TSV From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1641 posts, RR: 5 Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2853 times:
"How old are these Sea kings?"
Too old. 30 at a guess. They should have been replaced after they lost that one off HMAS Tobruk south of Weipa in 1995 (or was it 96? - can't remember must have a look at the photo album for notes as I must have one of the last photos of that bird before it crashed as I took photos of it the day before).
A replacement could have been in service much earlier if the ADF's procurement process wasn't so stuffed up.
Cheshire From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 112 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2815 times:
hear hear TSV. ADF procurement procedures in all branches are a debacle. Take the case of the HMAS Kanimbla itself - a rust bucket that cost over $200 million to repair and refit. The US Navy wouldn't let us on the ship to inspect it, but we bought it anyway. Department of Defence, take a bow.
As for the Sea King crash, it looks like engine failure was the cause.
This is a really sad day for our brave, dedicated, tireless defence force personnel. Our thoughts are with you.
Ozair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 755 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2803 times:
Quoting Cheshire (Reply 4): Take the case of the HMAS Kanimbla itself - a rust bucket that cost over $200 million to repair and refit. The US Navy wouldn't let us on the ship to inspect it, but we bought it anyway.
Don't forget the SeaSprites, a billion dollars for aircraft that are 20 years old! The list could just go on and on. When will the DoD realize that quality equipment is required that will work the first time every time and should not be run into the ground over a 40 year period before it is replaced.
IMO it's what you get for employing finance people in the DMO, more interested in numbers that capability.
TSV From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1641 posts, RR: 5 Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2787 times:
"Excuse the Rant."
No you and all of us are quite entitled to rant and we should maintain the rage. After all it's our tax dollars that are being wasted and our fellow country men and women being put at risk.
I honestly hoped back in the 70s/80s after the Wamira debacle (not criticising the design here but the dod's administrative effect on project management) that they'd get their shit together but obviously not.
That could have been a real winner especially the A-20 version instead of buying a hotted up turboprop version of a 50's trainer with fat tyres.
MissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2768 times:
Excuse the rant? I thought you were writing from Canada for a second there! Our Sea Kings would've been replaced about a year ago if our Government hadn't turned it into a big political thing when they got elected. We haven't lost anyone yet, but I think that's just good fortune. There have been some pretty high profile crashes that everyone walked away from. They finally selected the Sikorsky S-92 over the EH-101 (which they'd cancelled earlier). Most people figure the bottom line was more important than capability, not to mention how stupid they would've looked for buying a helicopter they had said was a "Cadillac".
Cheshire From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 112 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2719 times:
It's almost heartening to see that botched defence projects are not unique to Australia. In this country, the imcompetence of DoD bean counters knows no bounds. They've made a disaster out of everything from the purchase of combat boots:
In between there's the Collins Class subs, Bushmaster utility vehicles, ANZAC frigates, Steyer rifles, to name but a few.
And yet there's one weapon system working beautifully that the bureacratic bozos want to get rid of- the F-111. We can operate a fleet of 24 of these unmatchable strategic deterrents for less than one third the purchase price of a Collins class sub.
Military procurement in this country is a joke. Exactly what Krusty the Clown College did our DoD bureaucrats study at? Can any other match our track record of disastrous defence projects?
MissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2699 times:
Oh man, you guys are just like us, but with the steering wheel on the other side! Lol! We've even had problems with combat boots, including not enough to equip new recruits. We've also bought trucks that catch fire, & ex-Upholder subs that catch fire (to be fair to the Brits, those subs did sit dockside for 8 years while the politicians waffled). Every now & then something good sneeks by though. The latest mistake is rain wear that actually keeps out water.
Everyone seems to have these problems, but it hits harder when the troops die because of tight-fisted politicians, plus the willingness of military leaders to just shut up & make do with what they have.
Has any progress been made in the crash investigation?
Ahh, the F1-11 was considered a dog for while; late, redesigns/retrofits, overrpiced, etc. After the initial problems were ironed out, it's performed well.
The Collins class had problems at the start but are performing well now. Ditto with Anzac. Time will tell with the Sea Sprites.
The Sea-Kings have provided good service around the world. Let's wait for the accident report before damming this type. The media loves to beat a situation up and will find evidence to support their stories.
Finally, it's always a tragedy to loose any ADF member.
By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
What is there really to go wrong? (other than running them onto reefs as a friend of mine did with Ballarat) They are bare basic under equipped and under gunned vessels that are entirely too heavy, have a small pad and small storage for a helo.
Who honestly builds a frigate these days with an anti-air missile quantity of 8? Even if you put the extra cell in it it will only add up to 16. The problem is as has been stated that weapons systems procured by Australia, and others we have been told, often take entirely too long to be either brought into service or up to the level where they should perform. They are also procured with future capability upgrade in mind but with little thought to the bare bones present system.
I would hazard a guess that the ANZAC class have a survivability of about 30 seconds in a war zone!
AussieAMEgirl From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 61 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2538 times:
Well here is my two cents worth, as an AME employed to maintain Army helicopters, and in turn have also been employed in my last job to maintain F111 G aircraft at Amberley. I must say that regardless of age all these aircraft are maintained to a very high standard (My background is airline NOT general aviation so I have a good idea about standards). Every single member of the Australian Army's aviation mechanics pass through here and are trained by very experienced people from all walks fo life. Yes that's right we are all contractors. Regardless 30 years old when talking about aircraft isnt that old. We have had the Blackhawks for nearly that long as are the F18's, Orions, etc etc and the average C182 in Australia is older than that. As for the F111, when I was at 6SQN I was told that the concept was designed in 1947 (or thereabouts) and they are still doing wonders. As for the Seaking, why did the Navy put more tail rotor blades on a gearbox and drive shaft designed for less? Not that this was a problem here. Yes we do have issues when it comes to procurement for Defence, but look at the Iroquois...nothing is even coming close to replacing that, same as the Caribous. Now to finish my disjointed comment (LOL!) We have the new Tigers here, and well they are a nice piece of kit, so were many other aircraft the ADF have operated. Just ask the guys that maintained them or flew them......
TSV From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1641 posts, RR: 5 Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2500 times:
Quoting AussieAMEgirl (Reply 12): I must say that regardless of age all these aircraft are maintained to a very high standard (My background is airline NOT general aviation so I have a good idea about standards).
AussieAMEgirl From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 61 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2482 times:
I am referring to the 059 standard of maintenance. And yes the Blackhawks that I work on here are over 20 years old...and yes they are Australian ones. ex RAAF ones to be exact. The only aircraft we have on base that are younger than that are the Tiger.
Oh and as for age they Huey/Iroquois is yet to be replaced....
Beleive me there is a big difference when you go from working at an airline for 8 years then have a brief foray into general aviation maintenance as to maintenance practices and attitudes. It was almost scary...then again I might just have exceptionally high standards.....
And after discussing this post with several of my work collegues, many of whom have been involved with aviation maintenance for over 30 years themselves, still stand by the comment that 30 years for an airframe isnt the same as comparing it to a 30 year old car.
Any aircraft maintenance engineer will tell you that. Just look at some operating Boeing aircraft or your average Cessna 182.
As for the F111 I must ask what your background and experience is TSV in regards to them as maybe you can shed some light on them for me as I only spent 12 months on type.
Ozair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 755 posts, RR: 1 Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2429 times:
Just an update on the issue.
The entire fleet have now been grounded indefinitely. Apparently two components of the flight control run, which are normally connected together were separated and the hardware that connects them has not been found, even after an extensive search. Flight controls will be further analyzed.
After this initial review of the incident pilot error and engine failure have been eliminated.
The aircraft are now grounded and there will be a public review convened in the next couple of months.