Friday, March 28, 2014

Exclusive- C130J crash- what could (not) have happened?

Neelam Mathews
March 28, 2014
As a stunned military views the crash of the IAF tactical transporter, C130-J, 75 miles west of Gwalior airbase in Madhya Pradesh, killing five, the Chief of IAF is said to have ordered an inquiry on the possible cause related to the mishap. While this is unprecedented, it shows the shock generated following the crash. “This cannot happen to a C170J, thought it was a cruel joke,’ an IAF official told AerospaceDiary.
Recent crashes of the C170 were in Norway and Italy.
Understandably, there has been no comment  from Lockheed Martin as yet.
While speculation would be out of place at this point, the C-130J that has an infrared detection set that permits precision low-level flying, could have suffered a failure of aerostructures that could be one or many of the following- in the wing, airframe or cockpit, said an engineer to AerospaceDiary. “This could lead to a failure in the fly-by-wire and other critical systems.” AerospaceDiary could not confirm this.
So, while we may never know, was this flight a part of an experiment to mount a local system that could have created a structural imbalance leading to severe displacement of the center of gravity? Again, we cannot confirm this.
An example cited by another official was when a few years ago, a SU-30 fly-by-wire had quadruple redundancy following breaking of one angle of attack. “Could there be a commonality in the supplier of the Boeing 777 and the C130 aerostructural supplier,”? we are asked. That, we feel, might be going too far. but truth is stranger than fiction.
What could NOT have happened?
·       Major bird hits in a 4-engine aircraft is remote
·       Mission computer failure is unlikely

·        Under tangling of undercarriage (as in Jaguars) ruled out because the aircraft was in the air

1 comment:

  1. Whats interesting is the poor training record of the IAF. Poor training does not imply that the crew were not diligent and professional.

    Thats why its called training; good & professional flight crew under go training on combat manoeuvres / aircraft flight envelope and other operational procedures and manoeuvres.
    Repeated training creates an awareness of how handle non- normal situations. Poor training / lack of simulator training / flying modern western aircraft the same way the old Soviet aircraft were flown; experts will say the crew resource management of a western aircraft compared to a Soviet aircraft are apples and oranges.
    What was the weather reported by Gwalior airbase at the time of the crash ?
    IAF has a lot of explaining to do here before it can be blamed on avionics failure.