On May 20th, an Air Force KC-10 aerial refueling tanker performed an emergency abort during take-off at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst after the aircraft experienced a fire, smoke, or fumes incident, according to Military.com. Once the aircraft came to a halt, the crew performed emergency egress procedures to evacuate the stricken aircraft, only to discover that both emergency slides had failed to properly deploy, stranding them until firefighters could extract them via ladder truck.
According to unverified details offered by an anonymous airman on the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook group the crew reportedly attempted to egress the aircraft via the forward hatch. After the slide failed to inflate, the crew attempted to exit the aircraft through the hatch on the opposite side of the aircraft; this slide also failed to inflate.
While the KC-10 can have up to four escape rafts, one for each hatch fore and aft, the airframe involved in the incident was in ‘Bravo Configuration,’ which meant that the two forward slides were the only options available — a glitch that could have proven disastrous under other circumstances.
From the photos posted on Air Force Forum, it appears that one slide did partially inflate. But had the crew needed to exit the aircraft quickly, they would have been forced to use the flight deck escape ropes. This method, besides being more hazardous than a slide, would put the crew at risk from the sharp pitot tubes and antennas that litter the fuselage.
“The KC-10 has three escape ropes for emergency egress that aircrew are trained on,” said Col. Christopher Karns, a spokesman for Air Mobility Command, adding that the crew was able to forgo the escape ropes anyway because a fire truck was already on the scene.
This isn’t the only KC-10 to experience issues with aircraft evacuation mechanisms: the Air Force told Task & Purpose that the same issue has been discovered on two other KC-10s: One tanker was at Travis Air Force Base in California and the other tanker from McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, was in depot at the time.
An engineering team is investigating the issue and should have a better idea of what is causing the malfunctions as early as next week, Karns said. In the interim, AMC is reducing Space-A flights on KC-10s.
While another evacuation mechanism issue recently ended up grounding the Air Force’s entire B-1B fleet, AMC has no plans to ground the entire fleet of KC-10s because aircrews have been trained how to get out of the tankers using the rescue ropes, Karns said. But with militaryaviationwoesappearingateveryturn, is this one more canary in the coal mine?
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.