Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One flight deck incident damages 3 Harriers...the hits keep coming for Marine Air...

via DodBuzz.com
While the pilot was given a clean bill of health and no other personnel were hurt, the explosion and fire caused damage to two other Harriers on the deck and one $3.6 million LITENING advanced targeting pod, according to the investigation.

Other Harriers that had already launched from the aircraft were diverted to Bahrain after the fire and ordered to jettison their bombs at sea in a designated “drop box.”

While the investigation cleared the pilot of any culpability in the incident, it left questions unanswered as to what caused the engine failure, described by the investigating officer as “catastrophic.”

The aircraft was found to be properly maintained and within guidelines for operation. Multiple witnesses and the pilot suggested the damage was caused by a problem with a compressor blade.

“The investigating officer was unable to determine what exactly caused aircraft BuNo 165003 to suffer an unexpected and catastrophic engine failure on 8 March 2016,” the investigation states. “An Engineering Investigation is warranted and should be conducted by the AV-BB Fleet Support Team (FST) upon the USS Kearsarge’s return to the United States.”
Story here.

Read the whole story and be impressed.  That RAF pilot done good.  Don't know him but his nation should be proud of the airmanship demonstrated.

As far as Marine Air is concerned the hits keep coming.  What I would like to know and they obviously didn't release is how bad was the damage to the other 2 planes.

Are they considered writeoffs too?

Regardless Marine Air seems snakebit.  It beyond obvious that there is something seriously wrong in that house and Davis put wallpaper over cracks. It's past time Neller reassessed its thinking.

Aviation Centric Marine Corps?

They can't handle that much stress.

Proper leadership?

Obviously not. Davis spent his time promoting the F-35 and MV-22 instead of looking after the health of the Wing as it was during his tenure. He violated the old maxim of command.  Leave it better than when you found it.  In other words Marine Air is in a much worse place after Davis than it was before he took charge.

The new Deputy Commandant for Aviation and the Commandant need a come to Jesus moment. 

They need to get serious about fixing things before even more Marines (and exchange personnel) die on training flights.

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