Counting Down to the Next Air Crash

#1
On another forum I posted the following statement an a thread about military helicopter crashes

"IN the British forces, the statisticians work out when the next aircraft crash is going to happen, and then as the date approaches the air safety people put out posters raising the awareness of aircrew. This happens with ALL aircraft types, not just helicopters.

You cannot judge the aircraft and personnel of any armed forces against the equivilent civilian types. These are special people doing extraordinary jobs in ways that wouldn't even be considered by those not in the forces. As a result, accidents are inevitable"

Can anyone tell me if the countdown still goes on, indeed, did it ever?? My time in the Corps was through the eighties
 
#2
errrrrrrrrrr Sven, do you believe that? Flight safety is taken very very seriously all year round, whilst not speaking for professionally qualified personnel, I do know that it is ingrained from top to bottom. What you may be thinking of or told, that the stats are never wrong, that statistically, this may happen etc but trust me, nothing makes people shudder more than flight safety. Me, a veteran too of going on COs as escort with REEM tech types who havent got it right who are very few and far between, trust me on that too.

safe landings
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#3
I saw a report in the Press yesterday that the C130 that was shot down last year may have survived if it had been using a fuel additive that the US and Canada have been utilising in their Hercs which prevents helps combustion due to fuel tank damage etc. An MOD spokesman said there is no evidence that it would have helped. Or in English, it would have cost money so we thouht we'd save a few quid by risking lives again.
 
#4
Herrenbloke said:
I saw a report in the Press yesterday that the C130 that was shot down last year may have survived if it had been using a fuel additive that the US and Canada have been utilising in their Hercs which prevents helps combustion due to fuel tank damage etc. An MOD spokesman said there is no evidence that it would have helped. Or in English, it would have cost money so we thouht we'd save a few quid by risking lives again.
Unless the fuel was made out of a huge bouncy castle and acted like a massive forcefield to deflect the 'missile', I very much doubt it.
 
#5
Aircraft crash as and when. It's not statistical. It just happens. I am sure that in my time we had one year where there was no fatel accidents and on other occasions it's was one two three in one day (3 Gaz in Norway?). It's a fact of life not Numerology.
john
Fly on safely.
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#6
Wasn't it Automatic Fire that brought it down? I thought that the original damage was tothe fuel tanks... Some Anti Aircraft misslies also detonate with a proximity fuse anyway so that it is the fragmentation and not the explosion that is the biggest danger in many cases. However I may be wrong in this case?
 
#7
jonwilly said:
Aircraft crash as and when. It's not statistical. It just happens. I am sure that in my time we had one year where there was no fatel accidents and on other occasions it's was one two three in one day (3 Gaz in Norway?). It's a fact of life not Numerology.
john
Fly on safely.
Aviation Standards Branch do keep track of accidents in statistical terms (eg number of fatal accidents per 10000 flying hours by type). However, this isn't a "count down" but more of a trend indicator.
 
#8
The suggestions on what brought the Herc down are wide and varied. The most popular however is that the ac was hit by a medium/large calibre unguided system. The warhead was fairly large and I belive it impacted near the wing root............would be a pretty expensive "and bloody amazing" system to defeat that with a bit of foam in the tanks!.
 
#13
Herrenbloke said:
I saw a report in the Press yesterday that the C130 that was shot down last year may have survived if it had been using a fuel additive that the US and Canada have been utilising in their Hercs which prevents helps combustion due to fuel tank damage etc. An MOD spokesman said there is no evidence that it would have helped. Or in English, it would have cost money so we thouht we'd save a few quid by risking lives again.
I'm probably being stupid but I would have thought that any additive to make fuel less likely to combust would also make it less likely to do its job i.e. combust in the engine? Inflamable fuel is a bit like a solar powered torch - useless!
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#14
The additive turns the fuel into a gel if the fuel tanks are ruptured whilst not affecting combustion under normal circumstances. I saw a test video from civil aviation in which they used the stuff and it prevented a fire withing the aircraft. I'm not 100% on the exact technology but the fact that our allies are using it indicates to me that it should at least be looked at. Some risks are unavoidable in war but would you stop wearing your body armour just because it won't stop all high velocity rounds? You cant get round every risk but where the kit is available and it is practical to minimise the risk, you would be a fool not to want it available. The additive may not stop a missile bringing you down, but it may stop a luck round or warthead fragmentation from bringing down the aircraft. Given the choice would you rather fly with it or without it?
 
#15
Herrenbloke said:
The additive turns the fuel into a gel if the fuel tanks are ruptured whilst not affecting combustion under normal circumstances. I saw a test video from civil aviation in which they used the stuff and it prevented a fire withing the aircraft. I'm not 100% on the exact technology but the fact that our allies are using it indicates to me that it should at least be looked at. Some risks are unavoidable in war but would you stop wearing your body armour just because it won't stop all high velocity rounds? You cant get round every risk but where the kit is available and it is practical to minimise the risk, you would be a fool not to want it available. The additive may not stop a missile bringing you down, but it may stop a luck round or warthead fragmentation from bringing down the aircraft. Given the choice would you rather fly with it or without it?
The yanks filled a 707 with this stuff (or something that was supposed to do the same thing) and flew it (radio-controlled mind) into the ground to simulate a wheels-up forced landing. It disappeared into a huge fireball. Hence the lack of interest.

More pertinently if my memory is working properly the effects of the additive on engine life, reliability and fuel consumption are imperfectly understood. If it decreases reliability for instance it could end up causing crashes.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#16
The yanks filled a 707 with this stuff (or something that was supposed to do the same thing) and flew it (radio-controlled mind) into the ground to simulate a wheels-up forced landing. It disappeared into a huge fireball. Hence the lack of interest.
The additive was AMK (anti-misting kerosene), a British invention IIRC. The 720 should have been flown to crash between two sets of poles placed in the ground to rupture the tanks. One set of wing tanks was filled with normal fuel, the tanks in the other wing filled with fuel plus additive.

For some reason, despite having full control all the way down the approach path, the American pilot controlling the aircraft didn't quite hit the poles in the required manner, and the poles ripped through the engines, causing major disruption. By the time the aircraft tumbled down the test site, it would have been impossible to determine the effectiveness of the additive.

At the time, everyone involved agreed that the test was invalid, as it didn't meet the Federal Aviation Authority's criteria. Unfortunately, the results were manipulated by the unscrupulous to 'prove' that the additive didn't work.

From NASA website (http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/Photo/CID/HTML/ECN-31803.html)

In 1984 NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) teamed-up in a
unique flight experiment called the Controlled Impact Demonstration (CID). The test involved crashing a Boeing 720 aircraft with four JT3C-7 engines burning a mixture of standard fuel with an additive, Anti-misting Kerosene (AMK), designed to supress fire.
In a typical aircraft crash, fuel spilled from ruptured fuel tanks forms a fine mist that can be ignited by a number of sources at the crash site. In 1984 the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility (after 1994 a full-fledged Center again) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) teamed-up in a unique flight experiment called the Controlled Impact Demonstration (CID), to test crash a Boeing 720 aircraft using standard fuel with an additive designed to supress fire. The additive, FM-9, a high-molecular-weight long-chain polymer, when blended with Jet-A fuel had demonstrated the capability to inhibit ignition and flame propagation of the released fuel in simulated crash tests.

This anti-misting kerosene (AMK) cannot be introduced directly into a gas turbine engine due to several possible problems such as clogging of filters. The AMK must be restored to almost Jet-A before being introduced into the engine for burning. This restoration is called "degradation" and was accomplished on the B-720 using a device called a "degrader." Each of the four Pratt & Whitney JT3C-7 engines had a "degrader" built and installed by General Electric (GE) to break down and return the AMK to near Jet-A quality.

In addition to the AMK research the NASA Langley Research Center was involved in a structural loads measurement experiment, which included having instrumented dummies filling the seats in the passenger compartment. Before the final flight on December 1, 1984, more than four years of effort passed trying to set-up final impact conditions considered survivable by the FAA. During those years while 14 flights with crews were flown the following major efforts were underway: NASA Dryden developed the remote piloting techniques necessary for the B-720 to fly as a drone aircraft; General Electric installed and tested four degraders (one on each engine); and the FAA refined AMK (blending, testing, and fueling a full-size aircraft). The 15 flights had 15 takeoffs, 14 landings and a larger number of approaches to about 150 feet above the prepared crash site under remote control. These flight were used to introduce AMK one step at a time into some of the fuel tanks and engines while monitoring the performance of the engines. On the final flight (No. 15) with no crew, all fuel tanks were filled with a total of 76,000 pounds of AMK and the remotely-piloted aircraft landed on Rogers Dry Lakebed in an area prepared with posts to test the effectiveness of the AMK in a controlled impact.

The CID, which some wags called the Crash in the Desert, was spectacular with a large fireball enveloping and burning the B-720 aircraft. From the standpoint of AMK the test was a major set-back, but for NASA Langley, the data collected on crashworthiness was deemed successful and just as important.

In a typical aircraft crash, fuel spilled from ruptured fuel tanks forms a fine mist that can be ignited by a number of sources at the crash site. In 1984 the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility (after 1994 a full-fledged Center again) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) teamed-up in a unique flight experiment called the Controlled Impact Demonstration (CID), to test crash a Boeing 720 aircraft using standard fuel with an additive designed to supress fire. The additive, FM-9, a high-molecular-weight long-chain polymer, when blended with Jet-A fuel had demonstrated the capability to inhibit ignition and flame propagation of the released fuel in simulated crash tests.

This anti-misting kerosene (AMK) cannot be introduced directly into a gas turbine engine due to several possible problems such as clogging of filters. The AMK must be restored to almost Jet-A before being introduced into the engine for burning. This restoration is called "degradation" and was accomplished on the B-720 using a device called a "degrader." Each of the four Pratt & Whitney JT3C-7 engines had a "degrader" built and installed by General Electric (GE) to break down and return the AMK to near Jet-A quality.

In addition to the AMK research the NASA Langley Research Center was involved in a structural loads measurement experiment, which included having instrumented dummies filling the seats in the passenger compartment. Before the final flight on December 1, 1984, more than four years of effort passed trying to set-up final impact conditions considered survivable by the FAA. During those years while 14 flights with crews were flown the following major efforts were underway: NASA Dryden developed the remote piloting techniques necessary for the B-720 to fly as a drone aircraft; General Electric installed and tested four degraders (one on each engine); and the FAA refined AMK (blending, testing, and fueling a full-size aircraft). The 15 flights had 15 takeoffs, 14 landings and a larger number of approaches to about 150 feet above the prepared crash site under remote control. These flight were used to introduce AMK one step at a time into some of the fuel tanks and engines while monitoring the performance of the engines. On the final flight (No. 15) with no crew, all fuel tanks were filled with a total of 76,000 pounds of AMK and the remotely-piloted aircraft landed on Rogers Dry Lakebed in an area prepared with posts to test the effectiveness of the AMK in a controlled impact.

The CID, which some wags called the Crash in the Desert, was spectacular with a large fireball enveloping and burning the B-720 aircraft. From the standpoint of AMK the test was a major set-back, but for NASA Langley, the data collected on crashworthiness was deemed successful and just as important.
What I always found more disturbing was the used of highly-flammable hydraulic fluid, whilst our US colleagues used a non-flammable hydraulic fluid.

Back on topic- yes, IFS did push out stats along the lines of "Your next rolling-clusterfcuk will occur on (DTG). Take care out there."
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#18
But at least it wouldn't present an explosive hazard when it appeared in your cab as a red mist at 212bar, John.
 
#19
Agreed, but onest it's not a nice substance and no pilot woud be happy having it come in skin conntact at one bar let alone 212 bar.
The substance is actually much lighter then OM 15 and I think it's for that reason it's used on large civil airliners where hydraulic fluid can be a tonne or so of MAW.
But you are correct with what you say.
john
 

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