Skip to comments.Former C-130 pilot studies plane crash video (#1 engine failure)
Posted on 05/14/2018 6:13:29 PM PDT by Eddie01
STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Pilots who have flown massive aircraft like the C-130 know all too well the challenges and dangers that come along with it.
We spoke with a veteran pilot Thursday who is heartbroken for the airmen killed in the crash in Port Wentworth Wednesday. He says problems arise from the size, the weight, and the age of these aircraft.
Derek Duke flew transport planes like the C-130 in his 30-year career as an Air Force pilot. He watched his television Wednesday through the coverage of the crash - heartbroken - but also trying to analyze what went wrong.
"Looking at the video of the crash site, the flame pattern, wondering if there were any survivors," he said.
The crash killed all those on board. Duke says many crashes for these planes happen on takeoff, especially as the large planes loaded with fuel climb steeply then begin to level off.
"There is change, not only in the power the engine is producing and the thrust of the propeller but also the airflow," he said.
He said he watched WTOC David Klugh's report Wednesday night and studied the crash video over and over. He believes the pilot did all he could first to take the plane back to the airport, then put it down wherever he could.
"You could see the plane being directed, even though it was out of control. You could tell he was trying to direct it, from the video I saw."
Duke believes the pilot put the plane down in the median of Highway 21 to try and minimize anyone else getting hurt. To him, mechanical problems can come, in spite of maintenance, after decades in the air with turbulence and other stressors. The problems come from age, not design.
"There's no replacement for the C-130 right now, other than other C-130," Duke said.
How many engines supposedly failed? It should have been ok with 3 engines.
The C-130 is a fairly large plane, but it's not 'massive'. It's not a C-5A. Well, unless they've made it much larger since I was in a group that flew on one from Athens, Greece to Norfolk, Va in 1968.
Having one engine lose power still leaves the plane flyable.
There are dozens of things that could have happened to cause that loss of power which would make the plane NOT flyable.
I have seen at Hill AFB, UT the multi-acre under one roof C-130 rebuild facility! The C-130’s are taken apart to every bolt and nut. These C-130’s are “new” when they leave Hill AFB, air frames and engines! Age of a particular C-130 after they went thru Hill, AFB rebuild is of no concern.
Now that said: Has this C-130 been to Hill AFB for rebuild?
I have been in a C-130 a couple of time when there was an engine failure on takeoff.
She kept right on climbing.
This is somehow, someway, pilot error.
The C-130 is known to be reliable and resilient, maybe the most robust plane ever built.
Hell, they’re still building them.
According to the news it was heading for the Airplane Graveyard in Arizona.
It was a Puerto Rico National Guard WC-130, going to be decommissioned.
Actually, in normal flight that is true. It is NOT always true on takeoff in a C-130...especially on a #1 engine failure. You might want to take some people who have actually flown the aircraft's word for it.
My boss, who is an O-6, is a 25 year C-130 pilot, took one look at the video and that was his conclusion as well. He explained it like this: On takeoff, there is a LOT of torque. All the props are rotating the same way. If you lose an engine, the aircraft becomes hard to control. If you lose #1...it's REALLy hard to control. It is really easy to overcompensate on rudder controls and it can get out of hand very easily.
If you look at the video, you can see that this is exactly what happened. You can see a little rotation back to the right as the pilot applies right rudder...he is overcompensating and then he probably applies too much left and the torque gets him.
The video is exactly what you would expect to happen on a C-130 with a #1 engine failure on takeoff if the pilot doesn't respond perfectly. That is per a 25 year, combat vet C-130 pilot.
Engine failure is just a guess and nothing but a guess. There’s nothing about it in your linked article so I’m providing one.
Can’t they fly on one engine?
They have made the C-130 bigger. The C-130J-30 Super Hercules has additional fuselage sections fore and aft of the wing.
Well, we are talking takeoff, not cruise here. So very probably not. Maybe on two, but if they were on the same side, it would take an outstanding pilot and a lot of luck.
I recall the plane in question didn’t have much in the way of cargo, so again, the loss of a single engine shouldn’t have been determinative of the outcome.
Absent facts, I’d speculate a combination of mechanical fault and pilot error.
Not surprised they made it larger. Actually, the long flight I took on a C-130 was one of my best ever, with stops in Rota, Spain, The Azores, Argencia, Newfoundland and then on to Norfolk. Something comforting about the four big prop engines.
Thanks for the correction. I either didn’t see that or read right through it. I saw a C-130 with one dead engine land at a strip in Nam one AM. Impressive!
...I’ve seen many land with one engine out....
My sister retired from the GANG. A close knit community. This crash was very hard emotionally on them.
....thanks,..overcompensation explains the nose in...
This C-130 was on its last flight into retirement when it crashed. Does not sound likely to have been sent in for refurbishment of any kind.
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