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RAAF C130\'s grounded???


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Saw this on the Australian news this morning.

All RAAF Hercules aircraft grounded

Updated: 06:09, Wednesday September 17, 2008

The Defence Force has grounded its fleet of Hercules aircraft after an unusual fault prompted an emergency landing.

A Defence spokeswoman has told Fairfax newspapers the fault was detected on Monday night during a training flight near Richmond, north-west of Sydney.

She says a plane declared an emergency after its crew detected a fault with the nose-wheel.

The crew called a mayday but landed safely at the Richmond Base 20 minutes later.

Following the incident, all 24 of the RAAF\'s Hercules transport planes were grounded for all non-essential flights until the cause had been detected.

Anyone hear any thing about this????

As the RAAF operates H\'s and J\'s and given the age difference, one could assume that it maybe a local issue.

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Heard a bit today. Seems the NLG strut broke internally during some T&Gs at an \"austere\" field. The thing held together enough to bring them home and didn\'t fall apart during a \"very soft\" landing. Don\'t know the tail #, etc. Waiting to see pictures... Hope to hear more soon...

Senior Sends

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If the NLG strut fractured it is not the first time this has happened. In 1972, whilst based in Madang PNG engaged in flying famine relief supplies into Mendi, RAAF C130A (A97-213 I think) suffered a fracture at the base of the NLG strut. Luckily, the scissor link held the axle and wheel assy in place and, following a very well exectued landing where the nose was lowered very gently, the broken strut rested on the axle and virtually no secondary damage occurred. The pilot was DS, known among us as \"The Lockheed Legend\".

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Aircraft was A97-008 C130H.

Worse nose wheel failure was back in the mid 60\'s when a C130A had a similair problem, only that time the damage was bad and the underneath section under the flight deck floor had to be replaced.

Main thing is this bird will fly again soon and no one was hurt.



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Asking me to go back a long way but aircraft was 3208 I believe, and was demontrating short field landing on a open day. I think Jock Fordyce was the engineer.

If you put a posting on.


Someone will come up with the details.

Click on the photos hidden behind the squadron badges and you should find youself in younger days.

You can also register by clicking on Lance.

Regards Col

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The remaining 22 C-130\'s in the RAAF fleet were returned to normal status today. Investigations into the incident revealed the failure of the NLG strut was due to a manufacturing defect. Lockheed assisted the investigations.

Two aircraft (A97-010 and 012) have essentially been permantely grounded for several months now as a wind down on the H model fleet occurs.

On another note it has been announed that the RAAF Caribou fleet will be retired next year with no replacement as yet announced. The government is waiting an a new white paper to be released next year. The big tip is a fleet of C-27J\'s.

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Ok so now the offical Airforce investigation results are out I can talk about it.

I was the FE on the C130H that snapped the nose strut during a touch and go. and we had a QFI Check Capt in the right seat. It was the second touch and go for the night and as we were powering up past 15,000\"lb, we felt a thud as if we hit a fox or Kangaroo(and no it was not a heavy landing)we were past rotate speed so we took it airborne as it was a short outback strip. An inspection of the Strip later by the police showed we did not hit anything.

We left the gear down and I went down to look at the gear through the inspection window. The nose strut was broken off about 6\" from the bottom of the chrome. This is a picture you never want to see. The Nose Gear was left dangling only front sissor link and I could see the inside of casting of the front strut as it was tilted back towards me. The gear was just twisting and turning in the breeze.

The hour transit back to home base with the gear down gave us lots of time to work a plan and look at checklists 10,000 feet@160 knots.

We dumped the LOX as there may have been damage to that area anyway on touchdown.

The most suitable Check List to run was the Nose Gear retracted Main Gear Down one, as this gave you some proceedures and guidance on how to fly the approach and what to expect on touchdown. We had planned, or thought that on touchdown, the sissor link would snap and the nose gear break off and we would go down onto the top part of the strut.

If we retracted the gear the broken strut would have caused further damage to the doors and may have jammed later on down selection.

Just to add to the event, on descending into home base the no 1 engine oil cooler flap stuck closed in auto and manual, even tried resetting the CB. We kept the engine running as we really wanted to do a 4 engine touchdown with a broken nose strut,than a 3 engine one. Hey the book says between 100 and 150 deg C they just change the oil, that\'s a small work load for MX compaired to screwing up the touchdown.

On touchdown God was smiling on us. The mains were on first, the nose slowly holding it at stages,the nose wheels started to spin up and the broken bit of strut rotated FWD into the sissor link. The nose settled some more and the top part of the strut, settled onto the stuck portion of the broken bottom strut. All this on a bulging set of sissor links. We slowly came to a stop, then ground evacuated and yes I did turn the battery off.

End result is a very nose down aircraft but doors still off the ground with no major damage. Crew debrief over a few beers.

Cause .. it appears that it was a manufacturing defect in the strut and it would have happend to someone some day.. I guess that day was tonight and that someone was us.

So next Sim ride, practice that Gear check list, even the unrealistic ones, may one day be real. and dont forget to throw in a curve ball oil cooler flap as well


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Great recap Chris.Here is a old story I was in my plane cleaning the copit and watching two of are planes do touch and goes on the runway with student polit\'s 64-513 was coming in and I looked up and he was coming in pretty steep I din\'t know if it was the wind or what he just couldn\'t get the main gear to touch first he landed nose gear first slammed the tail down and it broke off drugged it down the runway. Bad day at Sewart. Maybe wrong about the tail number been a long time ago.

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bobdaley wrote:

Why were the 2 H\'s grounded? Center wing, Outer wing, Too many G\'s or too many hours? or maybe not wanting to do an overhaul if we are getting rid of them anyhow?



Chris maybe able to say more but i have been informed that they require major structural work and its uneconomical to do with the proposed winding down of the H fleet at this point in time. I believe they are been kept in a condition where if needed they can be repaired and returned to service at a later date.

Chris sounds like it was your lucky night, glad to read it all went well.

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Great report Chris. The story is as near as is possible to the event, previously posted, in Madang back in 1972. Significant differences were it was daylight, dumping cargo into Madang Harbour and not having a problem with an oil cooler actuator the situation was very similar, even down to having been operating into a limiting airstrip, namely Mendi at 5500\' AMSL and about 4000\'. Well done to you and the rest of the crew. Cheers Tony R.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The RAAF have been operating C130\'s since 1958 and this failure is only the second in the RAAF of which I am aware, so don\'t get too scared Zaherk. In both cases, the scissor link being positioned forward allowed the axle and wheels to trail in such a position to allow the nose to be lowered and the broken strut to settle into position with little secondary damage. At least the NLG can be viewed via the \"California\" window and an assessment of the damage made.

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