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F-22 Down

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posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 10:56 PM
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Thanks, Zaphod. The next dry lake over (nw) is Cuddeback, where X-15 pilot Mike Adams landed prematurely on his first flight, and died in his X-15 (7th flight?) when it broke up and crashed just northwest of Cuddeback. I don't think many people know that Mike Adams, along with other X-15 pilots, was considered an astronaut.
Now there shall be another site to pay homage to Icarus.




posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 10:07 PM
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From the Edwards AFB site


F-22A crash claims life of Edwards pilot




3/25/2009 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Air Force F-22A crash today claimed the life of a USAF veteran and Lockheed Martin test pilot.

David Cooley, 49, of Palmdale, Calif., died when the F-22A he was piloting crashed northeast of Edwards AFB. Cooley worked as a test pilot with Lockheed Martin, and was employed at the 411th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, on Edwards AFB. Cooley joined Lockheed Martin in 2003 and was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He worked at the F-22 Combined Test Force, where a team of Lockheed Martin and Air Force pilots conduct F-22 aircraft testing.

"This is a very difficult day for Edwards and those who knew and respected Dave as a warrior, test pilot and friend," said Maj Gen David Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and his family as we struggle through, and do all we can to support them." www.edwards.af.mil...



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:43 PM
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That's a shame, but it sounds like he had an amazing aviation career.

It's not a bad way to go, pushing the limits on the hottest machine in the sky.



posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 12:40 PM
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I hope they don't ground the Raptor for this. My condolonces to the family of the pilot, for what it's worth. I just wonder, why do we need all these thrust vecotoring jobs when the enemy is still flying MIGs that lose nuts and bolts every time they take off?



posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by dashen
 


The Raptor fleet will likely be grounded for some time, as is standard procedure. The extent of this will depend on the initial findings of the investigation. If the F-22 fleet swiftly returns back to normal operation (without the investigation concluding) it might be reasonable to assume that the accident was pilot related.



posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by dashen
 


Because those MiGs are more than capable against the F-15 and F-16, and the average age of those fleets is over 20 years old. The F-15 average age is 26 years old. They are G limited when they fly, and they spent almost three months grounded after one snapped in two during a training flight.

I doubt they'll ground them unless they find a system problem. If one goes down, then they just keep an eye on the investigation, and keep flying. If they start to see that it might be a serious problem THEN they ground them.

[edit on 3/27/2009 by Zaphod58]



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Lockheed Martin confirmed that pilot David Cooley, 49 was killed when the F-22 he was flying crashed near Edwards AFB. He was a 21 year veteran of the USAF and had been with Lockheed Martin since 2003.


Condolences to his loved ones.
A question here: Do Edwards AFB tests involve both weapons tests and flight envelope testing? Or one of the two?

A 21 year veteran (guessing minimum 2500 flight hours on fighters?) was lost in an accident that involved a 5th gen aircraft with top-of-the-line fail safe systems. This ould only mean any, some or all of the following:

1) Something went drastically wrong in already-proven flight operations.
2) The testing flight safety envelope/buffer was not there (ground control error or pilot flying outside mission profile?)
3)Something radically new was being tested on/with the F-22 airframe, which itself has undergone a testing profile only second in rigor to the F-35, I believe?

Any ideas? Everyone who doesn't know what happened will be perplexed, and deeply interested in this.. in the US and definitely beyond.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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I got to thinking...I remember the large number of non-enemy-fire crashes of the F-4 Phantom in Viet Nam, which resulted in the Phantom being retested at Edwards to find out why.
It got me to a question. Could we be looking at more crashes if the F-22 would be involved in protracted combat? Or have we pretty much tested it out?

Also, could some crashes be the result of asking it to do something it wasn't originally designed for...for example, increasing the weapons load? If a figure skater or gymnast trains at a certain body weight/shape/size, then gains weight/shape/size, the difference can show up in a decrease in performance.

The crash site seems to be north of Harper Lake and east of Fremont Peak. My husband and I had had a quad ride planned for Saturday, on a trail passing through the site area. But Edwards says to continue to avoid that area; they're still cleaning up "hazardous materials." I'm going to assume the AF will pick up every piece.
There should be about 200 riders for the memorial ride (for a teenager who was killed on his dirt bike), and some say they will ride over after the ceremony, to see if they can view what's going on.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3
1) Something went drastically wrong in already-proven flight operations.
2) The testing flight safety envelope/buffer was not there (ground control error or pilot flying outside mission profile?)
3)Something radically new was being tested on/with the F-22 airframe, which itself has undergone a testing profile only second in rigor to the F-35, I believe?


4) It was an accident. Something went wrong and the pilot didn't get out. It could have been a physiological problem, it could have been a black out, it could have been another double engine failure brought about by pilot error, etc.

I seriously doubt that it's any sort of fleet wide problem, as they have been flying them in pretty significant numbers for several years now. The only problem that they've found to date is the adhesive problem with the first 30 aircraft.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
4) It was an accident. Something went wrong and the pilot didn't get out. It could have been a physiological problem, it could have been a black out, it could have been another double engine failure brought about by pilot error, etc.


Yeah well 1,2,3 are most definitely accident-oriented (I didn't mean to imply otherwise) and also in line with the fact that something went wrong and the pilot didn't get out. No doubts there. Any accident has that basic fundamental definition. This was definitely an accident and not something intentional.

The only thing I'm trying to point out here is that this was a very senior pilot who was lost in an aircraft that one could wager to be to one of the 'safest' operational flying systems in the US military today, especially from the technological standpoint.
That lessens (but obviously does not exclude) the chances of this being due to pilot error or system failure (mechanical, electronic or both) and especially lessens the chances of it resulting in the death of the pilot.
The majority of the fatal mixtures are, new pilot and/or new airframe.

Now I agree, something as simple (and non-sensational) as an ejection system snag (which no experience can prevent) could have resulted in the eventual loss of the pilot. Similarly, even the most experienced pilots are subject to erroneous decisions which can result in loss of life. Its just that all this is less likely in this case, as compared to any other.




I seriously doubt that it's any sort of fleet wide problem, as they have been flying them in pretty significant numbers for several years now. The only problem that they've found to date is the adhesive problem with the first 30 aircraft.


I totally agree there as well. This was a crash resulting from a test flight and not an operational mission, which again indicates that whatever went wrong here, should not go wrong with a/c in the operational fleet (possibly because it has not been tried/used in operational profiles).

Now if the fleet was grounded (even partially), then one would wager that the accident was something that could occur in any operational F-22, hence justifying the reason for the grounding. That has not happened and if it does not happen, it leads me to believe that only one (or both) of the following happened:

1)Human Error on proven systems/procedures (pilot, ground crew, ground control). Note that this is a test flight center so the guys here I presume are really good at what they do, especially for already operational systems/procedures.
2)Catastrophic failure of a non operational system/procedure that was being tested.

Not trying to making a mountain out of a mole hill here; this just strikes me as a tad odd for a normal run-of-the-mill fighter accident.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3
The only thing I'm trying to point out here is that this was a very senior pilot who was lost in an aircraft that one could wager to be to one of the 'safest' operational flying systems in the US military today, especially from the technological standpoint.
That lessens (but obviously does not exclude) the chances of this being due to pilot error or system failure (mechanical, electronic or both) and especially lessens the chances of it resulting in the death of the pilot.
The majority of the fatal mixtures are, new pilot and/or new airframe.


Lessens, but doesn't eliminate. July 30, 2008 F-15D 85-0131 was being flown by Lt. Col. Thomas Bouley, commander of the 65th Aggressor Squadron. He had 4,200 flight hours, and 265 combat hours in the F-15 and Tornado F.3. He exceeded AOA, and entered a flat spin, aggravated by an external fuel tank imbalance, and an imperfection in the nose cone. They spun 20 times in 87 seconds, before recovering and ejecting too low. The RAF observer in the back seat survived, but Col. Bouley's chute didn't open before impacting the ground.

They're uncommon when you reach the level that these pilots were at, but they still happen. Col Bouley was killed because he was going by the feel of the aircraft, not by his instruments and training. He got into a situation where he thought he could get out of it, by seat of the pants, instead of instruments, and crashed.

More experienced pilots that get into bad situations are actually in MORE danger at times than newer pilots are. Newer pilots are more prone to pay attention to their instruments and training, whereas older pilots that have a lot of experience in those aircraft tend to rely on instinct and seat of the pants flying.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


yea well, I get your point and I think you get mine. I understand the concept flying by the feel of the a/c, and I also understand why it can cause judgmental errors that are easily avoided by instrument tracking.

Operational sorties (and even wartime missions) may induce that fly-by-feel approach since there are so many other things that the pilot's got his mind on. Test flights (where all are primarily obsessed with tracking a/c vital stats in-flight and on ground) do not warrant that approach most of the times.

Test pilots (esp test fighter pilots) have a separate flying ethos as far as I know. They fly by the book, to the numbers and within the mission profile. This is not only to prevent catastrophic failure and/or loss of aircraft/life, but more so because if they don't do that, they invalidate the test itself by injecting new unknown variables into the test, thus causing the test flight to potentially fail even if the a/c is unharmed. Their expertise is in preempting things going awry before they actually do and this all within the theory/ground test approved flight envelope. Of course, they're more capable of saving the plane and/or themselves if things do go wrong.

But I'm sure we both know this. This was not a routine mission (peacetime/wartime) or a training mission or a brand new airframe being flown within a year of IOC or even within 6 months of FOC.
The weird thing is that this was a monitored test flight on a comparatively proven airframe/flight system with an experienced pilot and it still resulted in the death of the pilot.

Enough said though. Lets see what the inquiry reveals.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by desert
Could we be looking at more crashes if the F-22 would be involved in protracted combat? Or have we pretty much tested it out?


One thing to remember is that as F-22 operation and flight tempos ramp up we will lose airframes and sadly more pilots.

Stuff happens as evidenced by the B-2 crash. Yes, I suspect that you will see more. It actually a testament to the pilots, and the maintainers that the rates of many are so low for machines flown so close to the edge.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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Thanks, FredT, for the reply.

I'm going to go out on the limb with these thoughts.
There are reports of a distress signal/call. If it was a call, the pilot may have told Edwards he was ejecting Sometimes something goes wrong then. AF was on scene early enough to turn away civilian emergency personnel.

At first I thought maybe the pilot had somehow tried to land at Harper; but then when the site was better pinpointed, it is not over anything landable. Then I thought, did he hit the side of Fremont, with the debris emitting a signal, not likely.
There sounds like lots of debris, if they're still blocking the area off. There would not have been a body to take to an area hospital, unless he had ejected.

It was reported the "chase" plane lost sight of him. Don't know how that could be, unless they had been intentionally maneuvering apart at some point during the flight, and the accident started when they were apart for even a few seconds. If they were returning to Edwards, I would think that the chase plane would have kept the F-22 in sight.

If this flight was to test for something new (weapon wise) to do with the plane, then the rest of the fleet wouldn't be grounded, at least right away.
Since Lockheed has recently promoted the F-22 as a job saving measure, even this crash might not affect production. What might affect it's shelf life is if this test mission proved the craft couldn't do something. Then who knows, maybe the argument will start up again over using UACVs. We will find out.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by desert
 


The pilot was found in the wreckage, with no attempt to eject being made.

That being said, the chase plane may have been handling things of their own, which led to them losing sight of the MA.

As to test pilots flying by the book, test pilots ALWAYS push the envelope, that's how they learn the limits. Test pilots are human too and make mistakes. Several F-22 incidents were brought about because the test pilots made mistakes. The first F-22 accident, where the aircraft porpoised onto the runway, was because the pilot failed to follow checklists after power was disconnected for a couple of seconds.

The October 2007 incident where they lost power in both engines was brought about because the pilot failed to set the trim properly, and got into a position where both engines flamed out for a second.

Test pilots follow the mission program, but they push the envelope a lot. Sometimes the envelope pushes back.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 

Yes. Thanks, Zaphod, for your reply.
Sometimes what works in one situation does not work in a similar situation. The split second decision is made, the die is cast, the outcome fatally awaited. Sometimes you think, or don't have time to think, "Oh, sh**, I should have..." I can remember, way before it was popularized, the phrase "screw the pooch."
As long as we have aircraft with pilots onboard, we will have loss of life.

The moment man takes off in controlled flight, he is only akin to the true owners of the air. Man will then do what birds do not...explore. We say, "What if...?". I am once again reminded of a song by Glen Yarbrough

Some men climb a mountain,
Some men swim the sea,
Some men fly above the sky:
They are what they must be.
But, baby the rain must fall,
Baby, the wind must blow,
Wherever my heart leads me
Baby, I must go, baby I must go.

At the risk...no, I don't care if I make males laugh...but when I first saw the F-22 in flight, I thought, "What a cute, perky plane!" I just hope that it will not become Frankenstein's monster, asked to do more than it was created to do.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Ah well.. mistake or not.. I'm trying to find out what the mission profile was. Its presumptuous to talk about pilot error or anything else. Bottom line is 'what transpired'.

No attempt to eject eh? Didn't get a chance to?
Somebody know the approx location of the crash site? Lat/Long?
Happened at 10am so doubt it was anything to do with with instrument-only night/low viz flying etc. etc.
Low level flight? Midair explosion?




[edit on 28-3-2009 by Daedalus3]



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by Daedalus3
 


Re approximate location. Try Long 117deg 20min Lat 35deg 10min That is a little NW of Harper Dry Lake, which actually can have some wet area, as it is a birding area. Lockhart used to be a town; there's a solar plant out that way now.

There are reports of people in Palmdale "hearing" the crash; PMD could have heard a sonic boom, attributing it to the crash. But PMD is too far away to "hear" the crash.
If they did hear a sonic boom at about the same time as the crash, and it came from the F-22, then maybe the craft was supersonic before the crash.

There definitely have been sonic booms out there this year. Enough to freak out my cat. There was so much going on out there the week before last, I didn't bother to see which type of craft was causing the booms. I did see an F-22 accompanied by another craft; but then pretty soon there would be a contrail making a U higher up. Sometimes a contrail was seen making a U way over east, in the general direction of the crash.

It's pretty much a 9 to 5 job out there, unless there's a night flight scheduled. Some year I'm going to invest in a pair of night vision goggles. lol The military might not care for that, but, hey, I want to see what my tax dollars pay for...transparency lol

In the world of test flight, there will always be "pilot error". From Chuck Yeager's accident at one extreme of piloting, to today's other extreme of a controlled test mission. Something's bound to "go wrong" at some time, either with the craft itself or with a reaction to what went wrong or maybe even a misjudgment on the pilot's part, even a highly experienced pilot in a complex system. It does seem that pilot error has lessened, but it still must be taken into consideration. Kind of like a surviving spouse being the first suspect in the death of a spouse.

I'm still amazed at how craft fly, satellites orbit the Earth, and spacecraft go to other planets.
God bless all who do not return to Earth safely.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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The October 2007 incident where they lost power in both engines was brought about because the pilot failed to set the trim properly, and got into a position where both engines flamed out for a second.

An incorrect trim setting? Wonder how THAT made the engines flame out...



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


He had 8 SDBs in the weapons bays, and attempted a 360 degree negative G roll. He had an incorrect trim level setting and flamed out for an instant. It was so fast that the pilot didn't even know it happened until after he landed, and they were going over the telemetry.



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