15 November 2011

Video of July 2010 C-17 Crash in Alaska

The Air Force released a video that showed the flight, prior to the time of impact, of 28 July 2010 crash of a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage, AK.

According to a summary of the Air Force accident investigation, the aircraft was practicing maneuvers for an upcoming air show at the base. After the initial climb out and left turn, the pilot executed an aggressive right turn. As the aircraft banked, the stall warning system activated to alert the crew of an impending stall.

Instead of implementing stall recovery procedures, the pilot continued the turn as planned, and the aircraft entered a stall from which recovery was not possible. Although the pilot eventually attempted to recover the aircraft, he employed incorrect procedures, and there was not sufficient altitude to regain controlled flight. The four crew members; two pilots, a loadmaster, and a safety observer, were all killed, and the $185 million aircraft was destroyed.

The video below starts just before the takeoff of the accident aircraft and ends shortly before impact.

The head of the military accident board found clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the mishap was pilot error. The pilot violated regulatory provisions and multiple flight manual procedures, placing the aircraft outside established flight parameters at an attitude and altitude where recovery was not possible. Furthermore, the copilot and safety observer did not realize the developing dangerous situation and failed to make appropriate inputs. In addition to multiple procedural errors, the head of the board found sufficient evidence that the crew on the flight deck ignored cautions and warnings and failed to respond to various challenge and reply items. The board also found additional crew behavior and organizational factors contributed to the crash.

This was the first fatal crash involving the C-17. In two previous incidents, a C-17 sustained engine damage after being struck by a surface to air missile in Iraq in 2003, and a 2009 gear up landing in Afghanistan.

04 November 2011

Two gear up landings in October and November 2011

Gear up landings involving large jet airliners tend to be spectacular affairs that result in no injuries. Typically, crews are aware af the problem well in advance of the landing, giving ample time for both the airport authorities and anyone with a camera to get into position. Two recent gear up landing events in October 2011 in Tehran, Iran, and November 2011 in Warsaw, Poland certainly fit this pattern.

In the first event, the crew of an IranAir 727 on a flight from Moscow to Tehran had to land with its landing gear, in this case the nose landing gear, still retracted. As was the case with the LOT 767 landing, because of the skill of the crew, this event was spectacular, but not tragic. There were no injuries among the 94 passengers and 19 crew members.

The second event involved a LOT 767-300 on a scheduled international flight from Newark, NJ to Warsaw. The flight was uneventful until shortly before landing when the crew was unable to lower the landing gear. The crew continued to fly and burn off fuel for about 90 minutes, giving emergency crews time to foam the runway, and allowing the authorities to dispatch a pair of F-16s to inspect the LOT aircraft. The crew executed a successful gear up landing that resulted in no injuries among the 220 passengers and 11 crew members.

The first video is a summary of both events from the Conversation at AirSafe.com podcast, and the others are individual videos from both events.

Gear up landings in Warsaw and Tehran

Audio: MP3 | Video: YouTube | Download M4V

Related Videos

10 October 2011

US Coast Guard rescues pilot of ditched aircraft near Hawaii

7 October 2011, Cessna 310, near Hawaii: The US Coast Guard rescued a pilot who was forced to ditch his Cessna 310 aircraft approximately 13 miles from Hawaii. The pilot, who was flying solo from Monterey, CA, contacted the FAA when he was about 500 miles from Hawaii, estimating that he would run out of fuel about 100 miles short of the island chain. The FAA contacted the Coast Guard, which dispatched an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, and the USCG cutter Kiska to assist the Cessna.

The Hercules aircrew maintained communications with the pilot and guided him toward the helicopter and the cutter. After a successful ditching, the pilot climbed out of the cockpit onto the wing, and was rescued by the crew of the helicopter. The Dolphin aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer to pick up the pilot. The rescue swimmer hoisted the pilot into the Dolphin and the aircrew transported him to Hilo Medical Center. The 65-year-old pilot was not seriously injured.

Video highlights of the ditching and rescue

13 July 2011

Plane crash in Brazil kills all 16 on board

13 July 2011; NOAR Linhas AĆ©reas; Let 410; PR-NOB; flight NRA-4896; Recife, Brazil: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Recife to Natal, Brazil, and crashed in a populated area about one minute after takeoff, narrowly missing several buildings. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact and post crash fire. Both crew members and all 14 passengers were killed.

While this airliner accident resulted in fatalities, it is not counted as a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com

Initial News Reports (in Portuguese):

Video #1 (5:47), Video #2 (0:44)

11 June 2011

Very low flyby of jet trainer

While not a plane crash, the following event certainly has more than its fair share of risk. The following videos feature several views of a very, very low level flyby of an Argentinean FMA IA 63 Pampa jet trainer. The lowest pass was about three feet (one meter) off the ground, and passed very close to a group of observers on the ground. It is unclear when the flight took place, but the early uploads on YouTube were in the first week of June 2011. By luck, skill, or the grace of God, no aircraft or people were apparently hurt during these flybys.

View from the jet

View from the ground

Ground and air videos with comments from AvWeb

Both videos synchronized

10 June 2011

Iranian Air Force Ilyushin 76 breaks up in flight

22 September 2009; Iranian Air Force Ilyushin 76MD, 5-8208; near Varamin City, Iran:

The following video shows the view from the rear of an aircraft flying in formation with an F-4 Phantom. You can see the Il-76 tumbling out of control and experiencing an inflight breakup before crashing into the ground. All seven crew members on board the Il-76 were killed. At the time of the crash, the accident aircraft had been participating in the 2009 Sacred Defense air show in Tehran.

This Ilyushin 76, which had been fitted with radome and had been operated as an airborne warning and control (AWACS) aircraft, reportedly had some kind of engine malfunction and was maneuvering to land at Tehran-Mehrabad Airport. The radome detached and struck the tail fin, leading to the loss of control and inflight breakup.

Aircraft photo from the day before the crash

Iranian news report of the crash

Additional information at Uskowi on Iran