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Lockheed Bob
12-08-2008, 07:55 PM
A Marine based F18 crashed in a residential area while approaching Miramar. The pilot ejected but 3 people so far are dead on the ground. This happened early afternoon today. You tube has videos of after crash. I suppose now the do-gooders will want the base closed like so many others including El Toro,CA. I hope not

Inverted
12-08-2008, 07:59 PM
Rumors from the base are saying the t-bird was from VMFAT - 101.

MRussell
12-09-2008, 07:05 AM
On ANN I was reading the witness accounts of what the ("student") pilot said when he was met on the ground and I have to say I feel really bad for that kid.

Leo
12-09-2008, 09:02 AM
Of course the witness account that "he should have turned it toward the ocean, he was never going to make Miramar" adds to the poor guys troubles. Nothing looks better than an "expert" that wasn't in the plane telling the world what should have been done. All my sympathies to those innocents on the ground, and to the pilot.

Lockheed Bob
12-09-2008, 10:51 AM
I remember another crash there when a Naval pilot had troubles on approach & thought he could make it but they told him to eject & after he did the plane continued on into a hanger,exploded, with lives lost.If you read the base history there have been several incidents both in landing & takeoffs over the years.

Leo
12-09-2008, 11:01 AM
In reality there is a certain risk to anything under a pattern, whether it is a warehouse, a dwelling or a rabbit hole. Granted the risk varies with the location within the pattern, but...If airplanes fly overhead there is a risk one may come down on you.
Not to head OT but years ago they were trying to build houses in the open marshland around Travis AFB. The argument about proximity to the base was that there had not been an off-airport crash in years. All of us in the area basically lived within the pattern, even I did and I was 10 miles away. The Air Force was adamant that they did not want the possibility of a C-5 going into a subdivision on their heads and fought development, even threatening to put the base on the closure list. I don't live there anymore but as far as I know the Air Force was fairly successful.
I just hope this tragedy isn't fuel for an attempt at closing another base.

Frank C.
12-09-2008, 11:05 AM
Miramar has been there over fifty years. They choose to develop around it, so you take your chances when you purchase a house near the base.
The pilot ran out of altitude, ideas, and time. Feel bad for him, I think he was trying to make the canyon where his chute landed. Condolences to all involved.

Frank C.

AirDOGGe
12-09-2008, 11:22 AM
Of course the witness account that "he should have turned it toward the ocean, he was never going to make Miramar" adds to the poor guys troubles. Nothing looks better than an "expert" that wasn't in the plane telling the world what should have been done. All my sympathies to those innocents on the ground, and to the pilot.



Latest report says he had one failed engine, and was returning to base when the second died on him unexpectedly.

Last I heard, pilots flying a twin-engine aircraft who suffer a SINGLE engine failure aren't expected to aim their plane for the nearest body of water and ditch it... :dunno:

MRussell
12-09-2008, 03:17 PM
I just hope it wasn't out of gas or something dumb.

Inverted
12-09-2008, 04:39 PM
Its different with the Hornet. It depends on which engine is lost etc.

Reports were saying he was coming from training ops on the USS Lincoln. If that true theres no way in hell he would go to Miramar, he would go to NAS North Island with one engine failed. You dont point the aircraft to the ground and eject if you loose an engine in the Hornet, but its not all that much better. You loose certian systems and you lose 50% of your hydraulic pressure for your control surfaces.

Inverted
12-09-2008, 04:42 PM
I just hope it wasn't out of gas or something dumb.

I dont remember of the Navy/Marine Corps ever losing a Hornet because of that.

Ron101502
12-13-2008, 03:33 PM
I feel bad for the kid too. Hope more info shows up soon but a double engine failure could be caused by bird ingestion or as someone has suggested fuel starvation, but that does NOT mean he ran out of fuel, just that the fuel couldn't get to the engines. The OV-10 had 5 fuel tanks that fed into a feeder tank but the gas guage only read total fuel on board unless you flipped a switch to see what was in the feeder tank, and there was a idiot light that came on regardless of switch position if the feeder tank ran low. While flying around with plenty of gas on the guage the light came on, we checked the feeder tank and it was low so we made an emergency landing only to find one of the 5 fuel tanks never fed. No way could we have known it earlier. Also fuel guage error can occur as well so just because an airplane loses fuel to both engines does NOT mean pilot error. This narrative is not meant to second guess anyone on this particular incident as I have never flown an F-18, or even to try and guess a cause, just more to think about before jumping to conclusions and blaming the pilot. One thing my union (the Air Line Pilots Association) has been successful at over the years is overturning NTSB reports blaming pilots when further research has proven that to be untrue and the NTSB has always been cooperative when presented with solid evidence that contradicts their findings as they are one of the few organizations where safety really does come first.

Lockheed Bob
12-13-2008, 06:51 PM
Ron that was a excellent reply as I remember years ago where an airline pilot was blamed for crashing an airliner into a mountain side & another pilot after a long time proved that under the exact same conditions the magnetic compass would give a wrong reading thus proving the NTSB wrong. :thumbsup:

Inverted
12-13-2008, 08:36 PM
Cell's 2 and 3 feed the engines We have had problems where fuel doesnt transfer properly but never to this point. Its impossible to speculate on what exactly happened. Its not even known if it is a dual engine failure. But if it is, there is no way to point the aircraft in any direction period, you have zero control. Any pilot young or old has an internal instinct to steer away from the population, and early reports are he punched out pretty last minute. I am very curious to see exactly what troubles transpired because it doesnt really matter why the engines failed, regardless of the reason if they both failed theres nothing he could have done. Theres nothing I can think of that would contribute to a dual engine failure as far as pilot error goes other than physically shutting down the engines or pushing the fire warning lights in. Both of which are not easy to do unintentionally.

dvddude
12-13-2008, 09:10 PM
This thing is going to get reeeeeeeeeaaaaalllll ugly soon. Congress is already involved in it and the citizens are upset. Apparently it WAS a double engine failure.

http://aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=41d33147-8321-4c9c-99fa-10958720bff0&

I don't like this sentence from the C.O.:

Col. Christopher O'Connor, Miramar's commanding officer, told the audience, "I pledge an absolutely thorough investigation so the cause is identified and never happens again."

He's making promises that he might not be able to keep. If it was mechanical failure, sometimes things just break, despite your best preparations, inspections, etc. You can't prevent things from ever breaking again. He is in a difficult position, and I understand he's just telling the public what they want to hear. That's a pretty bold pledge, though, if you ask me. How can you promise the public there won't be another mechanical failure, if in fact, that is what it was?

Another quote from a citizen:
"We need to know who cleared this pilot to fly over our houses,"

This is exactly the kind of mentality which could be the death knell for Miramar, if the emotional public rallys together and demands stopping overflight of their houses.

Inverted
12-14-2008, 01:48 PM
Ya I read the conference dialog. The public doesnt know any better, hell for most of the residents I bet they think houses were there before the base. This happens all over the US every day. Both my local GA airports have been under the chopping block for years, both of which were here during WW2.

Educating the public on matters like this will give them a better understanding. This was just a horrible freak occurrence. Dual engine failure is honestly I bet a 1 in a million. For ever flight hour I bet it takes almost a million to see a Dual engine failure. Its good to hear reports are favoring the pilots decisions, I know he didnt have any choice where the aircraft hit after the second engine let go. And for Yoon to ask not to blame the pilot is pretty touching as well considering what he is going through.

AirDOGGe
12-14-2008, 02:55 PM
[QUOTE=dvddude]This thing is going to get reeeeeeeeeaaaaalllll ugly soon. Congress is already involved in it and the citizens are upset. Apparently it WAS a double engine failure.

http://aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=41d33147-8321-4c9c-99fa-10958720bff0&

I don't like this sentence from the C.O.:

Col. Christopher O'Connor, Miramar's commanding officer, told the audience, "I pledge an absolutely thorough investigation so the cause is identified and never happens again."

He's making promises that he might not be able to keep. If it was mechanical failure, sometimes things just break, despite your best preparations, inspections, etc. You can't prevent things from ever breaking again. He is in a difficult position, and I understand he's just telling the public what they want to hear. That's a pretty bold pledge, though, if you ask me. How can you promise the public there won't be another mechanical failure, if in fact, that is what it was?
QUOTE]




The "cause" he was referrring to may not be mechanical failure, but possibly where the plane was when it broke...

He may have been thinking more of restricting flying zones over heavily populated residential areas IN CASE something like this happened again, or something else along those lines.


Or maybe referring to a maintenance procedure change, if it proves that something wasn't repaired or re-assembled properly during maintenance and resulted in the engine failure(s). Possibly even something punitive / re-training or punitive actions if it turns out to be neglect of some sort...


In other words, it all depends on what investigations find out first. The "CAUSE" that needs addressing he is referring to can be anything at this point.

bergschrund
12-14-2008, 04:18 PM
I'm not claiming to know anything about the crash but there didn't seem to be enough flame damage to the impact site. The tv news video I saw didn't seem to show enough burned property to rule out empty fuel tanks. You may assault me at your leisure.

Inverted
12-14-2008, 04:36 PM
Umm, 3 homes were destroyed, several cars, I think the damage was significant enough. I can tell you that NATOPS would never allow a pilot to fly inland on an emergency fuel state when NAS North Island is right off the coast, not to mention they can Hawk the hornet over the Lincoln if the fuel state was an issue.

It cant be ruled out for sure, but like I said with all the protocols set by NATOPS I would be very surprised to see fuel being the cause.

I remember doing CYCLIC ops on carriers training new pilots, 3 trap misses and they were sent to the beach to refuel if there were no S-3's to hawk from. And I know that when pilots were sent home to refuel because they couldnt get their planes on the deck had enough fuel for probably another hour of cruise flight. Somebody who knows more can chime in but I believe 6.0 fuel loads they were sent back, thats about half full with 1 drop tank.

bergschrund
12-14-2008, 05:35 PM
Inverted, I guess you are right about the flame damage (3 homes, etc.). The news videos I saw didn't show all the damage. Maybe after witnessing the tragic L39 crash last year at Reno I thought there should be more fire. The L39 fireball was impressive but an F18 probably carries 10 times more fuel. Even 1/2 a fuel load of an F18 would seem to me to be enough to burn many more houses than it did. But you are much more qualified on the subject than I.

Inverted
12-14-2008, 06:15 PM
Yes the L-39 crash did produce a huge fireball, but keep in mind this is an aircraft flying at 450+ MPH with a strait line trajectory. That hornet was already going half as fast, and losing both engines the aircraft likely stalled producing an almost strait down trajectory. Not saying it didnt glide a but my point is that L-39 crash spread its debris like skipping a rock over a lake. The hornet was like dropping the rock in the lake from above.

That is speculation on the F-18 side of things I have no idea how the aircraft went in.

Also something to think about the L-39 was carrying Jet-A fuel, Naval aircraft use JP-5. I have no idea how they compare but I know JP-5 uses a much higher flash point than USAF JP-4 I am assuming Jet-A is close to JP-4. The higher flash point of JP-5 is to prevent shipboard fires...