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USAF C-135 crashes in Kyrgyzstan

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posted on May, 3 2013 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


I think the odds are much better that a fuel pump went than a MANPADS was involved. Contrary to Hollywood when a plane is hit by a SAM it doesn't just explode (see DHL over Baghdad). If they had been hit by ground fire there would have been time to radio something, and it most likely would have hit the ground intact.




posted on May, 3 2013 @ 08:14 PM
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I dont know why you guys hate the 130... I never had any issues while flying in them. And I flew in them a lot.

But... to each his own I guess.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:22 AM
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reply to post by antar
 


My thoughts are always with the crew. But in cases like this, there is a good chance that I "know" the aircraft, and in this case I did. Not the crew, as most of the people I knew that were tanker crewdogs are out by now, but I spent some time working on and with this aircraft when it transited through the base we were at.

Kyrgyzstan is one of the next door neighbors of Afghanistan, which is why the US is so determined to keep a base there until the troops are out of Afghanistan.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by Glassbender777
 


The last fatal KC-135 incident that I can remember was in the 1990s. We lost two or three birds to a faulty center wing fuel pump design. Instead of recycling a small amount of fuel to lubricate the pump, it was using that fuel. Once it ran out there was metal on metal contact, causing a spark inside the fuel tank, which at that point was empty, and just like this one, the aircraft exploded.

The problem was eventually identified when an aircraft on the ramp at the depot exploded killing four mechanics that were working on it. They found one in the forward portion of the cabin, and three in the cockpit. They identified the DNA of one of them on the center fuel pump switch, and after modeling the body position were able to determine that he had just thrown the switch to turn on the center fuel pump to transfer some fuel into the tank, and it exploded, killing all four.

ETA: Whoops, the fuel pump was 89, but the last fatal accident WAS in the 90s, 1999 an aircraft landing in Germany had the trim tabs in the full nose up position, stalled and crashed on approach.
edit on 5/4/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:27 AM
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reply to post by Gwampo
 


Actually, it's not. The National Air Cargo flight was departing Bagram, and stalled on take off. This aircraft was heading into Afghanistan and exploded in mid-air (at least that's what the initial reports say).



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:48 AM
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Sources other than the Pentagon have confirmed that the aircraft was from McConnell (which we already knew from the tail), but the crew was from Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington. The Pentagon hasn't officially confirmed it, but three sources from the base have told news organizations that the crew was theirs.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 06:15 AM
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Officials have recovered the remains of two of the crew. It took them a long time to find the cockpit section of the aircraft. Reports say now that one of the wings came down on a house in the area.

Some reports keep saying the aircraft broke apart after the fuel on board caught fire, but I've never heard of fuel catching fire first, and then the aircraft coming apart. The aircraft most likely came apart first, and then the fuel caught fire.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 08:17 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Yeah it looks like a malfunction caused a break up but with a few photos you can never really tell.
Also I don't have access to the black box data.

The location / region is why I mentioned the possibility of some guy with a strela because in that region we have several criteria met :
1) Availability of Strelas
2) Motive to attack US assets

Anytime a US jet crashes over in Asia I carefully consider hostile action as a potential causation.

I do concede that these airplanes are way over engineered and have way too many parts that need to be in working order. So a malfunction is admittedly the most likely cause.

Hmmm...if it was a hostile attack, would they admit it after their review and subsequent report?
In Kyrgyzstan they may want to sweep it under the rug, I don't know.
The political instability there is extreme, they just had a major internal conflict a few years ago.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Unless they've been modified in recent years three-135s that I worked on didn't have black boxes.

The Air Force is required by law to publish an accident report, which can be classified, but I know a few people that can probably get their hands on it if necessary.

This does look really similar to the fuel pump problem we had years ago. When that center wing pump goes, the whole aircraft comes apart. The birds we launched were limited on how much fuel they could carry and would frequently fuel everything but the center wing tank, and launch with it empty. Then in flight they'd move fuel around and fill that tank.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 11:37 AM
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The bodies of all the crew have been recovered. the nose of the aircraft was found "a few kilometers" from the main wreckage. The crew had been trying to work around a storm front at the time of the crash.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:52 PM
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A map of the general area.




posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by roadgravel
A map of the general area.



A few things to consider. Manas AB is in the capital city of Bishkek. It costs the United States Air Force around 6-9 thousand dollars per plane to land there. It's not the best place to live by any means.

I was chief boom there in 2004 for a couple months and deployed there many times as a flying boom. The departure and arrival into Manas is, well, a scary thing to say the least. Some of the peaks flying south into Afghanistan get pretty high. There's always fog in the area in the winter months. We got a tasking order one time to launch the Alpha alert for a CAP mission in Afghanistan with zero visibility. Needless to say I was the only one answering the phone that night as chief boom, ended up waking up my squadron commander, who in turn woke up the three star to get the ok to launch. I dont know how, but we launched the tanker with zero visibility and had a successful mission.

A few things to consider. They said this plane had a five person crew. That to me says spec ops. They also said its a McConnell jet with a fairchild crew: spec ops. The KC-135 does have parachutes onboard. They always have and they always will. The emergency chute hatch is a joke really. You pull down a bar, which shoots down a chaft that disrupts the air stream, in theory, enough to get separation from the airplane to parachute down. I've only heard of one successful jump from a 135 before. It was a Nav that jumped when the rest of the crew successfully landed the plane.

The pumps Zaphod is referring to are indeed a safety concern. If the fuel doesn't lube them, then it can create a spark and explode. But in order for this to happen, the fuel in those tanks has to be damn near out and empty and since they just took off from Manas, I doubt they were empty.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


yeah I was a F-16 Crew Chief, and believe it or not you can put a Cigarette out in a can of JP8 ( jet fuel ) and it will put the cigarette out, heh. You need to atomize the fuel and ignite it for the explosion / combustion to happen. So when a jet crashes it's when the break up of the fuel tank and atomizing through the wreckage scattering about combined with sparks from metal on metal on rocks and whatever else and boom. Sometimes you have the right variables for the same thing in the air.

in regards to the crash, just bothers me that a 135, and the other big craft ( if it isn't a joke but CNN is reporting on it still ), we need a more stable means of travel instead of this crude bottle rockets with people idea we have been using...

Maybe our global climate extremes is causing weather our plane tech cannot handle too well. I mean with the info above I mentioned about atomizing fuel for combustion and incresing water born storms with wind = Not good.

I had to keep everything out of the intakes of the f-16, and still had damage from sand, dust, air, electrons lol you name it, if you saw what was inside a turbine of a jet engine to make you go through the air you'd cry and run home.

Gliders are more safe, do that and live to enjoy it again.
edit on 4-5-2013 by Tranceopticalinclined because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


At one point in time, we would launch an R model with a 210,000 lb fuel load, with a 110 offload planned. After the restrictions were placed on them that was dropped to a max of 180,000. They would usually put a minimal amount in the forward and aft body tanks, and transfer it out after takeoff.

From the description of the debris field, whatever happened took place in the forward body tank. The nose section was described as being "several kilometers" from the rest of the aircraft. That sounds like the cockpit separated first, then the rest of the aircraft came apart.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 09:20 AM
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Update:

The aircraft departed McConnell AFB as RCH806 May 30th, with a stop a RAF Mildenhall May 1st, and arrived at Manas May 2nd. This would have apparently been its first mission in Afghanistan after arriving in theater. While the remains of the crew have been found, the cockpit/nose section of the aircraft has yet to be found. The rest of the aircraft was found in two pieces, with at least one of them making a high speed impact, leaving a scar in the hillside.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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The Pentagon has released the names of the crew members killed in the crash.

They are:

Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27 , of Colorado Springs, Colorado
Capt. Victoria A. Pickney, 27, of Palmdale, California
Tsgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, California

Thoughts and prayers to the families of all three.



posted on May, 6 2013 @ 07:48 PM
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www.krem.com...
Pinckney leaves behind a husband, a 7-month-old son, and her parents.

A small baby needs her mom. Active duty and motherhood are incompatible.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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From June 20th, there is a cell phone video showing the fuselage falling on fire, before it impacts the ground behind some trees. It's not the best video, as it was shot from several miles away, but you can clearly see flaming wreckage falling.

Cell phone video



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Wow, looks like either the forward or aft body tank exploded, probably caused by a pump not getting lubricated by the fuel. This is a warning in the dash 1 for the tanker. If the pumps are turned on and theres no fuel to lubricate them, they can spark, causing an explosion. What I don't get is why there would be no fuel in the body tanks if it was on a mission to Afghanistan. There would be fuel in those tanks.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


I'll have to try to find somewhere that describes the debris field, and see if we can tell from that which tank it was. I know they said initially that some of the wreckage was found far from the rest of it.



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