Flying Clunkers

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Cacophonix
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Flying Clunkers

#1 Post by Cacophonix » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 am

The thread for aircraft that were unsafe, badly designed, unfit for purpose of just generally failed to do what they were intended to do.

I was reminded of this one by the Anglo Australian actor Guy Pearce in the film 'Fist Snow' last night. Pearce's father was killed flying the aircraft.

Pearce was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK.[4] His mother, Anne Pickering (born 1940), was from County Durham, England; she was a schoolteacher specialising in needlework and home economics. His father, Stuart Pearce (1932–1976), was a New Zealand–born RAF Squadron leader and a Hawker Siddeley Harrier test pilot.

When Pearce was three years old, his father took the job of Chief Test pilot for the Australian Government Aircraft Factories, relocating the family to Geelong, Victoria where his mother taught at Matthew Flinders Girls High school. When Pearce was age 8, his father died in an accident at Avalon Airport while taking off in an extended-range version of the GAF Nomad



Wikipedia

By Ian McPhedran
January 27, 2004

AUSTRALIAN taxpayers are paying more than $1 million a year to support faulty Nomad aircraft given to the Indonesian military.

About 18 of the controversial Australian-built Nomads, including one damaged in a landing incident, were sold to the Indonesian military for surveillance duties in the mid-1990s.

Australian military pilots had refused to fly the plane after its maker, the Government Aircraft Factory, refused to correct major aerodynamic faults that caused a number of fatal and near-fatal accidents.

In 1975, factory chief test pilot Stuart Pearce, father of actor Guy Pearce, and the acting chief designer were killed in a crash on take-off at Avalon airport in Victoria.

An army pilot died when the tailplane failed in flight in South Australia in 1990.

In one fatal crash in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province, a Nomad plummeted 4800m and its tailplane was never found.

Confidential army documents seen by the Herald Sun include a damning list of safety concerns on the Nomad, which first flew in July 1971.

They include:
STRENGTH calculations used by engineers were wrong.

STABILITY and airworthiness problems.

MAJOR concerns over fatigue and cracking in the tailplane.

"The Nomad has fundamental handling deficiencies affecting safety of flight," one report said.

"These deficiencies were identified at the point of introduction into service and have never been corrected."

A new T-shaped tail was designed but never accepted because it would have amounted to an admission of failure.

"Doors were closed on solutions because they were expensive and an admission of guilt," a former Nomad design engineer said. "Political rather than engineering decisions were made."

A May 1995 report recommended that the Nomad be removed from military service.

Concerns about the planes led to them being virtually given away to neighbouring countries for military use rather than risking a commercial backlash.

This included the sale of 18 planes to Indonesia for $2 million.

The helicopter engines used on the planes were worth close to that and at least $20 million had been spent bringing them up to army specifications.

Documents show that in 2001-02 almost $2 million was devoted to helping the Indonesian navy with its Nomads, including three Australian staff posted to Surabaya in east Java to support the Indonesian fleet.

Those staff are still in place and last year more than $1 million was spent supporting the Indonesian Nomads.

"The Indonesians flew them away and the problem disappeared," one former Nomad pilot said.

"It was a total disaster for taxpayers."

A survey of 22 army pilots in April 1995 showed all but two thought the Nomad was not airworthy.
IMDEX_2007_Maritime_patrol_(cropped).jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAF_Nomad


What other clunkers can ops-normalisers think of?

Caco

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Phoenix P-1

#2 Post by Undried Plum » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:54 am

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FILE DATE LOCATION AIRCRAFT DATA INJURIES FLIGHT PILOT DATA
F S M/N PURPOSE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-1061 65/7/8 WINTERHAVEN CALIF PHOENIX P-1 CR- 1 0 0 COMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL, AGE 61, 25100
TIME - 0551 N93082 PX- 0 0 0 OTHER TOTAL HOURS, 3 IN TYPE,
DAMAGE-SUBSTANTIAL OT- 0 0 0 INSTRUMENT RATED.
NAME OF AIRPORT - DESERT FLOWER
TYPE OF ACCIDENT PHASE OF OPERATION
COLLISION WITH GROUND/WATER: CONTROLLED IN FLIGHT: LOW PASS
AIRFRAME FAILURE: IN FLIGHT IN FLIGHT: LOW PASS
PROBABLE CAUSE(S)
PILOT IN COMMAND - MISJUDGED ALTITUDE
PILOT IN COMMAND - PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT
AIRFRAME - FUSELAGE: LONGERON
MISCELLANEOUS ACTS,CONDITIONS - OVERLOAD FAILURE
MISCELLANEOUS ACTS,CONDITIONS - SEPARATION IN FLIGHT
MISCELLANEOUS ACTS,CONDITIONS - ALCOHOLIC IMPAIRMENT OF EFFICIENCY AND JUDGMENT
FACTOR(S)
AIRPORTS/AIRWAYS/FACILITIES - AIRPORT CONDITIONS: SOFT RUNWAY
REMARKS- PILOT WAS FLYING FOR MOVIE-COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHERS.LOW PASS WITHOUT TOUCHDOWN WAS INTENDED.


[media]
[/media]

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#3 Post by Boac » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:23 am

Not quite in the same league but while I was Chief Piloting for a Dundee company we had to lease in an Aztec while ours was in to be hammered and screwed by our resident basher. We borrowed one from Air Charter Scotland in Edinburgh, run by a 'likeable' rogue called Geof Rosenbloom. I flew the beast back to Dundee and noted the ADF pointed only at itself. Radios were just a step up from two cocoa tins and string too Further checking at base showed that a thin soapy liquid spread on the de-icing boots produced an amazing row of bubbles when the boots were inflated.... :-q We finished up flying the beast to Rogers at Cranfield for the ADF and 'avoiding' the cold stuff for a while. :-bd

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#4 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm

A rotary aspect - the Bell 47 D-1 and in particular G-ASJW, Serial No.12, believed manufactured in 1949. Whilst I was working for the South Western Electricity Board on powerline patrol work, we hired in this helicopter to replace one of our Bell 47 J-2's which was on major overhaul. I toddled off to Redhill to collect it - at that time if you had 'Bell 47' on your licence you could fly any variant. During the acceptance flight it was soon obvious it did not have nice characteristics. Unlike the J2 which had hydraulically powered controls, the D-1 had nothing, just pure manual. There were things called irreversibles which if set up correctly helped reduce the pounding feedback of aerodynamic forces. I found that you also had to set a lot of cyclic friction as well in order to stop the cyclic trying to motor around the cockpit with feedback forces.

My logbook shows that on 28 Nov 1969 I set off from Redhill for our base at Bristol Lulsgate. There must have been a strong westerly wind as I see that after 1hr 15 minutes I landed at Thruxton to refuel and it then took another 50 minutes to reach Lulsgate! Don't laugh, guys, it probably only cruised at 80kts - it used to be so frustrating to see cars on the road going faster that we were!

On arrival at base I sought out my boss and said I thought I had better give the other two pilots a quick checkride before they took it on task. "Nonsense, dear boy" he said, " one Bell 47 is like any other". He said he would take it up for a spin so I surreptiously loosened off all the cyclic friction and watched him stagger into the air. He agreed it might be a good idea to check the other guys out!
G-ASJW.jpg
So a few days later off we went on Line Patrol. Somewhere near Liskeard I did a steepish turn to position onto a line and the damn helicopter tucked under and we nearly stoofed in. Horrible, horrible, machine!

Two years later on 3 July 1971 the helicopter was being used for crop spraying. The pilot was a former member of the same Fleet Air Arm Squadron as me. His engineer had done some work on the irreversibles and John took it up for a test flight which led into a crop spraying run. He went into a steep left turn at the end of a run, and then pitched vertically upwards, went out of control and crashed. John was killed. The accident was deemed maintenance error. Those bloody irreversibles! The "other pilot" in the accident report below is me and the quotes taken from TOP many years ago:

Aviation Safety Network Report G-ASJW
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Re: Flying Clunkers

#5 Post by Krystal n Chips » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:47 pm

Interesting topic Caco....so lets include this heap...

These are more recent events, but other can be viewed if you download the pdf.

Here's but a few examples....

IFSD...Woodford to MAN...
Door shoot bolts freezing
Nose u/c three grease nipples inaccessible when the unit was installed.
Excessive vibration on the horizontal stab.
Poor cold wx / hot and high performance.
Limited load and balance capability.
A/F anti ice failures due to poor design and manufacture ( Chadderton )

https://www.aeroinside.com/incidents/ty ... ospace-atp

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#6 Post by Cacophonix » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:41 pm

KnC I had a chat with a British pilot who had flown one for British Midland who thought highly of the aircraft although he did say it had a marginal climb rate!

It is an aircraft that has always intrigued me for some reason.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Aerospace_ATP



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Re: Flying Clunkers

#7 Post by Krystal n Chips » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:04 pm

Cacophonix wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:41 pm
KnC I had a chat with a British pilot who had flown one for British Midland who thought highly of the aircraft although he did say it had a marginal climb rate!

It is an aircraft that has always intrigued me for some reason.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Aerospace_ATP



Caco
Caco.."marginal " is being generous.

The heap was a lash up from the start. Waste of Space decided to try and emulate Boeing.....take the 748 and develop it..ok, there was the Andover in the interim, but the ATP was supposed to be the ultimate development. The crews I knew were ambivalent about it's performance and handling. The design was abysmal however.

Air stair retraction ( external ) ?...button at the side / base of fwd pax door...really clever location
O2 replenishment ?....remove cylinder from flight deck !....no remote charging point "for some time " until mod.introduced
Flap track gear box replenishment point ?......5/16 Whit !...taken straight from the 748...elsewhere in the world, well A/F and Metric were standard.
Flap structure underneath exhaust jet pipe..not surprisingly, tends to get a bit warm...hence the problems with regular propagating cracks....the number of scab patches told it's own story here.
Ground I/c. Not the standard American long pin connector, the good old British plug type.
Access..poor. Several useful modules were buried in the belly, access by removing the belly doors and then trying to gain further access.
No galley heating for cookers, only a bev maker.
Engine change....say 3-4 days if lucky. Start by removing the oil cooler...then eventually get the engine out....re-fit, same only worse and then cam setting up the slip rings. The 6 bladed prop was a nightmare.
Waste of Space were compelled to have a series of "hearts and minds " meetings for operators, so bad was the performance and delays. The sarnies were very nice, so was the coffee and fruit juice ....the PR bollocks was treated with derision.
Rumour only, the CAA were "not happy " with the horizontal stab vibration initially and subsequently. Sit in the rear and look back, after watching you meal vibrate acoss your tray, and you could see why.
Control and gust locks..internal and external. "not robust " in high winds.
Cheap and nasty facia throughout...pax appeal next to zero.
One loom under the cabin floor, loosely attached to the fuse by whatever Woodford could find at the time.

It's "selling point " for accountants ..25 pax (ish ) to make a profit, ostensibly, and very low fuel burn...600kgs uplift from say MAN-GLA / EDI 100 more to BFS or the Islands. It's when they had to take a full load to say Hannover that the loading and load sheets got "interesting ". Oh, and you didn't get wet dripping the tanks.
Airframe anti-ice boots on horizontal stab...every one "hand crafted " at Chadderton !...result ?....nothing called interchangeability was ever feasible .
The A/P...over complex and no prizes for guessing from whence it came in the UK....Westjet duly replaced theirs asap.

No surprise the line was cancelled and all the derivatives with it...apart from conversion to a freighter.
Hope this answers some of your intrigue

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#8 Post by Slasher » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:38 am

20,000 rivets flying in close formation...

IMG_1270.JPG
IMG_1270.JPG (37.49 KiB) Viewed 306 times

Saw service in Oz. The Bristol Hercs sounded rather testosterony at full bore.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Freighter


One speared into Bass Strait in 1975. Later I found out heavy icing was highly suspected among the crews at Essendon but unproven.

https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 19750510-1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24m-V2f9-sY

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#9 Post by ian16th » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:37 am

Ah! The Bristol Frightener!

The RNZAF I believe were the biggest user.

The RAF bought 1, Boscombe Down took it on for evaluation, and recommended to the RAF that we didn't buy any more.
In hindsight, it was a wise decision.

The 1 that Boscombe had was subsequently used to ferry engines to and from places doing hot weather trials and such.
It passed through Istres/Orange on these trips and I occasionally re-fuelled it.
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Re: Flying Clunkers

#10 Post by Cacophonix » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:03 am

Slasher wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:38 am
20,000 rivets flying in close formation...


Saw service in Oz. The Bristol Hercs sounded rather testosterony at full bore.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Freighter


One speared into Bass Strait in 1975. Later I found out heavy icing was highly suspected among the crews at Essendon but unproven.

https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 19750510-1
Doesn't the sight of that aircraft make you just want to fly it! It does me.
The Bristol Type 170 Freighter was a twin-engine, high-mounted wing monoplane that was developed specifically for the purpose of the economic carriage of freight by air. It was a visually distinctive aircraft, possessing a 'boxy' fuselage, rounded nose, and a high-set flight deck. In order to maximise the economical performance of the Freighter, compromises were implemented on other aspects of performance, resulting in a relatively low cruising speed; this was not viewed as being of importance to the role of a freighter and thus not a major diminishing factor. According to aviation publication Flight, the economics of the Freighter were judged to be a major factor of its market appeal, as well as the wider economic situation of the United Kingdom at this time.

Operationally, the Freighter was intended to be employed upon high-frequency short distance routes as opposed to long-haul routes. Being flown at the low speeds and short ranges for which the aircraft was intended, the fuel economy improvements that would be provided by a retractable undercarriage was outweighed by the increase in structural weight; therefore, it was decided that a fixed undercarriage would be used, which also had the benefits of reduced production and maintenance costs. The combination of a high-mounted wing and fixed undercarriage was considered to be atypical for the era, and resulted in greater drag than a low-mounted counterpart would have. The main gear legs, which featured Dowty-built shock absorbers, were supported by an arrangement of strengthened vertical struts, positioned beneath the aircraft's engines and horizontally from the lower edge of the fuselage.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Freighter
Bristol freighter Mk 31M G-BISU was operated by Instone Airline at Stansted, Essex, UK, for a number of years. This was an ex-RNZAF aircraft and left Ardmore on 2 March 1981 for its 86-hour ferry flight to the UK. It subsequently flew its first charter flight on 3 August 1981 delivering two racehorses to Deauville. This role of flying livestock was to take up half a year, while other work included carriage of oil drilling machinery, car parts, newspapers and mail. Re-registered as C-FDFC, in 1996 it crashed on takeoff with the crew escaping, but was essentially a write-off. The captain, John Duncan, and co-pilot Malcolm Cutter reported that the aircraft entered a severe yaw after takeoff, which was uncontrollable despite use of full opposite aileron and rudder control.
Would be good to see one in flying condition.
A clunker for sure, but a worthy one.

Caco

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#11 Post by CharlieOneSix » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:01 am

Caco - one Bristol Frightener is being prepared for static display in Bristol. Only 11 complete ones survive.

Bristol Freighter restoration project

When I was a teenager in the late 50's/early 60's the Silver City 170's used to fly directly over our house enroute from Bournemouth (Hurn) to Cherbourg.
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Re: Flying Clunkers

#12 Post by G-CPTN » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:39 pm

In 1990, we stayed in a 'B&B' in the Harz mountains on what had been the East German side.
The hostess said that we were the first non (East) German people that she had met.
She asked whether we had "come with our (British) car on the aeroplane".
Although that seemed ridiculous, it wasn't so impossible several decades before - so why not?

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Re: Flying Clunkers

#13 Post by izod tester » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:56 pm

After Henry Folland left Glosters after it was taken over by Hawkers in 1937 he formed the Folland aircraft company. The first aircraft Folland's produced was the Fo.108 in response to Air Ministry Specification 43/37 for an engine testbed. The Fo.108 was a large low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional cantilever tailplane and a fixed tailwheel landing gear. It had a glazed cockpit for the pilot, and a cabin for two observers behind and below the pilot, fitted out so that they could make detailed measurements of engine performance during flight.

To enable the aircraft to be delivered from the Hamble factory and later ferried to new assignments, they were normally fitted with a Bristol Hercules radial engine. In service, the Fo.108 was fitted with a number of other engines including the inline Napier Sabre (four), Bristol Centaurus radial, and Rolls-Royce Griffon V-engine. After the first 2 aircraft were completed at Eastleigh the remaining 10 were assembled at Staverton. Because of Staverton's proximity to Glosters at Hucclecote, Folland asked if the Gloster test pilots could test fly them after assembly. Neither Jerry Sayer nor Michael Daunt thought much of the aircraft and dubbed it the "Folland Frightful". Daunt was subsequently seriously injured when one of the Fo108s broke up during a test dive and was out of action for 5 months.

Entering service in 1940, the type was operated by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Napier and Rolls-Royce, Five of the twelve production aircraft were lost in crashes, the type earning the nickname "Frightener" as a result. The last examples of the Fo108 were withdrawn from service in 1945. De Havilland's engine division used an Fo108 into 1946.

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