P-3 Orion destroyed in Afghanistan

Military aircraft accidents/mishaps.
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Unread post23 Oct 2008, 23:08

Stars & Stripes wrote:U.S. plane overshoots runway in Afghanistan
By Joseph Giordono, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane was destroyed when it overshot the runway at the large U.S. air base north of the Afghan capital early Tuesday, officials said.

All of the crewmembers survived the crash, though one suffered a broken ankle.

"A Navy P-3 Orion airplane overshot the runway surface while landing at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, early [Tuesday]," a United States Forces — Afghanistan release read.

"The airplane sustained serious structural and fire damage. Bagram-based emergency-response units took action on scene to extinguish the fires."

The injured crewmember was treated at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram, officials said.

The P-3 is a four-prop plane that was originally developed during the Cold War, when its primary mission was tracking missiles and attack submarines.

Since early in the Afghan war, Navy P-3s have been used in landlocked Afghanistan to support coalition ground forces.

Officials have said the aircraft are used to gather intelligence and provide surveillance and reconnaissance for commanders in the Arabian Sea and on the ground in Afghanistan.

The plane that crashed Tuesday is deployed from PATWING FIVE out of Norfolk, Va., said Cmdr. Jane Campbell of the Navy. While deployed, the aircraft falls under CTF-57, she said.

Bagram is the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan and a main flying hub.

The crash is under investigation, officials said.

source: http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?sect ... icle=58296

The Times Record wrote:P-3 Orion based at BNAS crashes in Afghanistan

BRUNSWICK — For the first time in more than 30 years, a Brunswick Naval Air Station-based plane crashed Tuesday, as a P-3 Orion missed a runway in Afghanistan and was destroyed.

There were no fatalities in the crash, and only one crew member suffered a minor injury.

John James, public affairs Officer at the Brunswick base, said Tuesday he couldn't divulge which patrol squadron the plane belonged to, nor the name of the crew member who was injured.

"It was a Wing 5 aircraft deployed to Bagram in support of Operation Enduring Freedom," James told The Times Record. "The aircraft overshot the runway at Bagram Airfield. The right main landing gear collapsed and both right engines then caught fire. The Bagram Airfield fire department responded immediately and distinguished the fire.

"All of the crew exited the left side of the airplane and there was only one minor injury, which was a sprained ankle," he continued.

An American Forces Press Service report from Afghanistan claims that the injured crew member was treated at Craig Joint Theater Hospital at the Bagram location. The report also said the crash is still under investigation.

The last time a Brunswick Naval Air Station-based plane crashed, according to research done by The Times Record, was Sept. 22, 1978, when a Navy P-3 crashed in Poland.

In the incident 30 years ago, a plane from Patrol Squadron 8 reportedly broke up in flight due to a structural failure — the over pressurization of the wing tank — and at least eight crew members were killed.

According to a Web site run by Maine aviation archaeology researcher Peter Noddin, five years earlier, on March 16, 1973, a Brunswick-based P-3 from Patrol Squadron 10 reportedly crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Kennebunk for unknown reasons, killing at least five.

Prior to that, a BNAS-based P2V-7 Neptune was ditched at sea on Dec. 10, 1965, after a rocket malfunction caught the wing on fire. One man was killed in the crash and five others suffered minor injuries, according to Noddin's research.

source: http://www.timesrecord.com/website/main ... endocument
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Unread post23 Oct 2008, 23:25

That is too bad. With the closure of BNAS (KNHZ) deployed air squadrons are not returning home to Brunswick - they are instead being moved to wherever the BRAC sent them.
Lord bless Charlie Mops


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Unread post23 Oct 2008, 23:28

NavyTimes wrote:Afghan crash latest blow to Orion fleet

By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Oct 23, 2008 11:53:06 EDT

An incoming Navy P-3 Orion airplane overshot the runway, crashed and went up in flames Tuesday at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, the latest mishap for the fleet of troubled maritime patrol and reconnaissance planes.

The crash caused serious structural and fire damage to the plane, part of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 5, based at Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine.

One U.S. crew member suffered a broken ankle, the only injury. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Navy officials said.

The latest crash is the second Class-A mishap this year for the P-3. The previous mishap in July was the first in more than 10 years.

Navy officials have grown increasingly concerned about the P-3s. The Navy grounded 39 Orions in December — roughly 20 percent of the fleet — citing “structural fatigue” and fears that wing sections could break off in flight. One more P-3 was grounded in March.

In August, the Navy signed contracts for $190 million to buy 17 new outer-wing assembly kits to rehabilitate the grounded aircraft.

In September, Navy officials stepped up the timeline for replacing some of the aging P-3s. Training for the first ready-to-deploy squadron of Boeing-made P-8A Poseidons, the P-3 replacement, was moved up to early fiscal 2013, nine months earlier than the previous target date.

In the July incident, a Patrol Squadron 1 pilot lost control of a P-3 after an engine surged during a training exercise near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.

The aircraft dropped 5,500 feet, pulling 7 Gs before its pilot regained control less than 200 feet from the ground, according to the reports. The aircraft lost 45 rivets, broke a wing spar and bent its airframe. It landed safely at Whidbey with its crew unharmed.

The Navy has 156 P-3 Orions in service.

source: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/10/a ... sh_102108/

Mishap Date: 10/20/2008 Severity: A FM Time: 20:45 Evt Ser: 69846
Reference: VPU-1 202045OCT08
Acft: P003C Count: Y Destroyed: N Major Command: COMNAVAIRLANT
Custodian: VPU-1 Fatalities: 0 Buno: 158573
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Unread post24 Oct 2008, 00:53

Asif wrote:The aircraft lost 45 rivets, broke a wing spar and bent its airframe. It landed safely at Whidbey with its crew unharmed.

The Navy has 156 P-3 Orions in service.

...but that one is no longer one of them. Holy cow! Just goes to show what planes can not necessarily survive to fly again, but at least survive to allow the crew to walk away.

Glad nobody was seriously hurt in either mishap.

One of the most recent times I've been to Bagram, we were stuck there for a couple of hours, because a Condor landed, and blew out something like 6 tires, and had a brake fire.

Without getting into too much detail, the crew egressed the aircraft, but ran to an area which I wouldn't have recommended. No security violations or anything, rather, a personal safety thing.

Meanwhile, since we were loaded and ready to pull chocks, we decided to leave the APU running, and go have an Espresso, while the Russkies watched their plane burn, and some crews went out to fight fire, and pick up tire and brake debris.

Ah, the rough Air Force flyboy life in the OEF AOR... :lol:


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Unread post25 Oct 2008, 07:59

I guess the Navy is determined to get out of the P-3 business..


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Unread post25 Oct 2008, 08:55

The Times Record wrote:WEB NEWS: Navy reassigns commander of P-3 that crashed
BRUNSWICK — Navy officials have temporarily reassigned the officer piloting a Brunswick-based plane that crashed Tuesday at Bagram Airfield in eastern Afghanistan, according to a release from Naval Air Force Atlantic issued today.

The release said Cmdr. Llew Lewis, commanding officer of a Navy squadron assigned to Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing FIVE based at Brunswick Naval Air Station, was at the controls of the P-3 Orion aircraft when it overshot a runway at Bagram Airfield on Tuesday.

No one was killed, but one crew member, who has not been identified, sprained an ankle as a result of the crash, base spokesman John James told The Times Record Tuesday.

James said the plane's right main landing gear collapsed and both right engines caught fire.

Navy officials are investigating the crash, the release said. Capt. James Hoke has reassigned Lewis from command of the squadron pending its completion, according to the release.

"That is standard procedure to temporarily reassign personnel pending the outcome of any aircraft investigation," James said.

In the meantime, Cmdr. Craig Lee, executive officer of the squadron, has temporarily assumed command of the squadron.

Mass Communications Specialist 2 David Hewitt, of Brunswick Naval Air Station's Public Affairs Office, said he could not indicate how many people were on the plane at the time of the crash or how long the investigation will last.

But the crash rendered the P-3 out of commission, resulting in a multi-million-dollar loss. P-3 Orions, 23 of which fly out from Brunswick, were last produced for the U.S. Navy in 1990 for $36 million apiece.

Tuesday's crash was the first in decades involving an aircraft stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station. According to Times Record research, the last time a Brunswick-based plane crashed was Sept. 22, 1978, when eight crew members died in Poland after a structural failure caused a Navy P-3 to break up in flight.

source: http://www.timesrecord.com/website/main ... endocument
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