The pilot continued to hold the controls neutral for a short time before shoving the stick full forward. At 10,000 feet--the hard altitude for ejection if the aircraft still isn't showing any indications of recovery--the angle of attack was pegged high, the turn needle was full left, and the airspeed was oscillating between zero and 70 knots. (The S-3 NATOPS states that a constant airspeed is one of the indications of a spin, but the manual does not elaborate on what that airspeed actually is. The pilot reasoned that since the airspeed was oscillating, he wasn't in a spin, so he never put in antispin controls.)
Passing 7,000 feet without any signs of imminent recovery, the pilot called for ejection. The instructor NFO in the right front seat initiated ejection, and as his seat fired clear of the aircraft, the rocket motors gave the pilot first and second degree burns on his face and neck. All four aviators were subsequently pulled out of the water by an air wing search and rescue helo.
Grampaw Pettibone says:
The only thing missing in this here escapade was the pilot saying, "Watch this," before he started his unbriefed departure. And "unbriefed" ain't never a good thing in my experience. Leave spontaneity to the horn blowers in them Beale Street jazz bands. Aviators need to brief the flight and then fly the brief.
The lack of a clear definition in the Blue Pill regarding what constitutes a spin didn't help none, neither. Of course, at the cost of a sub-hunting tanker, the NATOPS reads a little more clearly now. All Gramps can say about that is it's a helluva way to run a railroad.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Naval Aviation News|
|Date:||May 1, 2005|
|Previous Article:||Media mayhem.|
|Next Article:||H-53 maintenance simplified.|
|Blanche Passes Go.|
|Fire in Beulah.|
|Carbone, Elisa. The pack.|
|Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted.|
|Kostick, Conor. Epic.|