Tech. Sgt. Erick Chrostowski said that there is more to it than people thinking to open a box and has a bomb inside that will eventually be loaded in an aircraft. There are steps to follow first such as identifying, obtaining and storing the assets essential to construct the variations of bombs needed to support different mission requirements. When a particular bomb is requested, the assets are transferred from storage to the munitions assembly conveyer pad, where individual pieces collectively become a bomb. The basic elements of the guided bomb unit-38s are the mark-82 500-pound bomb body, commonly known as the warhead, the fuzes, fins and front ends.
Senior Airman Collin Dillingham explained that there are different types of front ends for (various) bombs: there are bombs that penetrate the ground before blowing up, there are bombs that hit the ground and blow up and there are bombs that blow up above the ground. Just as there are different front ends for different objectives, there are different fins with different purposes.
The Airmen putting up together a GBU-38s are given a safety briefing before dividing into teams. The final statement gets the Airmen’s attention as intended. They go to work, swiftly, yet vigilantly building the bombs.
The first team loads the body onto a trolley system where assembly begins. One team places the front end on while another installs the fuzes. Once this phase is complete, the bomb slides down the rail system to the team building and installing the fins and guidance control system. The last stage before loading the bombs on a trailer to deliver to the flightline is a complete inspection performed by Sergeant Chrostowski.
There is job satisfaction when we watch weapon systems video and see our bombs do what they were supposed to, whether it is assisting troops-in-combat or hitting a high-value target,” Sergeant Chrostowski said.
The munitions built by the 455th EMXS Airmen include 20 mm and 30 mm cannon ammunition, anti-threat countermeasures, laser-guided bombs, and joint direct attack munitions, which are global positioning systme-aided weapons.
A 1977 Piper PA-32R-300 had to make an emergency landing on a highway after the pilot lost power, surprising motorists on I-70 just east of the Greenfield exit.
At around 3 pm on Sunday, just 15 minutes after leaving Eagle Creek Airpark, pilot Babar Suleman lost power at about 7,000 feet. He went through all the checklists and did all the tests, but when that didn’t work, he called authorities to tell them he needed to land quickly.
“They asked me what my options were, and I saw I-70,” Suleman said. “I stayed slightly ahead of the cars a little bit just to give the driver an idea I was about to touch down. The guy in front of me, he kept looking at me. The moment he saw me touch down, he went and took off.”
When the Sheriff’s Department arrived, the single-engine plane had safely glided on a straight stretch of road near a highway rest stop. Eastbound traffic slowed as the plane underwent repairs by Indy Aero, a local airplane maintenance company. Police eventually opened one lane for motorists.
Deputy Scott Chapman, who responded to the scene, joked that the aircraft stopped next to a no-parking sign and that police had put an “abandoned” sticker on the plane as they do for disabled cars. But he also acknowledged the situation could have been worse.
“There was no damage, no injuries or anything. We were lucky,” Chapman said. “All of the cars just sort of gave way and let the plane do its thing.”
After the plane was fixed, and cleared by the FAA, it took off at 5:15 pm, returning to Eagle Creek Airpark.
Washington, February 25, 2008 – The U.S. Air Force’s B-2 flight operations remain suspended in the United States and Guam following the crash of a batwing stealth aircraft in Guam.
The Air Force will review safety procedures while the aircraft is in the state of temporary break. However, B-2 fleet will remain ready for flight if necessary.
On Saturday, a B-2 went down shortly after take-off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, though the pilots ejected safely. Guam is a U.S. territory 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.
Officials noted that it was the first time a B-2 had crashed and each aircraft costs more than a billion dollars.
The planes remain on a safety pause while safety reviews are conducted into the accident. By early Monday, flight operations could resume but it wasn’t clear what preventive measures and actions would be taken before the planes would be able to fly again.
Air Force procedures shall be considering a “safety pause”. A “stand-down” or “grounding” will be implemented only if it will be ordered by senior Air Force commanders from the Air Combat Command.
Two F-15C Eagles crashed into the Gulf of Mexico during a training mission. The Air Force reported that the pilots were ejected and later rescued. Eglin Air Force Base spokeswoman Shirley Pigott said that the pilots were rescued after their single-seat F-15C Eagles disappeared Wednesday afternoon off the Florida Panhandle, about 35 miles south of Tyndall Air Force Base. The Air Force has not determined if the planes collided because the weather in the area was clear.
A Coast Guard rescue jet located one pilot and radioed the location to a fishing vessel, which picked him up. A Coast Guard helicopter then hoisted the pilot off the vessel. That pilot told rescuers he saw the other pilot also eject, but lost him in the clouds”, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Harless reported.
“He told them the approximate location for the second pilot, who was found by a Coast Guard helicopter”, Harless added.
After the said incident, the pilots were rushed to Eglin base hospital.The Air Force began using the F-15C in 1979. The planes, built by McDonnell Douglas Corp., were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm and have since been used in Iraq, Turkey and Bosnia.
The planes can fly up to 65,000 feet and each costs about $30 million, according to the Air Force.
Life isn’t all peaches and cream. Sometimes we find ourselves in negative situations, and when things don’t go our way we just have to put up with them the best way we can. A noisy person in a movie theater, bad customer service in a restaurant, or an annoying passenger sitting beside you during an 8-hour flight all can ruin the day. Speaking of flight horror stories, just be thankful that the following didn’t happen to you…
Last month I was flying to Israel with my family on Continental Airlines. Since we are a family of 5, my son and I sat in the middle while my wife and 2 daughters sat across the aisle.
A man sat down next to my son who must have weighed at least 350 lbs. The man attempted to raise the common arm rest next to my son in order to get more room. In addition, he was ultra-religious wearing heavy clothing and had body odor. He also sat with a large fur hat in his lap the entire flight.
My son was forced to lean into me for the entire 11 hour flight. We tried to get the flight attendants to do something about the situation but they ignored me, my wife and my son.
I was recently on a red eye flight across the U.S. – after a 2 hour delay we were finally airborne. I proceeded to recline my seat when the elderly man behind me starting throwing a child-like temper tantrum, hitting and kicking my seat complaining that he had no room. I decided to be the bigger person and put my seat upright which did nothing to aliviate the kicking of my seat. Every time I would almost fall asleep (sitting straight up) he would kick or hit my seat. In addition, there was a small child seated next to me who slept with her feet on my lap while her mother slept comfortably in the aisle seat. I requested to move but the only other seats available were middle seats and I didn’t want to punish those lucky passengers with an open middle seat. I arrived at my destination completely exhausted after getting zero sleep overnight.
On a flight from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, I found myself lucky enough to sit in front of a family of two parents and a toddler-aged child. For the entire four hour flight, the child would scream intermittently and kick my seat constantly. About half way through the flight, I turn around and ask the child nicely if he could please quit kicking my seat. His mother proceeds to give me a nasty look and inform me that “he’s just a child,” to which I respond, “if you tell him to stop, you know, he just might.” The mother looks at me with disgust and doesn’t say anything to the child. When we finally arrive, I tell the parents that I just wanted them to know that I’ve never seen such a misbehaved child before. With that, I turn and exit the plane.
All stories are from the Flights From Hell website. If you want read more of other people’s horrible flying experiences, visit www.flightsfromhell.com.
Washington, February 18, 2008 - After grueling years of the War in Afghanistan and Iraq, modern replacements are urgently needed for the Airforce’s aging jet fighters, bombers, cargo aircraft and gunships.
According to Maj. Gen. Paul Selva, strategic planning director of the Air Force and other senior Air Force officers, there will be an extra $20 billion each year. Starting 2009, there will be a proposed Air Force budget of about $137 billion instead of the $117 billion proposed by the Bush administration shall solve the budget problem. Though the Air Force will be facing a major procurement crisis since the budget allocated might not be sufficiently enough for the much needed materials and equipment.
The Air Force should rethink their strategy and proceed with forgone opportunities.
One of the reasons why the Air force’s equipment has aged so much was that they proceeded with the development and acquisition of new weapon systems, costing up to two or three times as much as the systems that were being replaced. Since the mid-1990s, there were many aircraft added such as the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber, the C-17 Globemaster airlifter and the CV-22 tilt-rotor, which flies like a helicopter or an airplane. The Air Force is also planning to spend between $30 billion and $40 billion over the next 15 years for new refueling tankers but these new tankers won’t be scheduled for flight until 2013. Another reason for the aging of aircraft was that some aircraft had excessive flying hours such as the current F-15s and F-16s, which were more than 20 years old. The Air Force is generally spending more money on extensive repairs which is a very bad investment.
The Air Force should carefully deal with these problems. Otherwise, it will only lead to a much worse problem for the years ahead.
Recently this month, A Somali immigrant attempted to hijack a New Zealand domestic flight. The Air New Zealand flight from Blenheim to Wellington was carrying a 33 year old woman who attempted to hijack the jet with demands to fly her to Australia. The woman stabbed a pilot on the hand and another pilot was injured on the foot. One passenger suffered a minor hand injury cause by the attacker.
After the attacker was subdued, the severely injured pilots made emergency calls reporting that she said there were two bombs and landed on a Christchurch airport. Army and police bomb squads closed the airport for three hours and inspected the plane but found nothing.
The woman, who was not identified by name, was charged with attempted hijacking, wounding and other offenses and ordered to appear in court.
The hijack attempt was a result of lenient security of the airline and admits that:
“Air New Zealand was reviewing security measures nationally following the incident. In New Zealand, passengers and their luggage on short-haul flights are not subject to security checks. This incident has naturally given us cause to conduct a thorough review of our safety and security systems and processes on regional domestic flights.”
If such leniency occurs in every airports and airlines, another “9/11” incident will happen again without any wonders will not surprise us anymore. Deaths and injuries of many will only fall under statistics and not mere tragedy to mourn for.
The E-2 Hawkeye is an aircraft carrier-based tactical Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft and is used for missions including surface surveillance coordination, strike and interceptor control, search and rescue guidance and communications relay. It was manufactured by Grumman Aerospace Corporation and Northrop Grumman.
In 1964, after replacing the E-1, the Hawkeye has been the eyes of the fleet and has served the US Navy around the world. The E-2Cs has provided the command and control for successful operations during the Persian Gulf War. The original E-2C Hawkeye became operational in 1973 and has been through several upgrade programs since then. The E-2 aircraft served and have worked extremely effective with US law enforcement agencies in drug interdictions. During the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the E-2C Hawkeye has supported numerous naval engagements including the 1985 intercept of the aircraft containing the hijackers of the liner Achille Lauro. It has also participated in the strikes against Libya in 1986.
The E-2 Hawkeye has a maximum speed of 374 mph and a range of 200 nauticla miles. It has a crew of five, including equipment operators. The primary users and operators of the E-2C Hawkeyes are the United States Navy, French Navy, Israeli Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
The P-3 Orion is an American aircraft used for maritime patrol, reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare manufactured by Lockheed.
The P-3 Orion was originally designated as P3V based on the Lockheed L-188 Electra and served as replacement for the postwar era P-2 Neptune. The first production version of the P3 was designated as P-3V-1 and its maiden flight was on April 15, 1961. Many variants of the P-3 Orion was developed.
The Orion has four turboprops, giving it a speed comparable to fast propeller powered fighters and slow turbofan jets such as the A-10. The P-3 was also designed to compete with the British Nimrod. It has an internal bomb bay under the front fuselage and underwing stations, carrying missiles such as the AGM-84 Harpoon, having a long stinger in the tail which houses the magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) and convex windows for observation.
The primary users and operators of the P-3 Orion are the United States Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the Republic of Korea Navy. Civilian agencies also operates a number of P-3s and have been N-registered.
The U.S. military is currently seeking and exploring a technology which could propel missiles or aircraft of up to six times the speed of sound at nearly 4,000 mph.
The aircraft which is still in experimentation and testing stage is being kept closely guarded as the Air Force plans for the future generation of air power and weaponry. By 2018, Air Force officials are hoping to deploy a new interim bomber followed by a more advanced and possibly unmanned bomber in 2035.
Air Force Chief Scientist Dr. Mark Lewis said to McClatchy that a hypersonic cruise missile may be the first operational product which would emerge from the research. Government teams along with private contractors hope to develop long-range hypersonic aircraft that would take-off from conventional runways, traveling more than 10,000 miles in two hours and land on runways.
The best-known military plane that approached hypersonic speeds was the now-retired Air Force SR-71 which can fly at 3.2 times the speed of sound. In 2004, an experimental hypersonic aircraft known as the X-43A had tripled that speed, flying at Mach 9.6, at nearly 7,000 mph. Though the X-43’s flights were only seconds long, hence, scientists are trying to find ways to keep hypersonic craft airborne for long distances.
Currently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, arm of the Defense Department, is the one responsible for advancing emerging technologies for military use. The research involves hypersonic test vehicles being carried out by government scientists working with contractors with a history of top-secret research, including Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works and Boeing Phantom Works. The Blackswift program, another secretive program known as Falcon, aims at developing a reusable hypersonic cruise vehicle capable of delivering 12,000 pounds of payload at a distance of 9,000 nautical miles from the United States in less than two hours.