Air Mobility Command
AMC News Service:
January 16, 1998
Air Force team completes review of C-130 fleet
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --The team appointed to conduct a review of flight safety issues associated with the C-130 recently completed its report. That team, headed by Maj. Gen. Bobby O. Floyd, director of logistics, Air Mobility Command, was also chartered by the Secretary of the Air Force to look into the Nov. 22, 1996, accident involving the HC-130P from the 939th Rescue Wing, Portland, Oregon.
Key recommendations the team has made include the following:
1. The Air Force should review and update the existing lead command directive (AFPD 10-9) to reflect changes which have occurred since the stateside theater airlift fleet transferred from Air Combat Command to Air Mobility Command in April 1997. It should ensure that cockpit instrumentation and aircraft modifications are standardized across a fleet of like aircraft and that the manuals used to maintain and operate the aircraft are up-to-date, easy to read, and standardized across the fleet.
2. The Air Force should consider the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board guidelines and experiences in arriving at a standardized set of digital flight data recorder flight parameters. This would ensure that essential flight data is captured for evaluation in future incidents and accidents.
3. The Air Force should review ditching and bailout procedures . Specifically, it should analyze previous ditching events and use this data to update and standardize flight manuals with a discussion of ditching survivability and techniques. It should ensure that the information concerning bailout in the flight manuals is consistent between models. The Air Force needs to require crews to review these procedures on the first leg of each over-water mission. Also, the Air Force should establish a standard life support equipment requirement for each mission design series.
4. The Air Force should fully fund a program to complete rewrites of its C-130 technical orders and should also fund an initiative currently underway to convert technical manuals from paper format to digital. New CD-ROM technology will make updating the technical manuals easier and less expensive.
5. The Air Force should recover selected wreckage from King 56, particularly the wing section, the fuselage tanks and the cockpit fuel gauges. These items would answer many open questions and provide additional information concerning various possible fuel-related scenarios.
The review team studied the safety history of the C-130, examined air crew training and observed C-130 crew members and maintenance personnel on the job in order to get a first-hand look at any problems they may have encountered. They visited more than a dozen C-130 units during the course of the review.
Experts from Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Materiel Command, and both the Guard and Reserve, along with a representative from the National Transportation Safety Board, comprise the review team. Industry representatives from Allison Engine Company, Lockheed-Martin Aerospace Systems and Hamilton Standard Propeller Systems have served as advisors to the team.
The C-130 is considered to be one of the workhorses among military aircraft. C-130s have flown more than 14 million hours since entering the Air Force inventory in the mid-1950s, and the aircraft boasts one of the lowest accident rates among the Air Force's aircraft inventory -about half the overall Air Force rate for fiscal 1997.
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Linda Leong, deputy director of public affairs, Air Mobility Command, 618-256-4502. (AMC News Service)
To read the complete Broad Area Review (January 1998), click here.