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E-3 Sentry Awacs Possible Write Off At Nellis  
User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1294 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Late Friday night a 965th AACS Tinker AFB E-3 at Nellis for Red Flag had a nose gear collapse during landing. Fire started and crew of 32 evac'd safely. Plane could be a write off. Only the second USAF E-3 loss after the Yukla bird in Alaska (and only 3rd ever after the NATO "overrun" loss)

I'm working on finding the tail number. Pictures are all over Facebook.


Ciao Windjet mi manchi
78 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

forgot a picture:

http://www.vaq34.com/junk/nellisawacs001.jpg


http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=920290



Ciao Windjet mi manchi
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

With that much fire damage I'd guess it was a broken hydraulic line in the nose wheel well is what prevented the nose gear from locking/delpoying... The fluid is what burned. I've seen nose gear landings before and you won't see that kind of damage


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1882 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Looks like 0556, but I can't tell from the pic (God I hope it's 0009, that jet is the bane of my existence). My roommate from OTS was on that jet (I'm in another squadron), I'll see what all he can tell me without compromising the investigation.
Obviously, there's gonna be a LOT of inquiries going on here...I would ask that the hearsay and speculation be kept to a minimum...as my job MIGHT possibly depend on the outcome of this mishap investigation.


User currently offlineCross757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 3):
as my job MIGHT possibly depend on the outcome of this mishap investigation.

How is that, exactly? Seems like it was a mechanical malfunction. There might possibly be some pilot error involved if a checklist was not followed properly (i.e. they knew of a possible malfunction prior to landing). Let's not over-sensationalize this, please.

The most important thing is that all of the crew seem to be safe...worrying about losing any jobs at this stage is pointless and may I respectfully say somewhat irresponsible.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I'm hearing from Crew Chief buds it was 83-0008, It will take alot to write it off, I can imagine they are thinking about taking a old 707 nose piece at the 360 production break and mate it with the E-3 then rewire and replumb.


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Cross757 (Reply 4):
How is that, exactly? Seems like it was a mechanical malfunction. There might possibly be some pilot error involved if a checklist was not followed properly (i.e. they knew of a possible malfunction prior to landing). Let's not over-sensationalize this, please.

According to the grapevine it was the pilot flaring late or not at all and landing on the nose gear first blowing the nose tires and sending the main gear through the wing. Being a mx troop I would call that a hard landing. But never believe the first reports they are usally wrong.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineCross757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 6):
Being a mx troop I would call that a hard landing.

I agree...that would be a case of PILOT error. IF that is indeed what happened, then I would say that the PILOT flying that approach and landing might possibly have their job at stake and/or their job might depend on the outcome of the investigation. However, I don't understand why someone, who was not part of the crew, who wasn't even there, who based on their profile is NOT a pilot, would suggest that THEIR job "might possibly depend on the outcome of the investigation". I would like to understand how that might be the case.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 6):
According to the grapevine it was the pilot flaring late or not at all and landing on the nose gear first blowing the nose tires and sending the main gear through the wing. Being a mx troop I would call that a hard landing. But never believe the first reports they are usally wrong.

Correct, please don't put much faith in these early assumptions, as they are often wrong. A late landing flair could also be for wind related reasons, or caused by an unexpected wind gust as the pilot attempted to flair.

Did the MLG break into the wing? If so, that would be a write-off in most cases. But, looking at the pictures, it does not seem like that happened, at least not in a major damage way as the AWACS is sitting on in a "normal" atitidude for no NLG. I guess the E-3s have enough nose ballest to keep the tail up if the NLG fails, as that frisby weighs a lot.

In the KC-135Q, we had about 850 lbs of nose ballest as we could off-load all foreward and aft body fuel tanks (if carrying JP-7) to the SR-71s. In the KC-135A, we kept 3000 lbs to 5000 lbs of fuel in the forward body tank for weight and balance as the KC-135 was natuerally tail heavy.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
Did the MLG break into the wing? If so, that would be a write-off in most cases. But, looking at the pictures, it does not seem like that happened, at least not in a major damage way as the AWACS is sitting on in a "normal" atitidude for no NLG. I guess the E-3s have enough nose ballest to keep the tail up if the NLG fails, as that frisby weighs a lot.

The E-3 with no fuel onboard is tail heavy and requires a 5000 lb ballast weight tethered to its nose jack pad to tow it. If just parked and not being towed the acft will sit on its nose gear fine. Before the 30/35 mod you always had to have the ballast on the nose or at least 6000 lbs of fuel in center wing to keep forward CG. If this was just another -135 yes I would agree with you that would be a write off but there has been just as bad damage in recent history of landing incidents to 2 C-17s at Bagram and a B-1 at Diego. These acft have been repaired or still in the process. Having had practical knowledge of performing E-3 mx at Nellis which is strictly a fighter base you are looking at a logistical nightmare to get everything there to repair this acft for 1 time flight back to Tinker or a Boeing facility for a complete repair. Everytime we had a acft with gear problems at LSV we always had to safety wire the landing gear pins in for a geardown flight back to Tinker. If the Keal beams and the wing spars are undamaged I say repair it.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 3):
Looks like 0556, but I can't tell from the pic (God I hope it's 0009, that jet is the bane of my existence). My roommate from OTS was on that jet (I'm in another squadron), I'll see what all he can tell me without compromising the investigation.
Obviously, there's gonna be a LOT of inquiries going on here...I would ask that the hearsay and speculation be kept to a minimum...as my job MIGHT possibly depend on the outcome of this mishap investigation.

As we discussed once in COMM AV I was a Senior Director on the E-3 for several years, and for the life of me cannot fathom how the outcome of this investigation could affect your carrer (not being flipant, I am truly curious) or any other crew members except the 5 in the cockpit for landing (seat 5 would have been occupied during this landing), and even then just the PIC at the time most of all.

As for Balls 8, it was a POS-almost as bad as Balls 9. It was funny how the two "newest" E-3s were some of the worst whereas the oldest mods were great.

That must have been some hard landing since the E-3 was designed to land with almost no flair to begin with.



Ciao Windjet mi manchi
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 9):
Everytime we had a acft with gear problems at LSV we always had to safety wire the landing gear pins in for a geardown flight back to Tinker. If the Keal beams and the wing spars are undamaged I say repair it.

Normally correct. You are also right about the B-1B and two C-17As, but all of them were all gear up landings, and usually produce less damage than one with no NLG, or one where the NLG collapses during the landing. Recently an AA B-767-300ER in maintenance at the AA maintenance hub in TUL had the NLG collapse during maintenance work, no jet taxiing,or anything, but she broke her keel beam. Yes, I know the drop is a lot higher on a B-767 than a B-707.

My concern is the fire, even though it was extinguished quicly, all that sheet metal and the stringers, and possibly that portion of the keel beam will need to be replaced just from the heat stress, let alone the damage from falling and sliding on the runway.

Do we know how far the AWACS slid on the runway before coming to a stop? The accident investigators will measure that based on the scars on the runway.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
Normally correct. You are also right about the B-1B and two C-17As, but all of them were all gear up landings, and usually produce less damage than one with no NLG, or one where the NLG collapses during the landing. Recently an AA B-767-300ER in maintenance at the AA maintenance hub in TUL had the NLG collapse during maintenance work, no jet taxiing,or anything, but she broke her keel beam. Yes, I know the drop is a lot higher on a B-767 than a B-707.

My concern is the fire, even though it was extinguished quicly, all that sheet metal and the stringers, and possibly that portion of the keel beam will need to be replaced just from the heat stress, let alone the damage from falling and sliding on the runway.

Do we know how far the AWACS slid on the runway before coming to a stop? The accident investigators will measure that based on the scars on the runway.

I believe one of them C-17's totally went off the runway and had main and nose gears ripped off. If the fire has damaged structure it is possible to graft a whole new nose section fwd from the 360 production break from a doner acft at KDMA. But would like to see up close pictures to better understand extent of damage. I imagine the first thing that will be done after it is moved it will be jacked and cribbed and a total -6 hard landing checklist will be performed going hand in hand with NDI after the investigators are through with it. After that inspection then a determination will be done to procede with repairs. I believe there is a magic number of cost if it excedes that number it will be scraped even if repair is possible.
I will be hooked to my grapevine tonight to see if anything else has surfaced.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7580 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
Recently an AA B-767-300ER in maintenance at the AA maintenance hub in TUL had the NLG collapse during maintenance work,

I thought this occured at Alliance - AFW


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 12):
I believe there is a magic number of cost if it excedes that number it will be scraped even if repair is possible.

Yes, there is a "not to exceed dollar amount, or write it off". But with the high value of the E-3C (or has 83-0008 been brought up to the E-3G standard?), and the fact there are only 32 of them, after the loss of 77-0354 in Alaska.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 13):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
Recently an AA B-767-300ER in maintenance at the AA maintenance hub in TUL had the NLG collapse during maintenance work,

I thought this occured at Alliance - AFW

Maybe I got the maintenance facility wrong?


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 9):
If the Keal beams and the wing spars are undamaged I say repair it.



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
NLG collapse during maintenance work, no jet taxiing,or anything, but she broke her keel beam.

How would the keel beam be damaged/bent by collapses of the nose gear?


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 15):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
NLG collapse during maintenance work, no jet taxiing,or anything, but she broke her keel beam.

How would the keel beam be damaged/bent by collapses of the nose gear?

I am not sure how it happened, I just read that it did.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I guess it is still on the runway with a NOTAM out until Sept 4 for disabled acft at the 6000' mark on runway 21L.


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 17):
I guess it is still on the runway with a NOTAM out until Sept 4 for disabled acft at the 6000' mark on runway 21L.

Yeah, they won't move it until the accident investigators finish their examination of the damage. Nellis has two runways, so it is not a big problem.


User currently offlineBoeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
Recently an AA B-767-300ER in maintenance at the AA maintenance hub in TUL had the NLG collapse during maintenance work, no jet taxiing,or anything, but she broke her keel beam.

It was AFW not TUL, and no broken keel airplane is being repaired and will be back in the air by end of Oct.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Does anyone know what a "keel beam" is and where it is located?

User currently offlineBladeLWS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 20):
Does anyone know what a "keel beam" is and where it is located?

Keel beam runs the length of the aircraft and provides its structural support, just like the keel of a ship, it runs the bottom of the aircraft.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 21):
Keel beam runs the length of the aircraft and provides its structural support, just like the keel of a ship, it runs the bottom of the aircraft.

That's what I though, most people have no Idea what a keel beam is.

It is stringers that run the length of the aircraft, providing longitudinal structure support.

I suggest reviewing the following from the Tech/Ops forums:

Keel Beams? (by TSS Aug 8 2009 in Tech Ops)

Since the keel beam/beams extend only slightly forward and aft of the wing, it is unlikely they would be bent by a collapsed nose gear.


User currently offlineBoeingFixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 529 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 32532 times:



Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 21):
Keel beam runs the length of the aircraft and provides its structural support, just like the keel of a ship, it runs the bottom of the aircraft.

Actually the Keel Beam spans the gap in the fuselage left by the center wing box and landing gear bay. It transfers the loads between the forward and aft fuselage due to the large area cut out for the wing and wheel wells.

The Keel Beam only runs the length of the unsupported gap left by the wing center section and wheel well. Once it is tied into the forward and aft fuselage structure its job is complete.

I would find it very hard to believe that a nose gear collapse could compromise the Keel Beam unless parts of the nose gear impacted the area of the Keel Beam.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 32354 times:



Quoting BoeingFixer (Reply 23):
I would find it very hard to believe that a nose gear collapse could compromise the Keel Beam unless parts of the nose gear impacted the area of the Keel Beam.

Is there any update on if 83-0008 is going to be repaired, or scrapped? Obviously the USAF has classified this as a "Class A" accident (damage over $1M and/or a fatality).


25 Fridgmus : Could one of you tell me why "The Frisbee" could not located in a more forward position on the aircraft? Wouldn't that help with the CG? Thanks, F
26 KC135TopBoom : When the two test bed aircraft (original USAF MDS was EC-137D) were being designed and wind tunnel tested, it was found that if you placed the aerody
27 Venus6971 : [quote=KC135TopBoom,reply=26]but someone here might be able to tell you.[/quote We don't have any ballast on a E-3, the forward lobe is crammed full o
28 KC135TopBoom : Could this be a job for the Boeing AOG repair team? I know the TIK MX troops and Depot guys are experts on the B-707 airframe now, maybe some of the
29 Venus6971 : Boeing AOG team would be the right answer, I know the 552 mx guys they sent but they have zero experiance with this type of job. I have no doubt they
30 KC135TopBoom : Well, the first step that anyone is going to have to do is recover the airplane and move it somewhere on the ramp where tempoary work can begin. The
31 TaxPilot : It has been over two months since the last post. Anyone have an update?
32 KC135TopBoom : Good reminder, I had almost forgotten about this accident. I have not heard anything. The AWACS folks are a pretty quite group normally. Hopefully so
33 Venus6971 : Still going through the investigation, so far it is determined it was not a mx issue, patience grasshopper.
34 L-188 : Did they get it off the runway at least, or can I look forward to seeing there the next time the "Google Earth" satillite makes a pass?
35 Post contains links moose135 : The Air Force has released the report on the crash, citing pilot error as the cause... From the Air Force Times:
36 KC135TopBoom : Since the AFT story sites a $100M damage price to the airplane, that might mean the USAF is repairing the jet. Can anyone confirm that?
37 venus6971 : Can go only on rumors that Boeing is doing the work and they are going to graft a 707-300 forward fuslage on it from AMARC doner acft.
38 venus6971 : Reading Mooses link I was shocked at the lack of hours these guys had, both of them should have been copilots. I got spoiled by my time in the 89th wi
39 KC135TopBoom : That could happen as there are still several B-707s still there. A KC-135A/E forward fuslage will not work as it is a different shape, and about 4" n
40 sentrymechanic : The airframe is being written off... salvage ops are underway at this time.
41 KC135TopBoom : That's too bad, I was hoping she would be repaired. I think this makes 4 W/Os for the worldwide E-3 fleet, two USAF E-3B/C, a NATO E-3A, and a RAF E-3
42 ZANL188 : Was the RAF frame actually scrapped or is it some sort of super can bird?
43 bucky707 : I'm curious how being a SD qualifies you to comment on how to land a E-3?
44 SSTeve : Am I to interpret this as disagreement with his comment? Might as well just disagree in that case. I'm not sure how an E-3 could land with "flair" an
45 AWACSooner : Ok guys...here's the long and short: -0008 is now sitting at the northeast end of the ramp at KLSV...no engines, no tail, no rear stabilizers (at leas
46 bucky707 : Yes, I disagree with him. What kind of training? Going out and practicing.......landings!?!
47 AWACSooner : Oh believe me...that's not the half of it...can't go into detail, but we now have to be certified as an aircrew before we go TDY to Nellis.
48 KC135TopBoom : I believe its status is currently listed as 'stored', but she has been stripped, including her rotodome. IIRC, the tail number is ZH-105, "Sneezy" an
49 FlyingSicilian : Balls 8 was a hanger queen anyway so no big loss... as for Bucky, what exactly do you disagree with? The landing specs for the E-3 are not a secret. I
50 AWACSooner : Not really...it was a champ for us doing the CDO missions three years ago...I loved flying on that jet...now -0009, that jet is the bane of my exista
51 FlyingSicilian : Balls 9 was the biggest hanger queen of all for sure (many of the "newer" jets were actually problem children) but 0008 got scrapped in the desert for
52 AWACSooner : -0002 is a flying champ...
53 Venus6971 : I remember a Red Flag I had with 0008, blew a tire when landing at KLSV from KTIK. It was still a 20/25 mod back then. In my day the best flying E-3 w
54 bucky707 : Been there. Designed to take a beating, yes. Designed to be landed without a flare, wrong. Maybe you do. But how many times have you actually landed
55 FlyingSicilian : Who said anything about landing WITHOUT a flare? It wasn't your quote from me, maybe you need to go re-read it? Balls 0002 was crap in theatre. 1407
56 bucky707 : Ok, you almost no flair (should be flare). And it is still wrong. Still wondering how many times you have landed an E-3? (or a 707)
57 AWACSooner : Weren't 1408 and 1407 refurbed airliners?
58 FlyingSicilian : I make no apologies for typos, you know what I meant. (And focusing on typos shows your lack of focus on the point being discussed) Also the grammar
59 KC135TopBoom : The E-3 is designed to land at a much higher landing weight at all times compared to the B-707, which would land ay high weights only occasionally. Ev
60 Venus6971 : I was 0007's Crew Chief from 94 to 97. Those 2 were originally built as airliners but but never flew that way. EC-137D's were what they were called a
61 KC135TopBoom : Since they were both B-707-320Bs, was the lenght changed because each one had a different mission radar, frisbee, struts, etc.?
62 Venus6971 : Dont have any info on that, but 1408 and 1407 were both modified to E-3 standard with the Westinghouse radar and delievered to the 552nd after all th
63 Post contains links and images IRISH251 : A somewhat distant view of ZH105 as it was in June of this year: ZH105 Sentry AEW.1 by Irish251, on Flickr
64 KC135TopBoom : If there are no airframe airworthy issues with ZH-105, I don't understand why the USAF doesn't buy or lease her from the RAF. My guess is there is alm
65 Spacepope : Would the USAF operate a CFM powered E-3? Convert it back to TF-33? Convert the whole fleet over to JT8D-200s? In any case, even the first 2 options
66 AWACSooner : 8-ball looks the same...
67 KC135TopBoom : My guess is the USAF has already recovered the TF-33 engines and struts from 0008, so that is what they could put on ZH-105 if they bought/leased tha
68 bigbird : I thought that the E-8C re-engine program was a go. Has it been stopped and the only one that was done was the test ship?
69 KC135TopBoom : IIRC, the funding for the E-8C reengine program is on hold.
70 AWACSooner : Not true...beginning to hear rumors to the contrary. Lots of upgrade items on the drawing board...new engines are one of them.
71 KC135TopBoom : Yes, the one test bed airplane still has the new engines. But, IIRC, those engines are leased from someone and the struts belong to the Q-707 program
72 AWACSooner : Not talking JT8's...the rumors are that they're investigating us getting the CFM's. Now that would entail re-working the wing spars and landing gear..
73 sentrymechanic : 73-1674 is now at AMARG, 0008 only exists as a few spare parts now. We won't be getting re-engined...ever. And there is also talk of sending as many a
74 AWACSooner : Really? Since they've come out and said they're planning on keeping the jets operational til at least 2025? Granted the fleet will shrink, but the dem
75 sentrymechanic : Yeah they said that about the KC-10 too and look where it's most likely headed... I'm not bashing the jet, especially since I've been working on it fo
76 KC135TopBoom : Japan has the E-767. An AWACS version of the now in production KC-46 would make a good E-3 replacement.
77 AWACSooner : We've been offered the E-10 and the Wedgetail...but in today's USAF, it's all about the over-budget JSF. So we truck along with the broken oldies...
78 KC135TopBoom : Yeah, I know what you mean. The F-35 is a budgetary black hole sucking needed dollars from the USAF, USN, and USMC just so some Flag Officers can hav
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