MOD report on loss of RAF Hercules C-130K (Afghan 24/05/06)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by freedomman, Jul 27, 2007.

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  1. I know that the press release was posted on the "Afghan fighting" thread, but I thought it deserved it's own thread.

    (Apologies if already done - feel free to ditch or shift if appropriate!)

    MOD Oracle

    Here' a snip:

    Report Published On Loss Of RAF Hercules


    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Source: MoD

    The MOD has published the findings from a Royal Air Force Board of Inquiry (BOI) into the loss of an RAF Hercules C-130K in Afghanistan on 24 May 2006.

    The BOI concluded that the aircraft was destroyed by fire after detonating an anti-tank mine on the Tactical Landing Zone. The explosion caused significant damage to the aircraft's landing gear, resulting in debris puncturing the left wing fuel tanks.

    In turn this caused an uncontrollable fire leading to the loss of the aircraft. The Board of Inquiry concluded that, even if the aircraft had been fitted with Explosion Suppressant Foam (ESF), it would not have prevented its loss. This is because ESF does not prevent leaks when the fuel tanks are punctured.

    Three passengers suffered minor injuries in the incident. The Board of Inquiry commended the crew on how they managed the situation, and for ensuring that all on board were evacuated quickly.

    We cannot eliminate risk in military operations; therefore the Board of Inquiry has made a number of recommendations aimed at keeping our operations as effective and safe as they can be in operational theatres. The Board's recommendations included a review of Force Protection procedures at Tactical Landing Zones.

    Air Command and Permanent Joint Headquarters have developed revised Force Protection procedures and tactics to be employed at Tactical Landing Zones in operational theatres. These are now being used by Force Protection teams on operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The loss of the aircraft has not impacted on current operations. The MOD is currently considering options for replacing the lost capability.

    BOIs do not apportion blame. Instead they seek to identify the circumstances that resulted in the incident in order to prevent a recurrence.

    My bold

    Skimming through the BoI report itselfREPORT, I'm struck by the level of criticism aimed at the SIB.
    Station Commanders' Comments
    AOC Comments
    CinC Strike Command Comments

    It's apparent that all concerned were pretty p1ssed-off that substantial effort was undertaken to identify component failure, when all the time it was a 10-Rouble AT mine some Terry had dropped into the surface of the TLZ.

    No slight intended against the individuals concerned or the august body itself (please don't duff me up) but I can't recall a BoI that went this far.

    No real point to make, just thought it deserved highlighting.
     
  2. Thanks for that, how time must fly
     
  3. Right back atcha...
     
  4. This is true, however, the UK C130 fleet and the Seaking fleet carry out troop carrying roles without self sealing fuel tanks. This was a decision taken by the MOD at the time of fleet purchase to save money. Both airframes have a UK manufacturing source for self sealing tanks but the MOD saved money by not taking up this option at the time and has not come up with the money for a retrofit althought this is a simple option.

    Self sealing fuel tanks are relatively cheap at around £5-7K per tank depending on size and have about 1% impact on fuel load. Explosive suppresssant foam also has a 1.5-2.0% impact on fuel load.

    We are looking at a 40+ year history of penny pinching that is still being covered up.
     
  5. And the Chinook, has both. Funny old thing. Completely agree with your comments. Seems in this case, the biggest factor was shortage of manpower to effectively provide force protection, and shortage of equipment to sterilise the strip.

    Shortage of manpower and equipment, guess that is Afg in a nutshell.