggy
It was not a bird strike.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2016, 02:12
by 35_aoa
neurotech wrote:Was that a Class-A mishap?


No mine was initially a B, downgraded to a C upon EI of the motor.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2016, 22:37
by Gums
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...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Nov 2016, 06:02
by 35_aoa
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Nov 2016, 19:20
by zaltys
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.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Nov 2016, 19:46
by Gums
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...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 04 Nov 2016, 21:31
by outlaw162
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)

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2016, 20:12
by jbgator
Interesting rumor that I do not find surprising in the current wave of conspiracy theories floating around the internet but I find it very doubtful. My old TB friends have never mentioned such a switch and the AB is easily engaged with the throttle and modulatable (which is very important in formation flying) so I see no reason to have a pinkie switch for such purpose. Perhaps the rumor mill mistook the smoke switch (which injects a light oil into the exhaust) for an AB switch. Or perhaps, given the proximity to area 51 from the TBs base, they have a switch that allows them to fly formation with ET....Sparkly smoke...ready now...Warp speed...ready now....

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2016, 20:38
by outlaw162
You sound mildly skeptical.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 01:56
by Gums
Salute!

I agree with Outlaw, Gator.

You definitely know if the burner ain't cooking in that plane despite the smooth light. And the newer motors ( 1970+) prolly do not spew raw gas in the open nozzles unless the burner is burning, huh?

OTOH, the motor Outlaw showed could definitely be tricked by moving outboard and then inboard and outboard real fast so's the fuel control sprayed the gas but it would not light because the small "plunger" had not enuf time to re-fill and spray onto the hot turbine at the back of the J-57. That J-57 was like the J-75 and had the "hard light". So outboard, then nozzles open, fuel sprayed on the turbine and BOOM!!!
+++++++++++
We will all know what happened once Bronco is not the POTUS. I believe the folks at Pete FIeld that said the Secret Service was holding the 'birds, and then lead said "we're landing".

Gums sends...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 14:56
by jbgator
Gums I was not referring to his J-57 story. I was commenting on his "unconfirmed, unofficial, off-the-wall..." rumor about the T-bird jets having a pinkie switch to light the AB. Maybe he was joking, maybe not, but that kind of stuff seems to get legs and the next thing you know people are talking about how we lost a jet because of an off-the-wall modification. So I felt compelled to mention the F-100/PW-200/220/229 burner lights real easy with the throttle and there is no need for a "pinkie switch" to do that.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 15:15
by Gums
Salute!

NP, Gator.

I completely agree with you and Outlaw ( the old fart that got to fly the J57 as I did as a yute). My grammar "comma doofer" just put something where an "and" was supposed to be.

Gums sends...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 16:50
by zaltys
Gums wrote: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...


Thanks, Gums! Never thought of that difference between high and low by-pass engines. That's really interesting. Concerning problems with birds or SAMs/AAA it depends on what you see more often. :)

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 22:53
by outlaw162
JB,

Just for info, said e-mail didn't appear to be sent in a jocular manner. Came from an ex-zoomie, ex-Misty, ex-a bunch of respectable things, whom Gums also knows. Info was attributed to an ex-T-bird who also referred to special switch which the F-4 was equipped with for the same purpose. Never heard of it myself and I've got a few hours in the Phantom. Do I know anything factual beyond the fact that an accident obviously occurred?

Of course not, I'm just the piano player, but I'd much rather believe that an experienced fighter-pilot was done in by an approved TCTO than by letting himself be run out of gas in the interest of decorum. No matter, it is whatever it is.

BTW #1: the Brit F-4s with the afterburning turbofan Speys were equipped with a 'quick light' AB, so we're not talking some sort of improbable sparkle smoke gizmo.

BTW #2: I worked with an ex-zoomie football player up in OKC, initials SS, who flew with you down south and spoke highly of your talent.

BTW #3: What I was hoping would show up in the J-57 pic (and didn't) was that that front sections of the compressor were still there, damaged only by crash impact. The failure was in the 6th stage and took out a few stages forward before it cleaned the rearward blades off of the rest of the spool. Not a bird, not ice, but attributed ultimately to overhaul quality control. ANG had three of these in about 8 months, nicely distributed amongst Ohio, Missouri & Indiana.....all overhauled by the same folks.

BTW #4: I don't actually care what happened at COS. :P (I was just having a slow day)

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 23:34
by Gums
Salute!

Nice words, Outlaw.

The thing about the old motors was they were not fans. Also, like the J57, the compressor section was two-stage and not some linear straight thru doofer to the combustion chambers.

The TF-41 sounded like the motors on a C-141 when we pushed up for takeoff or a go-around. Gotta tellya, it was strange. And we had a better bypass ratio than the TF-30 and TF-33 on the 'vaark and Navy A-7A/B/C

New folks here must look back at the motor development in the 70's and then the 80's. Seems to me that it was much more rapid than in the 60's when I grew up.

Bottomline is we shall see some good stuff from the accident board once Bronco is gone.

I still have problems with 600 pounds of gas found in the wreckage. So a trapped fuel problem or a basic motor problem seems to be the most probable causes.

Gums opines....

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 02:03
by jbgator
Fair enough Outlaw. I guess I am jaded by some of the rumored causes that have gained a life far beyond the real cause. Internal to the community talk should stay there because it gets credibility long after the official answer is known because people outside the community do not have he filtering capacity, nor do they care, to separate truth from urban legend.

Being privy to many AIB/SIB reports in my later years I often marveled at the real cause versus the conjecture. And by that I mean within the AF community conjecture. When I see former AF folks being talking heads on national networks speculating about what happened I cringe. Thankfully this one has had low visibility since.

If Gums' info is correct I doubt it will change any procedures, SS are gods in control of all they see. But I wouldn't blame them either as I suspect they are following a checklist....xxx mins to departure, shut down all inbound/outbound traffic. Hopefully they will review that, if it is the case, and maybe change their protocol.

In the cases where I have not seen the AIB/SIB report I tend to wait and see.

I salute you and Gums for riding J-57s. Kids today don't even understand the challenges of the F-100/PW200. Most don't know what you're talking about when you say BUC (they also don't know FCNP, REO, or AIM-9P). The motor came a long way from the PW100 to where it is today. Didn't know the J-57 but the J-79 was a great motor for a turbojet and my 168 hours in the Phantom were motor-problem free (thankfully as a Viper baby flying the F-4 was a challenge, as I found recently trying to check out in a Stearman). I have flown with many F-100 and F-105 folks and heard their stories. I sat in the mobile at Incirlik watching Turkish F-100s take off and many times I saw the burner light about 50 feet behind the jet and work its way up into the tailpipe....Boom, shake, rattle. Turks seemed to think nothing of it. Their jets had two different types of nozzles but I never saw any particular difference between the two. Talking to their pilots looking at a Hun was interesting as I guess there were many things in the jets that did not work. "She no work" often being the response to my questions about what something was. I patted the ejection seat and asked "she work?" at which point he leaned back, looked at the tail number, and said "yes, she work..."

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 03:12
by dockrat
This post has gotten so far in the weeds...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 00:24
by desertdog
The only "pinky switch" related to the throttle I know is the "cutoff release" that allows throttle rotation required to go below idle and to cutoff.....

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2016, 21:47
by meatwod
Show of hands. Who here has read the SIB report in AFSAS? :whistle:

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2016, 23:39
by Gums
Salute!

O.K., Meat.

Couldn't find relevant info on the USAF Safety site, so give us a clue!

Gums asks....

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 11 Nov 2016, 04:24
by 35_aoa
Gums wrote:Salute!

O.K., Meat.

Couldn't find relevant info on the USAF Safety site, so give us a clue!

Gums asks....


Think that's the point. All speculation, though of course a few of you are more intelligently speculating than others :)

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 13 Nov 2016, 19:37
by outlaw162
It would appear that you can't beat Meat on this one.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 13 Nov 2016, 21:40
by johnwill
:lmao:

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2016, 18:14
by meatwod
Gums wrote:Salute!

O.K., Meat.

Couldn't find relevant info on the USAF Safety site, so give us a clue!

Gums asks....


Use the search filter to narrow down the month the MISHAP happened and the base it occurred.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2016, 20:53
by Gums
Salute!

Sorry, Meat, but using the official site I have no luck.

http://www.safety.af.mil/

Ya gotta quote something and include the URL, sir. Perhaps you can enlighten us?

My intell is from folks from Buckley and on the ground at Pete Field with radios. They say there were calls about low gas and also from ATC folks about Secret Service requiring the 'birds to hold.

Gums sends...

P.S. As I have implied, you will not see the official USAF accident report until after January 20th 2017 for obvious reasons.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2016, 15:31
by meatwod
This is the public safety center site. I am referring the to the AFSAS site which is limited access. Without an account, you won't be able to see SIB reports. As you know, SIB reports are not releasable.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2016, 20:49
by Gums
Salute!

Sorry, Meat, but that's a poor excuse.

I have been on USAF accident boards as a member and as an "expert witness" or a troop that saw the accident happen.

We all respect the premature release of "findings". We all respect the intent of USAF to hush down the rumor mill.

The biggie here is that the rumor mill claims that the Secret Service "held" the Birds and #1 finally told them to stuff it and they were gonna land. Ya know, shoot us down if ya can.

I fully unnerstand that trapped fuel could have been a big factor and/or a faulty gauge. So you think you have 1,000 pounds or even 600 and you actually have zero.

Hey, Meat!! Go over to Pprune forum in the military sub-forum and post your info. Sounds to me that you are on the accident board, so I forgive you if you are.

Gums sends...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2016, 19:08
by intercede007
The June crash of a Thunderbirds fighter jet near Colorado Springs was caused by a throttle issue that prompted an engine cut-off and loss of thrust, the Air Force said in a report released Wednesday, leaving its pilot with no choice but to eject and ditch the aircraft.

Specifically, the Air Force says a “throttle trigger malfunction and inadvertent throttle rotation” led the F-16 to go down just south of the Colorado Springs Airport. The $29 million plane was destroyed.

Source: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/14/th ... o-springs/

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2016, 00:21
by Gums
Salute!

Thanks, Intercede.

Will pursue further, but something sounds fishy.

Gums sends...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2016, 12:54
by Lieven
According to the report, the pilot inadvertently rotated the throttle during landing, placing it into an engine cut-off position. Normally, this full rotation cannot occur unless a throttle trigger is affirmatively actuated or pressed. However, the throttle trigger was "stuck" in the 'pressed' position.


F-16.net article

FAA audio files of the Thunderbird Crash on June 2, 2016

Cockpit and HUD video of Thunderbird 6 crash on June 2, 2016

f16thr.jpg


Videos that show how the throttle works:



Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 06:39
by VarkVet
Stupidest synopsis I've ever read for an AIB?

You only rotate the throttle counterclockwise with trigger when you shut her off ... if trigger was stuck engaged during duration of flight, why would you rotate throttle leading to off when you just want to reduce power for landing?

It's a freaking two fold operations?

What am I missing?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 07:30
by dragracingmaniac
Considering that you have to also rotate the throttle outboard to go to cutoff, sounds/smells like shenanigans are afoot! :devil:

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 07:41
by guy@rdaf.dk
VarkVet wrote:Stupidest synopsis I've ever read for an AIB?

You only rotate the throttle counterclockwise with trigger when you shut her off ... if trigger was stuck engaged during duration of flight, why would you rotate throttle leading to off when you just want to reduce power for landing?

It's a freaking two fold operations?

What am I missing?


your missing the fact that its a human that operates the throttle. It has been seen numerous times, especially with new students in the family model and sim, that for some reason and not purposely, they sometimes rotate the throttle outboard when fiddling around the idle detent. Some even have their pinky on the cutoff release trigger. Even had one mistake the HOBO switch with the trigger on one occasion. Manipulating the cutoff trigger must be a cognitive decision and not a reflex.

Why an experienced pilot would rotate it outboard I'm not sure, but it could be a simple brain fart, or a wrong habit pattern that has never been discovered during his entire Viper career, but has not bitten him until now, as the cutoff trigger usually works as advertised.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 07:47
by VarkVet
Crew chief failed on 50 hour throttle inspection

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MYLPoTNnKAk

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 08:17
by guy@rdaf.dk
VarkVet wrote:Crew chief failed on 50 hour throttle inspection


Exactly :-) and the crew chief did so by not following the inspection routine that was never in the Tech Order. Crew chief will need to learn to read between the lines of the Tech Order if he/she wants to succeed onwards.

Pilots never make mistakes - ever...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 08:30
by VarkVet
guy@rdaf.dk wrote:
VarkVet wrote:Stupidest synopsis I've ever read for an AIB?

You only rotate the throttle counterclockwise with trigger when you shut her off ... if trigger was stuck engaged during duration of flight, why would you rotate throttle leading to off when you just want to reduce power for landing?

It's a freaking two fold operations?

What am I missing?


your missing the fact that its a human that operates the throttle. It has been seen numerous times, especially with new students in the family model and sim, that for some reason and not purposely, they sometimes rotate the throttle outboard when fiddling around the idle detent. Some even have their pinky on the cutoff release trigger. Even had one mistake the HOBO switch with the trigger on one occasion. Manipulating the cutoff trigger must be a cognitive decision and not a reflex.

Why an experienced pilot would rotate it outboard I'm not sure, but it could be a simple brain fart, or a wrong habit pattern that has never been discovered during his entire Viper career, but has not bitten him until now, as the cutoff trigger usually works as advertised.


That's bullshit mate ... you only actuate the motors cutoff mechanism when you want to shut her off... that can be fingerlifts, trigger-rotate-off, or detent-lift -then- off.

On some jets you can push a fire button or pull a handle to shut her off as well.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 08:41
by guy@rdaf.dk
Well, then I suggest you reread the part of the report about human factors and consider incidents like the one in the link below:

http://www.bfu-web.de/EN/Publications/I ... cationFile

Sometimes pilots do strange things that does not make sense, and as stated before, I have seen it before on several occasions.

On the cockpit video you can actually see his arm moving the throttle past the idle detent, notice it and put it back forward, and then the camera stops a second later as the generator drops offline while the engine spools down. If not for the viser and mask you would actually be able to see the "Ups" expression painted on his face...

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 09:21
by VarkVet
guy@rdaf.dk wrote:Well, then I suggest you reread the part of the report about human factors and consider incidents like the one in the link below:

http://www.bfu-web.de/EN/Publications/I ... cationFile

Sometimes pilots do strange things that does not make sense, and as stated before, I have seen it before on several occasions.

On the cockpit video you can actually see his arm moving the throttle past the idle detent, notice it and put it back forward, and then the camera stops a second later as the generator drops offline while the engine spools down. If not for the viser and mask you would actually be able to see the "Ups" expression painted on his face...


Well it's one of the checks I've always done before I jumped in and started the bloody thing.

You kneel on the ladder, set your switches, take the throttle from off to mil, slam to idle, then trigger tilt back to off.

Get off ladder and do rest of walk around?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 09:47
by guy@rdaf.dk
VarkVet wrote:Well it's one of the checks I've always done before I jumped in and started the bloody thing.

You kneel on the ladder, set your switches, take the throttle from off to mil, slam to idle, then trigger tilt back to off.

Get off ladder and do rest of walk around?


If you really did it as described, you probably used the wrong technic. Checklist require you to check the entire range of motion (cutoff to max AB) and not only cutoff to MIL (even tough this is not relevant in this case with this mishap). More importantly, you need to check the functionality of the trigger mechanism, by trying to rotate the throttle outboard and moving it to cutoff without touching the trigger. This is the only way to check that the trigger mechanism is actually working as it should.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 10:12
by VarkVet
guy@rdaf.dk wrote:
VarkVet wrote:Well it's one of the checks I've always done before I jumped in and started the bloody thing.

You kneel on the ladder, set your switches, take the throttle from off to mil, slam to idle, then trigger tilt back to off.

Get off ladder and do rest of walk around?


If you really did it as described, you probably used the wrong technic. Checklist require you to check the entire range of motion (cutoff to max AB) and not only cutoff to MIL (even tough this is not relevant in this case with this mishap). More importantly, you need to check the functionality of the trigger mechanism, by trying to rotate the throttle outboard and moving it to cutoff without touching the trigger. This is the only way to check that the trigger mechanism is actually working as it should.


You can't engage afterburner with throttle and spider open for pre-check

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2016, 10:56
by guy@rdaf.dk
You can't engage afterburner with throttle and spider open for pre-check


You can if you follow the checklist. Besides, is it not possible to close the spider handle with the canopy open, do the throttle movement check and open the spider again? Works for me on every pre engine start :mrgreen:

Now don't tell me that one is butt-hurt if one follows the check-list. Isn't that part of good aviation discipline?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2016, 11:22
by saberrider
http://alert5.com/2016/12/16/throttle-t ... ird-crash/ Some problems with throttle due to wear and tear,but at this level of expertise it is hard to believe that's what happened there.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2017, 19:22
by meatwod
Inadvertent throttle cutoff has occurred a dozen other F-16 mishaps.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2017, 06:08
by neurotech
meatwod wrote:Inadvertent throttle cutoff has occurred a dozen other F-16 mishaps.

Which ones? I've read a lot of the AIB reports for the USAF F-16s. Was it other F-16 operators?

A few reports mention the Main Fuel Shut-Off Valve causing engine rollback and failure, but did not mention the throttle cutoff being involved.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2017, 09:56
by 35_aoa
guy@rdaf.dk wrote:
You can't engage afterburner with throttle and spider open for pre-check


You can if you follow the checklist. Besides, is it not possible to close the spider handle with the canopy open, do the throttle movement check and open the spider again? Works for me on every pre engine start :mrgreen:

Now don't tell me that one is butt-hurt if one follows the check-list. Isn't that part of good aviation discipline?


I assume "spider" means the "claw" that covers the canopy open/close switch and actuates the canopy seal? If so, yeah, I have never had a problem checking the AB position during preflight with it open……you just have to move carefully so as not to scrape your knuckles in the process. I do it once I'm already in the seat strapped in as part of my cockpit sweep, but same same.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 17:17
by meatwod
neurotech wrote:
meatwod wrote:Inadvertent throttle cutoff has occurred a dozen other F-16 mishaps.

Which ones? I've read a lot of the AIB reports for the USAF F-16s. Was it other F-16 operators?

A few reports mention the Main Fuel Shut-Off Valve causing engine rollback and failure, but did not mention the throttle cutoff being involved.


https://www.abqjournal.com/855571/repor ... in-nm.html

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 11 Jan 2017, 19:30
by neurotech
meatwod wrote:
neurotech wrote:
meatwod wrote:Inadvertent throttle cutoff has occurred a dozen other F-16 mishaps.

Which ones? I've read a lot of the AIB reports for the USAF F-16s. Was it other F-16 operators?

A few reports mention the Main Fuel Shut-Off Valve causing engine rollback and failure, but did not mention the throttle cutoff being involved.


https://www.abqjournal.com/855571/repor ... in-nm.html

Maybe 12 other mishaps caused by inadvertent throttle cut-off in almost 40 years is possible. I found one more in the DB.

84-1311

88-0487 (Same as linked article)

I'd also heard from a friend that they experienced a inadvertent throttle cutoff incident, with a returning F-16 pilot up front. No known defect with the throttle controls. There was only minor damage to the jet on landing, and EPU activation.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 23 Jan 2017, 19:54
by bothomas
Boman wrote: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.


This is being done now at depot. Definitely not a quick process. Special parts having to be manufactured.

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2017, 07:36
by Boman
Which tail number is replacing the destroyed viper?

Re: Thunderbird F-16 down near Colorado Springs

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2017, 00:06
by bothomas
Boman wrote:Which tail number is replacing the destroyed viper?

93-0553