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 Post subject: Some Accident Info.
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2018, 09:53 

Joined: 19 Oct 2015, 13:41
Posts: 44
Hi All

There is no regular accident/incident release this month. However, I recently had the pleasure of processing my first ever aircraft ground accidents in succession and involving the Transall and Skymaster. All investigations were textually complete and supported by period images. Unfortunately, these images will not be provided below.

I had a decision to make: to compile a summary in the same detail that I already do for flying events or not? After giving the matter some thought I decided that there would be little interest in anyone purchasing these summaries and that I did not require the detail into which they went for my enduring record. What was apparent was that I needed to record the basics of the event at least as a ground accident under each aircraft serial for the historical record.

Since I will not be releasing this as a full length summary, herewith a brief summary of each of the three events for those that might be interested and in the detail with which I will be retaining them:

^ 21.06.1971: avoidable minor ground accident – three transports were parked inside 28 Squadron's No. 8 Hangar at AFB Waterkloof with about 1ft separating the one Transall C-160Z, serial 338, which was required for flight, and the closest closed panel of the hangar door. The labourers, who had been asked to open the hangar doors, were tardy in opening them while the Clarktor driver was rushed to get the required two aircraft out of the hangar so that they could be prepared for flight on the flight line. In his haste, he failed to positively ensure that all the hangar door panels were sufficiently clear of the aircraft before starting to push the aircraft backwards, very slowly and without any others present even being aware that the aircraft was in motion. Given the passage of time, he assumed that all the hangar door panels had already been opened. The rear of the C.160 struck the one door panel which had yet to be opened and which was invisible to the driver on the Clarktor from his position in front of the nose of the aircraft. Category 1 damage to aircraft's tail cone and starboard elevator totalled R83.

^ 26.04.1974 at 870.15 total airframe hours since new: avoidable minor ground accident – while offloading a cargo pallet from Transall C-160Z serial 338 at AFB Waterkloof, the pallet loading vehicle was operated by a national serviceman who did not have the required competency certificate for the authorised operation of this specialist equipment. As he switched on the engine in order to lower the loading platform of the vehicle, the vehicle moved towards the aircraft loading ramp and collided with it causing Category 1 damage to the aircraft loading ramp and its pressurisation seal totalling R50.

One of the above reports included the following interesting statistics: During 1973/4 Waterkloof Movements handled 44,390 passengers and 7,269,026lb of cargo. Would be interesting to know how these figures compare with today?

^ 26.02.1974: at 35,753.15 total airframe hours since new: avoidable minor ground accident - a flight sergeant aircraft fitter was in possession of a valid Skymaster towing competency certificate and was tasked to tow DC-4-1009 Skymaster serial 6905 from the 44 Squadron hangar at AFB Swartkop to the flight line in order to prepare it for a flight to Rooikop, South West Africa (now Namibia). When he arrived at the aircraft with the Clarktor tractor, the towbar was already attached to the aircraft's nosewheel. After the towbar had been attached to the Clarktor and with all the required personnel in position and the aircraft's brakes released, he commenced a sharp turn to bring the aircraft from its parked position onto the painted centre line on the hangar floor. As he did so, a loud bang was heard and he immediately stopped the tow to investigate the cause. It was found that he had forgotten to remove the nosewheel steering collar torque link pin which should have been removed prior to towing commencing and consequently the upper nosewheel torque link had sheared off the steering collar. Category 1 damage to aircraft only. R310 total damage cost.

Note: Category 1 aircraft damage can be repaired by the home unit at the home airfield using home equipment.

Next month will be the usual full summary release involving the Alouette II.

With thanks

Clinton Barnard

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