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US Herk

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Posts posted by US Herk

  1. Well, Tepper has a Honeywell glass cockpit and the instrumentation and power requirements are very different than the round gauge configurations of the various military Herks. I'm pretty confident this is why there's only a single inverter...just like the Lynden Herks (same avionics).

  2. Ahh...first engine start stories. When I was going through LRF, my stick buddy and I were regaled with stories about how much the crew messed with CPs. So, when he got into the seat the first time (I was 2nd, so on the bunk for the show), they started #3 normally, then started 4. As soon as 4 came up on speed, we got a fire light in the #3 handle. So, the IP says, "Shut it down". My buddy, the CP, looks at him with a smile on his face and says, "Really?" And the IP says, "Yes, really, cage it." My buddy looks at him again and says, "Really?" again. The IP, looks at him and says, "Copilot, this is your instructor pilot speaking, I want you to perform the emergency engine shutdown procedure on the number three engine...now."

    In the debrief while waiting for MX, the IP asks him what the deal was. My buddy says, I just thought you were messing around with us. That's all they told us in academics was how much them mess around. The IP asked him how in the hell did he think he made the light come on. My buddy said that was the puzzling part - he didn't see the IP do anything to turn the light on...

    I get to tell that story about once every other year and it's still funny to me to this day. It may be a 'you had to be there' kind of thing. My buddy is an O6 in the pentagon somewhere these days and I always remind him of that whenever I get to catch up with him. ;)

  3. I used to change things up and call things in the order they usually occurred: Start light, RPM, hydraulic pressure, oil pressures, fuel flow, ignition, parallel, starter, series, peak TIT, stable. ;)

    I know there are caveats to all of these, but I used to tell my new ACs that by listening to the FE and watching those things himself, he'd see the first four and then never had to take his eyes of the TIT or RPM gauges...

  4. We always parked them in a cross and uncrossed them when they unplugged the intakes prior to flight.

    I don't think the J prop is connected to the engine directly like the classics are, so that may be way they are feathered - I hadn't noticed (don't see many - yet)

    I'm sure a J guy will be on shortly and correct us.

  5. First, I don't know what the rules are for fire fighting, but I know crop dusters USED to be able to take off at 30% over gross. I don't know if they can AND this is what I've been told - never been a crop duster, but have lots of friends who have. Does this apply to helos? No idea.

    What I've found interesting is that here on civvie street, I, as the FO, do the W&B and it's not a Form F, nor anything like it. It's a spider diagram and plotting sort of method. My point? There's more than one way to skin a cat - no telling how different outfits operate the 'same' aircraft and still comply with the FAA...

  6. Asymmetrical thrust, usually 1 or 4 out, and low airspeed are the problems. Never but never get below 140kts with an engine out. I briefed 160kts. I've had two engines out on 1 side (1 and 2 both times) and below 160 it was a handful. The insidious problem was not the fin stall in itself but the accompanied rudder reversal. In a an engine out demo the way out is to immediately bring up the power on the retarded engine. We had one at Cherry point that was at low altitude(in the pattern) that was so violent it tore a refueling pod off the wing. What saved the AC was the immediate application of power on the retarded engine.

    Guess your 'never but never' admonition would preclude doing any 3-engine takeoffs. ;)

    Never speak in absolutes. ;)

    I find your numbers 'good practice', but nothing more. Vmca is adequate to maintain lateral control, and airspeed appropriate to weight is necessary to maintain altitude. Both of these come in well under 140Kts. All that said, I live by the mantra that 'speed is life' and 'altitude is only life insurance'.

    AFSOC is the last bastion of engine out work in the plane. Not sure for how much longer as they're trying to push everything to the sim like everyone else. They still do 2-engine work in the plane, windmill taxi starts, and simulated 3-engine takeoffs in the plane. Copilots even do engine out go arounds in the plane - it's all part of the respective checkride. My point is we do all of this every day without incident, often below 140kts. Granted, we're at training weights (generally below 135K for everything except the 2-eng & 3-eng T/O and then we're 120K and below) and heavier airplanes need more speed (Vmca goes up as does stalling speed).

    140 is a great number for many things, but if you can hear the plane talk to you, it's nothing but a reference.

    EDITED TO ADD: I retired last year, so I shouldn't talk in the present tense anymore about what AFSOC does. I do miss it, but at least I'm still flying the Herk!

  7. From a purely technical perspective, attitude always controls airspeed and power always controls altitude. It's a little more dynamic than that in practice and it's easier to teach more traditional concepts, but in truth, technically, it's always attitude = airspeed and power = attitude. A great book is Stick & Rudder - been in continuous print since the '40s. Another good book is Contact Flying - I recommend both to pilots of every persuasion.

    Traditional slow flight is a little bit slower than normal airdrop speeds and closer to threshold speed and expressed as a percentage of stall speed. So we're usually well above stall speeds during an airdrop.

    The challeng with a CG shift of a large/heavy load is the change in angle of attack when you are closer to stalling at slow speed. However, most CG shifts due to load extraction are quick and quickly recovered from, so the actual danger of exceeding critical AoA and stalling is small.

    I never got to do LAPES, it was out and then back briefly and then out again my first year or two in slicks. I have dropped MCADS which is well over 20,000lbs, so know first hand the significant CG shift with large/heavy loads. I can only imagine dealing with a LAPES CG shift of the same amount, or more, 10' off the ground. However, as we did MCADS in relatively close formation (200-300' on about a 45-60 degree line off the wing), I watched other planes often - there is typically a quick, small altitude gain as the load exits due to the change in CG pushing the tail down & nose up and the release of a large amount of weight. It seemed that 30-50' of altitude increase as the load exited was relatively common - I would assume the same was true during LAPES.

    Back to stall speeds - we don't really stall based on speed, we stall when the AoA exceeds critical AoA - regardless of speed. When we slow down and suck the flaps up for a CDS drop, we are closer to stall than if the flaps are down - this is because with a clean wing, we have to have a higher AoA than with flaps 50%, to maintain level flight. Now, add in high elevations, like the some of the LCADS and LVCDS drops done in the mountains of AFG, and you're very, very near to stall. Despite what our -1-1 charts say about stall speeds (same speed all the way up to 10,000, 16,000, or 25,000 depending on your model of Herk), your AoA increases (along with a corresponding TAS increase) as you increase altitude. After talking with test pilots on the Herk about this very subject, they say the test flights are typically done at 10,000 and not interpolated down, so you have more 'pad' at low altitudes, but agree that you do lose margin as you go up in altitude. But therein lies the challenge of using speed as your sole reference to stall. In a perfect world, we'd have an AoA gauge to back up our ASI - I know the J-model has a dynamic barber pole on the bottom of their airspeed tape and I'd love to know the algorithm behind it.

    Off on a tangent there, but I guess to bring it back to your question, we're typically not near enough to stalling during an airdrop for the CG shifts to pose much danger.

  8. I have agree with what "US HERK" said (above). An other good reason for using the laptop or tablet computer is it is close at hand (within easy reach) on the flight deck. A briefcase full of books and charts is usually not kept within easy reach of the pilots position.

    Honestly, I don't think that's a good reason. You (or your CP) should get all the charts required for the flight and PUT them in easy reach of the pilots.

    The one thing I prefer paper charts to electronic is the ability to open a big chart up to its full extent and get a good perspective of where things are in relation to each other and how far apart they are. Hard to do on a 10" screen no matter what level you zoom to. And I realize the EFBs will do distance calculations and all that, but it's not the same as having the 'big picture'.

    My point? As usual, it's long-winded (because I can type like a girl), but it's simply that for all of their advantages, epubs come with their own limitations, problems, and challenges. Some of the 'excuses' for using them don't wash...and please don't kid yourselves about why the USAF is going this direction; it's money. Just like the airlines - it's cheaper to subscribe to an electronic chart service than to pay for paper delivery. It's not that they're necessarily 'better' or more 'user friendly'. There are some great advantages...but they come at a price. There is no free lunch.

  9. I could be wrong because I've been out about a year now, but I don't think they're replacing FE -1-1 with the iPad. Even if they did, I don't know any of the AFSOC FEs who would NOT still carry their -1-1 anyway.

    That said, times, they are a-changin! When we first started mulling over epubs seriously about 10 years ago and took our first tentative steps towards it, we were having a discussion in OGV about open book tests. The policy at the time, as I think it was pretty much everywhere, was you brought your own pubs to take your open book tests with. We had one older Nav saying that if we allowed the crew dogs to use epubs, they'd still have to bring their own pubs for open book testing. This, of course, defeats the purpose of epubs entirely. As we got deeper into the debate, all of us older guys agreed that we learned as much looking for answers as we did studying on our own. And we didn't want to 'short change' the next generation by letting them just do a 'search' for the answer on their epubs. So our policy evolved to no epubs allowed for testing, but we provided the pubs. In the end, it never really materialized fully, so it was a moot point. One of the things I pointed out during the debate though, was that as foreign as reading on a screen was to most of us, we had to realize that the current and future generations likely are more comfortable reading and studying that way. Heck, many public schools have gone ebook because it's so much cheaper than traditional text books. Part of it is what you know & comfort zones and part of it is simple evolution.

    As for the calculator generation not being able to do a Form F. At my civilian operator, as the FO, I to do the weight and balance. It's not like a Form F, it's more like the envelope chart in the back of the books (more like what I saw the RAF using). Most LM can load a plane w/o a Form F and the Herk will fly well beyond either limit, so you really just need to be close (although that is definitely not the legal answer, nor am I advocating that, but knowing what your plane will/will-not do is always useful). The old saying, 'Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe' springs to mind! ;) So, are calculators useful? Absolutely. Can I do my job w/o one. You bet, but why? Many times I've not had a calculator already - it's simple addition for the most part. ;)

    I do agree that allowing calculators in schools means that a majority of kids and adults today cannot do long division by hand. But do they need to? I *feel* they should be able to, but, do they really NEED to? The answer is a resounding NO. Batteries do die, but there are so many electronic devices these days and virtually all of them have basic calculator functions built in that it is no longer a novelty, nor even a convenience, it just IS. I tend to agree with the older generation that it's still nice to know how to do it (I can still even do square roots long hand if needed, but why bother?), but it's evolving regardless of what we think it should be.

    And when I left AFSOC last year, they were just getting iPads, but they were so locked down and restricted, they may as well have gotten Kindles or Nooks - they were a glorified e-reader and nothing more. I know they want to evolve to something else, but they weren't there yet. That said, many of the major airlines are using them, the FAA accepts them, and it is the future...whether we like it or not. ;)

  10. I remember when the ANR system was first put on...folks were getting shocked through the lip mic!! We all just pulled the breakers for them...seems like a year, but it was probably only a couple months later, somebody figured out just what you're talking about; the cords had been wired wrong for use with the ANR.

    The ICS on the T2 is fair on the best of days. There's far too much feedback in the system, it can't handle being loaded up with multiple crewmembers, it can't handle mixed headsets (some guys wearing Bose, some guys wearing DCs), the hum is directly relative to the pilots instrument lights, and it's almost impossible to get a good balance between the radios. They really need to update the system to a modern digital system with some sort of AGC and better filtering...not that it affects me anymore. ;)

  11. As a recently retired, long-time AFSOC Airman, present during the CSAR years, and also doing my penance at Kirtland, I do not believe they are a good fit.

    While the skillsets required for the two missions are similar in many ways, the missions and attitudes are not compatible.

    One man's opinion only.

  12. Is this an Argentinian Herk? Some mod they threw together during the Falklands War?

    Yes, the Argintines did try to do a dambusters-style bouncing bomb, but it didn't work.

    However, if you overlook the word "pushed" in the original post you quoted, you can easily lump the BLU-82/B and MOAB in with those.... ;)

  13. At Red Flag sometime in the late '90s, we hung an AIM-9 on a rail that had been used for our QRC-8402 pods on a Talon II. We had to take the pod off to install the Red Flag tracking pod. The adapter we put on was a standard adapter to hang missiles.

    We took a picture and sent it in to Jane's...never heard anything after that. ;) I'm certain they looked at the background, figured it was at Nellis, and assumed it was just the stunt that it was...

  14. And truth be told, you could take a slick, put it in an orbit overhead day or night, and the $hith3@ds are gonna run and hide.

    Did that in Somalia...worked then. ;)

    I have never heard of a fighter attack on a herk.... anybody know of one???????

    Didn't Argentina lose one to the Brits - took a couple missiles up tailpipes and kept limping along...finally had to strafe the cockpit. Or so the stories go....

    EDIT: Looks like it might've been wishful thinking - here's one account:

    1 June - C-130 Hercules: Number 801 Squadron CAP (Lt. Cdr. "Sharkey" Ward and Lt. Steve Thomas) destroyed an Argentine C-130 Hercules approximately 93 kilometers north of Pebble Island. Ward's first AIM-9L Sidewinder missile fell short of the C-130, but the second started a fire between the inner and outer port engines. Ward then fired 240 rounds from his Harrier's two ADEN cannons, this action broke off the wing of the enemy aircraft, sending it crashing into the sea and killing the seven crew members. Although this particular C-130 was performing a daylight reconnaissance flight, the Argentinians had been using a C-130 to attack merchant ships re-supplying the task force by simply pushing a bomb out of the back of the aircraft as it flew over (one bomb struck a ship, but bounced off to no effect).[9][10] They were also using the aircraft to lay land mines around Port Stanley and resupply the Argentine forces. The Argentinian crews aboard were captains Rubén Martel and Carlos Krause, vice-comodore Hugo Meisner among the officers Miguel Cardone and Carlos Cantezano joining at petty officers Julio Lastra and Manuel Albelos.[citation needed][clarification needed]

    While searching for that, however, found this:


  15. There are long missions that require them, no doubt. My point is that most of the time, you're carrying extra weight and drag and not actually using the gas in there. Unless you're doing one of the long missions that require all 18K of fuel, you're wasting gas. My 2/3 comment is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but you do waste a lot by carrying them around...

    There was a study at LRF back in the early '90s and it was decided that they were going to take all the tanks off the 16th AS birds, off 2/3 of the 62nd birds and 1/3 of the 50th/61st birds. Lots of numbers run to show how/why etc. In the end, it was scuttled by MX mostly because there was no place to store the tanks - they would've had to build a new facility that complied with so much EPA crap it just wasn't economically viable.

    But the numbers were there to support it from a fuel savings perspective alone.

    Many of the commercial Herk operators put the tanks on when they need them. Otherwise, they run w/o them 80% of the time. Crossing the Pacific? Yep, you need them. Look to industry - that'll show you where the money is. Military doesn't care about that sort of thing...for the most part.

  16. It's my understanding that only special mission requirements dictate the external tanks on J models. The increased fuel efficiency with the J model engines/props provides for enough fuel to be contained within the wings...externals just increase drag.

    Agreed for the most part - hence my comment that you need to burn 2/3 of it to just carry them. I could see some long-range missions where the externals might be of use....

  17. You burn approx 2/3 the fuel IN the tanks to be able to even CARRY the fuel. So, yes, you ca go farther with externals than without, but you can fly far more efficiently without them than with....

  18. On the standard H, there is a pressure box on the inside. The lever/handle is on the inside as well. The refueling panel is on the inside too. I would assume everything is very similar for the J...although I'd expect the refueling panel to be updated/different.

  19. If you flamed out all 4 engines the only way you could get those bad boys fired back up is if, well you were able to tie the bus in flight, but I seriously doubt those B models have that TCTO done.

    The only other option you have is to attempt to intentionally decouple a prop, let it spin and get you a generator back to restart the others...desperate, but about the only thing going. You've got the rest of your life to figure it out.

  20. The answer, like many aviation questions, is - "it depends". It depends how your aircraft was certified and to what standard. The civilian L100/L382 aircraft have published maximum zero fuel weights. The military C-130 versions have charts which give you maneuvering categories and wing relieving fuel once cargo reaches a certain point.

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