When It All Goes Wrong

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Goofy, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    A great example of semi-professional flight testing and professional flight testing. In my too many years of aircraft and engine development, if something doesn't go according to expectation, flying/testing stops until it's explained AND the fix verified. Engine problems are the first and foremost reason to stop.

    About the only similar engine example in my experience was the first flight of the F-111 where both engines stalled on takeoff roll at Carswell AFB and they went anyway because of all the "high priced help" from DC in the stands. Times have changed considerably since then.

    Cheers
     
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  2. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    My thought was: do not be the test pilot of any aircraft in which you have a vested financial and psychological interest. I wasn't there, and I am not judging his actions, but After the aborted takeoff, and knowing left engine was gone, he had several thousand feet of dirt and a few seconds to cut the engines and land on it. Sure, he'd likely groundloop, but so what?
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I haven't read up that part yet, but yes, there's a few pages about his mishap and ejection from a Mig 23. Says he died instantly from the supersonic slipstream ejection catching his helmet, breaking his neck, of which he died instantly. RIP.
     
  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    I can see that point...my perspective is that aviation business owners seem to be less risk-averse for a given flight than pilots who have no vested interest beyond employment.

    The other thing that struck me was the amount of angst he seemed to have over the first flight. When I've been around people who struggle that much with a flight, it usually seems to be trying to convince themselves to do something that their gut says they shouldn't do. Of course, that could very well have been emphasized for the drama effect. :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  5. nauga

    nauga Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Bravo Seriously
    You have the first two if not the last one, but the ones I know personally, on or off POA, are not commenting publicly.

    Nauga,
    and what we do in the shadows
     
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  6. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-Flight

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    Elliot did mention this when it happened and included some photos. He did not go into great detail since the ntsb was investigating.
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Ok, so you have experience with them and apparently are familiar with what a possible fix would be. My guess is they didn't, and so they probably categorized it the same way that they would've looked at it with other engines rather than check with the manufacturer. It's easy for people to categorize problems within what they know and have experienced in the past.

    I've already explained the justification for proceeding with a known squawk. Like I said, it's not uncommon. I also don't know much about RC flying (having never done it), but I'd tend to be more cautious about any engine issues on an RC aircraft than on a manned aircraft where I can control it more directly. It's always easy to second guess things after the fact.
     
  8. Salty

    Salty Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, I'm just not understanding your viewpoint, which is ok. To me, the entire point of what they were doing was the engines. To not have experience, or someone with experience dealing with the issues during the testing flights of the technology they are testing is mind boggling to me.
     
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  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I understand your viewpoint (and am just fine with you not understanding mine :) ).

    The engines were the big thing, I agree. One other thing to note is that on the airframe side, engines are usually more or less some sort of black magic box that the airframers wish they didn't need. It's an interesting view, especially for an engine guy like me.
     
  10. nauga

    nauga Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Bravo Seriously
    This has not been the case on any flight test program I've been involved in.

    Nauga,
    who has seen the fire come out the front
     
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  11. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'm overstating it some, but keep in mind my perspective is also coming from the engine side of the equation.
     
  12. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    @Ted DuPuis You said NTSB report above. Was that this accident? I can't find it. Do you have a link to it?
     
  13. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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  14. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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  15. wilkersk

    wilkersk Line Up and Wait

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    Kinda my point!
     
  16. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    As a long time Turbine Engine guy before I moved up the food chain to the whole Weapon System, I agree 100%. The Airframers are great about Thrust, AIrflow, Fuel Burn (and noise in the civilian world) but their general approach to engines is "Cold Air goes in the front, Gas goes in the side and Hot Air comes out the back, more or less as promised. What happens in the middle of this process is a black art." They generally can't afford to spend the manpower to understand the innards like GE, PWA and RR do and really have no need to. Boeing used to have some really knowledgeable engine guys but they were reassigned or retired years ago.

    Cheers
     
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  17. nauga

    nauga Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Bravo Seriously
    Now I understand how we ended up with the TF-30 ;)
    Seriously, in design and development maybe, but the thread at least started with flight test. If you're testing a new engine your test team better understand the engine(s) better than "suck squeeze bang blow"

    Whether that has any bearing on this particular incident is not for me to say.

    Nauga,
    and his gas producer
     
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  18. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    How reassuring. Can't wait for Boeing's new transport to come out, complete with two unreliable engines designed by hacks.
     
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  19. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I could write a book on what happened with the TF30 and the F-111 and a couple have been via AIAA Papers. Equal parts engine and inlet FUBAR. Took a major change to both the inlet design and engine control system to fix it. Spent four seemingly endless years sorting that out before I escaped. The USN and the Grumman Iron Works compounded the problem with the "podded" TF30 engines in the F14.

    As far as propulsion test teams, the engine toads handle the engine internals and the airframe weenies handle the inlet. The test pilot rightly trusts neither, especially in the propulsion test bird(s).

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  20. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    If Boeing (or Airbus) did the engine design, that's exactly what would happen. Fortunately, GE/PWA/RR know what they are doing (almost always):cool:.

    Cheers
     
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  21. brcase

    brcase Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hey, I resemble most of these points.

    I am not a aeronautical engineer, but spent nearly ten years working for Papa51 developing the Thunder Mustang, mostly designing and documenting the exterior and systems.
    I have test flown a number of aircraft, not a completely new design but mostly just minor to significant control or aerodynamic changes, including a complete redesign of the cockpit controls in my HP16T Sailplane. I have worked with professional test pilots such as Dave Morse.
    I have raced sailplanes for nearly 20 years.

    I also haven't commented on this thread at all, until now.

    I have also been around video documentaries enough to know that they do tend to get sensationalized, so it is hard to make accurate evaluation of what actually happened based only on the video.
    My observations of the video...
    If he wants to be a professional test pilot he needs to clean up his language to a more professional level.
    I agree with the thread comments about the throttle adjustment, we spent several weeks fixing these kinds of things on the Thunder Mustang, that were discovered during ground testing. We didn't fly it until everything we knew about was addressed. Test flying a new design is to find out the things you didn't or couldn't anticipate/fix. You have the best chance of handling unanticipated events when every thing you could fix has been done.
    I also questioned why they located the Turbines where they did. It seem to make much more sense to me to locate them near the nose of the aircraft. They had to add ballast to the nose because they located the turbines so far back.

    Brian
     
  22. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    I was thinking that the nose would have been a good place for the batteries...but they could have very valid reasons for not doing that, too.
     
  23. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Then why did they ever have engine guys at Boeing, in the first place?

    Furthermore, my cynical comment stands, ESPECIALLY having your information that there no longer any competent engine guys at Boeing. Boeing knows how to build an airframe, and GE knows how to build and engine, but we have Elmer Fudd making the choice of where to put them and integrate them into the system?

    Seems to me it would be advisable to invite a few of the competent engine guys back to Boeing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  24. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I have no idea why Boeing had engineers concerned about the inner workings of engines. I just know they did and I worked with them.

    Building an airframe includes locating and installation of the engine. Boeing (and other Airframers) have very competent engineers for those tasks. They just don't really care how the internal compressor, fan, burner etc operate as long as it performs as advertised with regards to thrust, fuel flow, airflow and power extraction. In fact, they will install any appropriate certified engine the end customer selects.

    Cheers
     
  25. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    That's too bad. It would be nice to have at least a few competent engineers on staff who know about engines.
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Very true. One of the interesting differences with most Boeing or Airbus birds compared to the GA fleet is that you have a selection of different engines to choose from from different manufacturers. Compare that to the piston world and that's not the case at all, or the turboprop/bizjet fleet. In some cases you have a sole engine option (737, CRJ/E-Jet, 777-300ER, etc.) but it's less common.
     
  27. keen9

    keen9 Filing Flight Plan

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    You are clearly talking only about Boeing Commercial Aircraft. I could go on and on about how little many engine company engineers know these days.

    In any case, putting a turbine engine inlet directly behind a wing is a pretty bad concept. Flying an engine that requires active pilot action to prevent flameout even during the landing is an good example of horrific risk management.
     
  28. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Yep. Engine dying because the "winds got squirrely" is just not good enough.
     
  29. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Totally agree about the incident aircraft engine placement. Really a problem waiting to happen and it did.

    As far as Airframers, both commercial and military, I've worked with everyone of them from Ryan Aero to THE Boeing Co (Military and Commercial) both before and after consolidation from 1964 to last year with Boeing St Louis, (formerly MacAir) and what their propulsion staff understands about the innards of engines vs the engine companies would be like comparing your home aquarium to the Pacific Ocean. Absolutely no problem with that since who can afford to duplicate design staff in a company if your not going to be in that business. Boeing used to be in the Turbine Engine business many moons ago but apparently decided to leave it up GE et al.

    Cheers
     
  30. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Cessna also tried developing some piston engines themselves, and ultimately decided to leave it up to Continental, Lycoming, etc.
     
  31. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    But they do own Lycoming. Also, putting a IO-360 in front of a C172 is a bit different from integrating two RR turbofans into a 787 system and airframe. Something about what Geezer said bothers me in that, if true, the Boeing guys are simply happy if the engines weigh what they're supposed to weigh, perform the way they're supposed to, etc., and that's the ONLY thing the ENTIRE Boeing company cares about.
     
  32. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    It may bother you but it doesn't seem to bother anybody I have found at THE Boeing Company (or elsewhere) in the Propulsion Groups. They really don't get allocated resources to worry about what GE/PWA/RR Turbine, Compressor/etc. design is doing to get the fuel burn, thrust, etc. Seems to work for them.

    The Marketing Guys worry a lot about the cost but they really have only some leverage in that department since the end customer, (lease company, American United, et al) are the prime negotiators with the Engine Company.

    Cheers
     
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  33. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Indeed it does bother me. If what you are saying is true, then essentially what is happening is Boeing is saying to GE or whomever, "Give me two thrusty things, and I'll stick them where we want it. Don't bother to tell me how it works--we don't have anyone here who understands engines--so give me those thursty things and promise me it won't break." If this is NOT true, then there are still people at Boeing who do understand engines, to some degree.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  34. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    A major component of this thread is a discussion about NOT understanding engines. It would seem logical that understanding engines and how they integrate with the airplane as a whole might have helped the test pilot.
     
  35. 3 in the green

    3 in the green Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Cool video. Lucky crash. Elliott is a great guy. Also a test pilot for Mooney.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  36. KA550

    KA550 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Seems the site has found a fully qualified propulsion engineer. I am sure Boeing and Airbus will soon start the bidding for his services to aid them in building a quality product. Hopefully the VP of Engineering at these poor companies will be able to get some technical design and flight test input from this highly qualified individual.
     
  37. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    If you mean me, thanks. For the past 20 or so years after I retired from my day job as Chief Engineer for the YF-22, YF-23, F120 and F119 and after that the C-17, I been hired by THE Boeing Company numerous times on a consultant basis along with several other airframe and also the engine companies. BTW, the pay is very good for part time work and probably cheaper than having a full time engine design department at the Airframers.:D

    Cheers
     
  38. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    Yes he truly is! And massively lucky here. I'd be curious how my language would be if I was convinced I was a few seconds from death..! Amazing the monday morning quarterbacking from those that, from their high horse, never faced the same situation. And somewhat pathetic.
    Fortunately the thread has morphed into interesting, for a change, side subjects!
     
  39. KA550

    KA550 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not you. You actually know what you are talking about and have true expertise in the field.
     
  40. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I am glad he's safe, and as I said above, I can't and won't judge, since I wasn't there.

    But you do realize that when one posts a crash video, pilots are going to talk about it, analyze what they might have done and might not have done, etc. Posting a crash video invites this type of discussion.
     
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