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zeke
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KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 10:08 am

News reports in of a KC-135 breaking up in flight after takeoff

"US tanker aircraft KC-135 lost contact with ground control immediately after take-off - Kyrgyz Ministry of Emergencies. Bishkek. KC-135 Tanker Aircraft from the Transit Center at Manas lost contact with the Center immediately after take-off, according to preliminary reports received by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Emergencies."

Only reports in Russian at this stage. http://kg.akipress.org/news:574036

BBC has now picked up the story

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22397266
http://inserbia.info/news/2013/05/ky...hed-near-the-kyrgyz-kazakh-border/
http://www.boston.com/news/world/eur.../viBOhQFueXWqDCkOY0Xs3I/story.html

From the AFP wires :

""According to my information, the plane broke up into three pieces. Information on the dead or wounded is being clarified. All the rescue services have gone to the scene," the ministry's press secretary Abdisharip Bekilov said."

"The emergency situations ministry said that preliminary information was that a KC-135 Stratotanker plane lost contact with the base as soon as it took off.

Witnesses told the Kyrgyz AKIPress news agency that they heard a boom and then an explosion and that the plane was continuing to burn."

Edit to add links

[Edited 2013-05-03 03:45:00]
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 12:33 pm

Jeez.

RIP to the crew, assuming they perished, which sounds likely just from what is known now...
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 12:52 pm

This is the KC-135R being reported in Russian media as the missing aircraft, I believe the aircraft was with the 22nd ARW based at McConnell AFB, Kansas.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew C. Lyons



source : http://www.kabar.kg/kyr/inced/full/43348
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 1:06 pm

Sad news. My sympathies to the families.
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 1:18 pm

Yahoo is reporting an apparent parachute jump for the tanker prior to the "explosion".

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/plane-us-ai...kyrgyzstan-ministry-093048852.html

If this is true, then some or all of the crew might have bailed out. Bail out on the KC-135 is through the crew entry chute near the nose landing gear. It also means the crew might have possible radioed they were bailing out, and possible the reason why.

If there was an inflight explosion, the most likely reason could be a fire within the tanker, or even possibly the cargo, if it was carrying any cargo. If a bail out did happen, that would indicate there was only the crew aboard and no passengers.

I am hoping the crew did bail out before the crash. I also know that most aircraft crash witnesses report an inflight break-up and/or explosion, which later turn out to be not true. This does not mean anyone is lying, they just report what they believe they have seen.

I am hoping the crew will be found alive and with not to many injuries. If the crew did not have time to attach the survival seat kit to their parachute harnesses, that is still not a problem in finding the crew. USAF parachutes are equipped with an emergency beacon that begins transmitting as soon as the parachute opens, and continues to transmit until it is manually turned off or the battery dies.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 1:38 pm

May God be with their families and friends!

KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan (by zeke May 3 2013 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

http://www.fightercontrol.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=287&p=493663

http://rss.rt.com/news/us-plane-crashes-kyrgyzstan-771/

     

VERY SADLY...
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 1:53 pm

Photos of the missing airframe (from http://kg.akipress.org/news:574074)

http://www.ljplus.ru/img4/g/o/gogiman/135e9c3899712386b7d6d6b68a6ac72a.jpg


Photos of the crash area

http://kg.akipress.org/news:574061

Photos of the aircraft pieces

http://kg.akipress.org/news:574074

Video of the crash area

http://kg.akipress.org/news:574076
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 1:54 pm

KC-135s rarely carry parachutes unless they're doing a functional checkflight, like after the plane's been put back together after a major PDM/depot trip. For those of you who don't know how it works, there is an escape spoiler that is extended with an air bottle and it is supposed to block the slipstream in front of the crew entry hatch. I don't think it's really a viable option though, as you'd likely end up going into the #2 engine, hitting the wing, or richocheting across the fuselage. The escape spoiler emergency air bottle is not serviced on the aircraft unless parachutes are going to be carried, again I have never seen them onboard.

Real shame to lose a KC-135 like this, I am sure the crew did their best to save the plane. The spooky thing is, if this is the plane that went down, I worked on this plane a lot at Al Udeid last year. I remember the tail number (8877) very well because it had a lot of maintenance issues and we were always working on it.
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 1:58 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):

Hey Boom, they took off the parachutes years ago to save weight and only service the bailout chute spoiler only when they do test flights. Still have some friends who are mx and ops and nobody is talking. Been a tough week the NAC bird was also one I have taken care of and knew the crew also. I wonder if turbulance coming off the Tien Shen Mtns had anything to do with this.
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 2:01 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Yahoo is reporting an apparent parachute jump for the tanker prior to the "explosion".

So much of that Yahoo story is odd, (tires are still on fire, schoolchildren filmed it) but an inflight bailout would be remarkable. Here's hoping... Other sites are saying five crew, no survivors.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 2:07 pm

Quoting venus6971 (Reply 8):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):


Hey Boom, they took off the parachutes years ago to save weight and only service the bailout chute spoiler only when they do test flights. Still have some friends who are mx and ops and nobody is talking. Been a tough week the NAC bird was also one I have taken care of and knew the crew also. I wonder if turbulance coming off the Tien Shen Mtns had anything to do with this.

Last I knew (when I was still working them) the Parachutes were installed for any overwater missions and deployments, but yes, at homestation they are removed for weight etc. Also, the escape bottles are not kept up to the service limit anymore. Maybe this will put that all back into use?

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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 9):
tires are still on fire

That is visible in the photos

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rc135x
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 2:48 pm

From the photos, which were taken shortly after the crash, it does not appear that weather was a factor.

Quoting venus6971 (Reply 8):
I wonder if turbulance coming off the Tien Shen Mtns had anything to do with this.

Good question, but the Tien Shen Mountains abut the Chinese border, and the airplane would have to have been well off course to stray that close to them to encounter CAT.

I tend to discount the report of parachutes. They are not worn, but are stowed (beginning in the 1990s their primary use is to enable the boomer to check overwing and rear hatches during flight). The amount of time it would take for someone to unbuckle from a seat, move to the cargo cabin, collect and don the parachute (assuming they knew where it was and how to put it on), move back to the cockpit, pop the spoiler (again, assuming they knew how), and egress is not consistent with an uncontrolled bail out.

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 7):
you'd likely end up going into the #2 engine, hitting the wing, or richocheting across the fuselage. The escape spoiler emergency air bottle is not serviced on the aircraft unless parachutes are going to be carried, again I have never seen them onboard.

Before they took the parachutes out of the RC-135 we always morbidly joked that the lowest ranking person would bail out first because their body would clean off most of the MUCEL antennas and all the other crap under the fuselage, then the rest of the crew could bail out safely.

My daughter lives in Kyrgyzstan, and will continue to send updates and translations of Russian and Kyrgyz articles (for those of us who don't read those languages).
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 3:47 pm

Prior to today, there was at least two successful bailouts from the KC-135. One during flight testing back in 1956, there is a video of this somewhere, and the second one where a Boom Operator bailed out (without approval by the pilot) when he was thinking the airplane would crash.

AIUSI, parachutes are still used today on the KC-135 during combat missions in case of a MANPAD attack.

The way the crew entry chute bail-out system worked (normally the pilot would manually depressurize the airplane by ejecting a fuselage plug in the cargo compartment, he has a "T" handle on his instrument panel) and the Boom Operator would activate the chute by pulling down a handle bar over the chute. This would deploy the spoiler, which extended about 4' below the entry chute. As the spoiler deployed, it would kick the entry chute door off its hinges into the slipstream and fall away. As long as the airspeed was above about 150 KIAS the crew members would fall away from the airplane in about a 30 to 45 degree angle (depending on airspeed) and clear the airplane, going under it.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 4:08 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 2):
This is the KC-135R being reported in Russian media as the missing aircraft, I believe the aircraft was with the 22nd ARW based at McConnell AFB, Kansas.

Pictures on Twitter clearly show "ONNELL" on the tail so that would be consistent with it being a McConnell aircraft.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 5:00 pm

Quoting rc135x (Reply 12):
My daughter lives in Kyrgyzstan, and will continue to send updates and translations of Russian and Kyrgyz articles (for those of us who don't read those languages).

Thank you for all of your inputs! This just sucks!

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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
As long as the airspeed was above about 150 KIAS the crew members would fall away from the airplane in about a 30 to 45 degree angle (depending on airspeed) and clear the airplane, going under it.

Why would a higher airspeed be better, attitude of the airplane ? I'm a skydiver and pilots slow down before we jump.
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135mech
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 6:16 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 16):
Why would a higher airspeed be better, attitude of the airplane ? I'm a skydiver and pilots slow down before we jump.

When you jump (out of the turbo prop planes for parachting), one reason your pilot slows down is so that your body can get clear of the plane, and not have severe winds catching you before the actual dropping. The KC-135's with their 35 degree swept wing, slowing to 150KIAS is 'slow' for them, any (significantly) slower and they would not sustain their needed lift. Much faster than the 150KIAS and you would risk going to fast for the person to drop far enough, fast enough, to clear the landing gear (if extended), inboard flaps (to include the fillet flap), and wign to body fairing.

Hope this answers your question.

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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 6:16 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 16):
Why would a higher airspeed be better, attitude of the airplane ? I'm a skydiver and pilots slow down before we jump.

In flight, depending on the gross weight, the KC-135 cannot slow to below 150 KIAS, or so. Typical landing speeds are around 140 KIAS.

The idea is to get away from the airplane as quickly as possible. The bail out procedure (IIRC) was to pull the green apple to give you oxygen, then hang by your arms on the bar that deployed the spoiler, then pull your knees up to your chest and upon letting go you brought your arms across your chest and grab the harness on the opposite side from your arm. This put you into a sort of 'ball' as you fell from the airplane and you would roll due to the slipstream. As soon as you were clear of the airplane, you pulled the other 'apple' to start the auto chute deployment, once you got down to 14,000', or if below 14,000' pull the "T" handle (sometimes it was a "D" ring) to deploy your chute.

IIRC, we were not to try to position ourselves like a skydiver, unless we were trained for that. Instead we assumed an "attention" position until chute deployment. This may cause some spinning, but it should not be enough to get tangled in the raisers and lines during deployment.

I am still hoping for the crew, even though I know it looks bad.

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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 7:36 pm

It's so surreal to know that the plane I was working just a few months ago is now gone under such circumstances.
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 8:02 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
This put you into a sort of 'ball' as you fell from the airplane

In September 1973 my squadron had a crew bail out of an EA-3B Skywarrior (similar to the USAF RB-66). Fuel starvation after getting lost between Guam and Subic.

The aircraft has a door which drops down behind the nose gear. They slid down the ramp into the aircraft slipstream.

All five people were knocked silly and woke up in their chutes before landing. All five had their face shields broken and two guys had parts of the face shield impeded in the front of their boots. They all has strained hip joints.

That bailout was setup at 155 kts at 10,000 ft with the plane on autopilot.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Quoting 135mech (Reply 17):
Much faster than the 150KIAS and you would risk going to fast for the person to drop far enough, fast enough, to clear the landing gear (if extended), inboard flaps (to include the fillet flap), and wign to body fairing.

The 'secondary' bail-out exit is the aft hatch. You are not suppose to bail out through the crew entry chute if gear, flaps, or Boom are extended.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 10:43 pm

What does this suggest?

Until now we've debated a possible escape from the KC-135, and one would need stable flight (and therefore, a reasonably intact airplane) to use an bailout chute.


http://static.akipress.org/127/.storage/news/images/2013May/8845b86c69c29b40422288f80e3890ae.jpg

My not-very-educated guess is a inflight breakup...  


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rc135x
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 11:09 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 22):
What does this suggest?

Two widely separated impact points may well mean something like in-flight fuselage failure form whatever cause at the wing junction causing two large sections of the airframe to come down far apart. As both are burning, both likely would have had a lot of fuel, perhaps ruling out separation at the empennage. Or perhaps a wing broke off and the remainder spun in nearby. Either way it appears to have happened at a low altitude given the close proximity of the two major impact sites.

Edit: correct typographic error

[Edited 2013-05-03 16:21:19]
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
Tankereng
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Fri May 03, 2013 11:43 pm

Heard about it this morning when I got to work. Very tragic.

From the pictures it looked like the gear were retracted. It does look like it could be an inflight breakup. I wonder if one of the terminal fittings failed.

Never got to see 8877 in person at Tinker. Last PDM was at San Antonio.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 12:19 am

I saw a picture on Fox News today that showed the vertical stabilizer lying on the ground by itself, missing a rudder, but with a small portion of attached fuselage at the bottom. That to me indicates an inflight breakup, as there is no debris around it and it has absolutely no fire damage.
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zeke
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 1:16 am

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 25):

Initial reports were the aircraft broke up into 3 pieces in flight with an explosion. The picture in reply 22 would indicate 2 impact locations, and the one you saw on fox the third possibly.
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KC135Hydraulics
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 1:25 am

Here is a link to the story on Fox News, the photo should be available there:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/05...hes-in-kyrgyzstan/?test=latestnews
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Gonzalo
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 3:04 am

What a horrible week for aviators... I apologize for being so pessimistic, but I think there is enough evidence of a sudden in-flight break up and, therefore, no one was able to escape from the aircraft. And the place where this happened, although seems to be a rural / not very populated area, is not a deserted place, and a crewman hanging from a parachute should be an easy target for all the spotters around.

My respects to the victims and their families.

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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 8:30 am

Sounds like the crew was a SKA crew...
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 11:44 am

Wow! This just keeps getting worse! Thank you all for being so awesome with you comments and respects for our fallen Airmen!

And, yes, I did forget to mention using the aft hatch as the hopeful exit point when gear/flaps are down.

KCHydraulics, it's amazingly sad when those realities hit us, I know and it's horrible!

Regards,
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Kyrgyz officials announced that the remains of two crew members have been found. RIP to my fellow tanker buddies.
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windy95
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 12:24 pm

There have been three previous inflight explosions on the KC-135 plus a fourth on the ground that I can remember but the last was some twenty years ago. When they converted all of the airframes away from the J-57 the accident rate has almost stopped..
 
zanl188
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 12:32 pm

Pix I have seen indicate seperate impact points for at least two engines (cratered), vert stab, the boom, and a wing section.

Catastrophic whatever it was...
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Venus6971
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 1:09 pm

If it was a inflight explosion such as a ACM shelling or a AR pump or center wing boost pump letting go the USAF will be looking hard at all safety of flight components that if fail inflight can cause this type of disaster. Being a 23 year vet and doing the contracting thing I can tell you that all the rebuilt parts we get are not much better than the defective ones we replace. If this jet exploded in mid air I am guessing something like that TWA 747 that blew up on climb out out of JFK a few years back. Exposed wires and fuel fumes, another note to think about we don't use JP-8 in Manas, we use its Russian mix TS-1? When we switched from JP-4 to JP-8 we stopped for a awhile having -135's explode, just wondering about the fuel mix.
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windy95
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 1:36 pm

The 135's also stopped exploding inflight after they installed the low pressure lights for the fwd and aft body boost pumps after the last one at Loring.
 
rc135x
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 1:37 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 32):
There have been three previous inflight explosions on the KC-135 plus a fourth on the ground that I can remember but the last was some twenty years ago. When they converted all of the airframes away from the J-57 the accident rate has almost stopped..

KC-135A 58-0031 19 Mar 82
KC-135A 60-0330 13 Feb 87
KC-135E 57-1481 20 Sep 89
KC-135A 56-3592 4 Oct 89
KC-135R 57-1470 10 Dec 93

Cause of loss: overheated body tank fuel pump.
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windy95
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 2:18 pm

The R model in 1993 was at Mitchell Field and it was caused by the Center tank pump and the E model at Eielsen was the APU. There have been four inflight explosions that have possible links to the over heating of the Hydraulic boost pumps. The three you have above that happened in the 80's plus another that happened in Spain in the early 70's.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 2:40 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 22):
My not-very-educated guess is a inflight breakup...

That could be because of a lot of reasons from structural failure, MANPAD or other anti-aircraft system, to a fuel explosion of some type, to extreme turbulence or mountain wave.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 32):
There have been three previous inflight explosions on the KC-135 plus a fourth on the ground that I can remember but the last was some twenty years ago. When they converted all of the airframes away from the J-57 the accident rate has almost stopped..

None of them had anything to do with the type of engines. As RC135x pointed out, the fuel system explosions caused by the body tank AR pumps have happened on the "A", "E", and "R" models. In addition to that, back in the '60s or '70s a KC-135Q wingtip blew off due to a short circuit of a wingtip strobe light (the "Q" was one of the first aircraft to be equipped with strobe lights and each wingtip had two of them, one on the upper skin and one on the lower skin as well as one each on the upper and lower fuselage and the tail) and a minor fuel leak in the wingtip reserve fuel tank.

Shelling of the ACM should not cause a break-up, but will damage the airplane. Although if a fuel tank is punched (it would be either or both the #2 main wing tank and/or the center wing tank) by the ACM turbine blades and the heat exchanger was hot enough that it might cause an explosion. I have never heard of this actually happening.

63-8877 was going on an air refueling mission over Afghanistan, so the fuel pumps should have been submerged in fuel. Even if they were running with the switching off, the fuel would have kept the pumps cool. So I doubt that is what caused the break-up. This was a McConnell based airplane flown by a Fairchild based crew, which is not uncommon when deployed.

It has been reported the tanker was flying "low". This would be unusual because they were about 100 miles from UCFM and the KC-135R performance would have put them at or near cruise altitude, even at combat weights. The initial ROC for the "R" model and MTOW is close to 5000 fpm and the crash happened some 20 to 25 minutes after departure.

If the reports of the tanker flying low are true, this could indicate a problem known to the crew and they were working on it. They also would have been talking to Manas via secure UHF radio.

It has been reported that two of the three crewmembers aboard have been found and they are deceased, the third crewmember has not been found. It has been more than 24 hours now since the crash and apparently no word has been heard from the 3rd crewmember. If he bailed-out, they would have still been able to zero in on his parachute ELB, So, it is not looking good for the 3rd man's survival.
 
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 3:11 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
None of them had anything to do with the type of engines.

I never tied the engines to the pump related accidents. I was just stating that once they had been re-engined to the R model that the accident rate had stopped. This is the first R model in flight loss.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
the fuel system explosions caused by the body tank AR pumps have happened on the "A", "E", and "R" models.

No all three known are A models. The National Guard E and R model losses happened on the ground. The one was at Mitchell Field which was bad wiring on the center wing pump which was the tank that exploded when the mechanic pushed in the popped cirrcuit breaker. The other being the Eielsen tanker which also burned on the ground from the APU fire. No R or E models hav had in-flight explosions attributed to fuel tanks.

The four known in-flight explosions causing total loss

3-Jun-71 58-0039 Q Torrejon Crashed following in-flight explosion of the nr. 1 main fuel tank.

19-Mar-82 58-0031 A Illinois ANG Exploded at 13,500 feet on approach to O’Hare

13-Feb-87 60-0330 A Altus Landed on the runway at Altus afb on final approach had an explosion in the aft body tank.

4-Oct-89 58-3592 A Loring In-flight explosion (aft body tank) during approach

Sorry but no E or R model inflight losses attributed to the Fwd or Aft body fuel pumps.

[Edited 2013-05-04 08:41:57]
 
135mech
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 3:38 pm

I have had an ACM shell out in flight, the housing/casing of the impeller is 'overbuilt' to contain any failures, and after digging out the impeller pieces from the heat exchanger,removing everything and searching in depth, there was no external damage whatsoever to any othepart of the acft (thankfully).

Regards,
135Mech
135Mech
 
KC135Hydraulics
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 4:35 pm

Quoting 135mech (Reply 40):
I have had an ACM shell out in flight, the housing/casing of the impeller is 'overbuilt' to contain any failures, and after digging out the impeller pieces from the heat exchanger,removing everything and searching in depth, there was no external damage whatsoever to any othepart of the acft (thankfully).

Regards,
135Mech

I've seen one shell out during an engine start because one of the valves that controls bleed air going to it was stuck open. The casing of it was completely shattered (looked like ceramic pieces) and there was some tentacle looking stuff hanging out of it but there was no external damage to the surrounding area that I could see. The electricians had all of it all out and replaced in a shift though of course the aircraft was impounded for a while after.
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fsnuffer
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 5:33 pm

I am showing my age here, but with a crew of three did they get rid of the navigator position? If so, when?

To the crew, RIP
 
135mech
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 5:44 pm

Yes sir they did. In the late 90's we installed the upgraded PACER-CRAG 'glass cockpit' and that eliminated the 'Navigators'. Dual GPS, no more INS/DNS etc.

135Mech

P.S. I helped install and mod those, and makes me feel old from using the old round dial fuel gages etc! LOL
135Mech
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 5:48 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 37):
the E model at Eielsen was the APU.
Quoting windy95 (Reply 39):
The National Guard E and R model losses happened on the ground.

The Alaska ANG KC-135E ground explosion happened just after taxi in from a mission. The two Instructor Boom Operators were killed in the explosion as they went aft to start the APU (Solar type). The APU had not been started, yet, they were opening the two intake and one exhaust ports. The engines had not been shut down yet, and it was the #1 hydraulically powered, electrically controlled AR pump in the Aft Body Tank that overheated and exploded. The Loring accident happened about 3 weeks later and killed the entire crew, including a very good friend of mine. After the Loring accident we had to keep about 3,000 lbs of fuel (IIRC) in the aft body tank to assure the pumps would be cooled.

The electrical cause was traced to the new digital fuel panel with the tiny, hard to see pump switches on both the Loring and Alaska accidents. The Illinois airplane still had the old original fuel panel.
 
KC135R
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 6:57 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 35):
The 135's also stopped exploding inflight after they installed the low pressure lights for the fwd and aft body boost pumps

It has been about 5 years since I have touched a KC-135, but unless something has changed, the A/R pumps were replaced/upgraded a few years back and the low pressure lights/shutoff system deactivated. In theory, the new pumps are supposed to be able to run in an empty tank and cause no problems. Now that only applies to the 2 body tanks, so the other 8 tanks could still be a factor.

Sad day in the KC-135 world, and especially here in the Spokane community.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sat May 04, 2013 11:03 pm

Quoting KC135R (Reply 45):
Now that only applies to the 2 body tanks, so the other 8 tanks could still be a factor.

Actually, it only applies to 5 tanks, the 4 main wing tanks and the center wing tank. IIRC both reserve tanks and the upper deck tank were gravity flow into other tanks with pumps, only.

Has that changed?

Quoting KC135R (Reply 45):
unless something has changed, the A/R pumps were replaced/upgraded a few years back and the low pressure lights/shutoff system deactivated.

Thanks, I didn't know that, or if I did, I forgot it.

Quoting KC135R (Reply 45):
In theory, the new pumps are supposed to be able to run in an empty tank and cause no problems.

Engineer's theory?
 
KC135R
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sun May 05, 2013 12:00 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 46):
Actually, it only applies to 5 tanks

Yes, good point - I was unintentionally misleading by counting all the tanks that do not have AR pumps while simultaneously forgetting to exclude the 3 tanks that have no pumps.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 46):
Engineer's theory?

I suppose - it has been a few years and I was a hydro guy not fuels (so I dealt with everything up to the pump, but not the pump itself), but IIRC the old pumps used fuel to lube a bearing. So no fuel and a running pump = heat in a fuel vapor area. In normal ops the pump should have always been submerged, but run the tank dry and forget to turn off the pump and it's a different equation. AFAIK the new pumps have sealed bearings that require no additional lubricant so can run safely regardless of fuel level.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sun May 05, 2013 7:17 am

Really sobering image here of the v-stab on its side in pretty good condition, with the rudder missing in its entirety as previously stated. The fin attachment fairing is still intact, which leads me to assume whatever happened was of sufficient force to blow the tail off clean.

Either way, an altogether awful day for the crew, their families, and all in the tanker community.  

[Edited 2013-05-05 00:17:34]
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
KC135Hydraulics
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RE: KC-135 Crash In Kyrgyzstan

Sun May 05, 2013 2:52 pm

There was a TCTO some years back as previously stated that changed the way the pump is lubricated. It is now lubricated with hydraulic fluid instead of fuel. When the shaft seal starts to go bad the overboard drain will leak hydraulic fluid where it used to leak fuel. Our TOs state not to run the A/R pump with less than 2,000lbs in the body tanks, but I think the reason for this is to avoid prolonged cavitation of the pump rather than to avoid overheating. When draining a body tank for maintenance it is routine to run the pump in bursts below 2,000lbs to get as much fuel out of the tank as possible to cut down on the amount of sumping required afterwards.

There is still a low pressure light on the IFMP for each pump but it gets its power/signal from a low pressure switch mounted outside of the tanks and connected to the fuel lines from each pump by a hose. It lights up the light on the IFMP when the pressure falls below a certain level and the pump's associated switch is on.
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