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Aircrew safety.

JSTARS Crew 8 consisting of 22 AD and ANG crew-members deployed from the 116 ACW, Robins AFB, Ga., successfully recovered two different aircraft experiencing severe mechanical failures while attempting to complete an OEF combat mission. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft's #1 fire light illuminated. The AC called for the emergency engine shutdown checklist, secured the engine, and leveled off at 10,000 feet. After a textbook 3-engine approach and night landing, the crew stepped to the spare aircraft. The second mission proceeded uneventfully until midway through a night, auto-pilot off air refueling outside of positive radar control when the aircraft filled with strong fumes. The MCC deployed firefighters to search for any indications of smoke and the source of the fumes. The flight crew began the process of isolating equipment as well as evacuating the fumes from the aircraft. A possible source was identified and isolated, and the crew returned to air refueling. Shortly thereafter, the fumes returned. The CP disconnected from the tanker while the crew donned oxygen again. The SMO reported a vibration and unfamiliar grinding noise. The crew immediately suspected a failure of the left ACM and turned it off. The rumbling ceased and the fumes were once again evacuated. With one ACM inoperative, the aircraft was altitude limited and would not be able to complete the fragged mission. The crew was forced to abort the mission during the most crucial part of the air route into the AOR with no established procedures in place to do so. The crew completed all required checklists and again dumped fuel to land at max gross weight. In less than 6 hours of flying, the 22 crewmembers safely handled two distinctly different emergences involving six emergency checklists resulting in the safe return of two $366 million E-8C JSTARS aircraft.



7 EACCS, 379 AEW

Al Udeid, Qatar
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Publication:Combat Edge
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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