Oh, ye of little faith...

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by scoutpilot, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    An interesting and rather well-known example of all the things that can go wrong in a cockpit when there is a vacuum of leadership. It's an excellent look at the problem of junior LTs working with senior warrant officers and how position sometimes supersedes rank.

    The aircraft sustained over $1 million in damage.

    http://youtu.be/x4CQfaBGWSo
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Classic video.

    Ye of little CRM meets negative aircrew characteristics.
    They both lost their wings, didn't they? I kind of feel bad for the guy who said, "nope."
     
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Don't feel bad. He had it coming. He was a LT and should have stopped that behavior...behavior that had been exhibited througout the entire flight. And yes, they both lost their wings.

    Here's the backstory on the crash from the June '98 FlightFax magazine.

    "I once served on an AH-64 accident investigation board. Shortly after arriving at the scene of the accident, we were handed the tape from the aircraft's video recorder. After viewing the tape, I knew we were dealing with cowboys. An accident had been inevitable during this flight; it wasn't a question of "if" an accident was going to happen, only "when."

    The mission was a single-ship, day ATM training flight for an officer who had not flown much but was scheduled to deploy on a JRTC rotation. The training was to include high- and low-level reconnaissance, low-level flight, and nap-of-the-earth flight with target-engagement operations. The crew was briefed to conduct the flight in the local training area utilizing several different sectors and transition corridors.

    As part of preflight planning, the crew checked the weather, computed aircraft performance data, and assessed the risks associated with the mission. Additionally, they conducted all mission and crew briefings. The crew then filed their flight plan and completed the preflight inspection of the Apache.

    It was about 1400 when they took off. The PC, who was also a unit IP, was in the back seat on the controls, and the CP was in the front seat. They conducted ATM training consisting of low-level and NOE operations in several different training areas. They also practiced multiple target engagements and high- and low-recon of landing zones. This training was completely documented on the aircraft's videotape. The video also showed the PC operating the aircraft as low as 3 feet agl at 26 knots between trees and wires beside common-use roads. At one point, the copilot was heard to say, "Yeeeeeee haaaaaaaa!" as the PC completed a return-to-target maneuver.

    The crew continued their flight along a common-use roadway until arriving at one of the large drop zones scattered around the reservation. The PC turned the aircraft left to a heading of about 320 degrees toward a stand of trees. As the aircraft approached the trees, the PC noted a gap in the trees and asked the copilot, "Do you think we can make it between there?"
    The copilot answered, "Nope."
    The PC then remarked, "Sure we can. Look how big it is. Oh, ye of little faith."

    At 1532 hours, immediately after the PC's remarks, the No. 4 main rotor blade struck a 2 1⁄2- inch-diameter limb, breaking off an 8 1⁄2-inch piece of the blade. The Nos. 2 and 3 main rotor blades also struck the tree. The aircraft shuddered violently, but the aircrew was able to land in an open field and exit the aircraft unassisted.

    The aircraft was at 16 feet agl and 76 knots when it struck the tree, resulting in more than $1 million in damage to the aircraft.

    So, "cowboys" are still alive and well in Army aviation. As hard as we try to identify and eliminate them in initial flight training, some still manage to get through. As professional aviators, we have a responsibility to report and eliminate them once they have been identified.
    Our business is a dangerous one, and the cowboys only increase the risk. We must not condone their behavior by doing nothing."

    -CW4 Gary D. Braman, 3-501 MI, Camp Humphreys, Korea


    Mind you, there is nothing inherently wrong with flying that low. We routinely flew at 5-10 feet AGL in Iraq. NOE flight is huge part of how we do business. But there is a time and place for it, and it must be done in a judicious manner.

    These guys, especially this LT, ignored their professional responsibilities.
     
  4. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Reminds me of the old saying "There are 'old pilots' and there are 'bold pilots', but there are no 'old bold pilots'..:wink:
     

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