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Pretty sure we've found a personnelist
Most bases that host only heavy aircraft don't have cables. If big AF wanted cables at airfields that don't have fighters for emergencies, they'd fund it.

Why should a base maintain equipment that they have no requirement for? (And that requirement could be big AF telling the base to maintain an emergency capability)

At least you pointy nose guys still have parachutes; us heavy drivers for the most part lost ours several years back
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6 hours ago, jazzdude said:

Most bases that host only heavy aircraft don't have cables. If big AF wanted cables at airfields that don't have fighters for emergencies, they'd fund it.

Why should a base maintain equipment that they have no requirement for? (And that requirement could be big AF telling the base to maintain an emergency capability)

At least you pointy nose guys still have parachutes; us heavy drivers for the most part lost ours several years back

Your profile says you're at Charleston. Do you have cables? Do you know why?

The original issue presented was a base commander making decisions at a base level, which might've contradicted "big AF"'s wants. Unknown if they made the decision to ask around before getting rid of the requirement, or if it was just missed by scrutinizing eyes beyond that location. Center the map around Tulsa and rethink whether the likelihood of events which could drive a divert to needing a cable (not a net) is worth maintaining a 100K/yr vs losing a 33+million dollar jet and buying risk at executing the seat option.

Parachutes shouldn't be plan A, B, or C. (redundant engines, fuel/time, suitable fields all are limited to the pointy nose guys)

 

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1 hour ago, brwwg&b said:

Your profile says you're at Charleston. Do you have cables? Do you know why?

The original issue presented was a base commander making decisions at a base level, which might've contradicted "big AF"'s wants. Unknown if they made the decision to ask around before getting rid of the requirement, or if it was just missed by scrutinizing eyes beyond that location. Center the map around Tulsa and rethink whether the likelihood of events which could drive a divert to needing a cable (not a net) is worth maintaining a 100K/yr vs losing a 33+million dollar jet and buying risk at executing the seat option.

Parachutes shouldn't be plan A, B, or C. (redundant engines, fuel/time, suitable fields all are limited to the pointy nose guys)

 

Sort of. To his point, he is absolutely right. You are correct from a holistic point of view that 100K/yr is a small investment to save 33M. However, you are robbing Peter to pay Paul. The airfield portion of an airbase has something similar to a doc statement just like units do that specify what capabilities they are supposed to / not supposed to possess. These are usually codified in a base support plan and they are driven by the NAF or the MAJCOM. If AFMC or whatever NAF this base falls under don't have a requirement for arresting gear in the BSP, then SAA has no obligation to maintain the cables and they area using money that has been appropriated for other things to do that. 

In the BSP there are usually agreements with supported units though and this is where you would find something like 12AF or ACC giving X$/yr to support whatever function in case of whatever contingency. 

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9 minutes ago, FLEA said:

The airfield portion of an airbase has something similar to a doc statement just like units do that specify what capabilities they are supposed to / not supposed to possess. These are usually codified in a base support plan and they are driven by the NAF or the MAJCOM. If AFMC or whatever NAF this base falls under don't have a requirement for arresting gear in the BSP, then SAA has no obligation to maintain the cables and they area using money that has been appropriated for other things to do that. 

In the BSP there are usually agreements with supported units though and this is where you would find something like 12AF or ACC giving X$/yr to support whatever function in case of whatever contingency. 

That makes the situation make more sense.  Thanks for the transparency, FLEA.

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Your profile says you're at Charleston. Do you have cables? Do you know why?
The original issue presented was a base commander making decisions at a base level, which might've contradicted "big AF"'s wants. Unknown if they made the decision to ask around before getting rid of the requirement, or if it was just missed by scrutinizing eyes beyond that location. Center the map around Tulsa and rethink whether the likelihood of events which could drive a divert to needing a cable (not a net) is worth maintaining a 100K/yr vs losing a 33+million dollar jet and buying risk at executing the seat option.
Parachutes shouldn't be plan A, B, or C. (redundant engines, fuel/time, suitable fields all are limited to the pointy nose guys)
 


Not at CHS anymore.

I assume you're a viper guy. So I get the single seat mentality and wanting options.

Scroll the map over and you've got Vance with barriers, and SPS down to the south has the same.

TIK has about as much city around it as TUL depending on the runway. Also, TUL has vipers based there as well, so I would guess it would not be unusual for one of their IFEs to recover to home field.

If a base needed to maintain a capability because big AF needs/wants it, it'll be tasked to the base. If not, then big AF just doesn't think it's important. Maybe the requirement was reviewed and deleted by the staff. If the HAF or ACC staff just missed it, well, that sucks. If it's a continuing ops issue, then up-channel the need up through your wing and to the staff.

And if it's truly important, and really was only $100K, it'd be easy for money to be moved to fund it if ACC or big AF really wanted the capability.

Agree that parachutes shouldn't be plan A/B/C, and that generally heavy aircraft have more fuel/redundancies/time to handle emergencies. But sometimes you don't, like wing fires (no way to put out the fire, and it has happened in the C-17 in the past) or cargo fires (may not have the capacity to effectively fight the fire or jettison the cargo), and it's a race against time to get on the ground.

Stuff costs money to maintain and operate, and the AF (and bases) budgets are just going to get tighter moving forward. It sucks, and hopefully your community has good people on staff to defend what you need to hack the mission safely.
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Jazzdude,

I said a cable and not a net for a reason. The likelihood of someone trying to land at TIK, having brake issues and deciding to go catch a net vs going to Tulsa (2x runways with cables) or just accepting landing on a long runway (Tinker) and hoping to stop on rollout while preserving the option to punch (an option that goes away if you're in the net) is too minimal...so for argument's sake, lets say END and SPS don't really help other than mutual support to each other.

You missed where I was going with the TIK/TUL comparison. Yes, TUL has vipers - my point was if they need to hold a divert base for WX, its in their interest to have one with a cable. Fort Smith pulled their cables and I'm too lazy to do much more sleuthing to determine what other options they have - but I'd wager its few and far between. So, a WX divert to TIK, drop the gear and realize something isn't right = automatically punch in the scenario now.  Maybe that's the cost of doing business, but I'll also wager they're considering that, carrying fuel reserve to at least trouble shoot if that happens, and therefore reducing training time.

You and FLEA seem to have a better understanding of the inner workings of how airfield capabilities get decided / funded. I found that bit educational at least. Maybe the bobs are accepting the risk, so be it. I'll get back to that.

I'm not arguing that you can find yourself in some shitty scenarios in a heavy as well. Your birds are far more costly and fewer in number, and aren't rolling off the line any longer...it's not surprising that your leadership would rather you focus on trying to race against time to get back on the ground vs just saying "f it I'm out" and riding the silk highway down.

You're right that with tighter budgets, leadership is forced to make difficult decisions - I'm just hoping they are accurately weighing risk. If we are accepting higher risk at home to train, it better be for a good reason. I think the jury is out on that - similar to some of the same decisions we've seen regarding adjustments to training.

To your last point, its likely blasphemy to say so, but I think low manning forcing under representation on the staff has hurt the 11F community in more ways than one

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Jazzdude,
I said a cable and not a net for a reason. The likelihood of someone trying to land at TIK, having brake issues and deciding to go catch a net vs going to Tulsa (2x runways with cables) or just accepting landing on a long runway (Tinker) and hoping to stop on rollout while preserving the option to punch (an option that goes away if you're in the net) is too minimal...so for argument's sake, lets say END and SPS don't really help other than mutual support to each other.
You missed where I was going with the TIK/TUL comparison. Yes, TUL has vipers - my point was if they need to hold a divert base for WX, its in their interest to have one with a cable. Fort Smith pulled their cables and I'm too lazy to do much more sleuthing to determine what other options they have - but I'd wager its few and far between. So, a WX divert to TIK, drop the gear and realize something isn't right = automatically punch in the scenario now.  Maybe that's the cost of doing business, but I'll also wager they're considering that, carrying fuel reserve to at least trouble shoot if that happens, and therefore reducing training time.
You and FLEA seem to have a better understanding of the inner workings of how airfield capabilities get decided / funded. I found that bit educational at least. Maybe the bobs are accepting the risk, so be it. I'll get back to that.
I'm not arguing that you can find yourself in some shitty scenarios in a heavy as well. Your birds are far more costly and fewer in number, and aren't rolling off the line any longer...it's not surprising that your leadership would rather you focus on trying to race against time to get back on the ground vs just saying "f it I'm out" and riding the silk highway down.
You're right that with tighter budgets, leadership is forced to make difficult decisions - I'm just hoping they are accurately weighing risk. If we are accepting higher risk at home to train, it better be for a good reason. I think the jury is out on that - similar to some of the same decisions we've seen regarding adjustments to training.
To your last point, its likely blasphemy to say so, but I think low manning forcing under representation on the staff has hurt the 11F community in more ways than one


Good discussion. I'm not trying to throw spears, or defend decisions, but usually there's a rationale that doesn't always make it back to the line.

We (C-17s) didn't lose our chutes because they wanted us to stay with the jet (or else why would the B-2 have election seats...) but lost them for cost savings in return for a small increase in risk. Money was saved by removing them because it meant fewer parachute riggers required (helping manning), reduced supplies/time required to maintain the chutes, reduced aircrew training requirements, and "fuel savings." We still have a couple parachutes for army JMs for airdrop, but good luck beating that LM to the parachute if everything goes downhill.

Agree on increased training risk-jury is still out, and hopefully we don't see an increase in mishaps, or worse, go to war missing proficiency in a needed skillset that was deemphasized.

And also agree on low manning hurting the 11F community-what's important to you guys gets lost without someone to advocate for you on the staff.

But that budget squeeze is real, and retention is nowhere where it needs to be, and it doesn't look like mission requirements will reduce in the foreseeable future...
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16 hours ago, brwwg&b said:

rethink whether the likelihood of events which could drive a divert to needing a cable (not a net) is worth maintaining a 100K/yr vs losing a 33+million dollar jet and buying risk at executing the seat option.

Our primary divert/airspace emer landing airport has no cables, for a $100M single seat airplane. I assure you the AF doesn’t give a shit, and will find a way to blame the pilot if someone ejects off the end of the runway because there was no cable to stop them during an EP.

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CE guy here.

FLEA’S words check. The money for barrier MX flows through CE channels. The CE squadron will often fund it out of pocket at bases where it is not authorized at the expense of other requirements. 
 

Extra cables are goodness to give you guys more divert options, but they are equally important to keep engineers trained on them. Arresting gear requires daily, monthly, and annual MX. The Airmen installing mobile arresting systems at a contingency location may have only touched them at tech school and a couple of exercises if they deployed from a base without barriers. A lot can go wrong on if you catch a cable that is installed or maintained incorrectly. Something to consider when you guys are running the AF someday.

 

Edited by frog
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8 hours ago, brabus said:

Our primary divert/airspace emer landing airport has no cables, for a $100M single seat airplane. I assure you the AF doesn’t give a shit, and will find a way to blame the pilot if someone ejects off the end of the runway because there was no cable to stop them during an EP.

Well, there's whats wrong with the AF for sure. Reactionary instead of proactive/preventative, and skirting blame where possible

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8 hours ago, frog said:

Extra cables are goodness to give you guys more divert options, but they are equally important to keep engineers trained on them. Arresting gear requires daily, monthly, and annual MX. The Airmen installing mobile arresting systems at a contingency location may have only touched them at tech school and a couple of exercises if they deployed from a base without barriers. A lot can go wrong on if you catch a cable that is installed or maintained incorrectly. Something to consider when you guys are running the AF someday.

 

A lot can go wrong if I end up somewhere without cables and needed them.  One of our primary diverts is an AFMC/AMC base that hasn't had fighters in decades and they keep their cables, which is nice.  However, if they didn't have cables, it would hardly impact our operations.  What's worse for us is places that don't have retractable cables...a pain in the ass and almost caused one of our guys (and more than a few others) a ride up the rails.  

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  • 1 month later...

IMG_4487.JPG.16d8aeb840b4e54e744eaef3d15f2c2b.JPG
Caption says: “KC-46A landing at Edwards.” You would think for an instrument refresher course, they could correctly ID the aircraft in the picture. I doubt that’s Edwards AFB either.

Also, 6 hr CBT as a pre requisite for a 1.5 hr class...that’s a bit much.

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1 hour ago, Danger41 said:

Or via pencil-whipped 1522. 

I think you’re being sarcastic with this, but I’ve always been surprised at how few pilots are interested in instrument refresher. I get that the CBT is boring af....which is why I advocate for in-person IRC. 

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I think you’re being sarcastic with this, but I’ve always been surprised at how few pilots are interested in instrument refresher. I get that the CBT is boring af....which is why I advocate for in-person IRC. 


Especially where we just read an AIB in which a dude morted and one of the contributing factors was a poorly flown ILS approach.
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Same thing happened in Germany or Italy( I forget which) in about 2007. I think the dude ended up punching. F16 as well. By “the same thing” I mean hitting the antenna and cocking a wheel sideways.

If memory serves it wasn’t a flown ILS but something about a non standard pattern or landing runway with visual illusions were contributing to why he his the ILS antenna.

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Same thing happened in Germany or Italy( I forget which) in about 2007. I think the dude ended up punching. F16 as well. By “the same thing” I mean hitting the antenna and cocking a wheel sideways.

If memory serves it wasn’t a flown ILS but something about a non standard pattern or landing runway with visual illusions were contributing to why he his the ILS antenna.


It was at Spangdahlem. Younger pilot drug in on final. Home station so he should have been familiar, but the south flow runway could give a visual illusion with rapidly rising terrain near the approach end. Yes he ended up doing a controlled ejection.


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11 hours ago, Hacker said:

I can't wait for the day when Big Blue starts shooting off the same platitudes that the airline industry does about, "visual approaches are the hardest thing we do".

IMG_4842.thumb.jpeg.345b965c56eabb2266929c67b80a346a.jpeg

I know you’re a fighter guy so you scoff at all things involved with flying an approach and landing as motherhood and admin- but look at the data; a lot of mistakes happen in those phases.
 

 I actually researched visual approaches for my BS embry top-off paper since I was intrigued by the only two operational go arounds I had seen in the C-17 being from visual approaches.  We do a ton of canned local patterns and a bunch of instrument approaches but when dudes get the random “Cleared for a visual” they’d F it up.  
 

The ASRS database actually had a lot of info on mistakes on visual approaches.  Not surprisingly most instances of trying to land on the wrong runway or taxiway (Seattle in particular) were from visual approaches. The takeaway from almost all of them was ignoring ILS/LOC/MFD data.  This is also very true in the C-17 landing at Peter O Knight instead of MacDill with Centcom/CC onboard.

Add:  The Shaw F-16 and Eglin F-35 crashes also show the importance of not neglecting the training for a VMC night landing. 

Edited by go_cubbies22
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35 minutes ago, go_cubbies22 said:

I know you’re a fighter guy so you scoff at all things involved with flying an approach and landing as motherhood and admin- but look at the data; a lot of mistakes happen in those phases.
 

 I actually researched visual approaches for my BS embry top-off paper since I was intrigued by the only two operational go arounds I had seen in the C-17 being from visual approaches.  We do a ton of canned local patterns and a bunch of instrument approaches but when dudes get the random “Cleared for a visual” they’d F it up.  
 

The ASRS database actually had a lot of info on mistakes on visual approaches.  Not surprisingly most instances of trying to land on the wrong runway or taxiway (Seattle in particular) were from visual approaches. The takeaway from almost all of them was ignoring ILS/LOC/MFD data.  This is also very true in the C-17 landing at Peter O Knight instead of MacDill with Centcom/CC onboard.

Add:  The Shaw F-16 and Eglin F-35 crashes also show the importance of not neglecting the training for a VMC night landing. 

Symptomatic not causal

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