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Emergency Escorted By FA-18  
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3012 posts, RR: 46
Posted (8 years 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 2729 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

A local news site reported today that a Piper Seneca, HB-LOG, flying from FRA to LUG experienced an emergency because of a total loss of electrical power:

Article here (Italian only)

Apparently, when ZRH Radar lost contact with the airplane it was immediately escorted by 3 FA-18 aircraft.

I am a private pilot, but I don't understand why they would escort a Piper Seneca with army fighters if radar contact is lost. Is this a new standard procedure I hadn't heard of before?

I will try to find out by going to the destination airport, which is where I usually fly from, but I couldn't refrain from asking here first...

-Manuel


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStoney From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 199 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 hours ago) and read 2703 times:

Wouldn't it be kind of hard for the fighters to fly slow enough side by side with this GA-Aircraft? (At least it must have been a great sight for the pilot Wink)

But anyways, I find it kind of strange. Normally our F/A-18's operate in pairs of 2 or as a group of 4. (btw. right now there are only about 14 F/A-18 left operating here (some are in Norway right now), so I think it's pretty unlikely to have 3 fighters looking after just 1 GA-plane)

Greetz and good night (and if there are photos I'd want to see them Wink)

Stoney



BAZL - Bundesamt gegen Zivilluftfahrt - royally screwing around with swiss aviation
User currently offlineCorey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2528 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 hour ago) and read 2666 times:

Anyone see the episode of the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob steals the Wright Flyer from an airshow? They have a couple Air Force jets to intercept but they just blow right by.... "Speed insufficient for intercept, suggest we get out and walk"... Then you see the pilots in full gear walking next to the plane trying to grab it  Smile

User currently offlineMADtoCAE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 hour ago) and read 2641 times:

Yeah Corey, that one was awesome, had a hell of a laugh Big grin

User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2576 times:

Quoting Stoney (Reply 1):
Wouldn't it be kind of hard for the fighters to fly slow enough side by side with this GA-Aircraft?

Never seen the F18 demo....that is an amazing craft, slow flight no problem even at single engine aircraft speeds.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2501 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Stoney (Reply 1):
and if there are photos I'd want to see them

That was my idea for today but - guess what - it's snowing  hissyfit 



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineUnattendedBag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2342 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2483 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 4):
slow flight no problem even at single engine aircraft speeds.

Actually slow flight like that is a problem for extended periods of time, especially when they need to turn. I saw 2 f-15s escort a single engine prop out by Cape Canaveral the day of the shuttle launch a few years ago. One f-15 will come in behind the aircraft while the other circles around. When the first f-15 gets close enough to the aircraft, he will peel away and the second will turn to follow the aircraft. They will contune this until the aircraft is on the ground.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2282 times:

LOL thats a great idea, what I/we need to do is rent out say a lil seneca take off turn off the transponder, make sure you've got ya cameras and we got ourselves a once in a lifetime picture!!

What is the F/18s min flight speed and the senecas max?

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

F/A 18 Minimum Approach Speed is 134kts...
PA34 Maximum cruise speed is 170kts...

The jets would have been going AWFULLY slow... hahaha!



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2237 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

The preliminary report was now published and can be found here:
http://www.bfu.admin.ch/common/pdf/HB-LOG (German only)

The Seneca was on an IFR "Z" flight plan.

Quote:
As soon as ATC lost contact with the airplane, they asked the Swiss Air Force to escort the plane with military jets. The aircraft was flying to the south on top of the clouds, and was escorted by the jets all the way to Locarno, where it landed safely

It's still not clear why ATC asked the FA-18's to escort the Seneca. Had it busted some airspace (e.g. ZRH TMA) it would say so in the preliminary report, so that wasn't the case.

-Manuel



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2219 times:

A few months ago a N registered Piper Chieftain flying from Eindhoven, Netherlands, to Geneva, Switzerland, lost all electric systems over the clouds. Practically all of Europe was covered in clouds and the pilots, with only a handheld VHF radio and a handheld GPS for a backup realised that they didn't have a chance to descend blindly through the overcast in the hilly terrain below. They sent out a Mayday call through their handheld radio, which was answered by an A-10 from Sprangdahlen AB in the Eifel region of Germany, close to the Belgian border. The Warthog escorted the Piper through the clouds (CAT 3B conditions) to HHN to make an emergency landing.

I know the whole story, since I fixed the plane temporarely, so that the pilots could fly next day to Bern, Switzerland, (in much better weather conditions) to get a permanent repair done (the reason was a broken wire at one generator overvoltage controller, which, moving around by vibrations, shortcircuited the whohle electric system and inoped both generator. After 20 minutes in this condition the aircraft battery went dead and U/S through deep discharge. I fixed the wire and installed a new battery and at least go one generator working again, working under my FAA A&P licence (Normally I work on big jets).

Jan

Jan


User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

Why is this hard to understand? The Air Force jets were responding to an emergency, not a security threat. The Seneca, with no electrical power, would have no way of navigating or communicating in the IFR conditions it seems to have been in. Sorry, never been there, but isnt Switzerland very mountaninous? Seems to me if left to his own devices the pilot may have tried to descend through the clouds and right smack into terrain! Military pilots have training that would enable them to safely guide this poor fellow home, and they can respond with the speed necessary to rendezvous with an airplane in trouble before the airplane REALLY gets into trouble.
Regards, Jeff


User currently offlineAmericanAirFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2181 times:

Quoting Stoney (Reply 1):
Wouldn't it be kind of hard for the fighters to fly slow enough side by side with this GA-Aircraft? (At least it must have been a great sight for the pilot Wink)

I once went to an airshow at GTU and there was an old WWI Biplane flying along side with an F-16 the anouncer said the Biplane was going as fast as he could while the F-16 was going as slow as he could. it was a nice fly by very interesting to watch.  Smile



"American 1881 Cleared For Takeoff One Seven Left"
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