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  #476  
Old 25-05-2017, 17:38
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

None of Old Salt's usual superb narratives here, just some rather frightening photos of the grounding of the Federal German navy's minehunter Gromitz in Norwegian waters in 2007:

https://www.firdaposten.no/lokalnytt...98929?start=16

Amazingly she was salvaged and is still in service today!
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  #477  
Old 27-05-2017, 09:35
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Nice one Tim ! No words required . Except perhaps from the CO wondering about farming , real estate, undertaking etc.

Brian
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  #478  
Old 03-06-2017, 12:19
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) – Fire 1981

On 26 May 1981 USS Nimitz (CVN-68) was operating off the eastern Florida coast in position 30º29’3” N, 080º22’0” W, course 160º speed 5 five knots during the second dog watch.

It was a particularly dark night, with a moderate breeze, slight seas with thin clouds above, no visible horizon, heavy haze at lower altitude and thunderstorms moving toward Nimitz. This combination was producing problems for aircrew in the landing cycle.

At 2124 a Marine EA-6B Prowler No. 610, a twin-engine, four-seat, electronic warfare aircraft was launched with pilot plus two ECM officers onboard to participate in an electronic jamming exercise. On completion the aircraft returned to Nimitz, entering the glidepath. 610 called ‘Ball’ at 2332 on sighting the optical landing lights. The landing approach became unsafe, 610 was waved off and ‘boltered’, increasing power to rejoin the end of the landing queue.

The flight deck was delayed by launching for 20 minutes and all waiting aircraft were told to conserve fuel. At 2343 Prowler 610 reported “Bingo’ (Fuel critical = less than 1000 lbs of fuel remaining) and was ordered to land. Re-entering the glidepath the pilot called ‘Ball’ and commenced final approach to landing. At 2350 the aircraft was ¾ mile out from landing, but above the glidepath, to left of centre and approaching too fast. The pilot applied power caused 610 to flatten approach & reduce rate of descent but crossed the centerline drifting right. [The next two paragraphs are redacted from the report. One source reports the LSO (Landing Signal Officer] calling “Power, Power” indicating that the aircraft was too low.]

610 crossed the stern of the flightdeck to right of the centerline missing the arrester cables and struck the tail of an SH-3 helicopter, continuing on to hit three Corsair A-7E tanker aircraft, a tow tractor and three F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft before coming to rest on the port edge of the flight deck. An intense fuel fire erupted which was promptly attacked by the ship’s firefighting teams. The fire was fed by a continuous flow of JP-5 fuel from the punctured tank of an F-14 aircraft that had just been refueled. The flight deck fire fighting systems prevented the fire from spreading and the fire was contained in an area of about 4000 square feet.

The EA-6B itself exploded near aircraft loaded with live ordnance, killing the crew and sending a “fireball” rolling across the flight deck, which cooked off 20 mm ammunition, spewing fragments into the men on deck. Sailors bravely and immediately plied hoses onto the inferno as the CO ordered left 30º rudder, altering the ship’s course about 90º to come out of the wind and force smoke away from the hose teams.

The three F-14 aircraft involved in the fire were each configured with one AIM-7F Sparrow missile, one AIM-9L Sidewinder missile, one AIM-54 Phoenix and 20mm target practice ammunition. Throughout the fire, numerous hoses were trained on the missiles to keep them cool. At 0020, about 28 minutes after the fire began, it was believed “out” and the order was given to move into the area to start on the clean up

As the sailors approached the scene, a Sparrow missile warhead detonated within the debris, an unexpected slow cook-off reaction of the explosive in the warhead. This explosion killed two crewmembers, injured seven and rekindled the fire, making a 12-inch long by 24-inch wide by 3-inch deep depression in the flight deck. Two more Sparrow warheads and one Sidewinder warhead detonated after the first explosion. In all, fourteen sailors were killed and thirty-nine were injured in this accident. Three aircraft were destroyed and nine were damaged. The cost to repair the material damage from this accident was over $100 million. The destroyer USS Moosbrugger (DD-980) was the pilot rescue (planeguard) detail, and her helo joined two from Nimitz to search throughout the night for survivors. They only recovered some aircraft wreckage.

Moosbrugger also refueled one of the carrier’s helos during the ordeal. All three helo aircrew performed superbly, including one that landed on Nimitz’s fantail at the edge of the wind envelope during the height of the fire, a dangerous maneuver which observers said could not be done under the circumstances, – until sailors persevered to aid their shipmates.

Nimitz passed through several rainstorms through the nightmare, however, the merits of avoiding increased wind over the deck offset difficulties imposed by the rain and the captain chose to keep way on to reduce wind interference.

The fire destroyed three F-14A Tomcats and one EA-6B Prowler, damaging two Tomcats, nine Corsair IIs, one F6 Intruder, three S-3 Vikings and one Sea King helicopter. The Naval Air Rework Facility at Jacksonville assisted with repairing eight A-7Es damaged by the fire, one of which was extensively damaged.

The human cost was also great: 3 Marines killed on board the Prowler, 11 from the ship’s company died and a further 48 Sailors and Marines were injured. The ship’s medical department initially treated the casualties, evacuating 21 of the more critically hurt to the Navy Regional Medical Center at Jacksonville , Fla. , which issued a “total recall” of all staff to respond to the emergency. Four of the most severely burned men went on to the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center at San Antonio, Texas.

A long Navy investigation determined that a combination of “environmental, mechanical and human factors” caused the Prowler’s loss. Attention from the crash was diverted somewhat towards drug usage. Forensic testing conducted found that several members of the deceased flight deck crew tested positive for marijuana. The responsibility for the accident was placed on the deck crew. The official naval inquiry stated that the accident was the result of drug abuse by the enlisted crewmen of the Nimitz, despite the fact that every death occurred during the impact of the crash, none of the enlisted deck crew were involved with the operation of the aircraft, and not one member of the deck crew was killed fighting the fire.

As a result of this incident, President Ronald Reagan instituted a "Zero Tolerance" policy across all of the armed services—which started the mandatory drug testing of all US service personnel. In another report, however, the Navy stated that pilot error, possibly caused by an excessive dosage of a cold medicine in the blood of the pilot may have degraded the mental and physical skills required for night landings."

Nimitz returned to Pier 12 at Norfolk on the 28 May to repair damaged catapults, getting underway for additional training two days later. The CO later awarded one distinguished service medal, 11 meritorious service medals and numerous other awards to Sailors and Marines for their heroic firefighting efforts.

References:

http://www.insensitivemunitions.org/...on-explosions/

http://www.nytimes.com/1981/06/19/us...marijuana.html

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase...t.php?id=77226

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...-6B_crash.jpeg

.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg USN Prowler EA-6B.jpg (81.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpeg USS Nimitz (CVN-68) flight deck after 1981 EA-6B crash.jpeg (743.8 KB, 22 views)
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  #479  
Old 03-06-2017, 16:37
Surfgun Surfgun is online now
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

The 1980's USN, from the Nimitz to the Iowa, blame was placed on enlisted personnel. It was definitely time for officers to stop placing blame elsewhere.
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  #480  
Old 06-06-2017, 09:23
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

I had to read that twice : and check with every reference I could find ! Beyond belief ! After interviewing over 400 people ? Quite simple to me, the pilot crashed his plane. I will never understand why a simple investigation report gets so diverted,complicated and lengthy. Have done a few myself as junior, but once senior officers have done the Staff Course it seems to take two paragraphs to say 'Yes' or 'No' and I grimace when signing it !
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  #481  
Old 06-06-2017, 20:44
FlankDestroyer FlankDestroyer is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Old Salt....did you find the actual Navy Report or just reports on the accident from third parties.

Looks from your references that the Secretary of the Navy attributed the primary cause of the CVN-68 accident to be the pilot/flight crew not the Flight Deck team.

It is common in these investigations to investigate every possible factor in an accident so Flight Deck procedures would also have looked at closely as you would expect. Usually there are many factors which contribute to the scope of these accidents above and beyond the initial error.

So many things have to work for safe carrier aviation. It is amazing to me that for the most part it is so routine.
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  #482  
Old 08-06-2017, 10:47
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlankDestroyer View Post
Old Salt....did you find the actual Navy Report or just reports on the accident from third parties.

Looks from your references that the Secretary of the Navy attributed the primary cause of the CVN-68 accident to be the pilot/flight crew not the Flight Deck team.

It is common in these investigations to investigate every possible factor in an accident so Flight Deck procedures would also have looked at closely as you would expect. Usually there are many factors which contribute to the scope of these accidents above and beyond the initial error.

So many things have to work for safe carrier aviation. It is amazing to me that for the most part it is so routine.
Hi
The bulk of my article was taken from the formal report of investigation. This of course is too large to attach in this Forum. But I apologise that I neglected to list the references for it.

Firstly go to the JAG website :

http://www.jag.navy.mil/library/jagm...stigations.htm

From the index of cases select the incident:

http://www.jag.navy.mil/library/inve...20MAY%2081.pdf

Page 39 records an opinion that pilot error was the cause but reading through to the 9th.endorsement,that records that there were many and varied causes.
At that point I completed my account of the accident. In the report there is no mention of the crew taking drugs, other than cough medicine. I could find no further official reports following on. except a long saga between Navy and Congress over drugs. That is outside the scope of this thread . I therefore skimmed through and commented briefly to give our members some later resolution.

I apologise if I have got it wrong, please enlighten us. I have to rely on Captain Google ! Although of course I was part of the Melbourne/Evans collision and inquiry.

Regards
Brian
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  #483  
Old 08-06-2017, 20:26
FlankDestroyer FlankDestroyer is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
Hi
The bulk of my article was taken from the formal report of investigation. This of course is too large to attach in this Forum. But I apologise that I neglected to list the references for it.

Firstly go to the JAG website :

http://www.jag.navy.mil/library/jagm...stigations.htm

From the index of cases select the incident:

http://www.jag.navy.mil/library/inve...20MAY%2081.pdf

Page 39 records an opinion that pilot error was the cause but reading through to the 9th.endorsement,that records that there were many and varied causes.
At that point I completed my account of the accident. In the report there is no mention of the crew taking drugs, other than cough medicine. I could find no further official reports following on. except a long saga between Navy and Congress over drugs. That is outside the scope of this thread . I therefore skimmed through and commented briefly to give our members some later resolution.

I apologise if I have got it wrong, please enlighten us. I have to rely on Captain Google ! Although of course I was part of the Melbourne/Evans collision and inquiry.

Regards
Brian
Thanks for the links. These official accident reports are most always very comprehensive. My experience with JAG investigations is that nobody is spared.

Your comment in the third paragraph from the bottom of your summary of the accident report was "The responsibility for the accident was placed on the deck crew." This gave me the impression that the Flight Deck crew was primarily responsible and I do not think that was the case as indeed likely pilot error started the chain of events.

That was the cause of my confusion. I have no enlightenment to share beyond fighting the flight deck fire was certainly out of the hands of the A-6 flight crew after the crash so perhaps the crash responders and leadership could have performed better in a perfect world. Certainly the flight deck crew were not responsible for the accident just perhaps a victim of the tragic consequences.

I think your summaries make good lessons learned and are very instructive. Thank you. I would say as a matter of course aircraft accident investigations and follow on JAG inquiries were enormously valuable to the fleet both to reinforce existing protocols and in developing new standard procedures and equipment. Unfortunately some new rules seem to be written in blood! As bad as this accident was I believe CVN-68 actually was better prepared because of the thorough review of accidents on flight decks of US Carriers in the late sixties during very high tempo operations off Vietnam.

Your final note about the Melbourne/Evans collision and inquiry is particularly telling to me. I lost a schoolmate in that collision. That case study is still taught today to young future USN Officer of the Decks about to go out and operate in the vicinity of aircraft carriers.

Thanks again.
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  #484  
Old 14-06-2017, 02:55
Surfgun Surfgun is online now
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Article: USCGC McCulloch, a former Asiatic Squadron warship that was lost in collision with a steamship in 1917.
https://www.navytimes.com/articles/c...ulled-from-sea
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