58th Fighter Squadron F-35A crashes during night landing

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krieger22

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Unread post20 May 2020, 06:30

NEWS RELEASE: An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 58th Fighter Sq crashed upon landing around 9:30 p.m. today @TeamEglin. The pilot successfully ejected and was transported to the 96th Medical Group for evaluation and monitoring. The pilot is in stable condition. Cont.


NEWS RELEASE cont. At the time of the accident, the pilot was participating in a routine night training sortie. First responders from the 96th Test Wing are on the scene and the site is secured. The accident is under investigation. There was no loss of life or damage to civilian


NEWS RELEASE cont. property. The name of the pilot is not being released at this time. Please contact the 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs office @ (850)226-3876 or 33fwpublicaffairs@gmail.com with questions.


https://twitter.com/TeamEglin/status/12 ... 2463604738

Well, good to hear the pilot made it
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 May 2020, 08:37

The 33rd was flying some of the oldest F-35's. Yet, don't know if that is true any longer????
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Gums

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Unread post20 May 2020, 13:44

Salute!

Must be some "bad air" around here these days.

Details on the 35 crash slim, and possibly due to keeping the site secure from people with questionable motives. The Raptor site is easy to keep secure, and latest news is the accident team is carefully maping the site and collecting wreckage.

I should have more details later.

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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XanderCrews

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Unread post20 May 2020, 18:57

here we go :roll:
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blindpilot

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Unread post20 May 2020, 19:40

Gums wrote:Salute!
Must be some "bad air" around here these days.
....
Gums sends...


Since you are there, you know that is always true. I flew more bad weather hours "solo, VFR" at Moody than the guys at Luke got, hunting down clouds with the instructor in the desert looking for their IFR time. We (Moody, Craig et al- and Eglin) would never graduate if we had to wait for "good air." I recall recovering solo from a VFR formation flight before being instrument checked, and having to lead the formation in instruments (a big no-no) because following the protocol would have killed us all (or at least me). Gotta love that bad air. There is definitely bad air down by the Gulf.

We'll have to see if that was a factor.

MHO,
BP
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Gums

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Unread post20 May 2020, 23:40

Salute!

Before war stories of days gone by...
=====
WX was O.K. until maybe 0100 or so and we had a shower or two from an approaching front, and had another or two by noon.

One twitter or such pic shows wreckage near runway and on the base.

The best intell was at barber shop today when I had two months of hair sheared. It backed up the pic. Confirmed that the plane was on the base and near the runway.
This is gonna be interesting report.
=========================
BP is right on about wx and instrument flying back in the day. The folks at Moody, Craig and Greenville were appreciated by the gaining commands because they knew about IFR. Vance and Reese were noted for crosswinds. The west bases had bigger towns ( Del Rio and Laredo excused, heh heh), but they graduated fair weather pilots.

We had solos student pilots divert to MGM when a storm closed Craig for a bit, and no big deal.
============================
I do not have enuf good connections at the 33rd anymore, but will keep asking around.

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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outlaw162

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Unread post21 May 2020, 00:35

but they graduated fair weather pilots.


Heh, heh, probably true to some extent. Additional Wx story.

However, the T-38 syllabus used at Laughlin in the 60s started with a front seat 'dollar ride' and then roughly 10 or so instrument rides in the back seat under the hood completed with an instrument check, so you were fully instrument qualified before your first contact or formation or nav ride. Far as I know, all the T-38 bases operated that way, very smart. Don't know about Craig or Laredo with the T-33s at the time.

I must have flown 30+ or so approaches to minimums in the T-38 under the hood to San Angelo as a student and never saw the airfield.....first time the hood came back was when the IP took over at PAR minimums (100 & 1/4) and landed at the 'metropolis' of Del Rio. Hard to see fair wx or bad wx or anything under the hood and the intermittent vague glow of the sun alternating with shadow while maneuvering on fair wx days could actually be somewhat disorienting under the bag. :mrgreen:

Back to the F-35 on fair weather night :shock: base leg.

(BTW back then with 60+ students graduating in each class at 8 different bases, every graduate seemed to be 'appreciated' by the gaining commands, the majority of which were the poor dudes going to F-4 PSO back seat slots 'pipeline' to SEA.)
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Gamera

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Unread post21 May 2020, 12:04

Possibly off-topic, but WRT flying in bad weather, I once read this at a retired JASDF or JMSDF helo pilot's blog.

During a SAR mission in bad weather, the pilots of a JASDF or JMSDF air rescue squadron Black Hawk variant suddenly found water dripping from the ceiling of the cockpit or cabin.
It was relatively new, and recently delivered from the assembly plant.

Sometime or someday after the mission, the ground crew climbed atop the fuselage, and either splashed buckets of water on it, or sprayed it with a hose.
Soon, water again dripped in the cockpit or cabin.

The squadron thought: when they received the helo, they test-flew it in good weather, and didn't know it leaked.
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quicksilver

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Unread post21 May 2020, 12:19

“...routine night training sortie...”

Am wondering ‘aided‘ or ‘unaided’...
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madrat

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Unread post21 May 2020, 12:46

It went down when a heavy storm was right over Highway 98 in the area. I'm sure rain was going sideways at the time. I don't care how high tech something is, he was flying in some crazy s@#$%......
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Gums

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Unread post21 May 2020, 14:23

Salute!

Not so sure about a heavy storm at the time of the crash. I am two miles from the runway on the north side of the base and we didn't get weather until after midnight.
=============================
RE: Outlaw's comments about training. Seems to me that UPT went with the instrument checkout early for all the planes after T-37's. I was in one of the last T-33 classes, as Del Rio had gone to T-38's before us. As he stated, we flew a dozen rides under the hood before ever flying an overhead pattern in the front seat. The good news was if you aced the instrument checkride then you had a great idea of where you were gonna stand when assignments were offered. I had already aced the T-37 phase, so felt real good that spring.
Going into interceptor training at Perrin, ADC made the T-38 folks go thru a buncha instrument rides in the T-33, but never soloed them. We T-33 guys got a ride to see if we had learned anything and then were signed off to fly target missions. So I was able to fly both planes, and had T-38 guys in the back seat on many tgt missions so they could log "hood time". Imagine two brown bars in the same plane on a dark, stormy night!! The Deuce had a T-37 instrument-style panel and was real easy to fly on instruments, being more stable but just a bit faster. We didn't see "flight directors" and such until checking out in the 106. The VooDoo was same as the Deuce, but you could couple the A/P to the ILS if you wanted a thrill!! I never saw a "flight director" until 6 years later, and that thing was a P-O-S, as the A-7D HUD guidance for ILS was super, and GCA's a piece of cake.

Gums recalls......
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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outlaw162

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Unread post21 May 2020, 16:44

Am wondering ‘aided‘ or ‘unaided’...


Can I assume that 'aided' is Marine'ese for 'instructor chase' ? and 'unaided' means 'on your own' single ship ?

We chased student training night overheads in the A-7D (no 2-seaters at the time and pre-NVG)....you were pretty busy on the real dark nights, but could occasionally mutter a few words of wisdom to prevent problems from arising.
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quicksilver

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Unread post21 May 2020, 17:20

No, sorry...with or without the use of night vision devices. There is a whole realm of unique potentialities in that...accompanied, of course, by all kinds of doom and gloom from the usual suspects.
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Unread post21 May 2020, 21:34

Gums wrote:Salute!

Not so sure about a heavy storm at the time of the crash. I am two miles from the runway on the north side of the base and we didn't get weather until after midnight..

I'm a bit west of you, and what passed over us an hour before was heavy lightning and strong, shifty winds. The dogs were going crazy and thunder rarely scares them. I'd be surprised it would have missed you.
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Unread post06 Oct 2020, 02:51

Eglin F-35 Crash Blamed on Landing Speed, but Software, Helmet, Oxygen Also Faulted


Oct. 5, 2020 | By John A. Tirpak








Excessive landing speed primarily caused the May 19 crash of an F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., though faulty flight control logic, issues with helmet-mounted display, the jet’s oxygen system, and ineffective simulator training and were all contributing factors, according to an Air Force investigation.

An Accident Investigation Board found the main reason for the crash was the pilot setting a “speed hold” of 202 knots indicated airspeed for the landing, which was 50 knots too fast, while the jet’s approach angle was also too shallow, according to the report released Sept. 30.

The second main cause was the tail flight control surfaces “conflicting” with the pilot’s apparent correct efforts to recover the jet after it bounced on the runway, a problem the Air Force said was a “previously undiscovered anomaly in the aircraft’s flight control logic.” The plane and pilot “quickly fell out of sync” as the flight computer commanded nose down while the pilot commanded nose up, attempting to abort the landing and go around. Sensing that he was being “ignored” by the airplane, the pilot ejected, sustaining significant but non-life-threatening injuries.

Furthermore, the helmet-mounted display was misaligned and “distracted the pilot during a critical phase of flight,” the AIB determined. The aircraft’s breathing system also caused excessive fatigue—leading to “cognitive degradation,” while ineffective simulator instruction meant the pilot lacked sufficient knowledge of the aircraft’s flight control system.

The 58th Fighter Squadron aircraft rolled after the ejection and struck the runway. was declared a total loss. The jet valued at almost $176 million as declared a total loss. The pilot had shards of the canopy and other foreign objects lodged in his eye and arm, and a spinal compression injury.

The report did not discuss corrective actions or flight safety restrictions as a result of the accident. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin referred all queries to the F-35 Joint Program Office, which did not offer immediate comment. Air Education and Training Command did not immediately respond to questions.

The crash occurred at the end of a night mission in which the pilot, an instructor, was coaching a student on air combat techniques. Upon returning to base, he set the excessive speed hold at 202 knots—which the investigation said is “not an authorized maneuver”—and a shallow angle of attack of 5.2 degrees, vice the desired 13 degrees. The pilot failed to disengage speed hold at the appropriate time, and there are no “audible warnings” for this dangerous configuration, the report said. The jet touched down nearly simultaneously on all landing gear with such force that the nose gear pushed back up, causing the jet to become airborne again. As the pilot tried to recover, the jet and pilot got out of sync due to “multiple conflicting flight control inputs.”

The control software “became saturated and unresponsive, and ultimately biased the flight control surfaces toward nose down,” when the pilot was going to afterburner and trying to raise the nose and gain altitude.

“Feeling confused, helpless and ignored,” the pilot ejected.

The investigation determined that three seconds of pilot input “was not enough time to overcome that saturation” and the flight control system failed to re-orient the aircraft for a go-around. The entire mishap occurred within five seconds of the initial touchdown.

The F-35 senses when its weight is on the wheels, and this biases the flight controls to keep the nose down. This aspect of flight control laws is not in the flight manual or syllabus, and “the flight control system is complex; there are too many sub-modes of the [control laws] to describe” in courseware. “Nevertheless, there exists a deficiency in the depths of the [control laws] logic and flight control systems knowledge in F-35A baseline manuals and academics,” the report states.

During the attempted landing, the pilot experienced a helmet-mounted display misalignment at night for the first time, with the HMD “misaligned low as opposed to high.” This caused the jet to come in too high for landing, conflicting with inertial landing system data and visual cues.

The pilot “fought his own instincts to push further into the darkness short of the runway to correct his trajectory,” the report stated. While crews train for HMD-out situations, they don’t train for misalignments, according to the Air Force.

Instead of easing workload, the helmet seems to have added to it in this instance.

“The focus required to mentally filter the degraded symbology, green glow of the HMD projector, visually acquire nighttime runway cues, correct and then set an aimpoint, fight the … darkness short of the runway, and monitor glide path trends, distracted the [pilot] from engaging the [approach power compensator] or slowing to final approach speed,” the AIB said. The “green glow” worsens due to feedback as the aircraft descends, and the pilot reported having to “squint through” it to pick up “on environmental cues.”

The jet was from Low-Rate Initial Production Lot 6—the only one from that batch at Eglin. There were some corrective technical orders for the helmet system, but they were not deemed urgent and required depot assistance to make, the report said.

The pilot reported that flying the jet was more “draining” than his previous aircraft, the F-15E. The report said the F-35’s unique air system, which requires a “work of breathing,” has that effect on many pilots. The pilot’s experience is “supported by emerging research” on the F-35A’s systems that “there appears to be a physiological toll taken on a pilot’s cognitive capacities as a result of breathing through the on-demand oxygen system,” the report said. The pilot reported that on a scale of one to ten, his cognitive degradation was “four out of ten on a routine basis.”

The report said flying the F-35A in instrument landing system mode is “not a mundane task,” which “could have been made more challenging” in the May mishap “by the reported level of cognitive degradation” from distractions, stress, lack of sleep, and the work it took the pilot to breathe. These factors could have contributed to the pilot’s “vulnerability to distractions” during the mishap landing, according to investigators.

On the issue of simulators, the report states that the systems “do not accurately represent the aircraft flight dynamics seen in this scenario.” In the simulator, the aircraft can be recovered after a hard bounce, and “two members of the AIB team were also able to land” in the simulator under the same conditions.

Lockheed Martin’s own report on the incident “verified the disjoint between actual [mishap aircraft] performance and the simulator model” adding that “the pitch rate sensitivity evident in flight was not observed in piloted simulation or initial attempts to match the maneuver with offline simulation.”

If the mishap pilot “did not have the negative learning from the simulator, he might have been able to recover the aircraft despite the high speed landing, which is why this is a contributing factor,” the report stated.



https://www.airforcemag.com/eglin-f-35- ... o-faulted/
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