Expensive Mistake
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Thread: Expensive Mistake

  1. #1
    "Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there".

  2. #2
    SOH-CM-2020
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    Ooooooops!
    Keith

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    SOH-CM-2020
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    Maybe somebody here has some familiarity with the Vulcan and can address my comment. I would have thought that there is a mechanical "lock" like a wire or cable that can be inserted in the mechanism to disable firing if it is "locked and loaded" (so to speak) on the ground. I'm thinking of something similar to safety wires on bombs that are pulled by the ground crew as the aircraft is preparing to depart.

  4. #4
    There are. The odds are several mechanical and electrical safety features were disabled against procedure for some reason.

  5. #5
    SOH Staff Tako_Kichi's Avatar
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    "Oh, what does this button do!"................BWAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPP PPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!

    Larry


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by glh View Post
    Maybe somebody here has some familiarity with the Vulcan and can address my comment. I would have thought that there is a mechanical "lock" like a wire or cable that can be inserted in the mechanism to disable firing if it is "locked and loaded" (so to speak) on the ground. I'm thinking of something similar to safety wires on bombs that are pulled by the ground crew as the aircraft is preparing to depart.
    Aircraft I have flown have an interlock with the landing gear - along with many other things. Guns, bombs, rockets cannot be released with the armament switches. Not to say someone did not jury-rig something here - is the picture perhaps a spoof? If the rounds were not practice ammo, the fuselage would likely be confetti --

  7. #7
    Senior Administrator PRB's Avatar
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    Not the first time... This is video of USS Nimitz, 1988 during a WestPac cruise. An ordnance crew from VA-147 were performing a test called a "gun gas purge check". When the M61 cannon fires, there is a little door that opens and lets the gun gas out. To test this, you have to have the engine running and you have to bypass at least three (3) safety items that keep the gun from ever firing on deck. Then you have to arm up the system and pull the trigger. In other words, you have to actually fire the gun to do this check. Oh, one other thing in the checklist: no boolets should be in the gun when you pull the trigger... But this was a WestPac cruise, and this plane was fully loaded with 500 20mm rounds. Well, it takes about an hour to unload the damn gun, and that’s a lot of work! But, there is hope, because there is way this test can be done with 500 20mm rounds loaded without shooting any of them out of the gun. It has to do with the fact that even when fully loaded there is still several yards of gun belt with no boolets. So if you crank the gun belt in just the right way you could get maybe half a second before actual rounds start coming down the belt. And since you only have to tap the trigger for an instant to complete this test, well, they figured they save a lot of time by not unloading the gun. And because one of the safety devices is called a “gun clearing sector clamp”, which ensures that all rounds bypass the breech, they were fine even if actual rounds did get to the gun right? In theory, yes. But, as the investigation later revealed, the gun clearing sector clamp was not properly attached or had come loose. At least three rounds were fired. Two dead and several burned up planes.

    - Paul

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  8. #8
    Paul,

    When I was with VA-15, the gun gas purge door malfunctioned on one of our aircraft (1983 timeframe?) aboard the Indy. The result was not as catastrophic as with VA-147, however. The heat cooked off a couple rounds. One went through the cockpit, and the other went out the port side, near the magazine. Following that incident, a directive went out, downing all A-7s, pending inspection of the gun gas purge valve. Pete
    Last edited by Navy Chief; March 21st, 2020 at 10:55.

  9. #9
    Good Lord -- there never seems to an end of these types of things. Obviously live ordnance incidents are likely the worst.

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