Monday, February 16, 2009

Trim setting caused B-52 crash

Trim setting caused B-52 crash: " The U.S. Air Force has completed its investigation into the July 21, 2008 crash of a B-52 30 mi. off the coast of Guam in which all six crew members died.

Wreckage showed the bomber’s stabilizer trim setting was set in a 4.5-5 deg. nose-down setting when the aircraft impacted. However, the investigators were unable to identify the cause for the incorrect setting, citing the absence of survivors, voice communications or other clues from the aircraft instruments.

Despite the lack of data, the investigators note that there was ‘clear and convincing’ evidence the faulty trim stabilizer trim setting was the cause for the aircraft loss.

Contributing to the accident was the combination of low aircraft altitude with a descending left turn and the fact that the crew was late to recognize the seriousness of the situation.

However, accident investigators were careful to avoid placing much blame on the crew, noting that ‘even an experience aircraft could have found it difficult to recognize, assess, and recover from the very rapidly developing situation involving the stab trim setting.’

Raider 21 belonged to the 20th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing, and was normally based at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. It was deployed to Anderson AFB in Guam as part of the Air Force's routine bomber presence there. The aircraft was on a training mission and was getting ready to participate in Guam Liberation Day festivities.'

The USAF accident investigation report can be found here.


(Via Ares.)

Not a UFO says FAA

DALLAS — The fireball that blazed across the Texas sky and sparked numerous weekend calls to authorities was probably a meteor and not falling space junk from last week's satellite collision, officials said Monday.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the fireball appeared to be a natural phenomenon, and a University of North Texas astronomer said more specifically that it was probably a pickup truck-sized meteor with the consistency of concrete.
The object was visible Sunday morning from Austin to Dallas and into East Texas. In Central Texas, the Williamson County sheriff's office received so many emergency calls that it sent a helicopter aloft to look for debris from a plane crash.
The FAA backed off its weekend statement that the fireball possibly was caused by falling debris from colliding satellites plummeting into the atmosphere. That assertion was rebuffed Sunday when a major with U.S. Strategic Command said there was no connection to the sightings and last week's collision of satellites from the U.S. and Russia.

The FAA had a weekend warning out to pilots to watch out for satellite debris but rescinded the warning Sunday, FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said.
Herwig acknowledged Monday that "we are no longer saying it might have been satellite debris."

Note: The photo attached to this post is NOT the Texas fireball.

Photo by Dale Stanton

"We suspect a natural phenomenon, but we are not the experts on that," Herwig said.
Preston Starr, the observatory manager at the University of North Texas, said he believes the object was a carbonaceous meteor "about the size of a pickup truck. It was a slow mover, and probably has the consistency of concrete."
Such objects bombard the planet on a daily basis. Objects as large as the one spotted Sunday enter the atmosphere about eight or 10 times a year, Starr said. It was probably moving between 15,000 miles per hour and 40,000 miles per hour and was likely visible for several seconds.

The object was unlikely to be satellite debris, Starr said, because the trajectory was wrong and debris would be too small and too slow for so many to have seen it during the day.
"It would have looked like a blip, and nobody would be able to notice if it were a daytime entry," Starr said.
Starr described the object as a bolide, a term used by astronomers to describe a meteor with an exploding brightness. That's the description given by those who saw the fireball, saying it was reddish orange and left a trail of white smoke.
Starr said it's likely the meteor struck ground somewhere. He doubted it would have left a crater and guessed what's left of it would be smaller than the size of a fist.

Emergency operators in at least six East Texas counties received calls about the object. Several people in the Dallas area reported seeing the meteor. In Williamson County, north of Austin, a sheriff's department helicopter spent 45 minutes searching for a possible plane crash after receiving numerous calls about a fireball.
"That's why we don't have any doubt that what they saw is what they saw. We are fairly certain that whatever happened, happened," said Detective John Foster, a spokesman for the Williamson County sheriff's department. "We believe them. But we couldn't find it. We tried."

Texas Fireball Update: What was it?

There are now conflicting reports that the fireball over Texas may or may not be debris from the recent satellite collision.

Here's the latest:

A mysterious fireball streaked across the Texas sky yesterday prompting a flood of calls to the emergency services and news organisations.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office sent up a helicopter to look around after witnesses said that they had seen what appeared to be falling debris from a plane crash at around 11am local time.

Sheriff's spokesman John Foster said the search was inconclusive. “We don’t doubt what people saw; but authorities found nothing."

“We don’t know what it was,” confirmed Roland Herwig, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

"The tail was intact for several seconds, then became segmented," said Mr Lyon. "I conclude that the single object became several objects during incineration aftermath - a white tail remained visible for up to 10 minutes."

Matthew Donelon of Georgetown said he saw a very bright orangey-purple object dart across the northern sky.

"The object left a smoke trail for a distance and then went out," said Mr Donelon. "The smoke trail lasted for more than 15 minutes before it dispersed. There was no sound, so I estimate it was some distance away."

The US Strategic Command said it did not believe there was any connection with an incident last Tuesday when two satellites from the US and Russia collided, creating a cloud of space junk.

“There is no correlation between the debris from that collision and those reports of re-entry,” said Major Regina Winchester, with STRATCOM.

The FAA issued a warning to pilots on Saturday to be aware of possible space debris after the collision between US and Russian communication satellites.

The chief of Russia’s Mission Control says clouds of debris from the collision will circle Earth for thousands of years and threaten numerous satellites.

Some experts are now suggesting that the fast-moving Texas object was a meteor that burned up in the earth's atmosphere.

Reports: British and French nuclear subs collide

Reports: British and French nuclear subs collide: "A British Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in an accident with a French submarine during maneuvers in the Atlantic Ocean, CNN has learned. Both vessels are understood to have been carrying nuclear warheads at the time.




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