Local

July 5, 2013

Local A-10 pilot saves smoking aircraft

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

A U.S. Air Force A-10 aircraft and its pilot sit on the flightline here May 23. Maj. Matthew Kaercher , 355th Operations Group fighter pilot, was flying an A-10 when he earned the Pilot Safety Award of Distinction for the 355th Fighter Wing and 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) for emergency actions taken during a training flight May 21, 2013.

A major assigned to the 355th Operations Group here was presented the Pilot Safety Award of Distinction for the 355th Fighter Wing and 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) May 25.

Maj. Matthew Kaercher, 355th OG A-10 pilot, earned this distinction for emergency actions taken during a training flight May 21.

“We were out flying training sorties at the Barry Goldwater Range,” Kaercher said. “We had already made a couple passes and shot some targets. We were coming in for our final maneuvers, when the ranger noticed the problem.”

Toward the end of the exercise, Kaercher received a “knock it off” call from the ranger. A ranger is an individual who sits in the tower to observe the training maneuvers and give out final scores.

“Saying ‘knock it off’ during maneuvers is like saying a curse word in church,” Kaercher said. “Everyone immediately stops what they are doing and pays attention.”

The ranger halted the mission because he noticed a plume coming from the back of Kaercher’s aircraft.

“I spun around as much as I could in the cockpit, and I saw this big column of white smoke, or something, coming off the left side of my aircraft,” Kaercher said. “I immediately checked all of the gauges on my aircraft to try and figure out what was leaking. I wasn’t overheating. The engine fire lights were not illuminated; there were essentially no indicators as to what was wrong.”

Finally, the aircraft alerted Kaercher to the problem.

“It was probably about 30 seconds between the time the ranger called “knock it off” and the time I got my first indicator, which was a hydraulic reservoir light,” he said.

A-10 aircraft have two hydraulics systems, and each has a hydraulic fluid reservoir. When they start to drain out and get to a certain level, the reservoir light comes on.

Identifying the problem brought a sense of relief.

“The worst part for me was not knowing where the malfunction was coming from,” Kaercher said. “Once I identified my problem, training kicked in and I had steps to hang my hat on.”

After losing its hydraulic fluid, Kaercher’s A-10 did not have all of its capabilities.

“I had to land at another exercise range, Gila Bend, which is about 25 miles from the Barry Goldwater Range,” Kaercher said. “The hydraulic fluid that was leaking controls a number of things on the aircraft, one of which is an augmentation system that keeps the aircraft steady. So without that, I was coming in jerky.”

Another A-10 component that runs off of hydraulic fluid are the speed brakes, which allow the aircraft to make quick stops. This is ideal for landing on short runways.

“I couldn’t deploy my speed breaks, so I had to configure for an emergency approach,” Kaercher said. The runway I landed on was about 8,000 feet, and I almost didn’t have enough room. I ended up locking out the breaks, but I finally got it to stop right before I ran out of space.”

Kaercher was presented the award at a commander’s call attended by fellow squadron members.

“It’s really nice to be recognized,” Kaercher said. “I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t think I went too far out of the realm of my responsibilities as the pilot in a single seat cockpit.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

PASM and AMARG set new record

The Pima Air and Space Museum and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group set a new record for tours administered in the month of July. The non-profit museum and D-M’s “Boneyard” brought in 2,060 visitors, ...
 
 

Help make it possible

D-M is preparing to kickoff its annual Combined Federal Campaign Sept. 1. The CFC’s mission is to give federal employees the opportunity to promote philanthropy by supporting their favorite charities. There are more than 3000 national and international charities for federal employees to choose from. “Now, D-M members can give to any charity in the...
 
 

MAC celebrates 85th anniversary

The Tucson Metro Chamber Military Affairs Committee celebrated its 85th anniversary earlier this month. The MAC became a standing committee of the Tucson Metro Chamber in 1929. At that time, the Chamber’s Aviation Committee was responsible for the Pilot’s Register at Davis-Monthan Aviation Field, the first municipal aviation field in the United States. “I think...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force earns majority of federal energy awards

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — It’s a banner year for the Air Force with the Department of Energy recently announcing that service won a lion’s share of 2014 Federal Energy Management Program awards. The Air Fo...
 
 

Nominees sought for Joan Orr spouse, Verne Orr ward

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Air Force Personnel Center officials are now accepting nominations for the 2015 Air Force Association Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award and the 2015 AFA Verne Orr Award. The Joan Orr award honors significant contributions made by non-military spouses of Air Force military members. The...
 
 

Airmen encouraged to vote, obey AFI on political activities

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — As the political season approaches, we should all be encouraged to do our civic duty and go out and vote. However, as an Air Force member, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is a short noninclusive list to help you determine what is or is...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin