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Aircrew safety. (Montly Award Winners).

Award of Distinction

Maj Edward Presley, 1 Lt Brian Ranaudo, Capt Robert Olson, and Capt Michael Gerney, call sign 'Tiger 41 were lead of a two-ship B-1 continuation training mission performing simulated interdiction missions for the 37th Bomb Squadron in the Powder River Military Operations Area (MOA). During air refueling, the crew noted decreasing hydraulic fluid quantity on hydraulic system number four. The wingman was asked if they saw any trailing fluid, with a negative response. Shortly thereafter, the number four hydraulic system failed from fluid loss. A disconnect was initiated from the tanker, and the crew elected to return to Ellsworth AFB for recovery of a relatively minor emergency. During the subsequent Return to Base (RTB), there was an electrical transient that caused most cockpit instrumentation to momentarily fall off line. The number four generator failed, causing the System Integration Panel (SIP) to trip bus tie number two and the number four load contactor. The SIP should have closed bus tie number two aft er the generator was taken off line, but failed to do so. This resulted in a loss of power to AC electrical buses three and four, and a loss of about half of the AC-powered equipment on the aircraft. Per the checklist, flaps and anti-skid braking should have worked; however, when an attempt was made to lower the flaps for landing, two of the three flap channels failed and the remaining flap channel by itself could not extend the flaps. The anti-skid system was also found to be inoperative although it was apparently unrelated to the other malfunctions. The crew elected to dump 70,000 lbs of fuel over the designated weapons jettison area, approximately 30 miles north of the base. A no-flap approach was flown with a 220,000 lb gross weight, flying at 198 knots indicated airspeed. Due to the inoperative anti-skid system, braking was applied and released several times during rollout to prevent brakes from locking up, and to keep the tires rolling. The aircraft stopped with 1,000, remaining on the runway with no ho t brakes or blown tires. The aircrew's superior airmanship, astounding systems knowledge, and strong situational awareness exhibited throughout this in-flight emergency helped in safely recovering a $280 million Air Force asset and the lives of everyone on board.

Maj Edward R. Presley, Capts Robert N. Olson, Michael S. Gerney, and 1 Lt Brian M. Ranaudo, 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota
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Title Annotation:military safety, aircraft accident prevention
Publication:Combat Edge
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Previous Article:Pilot safety. (Monthly Award Winners).
Next Article:Weapons safety. (Monthly Award Winners).

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