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Command Directed Q3 Q?


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Question.

 

If someone were out on a weekend cross country in a white jet and actually overflying home station when a generator fails, and that pilot elects to land at the airfield even though it is closed and uncontrolled for the weekend, is that a Q3’able event?

 

Anyone see anything right or wrong with this?

 

(It’s something that actually happened at a training base recently to a reservist by an OG)

 

Withholding my thoughts

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Negative.  Broke jet, home plate right below you...no brainer to me.  It's just uncontrolled, not a torn up runway.  How about thanks for bring a broke jet to place where mx is readily available.  

Edited by SocialD
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Well what was the specific reason given?
 It depends on that answer.
 
DLF is the only base that doesn’t have a runway suitable for T-38s next door.

Landing on an uncontrolled airport is the same as landing on a highway. Or something like that. That’s what I heard 5th hand info.
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You’re saying white jet, generator, and German OG. So just to clear up confusion: the dude has a generator failure and lands at Sheppard with no tower controller and receives a Q3 for it?

If so: the commander is free to do as he pleases, but I think he’s setting a very dangerous precedent. Telling people they are unsafe for reasonable actions in an emergency is a quick way to breach faith. If it was me, I’d refuse to sign the Form 8 and contact the IG. 

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Personal Opinion:  Q3ing someone for that is fucking stupid/shortsighted.

What Big Blue is going to come back with:  One of the Airfield Management AFIs (can't remember which one of the top of my head) specifically states that AF run airfields WILL have a controller available when aircraft are taking off or landing.  I've seen this interpreted in different ways (I've seen STS meet the requirement, though they're actually controllers, I've also seen LZSOs been used as a substitute in limited cases) but at the end of the day that's probably what they're going to hang these guys on.    

  For some reason, outside of of AFSOC (and maybe AMC?) operations at uncontrolled airfields really gives AF leadership pause.  I'm not sure why leadership doesn't believe in AF pilots' ability to operate at fields that solo student pilots routinely operate on but uncontrolled airfield ops just seems to give leadership pause.  Even at Hurlburt right now, if the tower isn't open guys have to land at VPS or a another 24/7 airfield nearby even though we operate into/out of uncontrolled fields all the time (to be fair, HRT airfield management will always keep the tower open as late or early as needed to facilitate ops so long as they know about it ahead of time).

Quick relevant/sad story relating to this topic.  When I was a young LT at Mildenhall, we did our ORI up at RAF Machrihanish (EGEC) which is an old RAF base, now a civilian field on an isolated peninsula in Scotland (if you're a Campbelltown Scotch fan this is the area it's from).  We had a crew hit a really bad pocket of turbulence entering low level in the Highlands Restricted Area; it kicked one of the loadmasters up into the roof of the cargo compartment, when he came back down he landed on a roller and shattered his kneecap in 3 places.  The AC elected to take the airplane back to RAF Lakenheath to get him to an American hospital (as I previously stated, Campeltown is a fairly remote area, the Brits would've had to taken him somewhere even if the crew landed back at EGEC).  The Wg/CC at Lakenheath steadfastly refused to open the airfield for our airplane, stating it wasn't life, limb, or eyesight (which was very debatable), said to open the tower at Mildenhall and drive him by ambulance.  When 352 SOG leadership told him our guys didn't care if the tower was open or not, he still refused, saying there was no one to turn on the airfield lights (we don't need them), no CFR (don't need that either), and no one to clear the runway (we can do that ourselves if need be).  End of the day, we lost, our bird landed at Mildenhall, all because uncontrolled airfield ops was a bridge too far even in a medical emergency.      

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We're talking about a Sheppard T-6, landing at Sheppard after hours? If so, big time foul to Q-3 a guy over it. You see, Sheppard is one of 10 exceptional cases on the Air Force side:  Sheppard/Wichita Falls municipal is a joint use field. As such, when the military tower closes, the field doesn't close, it reverts to a continuous use class E field, where T-6s can absolutely operate in an emergency capacity provided the runway requirements are met. Which in the case of SPS, its civilian use piston runway (RWY 17-35) absolutely qualifies.

 

 

Edited by hindsight2020
brevity
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It's a douche move to Q3 it, but it is likely defendable. As a former 10 year Stan/Eval type, I was able to talk leadership off a few ledges.

Never an AETC type, but basics to cover- did you have wx and notams for the field? How non-current are they on the closed weekend? Is Airfield mgmt and met shops manned?

Is CFR manned? Is there a marshaller or unneeded marshaller spots open to park? Is there a fire bottle for a tailpipe fire at shutdown? Nearby metar/ATIS useable if met closed?

Did he do a runway check/clearing? Is there ZERO active construction projects that impact runway/taxiway/aprons/pads?

Simply having no MX to FOD sweep can be used against you. If uncontrolled and no one can hear you call gear down- is that allowed without the field being approved for untowered/uncontrolled ops?

If it got the Reservist to his car and home/work, folks will throw darts and you'll know who the enemy are.

He left it chalked and covered or got someone to come in and put the jet to bed before leaving?

Did he do any form of ASAP/safety forms to avoid the level 3 hurt FEF report?

Having every reservist unavailable for XC would be my remedy.

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I just landed in a grass field today, without a radio…and….nothing bad happened. Leave it to the AF (or I guess GAF in this case) to find every way to make aviation suck. Go to the IG, and get a line number if he doesn’t already have one. Unbelievable. 

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33 minutes ago, brabus said:

I just landed in a grass field today, without a radio…and….nothing bad happened. Leave it to the AF (or I guess GAF in this case) to find every way to make aviation suck. Go to the IG, and get a line number if he doesn’t already have one. Unbelievable. 

Hard to get a line number when your FEF is speckled with bullshit AF Q3s. Not impossible of course.

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Sounds like a fantastic airline interview story.  If the guy already has an airline gig, who gives a shit about the Q3?  Bet the rest of the squadron will remember how this pilot is treated however.

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As I learned at multiple levels of USAF legal review, a Commander has the authority to issue a Commander-directed Q3 at any time, for any reason. 

It does not have to be given for a just reason, only that the CC wants to give it.

There is no standard of evidence or proof of whatever the rationale is for the Q3 required.

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29 minutes ago, hindsight2020 said:

Hard to get a line number when your FEF is speckled with bullshit AF Q3s. Not impossible of course.

Meh, I think the airlines have a more clear view of the (lack of) meaning of Q-3s from outside the AF fishbowl than we often give them credit for.

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Haha... Hacker, as usual, bringing "the clarity".  Good to see your posts... always.

But you gotta love it:

- Kabul's going to shit; USAF base infrastructure is in shambles; budget money is nowhere to be found; pilot retention is at an all time low (except for the overmanned 11R's... duh)... and someone Q3's a qualified military IP for a safe landing on a large runway, in US-controlled friendly territory. 

BTW, if it was a T-38 (was it?), the checklist directs a shutdown after clearing the runway... because the generator could be burning.  Hmmm... I suppose if the engineers felt it was that significant of a threat, then I suppose landing "as soon as conditions permit" could be interpreted as landing where he/she did.  

Honestly... is this how "the greatest Air Force in the world" focuses it's energy in 2021?

Edited by HuggyU2
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"Closed" field? What did they roll the concrete runway up? F that. It's his home station. He had an EP. He landed safely. That the OG even brought him into his office is out of line.

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This blows my mind if this is the case. If it was a T-6…we landed at uncontrolled fields constantly…in fact daily when I was out there in order to open the aux fields. Not sure where the disconnect is here, but seems pretty shitty to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

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The disconnect is its a German OG and the Germans grow up with different flight rules that have different thresholds of conservativity built into them. Germans believe its ludicrous to every fly VFR, land at an uncontrolled field, and lots of other crazy non sense. 

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1 hour ago, FLEA said:

The disconnect is its a German OG and the Germans grow up with different flight rules that have different thresholds of conservativity built into them. Germans believe its ludicrous to every fly VFR, land at an uncontrolled field, and lots of other crazy non sense. 

But as an OG, the German has an entire shop of likely non-German experts (can’t remember the acronym - I think it ends with a V) to bounce this sort of thing off of.  Not saying he didn’t, but either they concurred or no one felt compelled or able to talk him out of it. 

The good news is, this shouldn’t affect the Q3’d reservist’s seniority when he goes back to Delta. 

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It's crazy to me see how some commands appear to have weaponized Q-3s.  Whatever happened to groundings, show up in blues and brief the squadron and move on?  In all my time in AF (fighter) aviation, I've only ever remember hearing of one Q-3, and that was a B-Course friend who did some buffonerous stuff on his B-Course form-8...in chalks lol (he later became a patch).  If I really dug, I'm sure there are more, but I'd be surprised if there was more than 1 Q-3 in my entire squadron.  Hell, I'd be surprised if I saw a more than 1 Q-2. 

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