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US Herk

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Everything posted by US Herk

  1. Training vs real world. Simulated vs actual. AF books told us to calculate the highest check speed/time so it would be the most accurate - normally 10kts below the rounded down GO speed (whether that was T/O or Refusal). My concern is this has always reduced the margin for error, so I would ask my FE to crunch 20kits lower when the numbers were "tight". The challenge is in the acceleration curve. The faster you go, the faster you go faster. Once again the challenge is the acceleration curve. The ability to stop is based 100% on accelerating to that speed normally. This determines a distance remaining once you reach that point. Since a normal acceleration will achieve that speed sooner, you have more runway remaining than if you reach that speed later. This really isn't the "two trains leave the station" kind of problem it appears on the surface. And it's all because acceleration is a non-linear curve. ADDED: This acceleration curve is why we usually "blow through" the accel check speed. In my last plane, we rarely missed it by anything less than 10-20 knots, forget the 3 knot tolerance. This goes beyond 95% vs 100% engines by a wide margin...and we rarely had 100% engines. My brothers on the Talon I side of the house had to have 97% engines for their TF and I've discussed this concept with them as well - they had similar experiences - "beating" the accel time speed by wide margins. So there's a pad in there that's padded on the wrong side of the equation if you ask me... I really won't argue this with you too much. It's too counter-intuitive and goes so far against our training it is difficult for people to grasp/believe. I finally had a physics guy/pilot reach my same conclusion, but it almost cost him an ulcer by the time I convinced him... This is a 'light bulb' kind of thing - the worst part is it's incredibly difficult to convey as it seems so counter-intuitive. I'll just ask you to keep an open mind, don't completely discount what I'm saying, and just look up when the nav calls "time" and ask yourself if you could stop if you had to. I believe things are padded too much on the acceleration side and these relationships are skewed worse in high DA situations. Yes, but there is a reaction time built into the computation (I believe it's 2 seconds). This is what the OP was referring to and hence my reference. Because acceleration isn't linear, it is an exponential curve. That, and at least one no-kidding, real-world, I missed my accel/time check, but no way in H**L I could stop meant I had to go. Fortunately, our T/O numbers are padded as well...even max effort T/O. Previous experience in another AF had given me the ability to make a different decision based on more than just theory and numbers...and we all lived to tell the tale...with some margin. This event precipitated my scrutiny of accel time check numbers. If I can continue past "go" and still stop, why would I take the airplane into the air if I don't have to? The concept of V1 vs VR is a jet thing. Jets are more stop limited than go limited. Herks are more go limited than stop limited. In other words, I can land places I can't take off from (the J-model is the other way around and I'd be curious to crunch their numbers - I'll bet the traditional thinking works far better for them). So I'm usually able to stop. So, long runway, heavy plane, I will leave it on the runway until 5-kts below nosewheel speed (if I can get there, or whatever my real refusal is). Knowing that I can still lose an engine after "go" and still stop comfortably. Speed is life. Altitude is only life insurance. A sick plane on the ground with room to stop is far better than a sick plane wallowing just out of ground effect. I've had the occasion to operate at extreme gross weights operataionally (well over 180K), conducted take offs at extreme low speeds (low 80 knot region), climb terrain at charted 1.3 Vstall in test profiles, fly deep stall profiles (test), and operated 3-engine in many regimes. There are margins and pads built into every aspect of our performance book. Most of them are very positively in our favor and a very few aren't that accurate (recent Vmca changes prove this, but the ongoing Vmcg issue also illustrates this). Fortunately, we don't spend much time in the margins. I didn't teach anything contrary to our books. I always trained A/Cs to follow the performance books. Instructors, I challenged to understand more of what was going on. I offered my experiences for them to think on. I told them I could not tell them to ignore the books, but to think about things, use their own experiences, and always have a plan-B. I also told them my secret was that I always planned to fail up until I succeeded. In other words, I assumed I'd abort every takeoff until I left the ground. I assumed I'd "no drop" on every drop until the LM called, "load clear". I assumed I'd go around out of every single landing until I touched down and was decelerating. And so on. It's not a failure mindset, but a mindset to survive. Those "two second" reaction times they always talk about are real...even when you're prepared. The tough part is making the decision, what you did after that was canned - or at leas thought through by preparing. Folks who didn't do it that way, often ate more time than they needed to. Sometimes, those fractions of a second are important. Good judgment comes from experience and experience? Well, a lot of that comes from bad judgement. - that's one of my favorite quotes (attributed to many people), but some experience comes from bad luck too - that counts as well - if you survive. Always learn - even if it's what not to do. But in that case, don't learn too much! EDITED (added a short paragraph above and the following) - I will concede that my old airplane may have had worse numbers. And I certainly don't mean to imply that all C-130s always perform the way my experience was. There were corrections and factors into the speeds we had in the cockpit (KCAS vs KIAS) and I was never confident those always translated correctly into our -1-1. However, if there were factor-induced differences, it only magnified an existing problem, it didn't fabricate one that didn't exist.
  2. I always briefed my FE to do just that when it really mattered... This only compounds the problem on one side. In theory, you will reach your speed sooner and thus have more distance to stop. But with an abnormal acceleration, in some circumstances can find yourself further down the runway and unable to stop. It defies initial review (two trains leave the station, one is slower, at the end of a given time, which one is farther down the track). The problem lies in the fact the acceleration curve has been factored into distance remaining - and that's just not quite right. I've experienced the same in Norway when very torque limited. I didn't trust those numbers at all for the acceleration check time. And the 2-3 second delay is reality. As much as we sit here in the comfort of our air conditioned easy chairs and talk about how quickly we can identify something, I watch experienced crews in the sim eat up valuable concrete in abort scenarios trying to figure things out. When it's happening to you in real time, it's amazing how much our brain speeds up and distorts the passage of time...makes us think we're lightning quick, when, more likely, we're average. The challenge is, how did you get to that speed? You had to accelerate there. That acceleration eats a theoretical distance of your available concrete up. Acceleration is not linear, it is a curve. The faster you go, the faster you go faster. So too is stopping, although not as sharp a curve. The slower you go, the slower you can go slower. But your point is correct - for a given speed/weight, Vr is, effectively, a distance. We simply represent it as a speed primarily because that's what we've got in the cockpit to measure it. Because it is a speed, measured on an airspeed indicator, wind affects the reading of it. Wind also affects the actual performance of the plane - there is a lot of surface area to deal with. That's why the headwind and tailwind corrections are in the books. No, the SPEED Vr remains the same. And because you're measuring it with an airspeed indicator, wind affects it. And because of the huge surface area, wind affects the actual performance of the plane. So to answer the last question in this selected quote: Yes. What question is asked a lot? Vcef solves two problems simultaneously (is there a speed where I can lose an engine and either stop or go) and Vr only solves one problem (how fast can I go and still stop). I'm over-simplifying, I know, I'm not trying to provide the checkride definition here, merely simplify for illustrative purposes. Sometimes, there are "two" Vrs - the one that's posted on the card (which is often limited by takeoff speed) and the actual one. I always asked my actual Vr - especially when heavy. As for why, that's a different discussion on non-standard ops... Based on what you've posted thus far, I think you're oversimplifying Vr.
  3. I like where this is going. Yes, for a given weight, all else being equal, there will always be a set distance required to stop from any designated speed. This is due to limitations of brake energy and on the civilian side, the charts are even labeled as such. The problem we solve with refusal speed is we determine what the acceleration side of the equation can be to still fit in with the stopping side. What varies is the acceleration side. The stopping side is pretty fixed for a given weight and speed - how quickly can you get to that speed is what varies the most. Winds just put extra numbers in each of these equations. I never fully trusted the acceleration check times. I think they're padded far too heavily on the acceleration side and additionally, don't compensate for higher density altitudes very well. We were always taught to use the highest speed we could to get a more accurate time, but all that does is cut into your margin even more. Far too many times I looked up when the Nav called "time" and asked myself the question, "could I stop from here if I had to?" and more often than not, the answer was, "I don't think so"...this seemed to be far worse at high DA.
  4. Briefly. I've not had a scheduled line there - only stopped through LAE & POM for customs/fuel. No RON. That line actually goes fairly senior.
  5. I just replied to a post of his a few moments ago....eerie. Very sad to hear this. Thoughts to his family and friends during this difficult time. RIP & tailwinds
  6. Very close to what I remember too: Canopy (Check for malfunctions) Visor (raise - unless a tree landing) Mask (remove) Seat Kit (jettison the seat kit onto its lanyard) LPU (if water landing and you had them on) Four Line (pull and release sharply) Steer (turn into the wind) Prepare (to land) PLF & scream
  7. Definitely both feathered and likely just a weak prop brake. When I had them on FCFs, I'd slow down and see if they stopped. Quite often, once stopped, you could speed back up and the brake would hold - of course, I wouldn't do something like that with two out! Flaps may indeed be at 20%. With the Fowler design, plenty of lift with less drag penalty (there is always some) moving them back - it's a lesser used technique and seems to come and go in and out of favor. Depending on their weight, it may not be any real penalty at all...
  8. Like it or not, gentlemen, the war has changed. Few, if any, USAF guys associated with airplanes are truly "in country" like Viet Nam. Sorry our war isn't quite as ugly as yours was. I've been retired over a year now, but I feel like that old Harley saying: If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand. It's not better or worse, just different. Tell me again how you walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways and were thankful. ;)
  9. But the B2 guys don't actually see body parts flying. They drop their bombs from the safety of altitude and never actually see the carnage they wreak. On the IR, you can actually see the heat leaving the body, especially with massive blood loss. That's death personified. The drone guy may have watched this guy for weeks or even months before "pulling the trigger". Maybe watching it all happen live on a TV screen is no big deal. Can you say it doesn't affect them, because I sure can't. I don't miss that point at all. That's why I said in my first post that he DOES go home to mama and the kids and why his medal does NOT, in my opinion, not necessarily deserve to be above battlefield medals. But I don't think his mission warrants the seeming ridicule that is heaped on it, like he's playing nintendo in a trailer somewhere - there's a lot more to it and very much a mental angle here that is far, far different than the finance officer in his cubicle. Something I don't know if most of us can appreciate very well.
  10. I see your logic. I'm ambivalent on that issue. That would be up to the Purple Heart review board. The Enola Gay ground crew and Manhattan projects are not valid comparisons. They are not watching it happen when it happens, they are not witnessing the carnage with their own eyes, they are not part of the "kill chain", they do not "push the button". Perhaps we will have to agree to disagree as you can't seem to understand the distinction I'm making. I apologize, for I fear it is that I've simply failed to explain it well enough...
  11. After following some dude & his family for days, then getting the authorization to blow him up in his car with his family, doing it and seeing the body parts fly, knowing the carnage you just inflicted, then driving straight home to mom and little Johnny in his air conditioned car -- Yeah, real easy. You'd have to be borderline sociopathathic to not have some psychological issues here. The difference on the front, where the blood and gore is in your fact and not on a TV screen is that there is some time to decompress. There is some time to separate yourself from the situation. There is time to talk with your buddies about it. Then you go home. Rarely immediately, often months later. Time heals all wounds. "Decompress" is the current buzzword, but it's really about time and compartmentalizing things. I'm not saying either one is the same as the other, or that one is more difficult than the other, simply stating that taking another life is a traumatic event for most people. Seeing human carnage is a traumatic event for most people. Being responsible for taking the life and causing the carnage is a traumatic event. It absolutely does change things as to your location (face-to-face vs 5,000 miles away in a trailer), but it doesn't make it go away and it doesn't make it any less real. This is what makes the drone driver different from the finance officer in his cubicle stateside. Here's something most of us can relate to; aircraft crashes. Most, if not nearly all, of us know folks who died in crashes. I promise you it's different if you saw them that afternoon vs you hadn't seen them in years. One is an immediate sense of grief and loss, the other is a somber remembrance of a friend. Proximity and time have a lot to do with the psychology of traumatic events. It's a similar construct with drone guys vs battlefield warriors.
  12. That these guys save lives day in and day out is not the argument. That their ability to significantly impact the battlefield is not the question. I think, for most, what rubbed raw the most, was that this proposed medal would be of superior ranking than traditional battlefield medals. The stresses these guys are under are not the same, but they are also not the same as the finance officer sitting in a cubicle in Offut. They see first-hand the effects of weapons either at their disposal, directed by them, or simply monitored by them after others do the dirty work. This is a real stress and one that is difficult to quantify. In the theater of operations, you have, at least, a couple of days to decompress after a challenging situation. These guys go straight home to mom and little Johnny. That has got to present some unique psychological challenges. All that said, if the ISR world didn't think they received enough recognition, or the current medals didn't do justice to their job, I don't have a huge beef with creating a new medal, but I think it far more reasonable to simply expound on the criteria for the various current medals to give them appropriate recognition. If a new medal was indeed warranted, its placement in the hierarchy would always be contentious... ...just like giving missleers flight jackets or Cheyenne Mountain folks flight suits. The culture change is never done without waves or hurt feelings, but it needs to make sense. I'm glad Hagel has put this on hold for now.
  13. My guess would be certification issues. Its one thing to put a FADEC on a powerplant, it's another thing entirely to make the plane fly by electrons and get that through certification. With the existing flight control systems already certified by the FAA and accepted by the USAF (and RAF, the lead customer), it would get acceptance quicker, be maintained with the same maintenance, minimal manual revisions, minimal training differences, minimal logistics changes, etc. It's cheaper and efficient. Besides, it works well...especially for a combat aircraft.
  14. I'm not certain where the snubbers are installed. What I do know is it drives MX batty because the -6 FCF has never been updated. It's only the first start of the day for the first pump in each system. It will often read full system pressure for 20-45 seconds before the light goes out. If you shut it down, and crank it back up, it works perfectly. Most H2 and newer do this to some degree or another...a few are very bad. All the pre-H2 go out when they're supposed to...or thereabouts. Even on non-FCF sorties, I'd do the full -6 FCF check on the hydraulic system. Crank number three, wait until the light goes out, cycle the controls to make the light come on, verify full system pressure when on speed. Turn the pump off, bleed all pressure off, and then start #4 and do the same again. I've only ever caught one failure like this - the #4 light went out immediately. It was repeatable and it wouldn't come on until pressure was less than 100psi. But nobody ever checks it like the -6 unless they're doing an FCF (except my dorky arse), they just leave #3 up on speed and crank #4 - as long as the light goes out and #4 can maintain pressure after on-speed, they're happy (and that's all they're required to do by the -1). So who knows how long that plane was flying with a bad pressure switch. Not a huge deal, but my silly check caught something. Don't do it in the commercial world - we're too busy getting the plane moving to fiddle around with the checks like that...
  15. Does anyone have the color-coded dash-1 diagram of the E-model A/C system electronically?
  16. Worst nose wheel shimmy I ever had was when the gear actuator strut pulled away from the bulkhead. One ear broken, the other ripped away from the bulkhead....we parked it on landing and a mobile team fixed it right there. ;)
  17. What I meant to type, but didn't, was that on the H2 and up we get full system pressure indicated, but the low pressure lights don't go out - often for 30-60 seconds. Crazy. We typically get pressure indications as soon as the engine is turning - comes up right after RPM typically.
  18. I'm not arguing what the book says - all the books I've ever seen all say the same thing....What I will say is that I've not seen ANY system take longer than 10-20% RPM before indicating SOMETHING.... SO - there are book limits (indication by on speed, full system pressure by on speed+30 seconds), and there are practical limits....just pay attention and know what's "normal" and what's not.... Most H2 and newer planes won't see full system pressure until 20-30 seconds after low-speed or on-speed. Something odd about their buffers or whatever....most E models and early H-models will show full system pressure far earlier....the books remain the same.
  19. I'm very familiar with that check - it's part of the -6 FCF. But IIRC, it's also an FCF failure if the button doesn't activate LSGI regardless of whether or not the overspeed check works. I've never had that on an FCF (and I've done a lot - currently work as a contract FCF/ferry pilot with ARINC), but if I had, I would've accomplished the rest of the engine runs & data gathering before terminating. I would not have flown it on an FCF or training line. If it was an operational mission and I had no LSGI, I'd do the overspeed check as you suggest and take it if it's good - we can fix it after the war. If we're on the road w/o any MX and the plane needs to move - I'd do my best to convince leadership I could take it. And therein lies my point about your experience counting more in this instance. It also illustrates my point about the gray areas and differences and why they're there. However, ops doesn't have the option to take this plane in their books (unless it's recently changed - and books generally get more conservative, not less so). I think this is a legitimate write-up. I suspect we're in violent agreement on most of this - the issue is merely one of perspective. I don't know that I would put this LSGI button in the realm of 'minor'. An oil pressure gauge not reading exactly zero when shut down; minor (yet I saw a slew of planes written up for this by two FEs). Even leaky props, while a matter of relativity, are generally minor in my book. And I'm certain we can both continue to cherry-pick stories to prove our respective points - my original point was that the books are different for a reason. And 'acceptable' writeups have changed over the years - typically they change on the ops side quicker than the MX side. Sometimes it's even local culture driven. You also have to realize there's a 'comfort factor' on the grey area stuff. Guys with more experience are generally more comfortable with many things a greener crew would balk at. My contract FCF crew and I generally will get a plane wherever it has to be...and there's several times I can assure you an AD crew would've broken the plane. But between the three front seaters, we've probably got an accumulated 25K-30K flying hours & 75+ years experience - not your typical green-suit crew. Experience counts. MX Hero - I love MX heroes. I've also 'made' MX heroes by fixing things for them, or launching a plane nobody else would've, or actually fixing the plane myself on one or two occasions (and I'm not talking about changing bulbs). Far more often though, it is the guy on the line who is the hero. He's out there before I get there when I'm complaining about how early it is. He's the guy turning wrenches for an on-time takeoff when I'm staying warm inside. He's the guy getting soaking wet to unplug my plane while I'm at base ops filing a flight plan and eating a doughnut. And I'm glad he's on my team because I couldn't do any of it without him. And without both of us working together, we all fail. This type of discussion is generally better over a beer. The written word leaves out a lot & is too easily mis-understood... Agreed. Nevertheless, we're all on the same team. It's the us-v-them attitude that keeps us from learning from each other, or teaching each other. Often. Crew, generally, move up via experience - often due to tenure too - but generally by experience 'gates' (xx years & hours to upgrade to instructor, AC, etc). That's not the best filter, but better than 'grooming' for upward mobility (although that admittedly happens sometimes too).
  20. Would it not go to LSGI or did the button not stay down? Those are two different animals for ops. If the button won't stay down, I can fly it as long as it low-speeds when I hold it down. If the engine won't go into low-speed at all, we don't fly it because overspeed protection might not be there & we don't know for sure w/o changing parts. Experience counts though. Engine runs are always on the ground. Not telling you yours doesn't count, just that it's different. Let me tell you a different story and I'll come back to this. I was on a SQ trip with a couple planes. Swapped planes one day and noticed the rudder was a little stiff on the right side, but torque makes you push on the right side harder, so I went with it for the moment... I flew the first portion of the sortie, and asked MX to look at it. I didn't like it and I don't write stuff up just to show you how much I know - I want to fly. I told them if they didn't find anything, I'd take it for the second lift of jumpers and check it out again. On takeoff roll, I asked the other pilot to feel it and see what he thought - he agreed it was stiff, but wasn't sure if it was bad or not - I took the plane back, finished the takeoff, dropped the jumpers, and then went out and did some rudder air work. I brought it back. The pro-super told me he'd checked the rigging and the hydro and it was all good. I apologized to him, told him I wasn't trying to make him do extra work, but could he check again because it just wasn't right & maybe it was the lack of air load that he couldn't duplicate that was masking the problem. 17yrs and 5K+ hours at that point and it just didn't feel right to me...even though other guys didn't write it up prior to this (the plane had been flying all week with the other crew, which included a guy with more experience than me). Next day, we came in to find the rudder off - all of the rudder hinge bearings were bad. Experience counts. And that works both ways. It counts on MX side as well, but I respectfully beg to differ that your 3000hrs worth of write-ups is the same as 3000hrs flying behind those engines. Those two comparative numbers mean different things - sometimes, yours is far more valuable and other times, the FE's will be. It depends on what we're talking about and what the writeup is. Circling all the way back to the LSGI button story (told you I'd come back), your experience is more valuable because you know that 99.9 times, it's going to be the solenoid and not the actual fuel control, but the FE can't go by that if it won't go into LSGI (if he doesn't take just the button holding, he's being a bit of a girl) and we get into an us-v-them and not understanding why the books are different again...your interpretation is always going to be ops is making MX do work they don't need to and our interpretation is always that MX doesn't want to fix the planes because their books are different and give them an 'out'. Regardless, by the time we're to the my crank is bigger than yours game and throwing years and hours around, we've already lost...
  21. MX is graded on metrics by HQ. On time takeoff, mission effectiveness, etc. These are entered during debrief. They are briefed to OG/CC daily. What has changed is the coding. There is a lot of leeway to put certain things into certain categories and many chase the briefing slides so they look good. For example, if a crew goes to a spare, they'll get charged an "ops add" and it looks good for MX in the slides (scheduled generation: 3, actual generation: 4) and then they want a 2407 to request the "ops add". It's a ludicrous paper and briefing game that changed in '99. The challenge is not the guys on the line - they still kick a$$ and work to get safe planes for the crews - it's the upper management. When I'm ETICing and I get asked what percentage I'm going to give them if they'll give me the plane, that's the wrong response. Or I get told that they can't generate the plane unless they get at least 51% so it's an "effective" mission. Or we get into the sliding ETIC game hoping that ops will CNX so they can mark it up that way. Again, it's not the guys on the line, it's the management - and certainly not all of them. It seemed to be cyclical - every 6-9 months it'd hit us again. About the time HQ beats up on the MXS for their stats... And for ops' part, there were crews who would write up every little niggly thing to get back at MX. That's BS too. I watched FEs argue over whether or not the oil pressure gauge was really reading zero with everything shut off. I'm all for having a black letter plane, but really, I'd rather just go fly. If it isn't healthy, it'll let me know. It gets into a vicious circle. That's why I said to quit worrying about metrics and focus on mission effectiveness. MX works on sorties and ops works on missions - ops doesn't care how many planes it takes to get a mission done, but MX does. It's the wrong focus. This is why I think it'd be better if production & CC were back under ops - we didn't have these sorts of ridiculous conflicts then. No argument here. The guys on the line have pretty much always worked their tails off. And always understand when there's a safety issue. To the post that sparked my original response - when there are discrepancies between the -1 & the -2, it's my belief they are there for a reason. It's this grey area that delineates broke and hard-broke...it gives you wiggle room when you need it. Flagpole training missions ain't it. And to tell ops that "it's in my book that way, so if you don't take it it's ops CNX" is a BS attitude. I'm not for making MX do unnecessary work, but there are wide tolerances on many things and narrow tolerances on others. Props and bleed air are things to be picky about. Personally, I never worried too much about prop leaks, but other folks are more conservative than I am and lump that in with "known prop malfunctions" - which is a bit offside, but it's their pink butt. As a long-time FCF guy, if I had a real heart ache with something, I'd talk to the DO and do an OCF on the thing. Or do some FCF "training" for a new guy. If it doesn't pass the -6 checklist, it gets written up. Fortunately, this was extremely rare. We could usually talk to the pro-sup and get it sorted. Another favorite with a repeat/recur was to invite MX to fly the mission...funny how that changed some minds too, depending on the writeup. Again, rare. The challenge is the concept that MX is getting graded on their briefing slides every morning. I can't tell you how many OG/CC I watched during morning stand-up "wave off" the "whose fault is it" slides. I saw at least two different OG/CC tell the MX OIC he didn't want to see those anymore, only to be informed they were required to be briefed... Too much thought goes into the nit picking. If we were all focused on generating missions instead of sortie counts, it'd be better. Again, it's not the line guys' fault at all, but currently the objective isn't quite the same because ops & mx are graded on different things, and that's wrong. I'm reminded of the old quote, "It's amazing how much can be accomplished if nobody cares who gets the credit."
  22. And therein lies the problem. Quit chasing metrics. The rewrite of the MX regs in '99 to include all these mandatory metrics has driven a wedge between ops and mx. The books are different for a reason. What may be acceptable to generate an aircraft if you're looking for generation numbers isn't acceptable for certain operational reasons. Are there grey areas that cover both edges of the differences in the books? Yep and those are reserved for true operational necessity, not a local pilot pro - and the crews know the difference. We really need to work together instead of against each other, but so long as MX leadership is driven by metrics instead of mission effectiveness, we're in a losing battle. *donning flame retardant suit*
  23. 155K is the normal maximum weight. 175K is the emergency/wartime maximum gross weight. I've taken off heavier to make a landing weight of 175K... ;)
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