By lex, on June 29th, 2009
We used to have a name for people – often senior aviators – who’d look for a reason not go flying. Some would say they were too burdened by their duties, others would find downing discrepancies that could not be duplicated by maintenance: We’d call them “sea gulls,” meaning that you’d have to chuck rocks at them to get them airborne.
I don’t know whether this CO ** was a sea gull or not, but he for darn sure should have been able to fly at least 10 hours per month over a five month period while in command of a deployable P-3 squadron, for heaven’s sake. I mean, that’s what? Two flights a month? Three?
The commanding officer of a P-3 Orion squadron who overshot a runway and crashed a specialized $93 million plane in Afghanistan last year was not current on his flight-hour requirements and was violating Navy rules prohibiting jet-lagged pilots from flying, investigators found.
(The CO) was fired shortly after the Oct. 20 mishap when he was piloting the P-3 that missed the runway and went up in flames at Bagram Air Base. He was the commanding officer of (a squadron) based at Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine.
(The pilot) brought the plane in too fast, hit the brakes and skidded off the runway. The starboard landing gear was sheared off, two starboard side propellers broke off and the right wing caught fire as the plane came to a stop, an investigation found. One crew member suffered a twisted ankle and all five walked away from the aircraft.
(He) had failed to meet the pilot proficiency requirements — at least 10 flight hours per month — for five of the six months preceding the crash, according to the Judge Advocate General Manual report, or JAGMan.
What a mess.
** 09-07-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.