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    What's SUP? 0 Sports & Recreation
    USACRC Editor

    What's SUP?

    Stand-up paddleboarding is a waterborne leisure activity that combines the paddling dynamic of kayaking with the standing position of surfing. The combination results in a relaxed atmosphere and engaging full-body workout with the ability to...
    Buckle Up and Slow Down 0 PMV-4
    USACRC Editor

    Buckle Up and Slow Down

    When I returned to the states, I had difficulty transitioning back to normal driving in my private motor vehicle (PMV). As a result, I racked up numerous traffic tickets within a two-year period, including three for speeding and two others for...
    The End State 0 Aviation
    USACRC Editor

    The End State

    This goes to show that the mission is not over simply because the aircraft have landed. The task force had set out on one mission and created a new one. The end state was never met.

    Rushing to Injury 0 Workplace
    USACRC Editor

    Rushing to Injury

    One Thursday, I was told to complete an annual service on an M939A1 fifth-wheel semi-truck. Every bay in the motor pool was being used for repairs, which meant I would have to conduct this service in the parking lot.

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    Maintaining Vigilance

    Maintaining Vigilance

    Maintaining Vigilance




    When you are downrange in an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) platoon, everything gets repetitive. You launch your aircraft, fly your mission and land several times every day. The platoon is usually isolated from the rest of your unit and everyone knows the rules of the flight line. It’s when visitors arrive that problems sometimes arise.

    It was early in the afternoon when our vehicle mechanics came to the flight line from the motor pool to perform maintenance on one of our vehicles we use for flight operations. However, they did not follow the posted procedures for checking in at the hangar so they could be escorted to the taxiway we were using for UAS launch and recovery operations. The mechanics decided to drive unescorted all the way to the taxiway. One of my operators and the crew chief saw them heading toward the taxiway. The operator ran toward them, yelling for them to stop because I had just turned my aircraft onto final approach. Fortunately, they stopped in time and my operator stayed with them while I landed the aircraft.

    Once the aircraft was on the ground, I began my post-flight checks and waited for the crew chief to report that he had the aircraft secure. The call never came, so I called him for verification. He radioed back, saying, “Umm, aerial vehicle is on the ground, but you and the mission coordinator might want to come out here.” From that, I knew I was about to go to the cache to “pee and bleed.”

    I completed my post-flight checklist and met the crew chief, mission coordinator, my other operator and the mechanics at the end of the runway. That’s when I saw my aircraft leaning in a hole with the arresting strap broken. All of them had the same dumbfounded look on their faces. The first thing I said was, “What happened out here? Everything looked good inside.” Nobody could tell me anything, so I looked around.

    I noticed a large pickup truck sitting perpendicular to the taxiway. I couldn’t see the Tactical Automated Landing System (TALS), which is what lands the aircraft and steers it down the runway until it stops. That’s about the time I lost it. One of my operators and my crew chief allowed a truck to be parked so as to block the line of sight between the TALS and the aircraft, preventing the TALS from steering the aircraft after landing. This resulted in the aircraft drifting to the right, missing the arresting strap and catching an assembly guide rope. The rope tensioned and broke, causing the UAS to turn, just missing the arresting drum on the edge of the taxiway, which holds the braking system that stops the aircraft. The aircraft then ran off the taxiway and into the dirt.

    Luckily, the aircraft was not damaged and the broken rope was an easy fix. It could have been a lot worse, though. Not only could the aircraft have been damaged, but at that point in the recovery, the crew chief or those mechanics could have been struck while it was still traveling at 50-60 knots.

    In my opinion, this all happened because of complacency and lack of situational awareness by my crew and the failure of the mechanics to follow posted procedures. No matter how many times a team completes a task successfully, they must always maintain their vigilance.



    • 23 January 2022
    • Author: USACRC Editor
    • Number of views: 230
    • Comments: 0
    Categories: On-DutyAviation