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flyingturtle
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Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:10 pm

Since around 4:30 PM this afternoon, the Swiss Air Force is looking for a missing one-seater fighter plane. It's presumed lost in the Susten area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susten_Pass

Including this accident from today, from a fleet of 26 F/A-18C, one is presumed to have crashed, and from the fleet of 8 F/A-18D, three have crashed.

David
Last edited by flyingturtle on Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: F/A-18C missing in Switzerland

Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:24 pm

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/ ... t-18727554 (in German). The Air Force has announced a press meeting for 7:30 PM. No details are publicly known yet.

According to the weather forecast at meteoblue.com, the weather at the Susten pass was "fog/low stratus clouds with few cirrus", with no precipitation. Webcam images show the weather at the Susten pass to be very foggy and wet.

David
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Re: F/A-18C missing in Switzerland

Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:28 pm

Still no news about the jet, still no news about its pilot.

The facts:
- clouds from 1000 to 9000 meters altitude (the region has several mountain peaks ranging from 2000 to 3600 meters)
- plane took off at 4:01 PM, the pilot responded to a first call from the military ATC
- at 4:05 PM, the pilot did not respond to a second call
- the plane was involved in a simulated air combat - together with a 2nd F-18 against a F-5E
- all the jets flew under IFR
- a Super Puma helicopter overflew the area, presumably looking for a ELT signal
- due to visual conditions, no aircraft can do search flights at the moment

Max Ungricht, a Swiss aviation journalist, responded in an interview: "That the jet flies through clouds, and cannot avoid rock faces, this can happen to the best pilot." Well, I always thought pilots are getting medical training to prevent the cumulus granitus disease.

David
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Re: F/A-18C missing in Switzerland

Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:43 am

Still no news, no ELT signal received. But weather in the search area is improving.

At around 2 PM, the wreck has been found by helicopter. No information on the pilot yet. A press conference is scheduled for 4:30 PM. As of now, 3 PM, the Air Force is waiting for weather conditions to improve further in order to fly mountaineering specialists to the crash site.


This is the 4th F-18 crash of the Swiss Air Force, a quite high attrition rate for a fleet of 26 F-18C and 8 F-18D models.

1998: F-18D crashes in Crans-Montana. Spatial disorientation, the passenger (a F-5 pilot) activated the ejection seat, but too late. Both pilots died.
2013: F-18D crashes near Alpnach, CFIT accident in foggy conditions.
2015: F-18D crashes in France during an exercise. The single pilot ejects and survives.
2016: A F-5 crashes during at an air show in the Netherlands, pilot ejects safely.
2016: F-18C crashes near Susten Pass (this accident).

David
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:00 pm

Press conference...

The spokesman of the Air Force, and two officers (one German-, one French-speaking) have talked about the accident.

- an emergency signal (unclear from which of the three transmitters) was active for a short time, but too short to find the accident location
- the visual conditions made it unable to find the location earlier
- at the end of an alpine valley, above a glacier and below the rock ridge, a 20 meters large black spot was found, together with very small wreckage parts
- wreckage location is very hard to reach
- the aircraft from Meiringen AFB were relocated to Emmen AFB in order to free up that base for the search and salvage operations
- the Air Force is in the process of providing 24/7 coverage; as of now, they are able to offer quick alert response from 8 AM to 6 PM through Monday to Friday. As a next step, they plan 5 AM to 10 PM except weekends.
- still no question about the training level of Swiss military pilots, or how many hours a year they get to fly























- sadly no aviation experts among the journalists

David
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:47 pm

Unfortunately the pilot did not survive: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/f- ... g/42407206
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:32 pm

In a new twist, a newspaper reports that the pilot seemingly received a wrong altitude clearance.

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/ ... --31942986


David
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agill
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:43 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
In a new twist, a newspaper reports that the pilot seemingly received a wrong altitude clearance.

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/ ... --31942986


David


Well not flying into the ground is still the pilots responsibility no matter what the flight control says.
 
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:26 am

agill wrote:
Well not flying into the ground is still the pilots responsibility no matter what the flight control says.


And then, we would expect Swiss pilots to know the topography very, very well and they should know which safe altitude to expect in which area.

I hope this accident report will be digging a bit deeper and go into possible organisational failures in the air force, e.g. insufficient training or practise.


David
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:24 am

Another little twist: An insider said that the aircraft crashed at 3000 meters of altitude, in the extended line of the departure runway. He mentioned that when aircraft depart Meiringen AFB to the west, they would climb to 3000 m; while when departing to the east (as in this case), they would climb to 4500 m. It was the second F-18 solo flight of the 27 years old pilot.

I've checked this with a map, and it makes sense to have these minimum altitudes when departing from runway 10 (or 28, respectively).

David
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:27 am

Second solo flight.. hmm... rest in peace.
 
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:12 pm

The military justice has just said that Skyguide, the joint ATC facility for civil and military aviation, has indeed issued a clearance for the wrong altitude (10000 ft instead of 14300 ft, 10000 ft being the usual altitude for a west-bound departure). Skyguide at Dübendorf AFB wanted to contact to pilot about the wrong altitude, but yet was too late.

The FDR hasn't been located yet.


AirlineCritic wrote:
Second solo flight.. hmm... rest in peace.


Second solo flight in a F-18, to be exact.


David
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Re: Swiss Air Force: F/A-18C Crashed

Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:13 am

flyingturtle wrote:
The military justice has just said that Skyguide, the joint ATC facility for civil and military aviation, has indeed issued a clearance for the wrong altitude (10000 ft instead of 14300 ft, 10000 ft being the usual altitude for a west-bound departure). Skyguide at Dübendorf AFB wanted to contact to pilot about the wrong altitude, but yet was too late.


That is horrible.

I take back what I said about solo flights.

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