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johnwill

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 20:25

spazsinbad wrote:'johnwill' humour in the face of tragedy is appropriate I reckon. IMHO you were not making fun except of the F-111?


Of course, just light hearted banter about the F-111. But after you and OL mentioned the tragedy, I felt pretty stupid continuing. The loss of anyone serving our country (or yours) saddens me.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 20:42

A Personal Note from SecNav Ray Mabus on the Passing of Neptunus Lex
March 2012

http://blog.usni.org/2012/03/08/a-note- ... tunus-lex/

"I mourn the passing of a great naval aviator, a professional analyst of all things naval, and a soulful and compelling writer of poetry and prose.

Ray Mabus, SecNav"
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 00:47

News item about NepLex Funeral arrangements has this extra info about potential accident cause(s):

ATAC Mourns the Loss of Capt Carroll "Lex" LeFon (RET) 1960-2012
"Pilot Killed in F-21 Mishap Supporting US Navy "TOPGUN" School in Fallon, Nevada"

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 97385.html

"...Although the investigation is on-going, there is no question that erratic and severe un-forecast weather changes contributed greatly to the accident...."
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 23:19

Seems like NepLex was caught in a nightmare:

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief ... 3644&key=1

NTSB Identification: DCA12PA049 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 06, 2012 in Fallon, NV
Aircraft: ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES F21-C2, registration: N404AX
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On March 6, 2012 at 0914 pacific standard time, an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Kfir F-21C2 single-seat turbojet fighter type aircraft, registration N404AX, operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) under contract to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) as a civil pubic aircraft operation, crashed upon landing at Naval Air Station Fallon, Fallon, Nevada. The sole occupant pilot aboard was killed, and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and fire. The flight had departed Fallon at 0752 the same day, and attempted to return following an adversary training mission. The pilot initiated two Ground Control Approach (GCA) radar approaches to Fallon and then attempted to divert to Reno but was unable to land there as the field was reporting below minimum weather conditions. The pilot then turned back toward Fallon and stated to air traffic controllers that he was in a critical fuel state. The pilot descended and maneuvered first toward runway 31, then toward runway 13. The airplane struck the ground in an open field in the northwest corner of the airport property and impacted a concrete building on the field. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as snowing with northerly winds of 23 knots gusting to 34 knots, and visibility between one-half and one and one-half miles."
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spazsinbad

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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 04:12

Perhaps further explanation with diagram to follow on from above details?

Preliminary NTSB Report March 14th, 2012

http://instapinch.com/?p=2030

http://instapinch.com/blog/wp-content/u ... fallon.bmp

Amongst other explanations this perhaps is close but otherwise I'm only guessing:

‘JT’ Mar 14, 2012 surmises: “Based on the NTSB prelim, I “read” that Lex was on approach to 13R – in previous bad conditions, he’d asked for the longest runway and I can’t see him doing otherwise. That being the case, and with the prelim stating that the jet initially impacted “in an open field” before hitting the building, it looks like the crash would have been on the approach – northern – side of the building. Like other commenters have said, through no fault of his own he found himself cornered in a bad situation with nowhere to go: couldn’t see to land, low on fuel so no divert, wind outside the eject envelope….” [Apparently there is a restriction about ejecting in that area with wind over 25 knots due to possibility of being dragged if unable to untangle from chute after landing.]
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 21:23

Turns out it was leaking rainwater, not fuel

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... 026#220026
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spazsinbad

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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 21:37

So the loose fasteners were not responsible [therefore just loose and irrelevant to fuel leak]?

Loose fasteners blamed for F-35 fuel leak (1st Training Flt)
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... rs&start=0
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 21:58

Or the loose fasteners allowed the rainwater in.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 22:14

Now that makes sense. There was mention that 'washwater leftovers' had been involved also. I guess both can be the cause.
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maus92

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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 00:56

They leave them out in the rain? Not good for corrosion prevention if they collect rainwater / saltspray / condensation. Seriously, don't they have brand new hangers at Eglin?
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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 01:16

How about this scenario. Loose fasteners allowed 'washwater' inside. Discovered in flight - thought to be a fuel leak. Loose fasteners fastened - end of.

There are not only new hangars (also being bulit now at YUMA for some 70 MilDol) but also outdoor shelters AFAIK. But of course they are weather proof when fasteners fastened correctly I'll guess - at moment though they are not lightning proof apparently.
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MCAS Yuma getting two more F-35 hangars 24 March 2012

http://www.yumasun.com/articles/yuma-77 ... enter.html

"San Diego-based Harper Construction Co. has been awarded Navy contracts worth nearly $70 million to build two aircraft maintenance hangars at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, the Defense Department announced last week.The contract calls for the design and construction..."
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munny

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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 02:37

maus92 wrote:They leave them out in the rain? Not good for corrosion prevention if they collect rainwater / saltspray / condensation. Seriously, don't they have brand new hangers at Eglin?


Wouldn't the idea be to let them wear as much as possible during testing? Treat em mean?
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maus92

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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 03:40

spazsinbad wrote:How about this scenario. Loose fasteners allowed 'washwater' inside. Discovered in flight - thought to be a fuel leak. Loose fasteners fastened - end of.


Could very well be wash water, but this is what Air Vice Marshal Osley said:

"There was some recent press about the very first time when they went airborne. I think they reported in the press that an aircraft had a fuel leak and returned to base after 15 minutes. That was not correct. It did return to base after 15 minutes. It had been in torrential rain and water had leaked into some of the panels. When they got it airborne, some of the moisture came out off the panels, and they came back and did a precautionary landing. They have since reflown the aeroplane and are continuing to fly now on normal operations."

What I find strange is that the jet was not in a canopy shelter or hanger when a "torrential" storm struck - the base must have weather radar to detect the approach of severe weather / thunderstorms - particularly since the jet is not yet certified for operating near electrical storms. And no official announcement from the PR apparatus clarifying that the fluid was water, not fuel - unless a jet leaking water is just as embarrassing as leaking fuel. At any rate, it would be a good bet that procedures have been changed.
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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 03:41

You training guys are not allowed to fly at night or in the weather/rain, but on the nice balmy dry days you can fly, we'll make sure the aircraft at least is wet. :lol:
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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 04:34

'maus92' thinks that there is only one version of the story. I believe there are many, and probably all are true, but what I can argue with are the speculations made by 'maus92' that seem to be unwarranted. And one may ask why; but here is the 'washwater' story:

Loose fasteners blamed for F-35 fuel leak (1st Training Flt)
http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/-48089--.html
at:
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-18480.html

"...Maintainers with the 33rd Fighter Wing conducted an extensive review of the jet and determined three slightly loose fasteners allowed a small amount of fuel to seep from the jet during its initial flight, Eglin Air Force Base announced Friday. Maintainers also found residual water from an earlier wash of the aircraft...."
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