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Bravo Zulu.

The crew of 6E645 launched from North Whiting Field on a day, VFR. student-traning flight. After the pilot retracted the gear, the aircrew heard a loud noise. Lt. Williams, who was the instructor pilot (IP), took the controls from Ltjg. Clark, and climbed into the emergency-orbit pattern. With gear indicating unsafe, the aircrew opened their NATOPS pocket checklists and did the emergency procedures for manually extending the landing gear. The left gear continued to indicate an unsafe, gear-in-transit condition.

After hearing of the gear problem with 6E645, Lieutenants Baldwin and Hatton were launched in another T-34 to look at the gear. They reported the left main gear was canted 45 degrees inboard. Following 30 minutes of unsuccessful troubleshooting, Lt. Baldwin returned to base to pick up Ken Erickson, a Raytheon QA representative. After another 90 minutes of troubleshooting, and with the left gear still stuck at 45 degrees, the crew of 6E645, along with maintainers, made an innovative decision. To minimize risk to the crew and to reduce damage to the aircraft, they elected to hand crank the gear into an intermediate position.

Lt. Williams, flying from the rear cockpit, and Ltjg. Clark landed the aircraft almost three-and-one- half hours after takeoff.

Post-flight inspection revealed a damaged shear pin in the left main-gear assembly and a damaged left main-landing-gear rod.

While flying a low-level traning sortie, the crew of the fleet replacement squadron aircraft 557 had a catastrophic failure of the left flaperon actuator. The pilot lost all lateral control. Assessing the situation, he applied full left rudder to upright the aircraft at 1,500 feet and climbed away from the deck. Once at altitude, the aircrew made controllability checks in the dirty configuration, and the crew set up for a 30-mile dogleg-left approach to runway 21 right at Yuma, Arizona. Flying the approach without lateral stick input and with the aircraft continually rolling to the right, Maj. Nelson used full left rudder and differential thrust to make an arrested landing. This was the second such failure in the history of the Prowler and could easily have resulted in a Class A mishap.

While transporting four passengers from Langley AFB in Hampton, Va., to Davison Army Airfield, just outside of Washington, D.C., the crew of a Navy UC-12B noticed an unusual sound while lowering the landing gear on final approach. The pilot at the controls, Cdr. Thomas Horgan, who has 3,000 hours in the King Air, promptly diagnosed a nose-gear chain malfunction, which was immediately confirmed by an accompanying unsafe nose-landing-gear Indication. Cdr. Horgan requested the delta pattern at Davison and Col. David Darrah, his copilot, broke out the NATOPS to the landing-gear-emergency section. AD2 Shelley Gehrki, the transport aircrewman, briefed the passengers on the situation as well as crash-landing and emergency-egress procedures.

In-depth troubleshooting procedures were discussed by the crew, maintenance (both at Davison and Andrews), and home-base personnel 160 miles away in Norfolk, Va., using Col. Darrah's cell phone. The crew performed the procedures from NATOPS, including an attempt to manually pump the gear down, applying positive G loading to the aircraft, and opening floor boards to gain access to the landing-gear system--all to no avail. After reviewing several options, Cdr. Horgan elected to diverted to Andrews AFB, because the runway was longer (9,300 feet versus 5,5(X) feet at Davison) and because of the parallel runways. With priority handling from Washington Approach to Andrews AFB, Cdr. Horgan coordinated with tower control to intercept an extended final for runway 19R, after orbiting to reduce their fuel load.

Cdr. Horgan told Col. Darrah to secure the engines immediately upon touchdown, by moving both condition levers to fuel cutoff and both propeller levers to feather. Cdr. Horgan then would close both firewall-shutoff valves and continue to fly the aircraft to a complete stop while Col. Darrah would secure all electrical power with the gang bar. Approach flaps were selected, and AD2 Gehrki removed and stowed the emergency-escape hatch as Cdr. Horgan maneuvered to execute a shallow, 110-to-120-knot approach, touching down on the main gear while holding the nose up.

As Col. Darrah secured the engines and feathered the propellers, the aircraft momentarily became airborne because of the reduced drag. Cdr. Horgan continued to fly the aircraft, tracked down centerline, and gently eased the aircraft back to the runway. Before elevator control was lost, Cdr. Horgan lowered the nose down to the runway. The aircraft skidded down the runway for 1,200 feet before stopping on centerline with 2,500 feet of runway remaining. The passengers and crew egressed the aircraft using the over-wing emergency-escape exit. No one was injured.

An inspection of the aircraft revealed that the nose-gear duplex chain, which moves the nose gear up and down, had failed. With this failure, any normal or alternate attempts to raise or lower the nose landing gear are impossible.
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Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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