KC-135 tanker blows up 100 mi after take-off

Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by KrazyKat, May 4, 2013.

  1. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Took off to Afghanistan from Kyrgyzstan. Three-member Fairchild crew lost.
    Obviously a tremendous amount of fuel on board.

    Also reported on Friday:
    Both Russia and China have bid to remove the US from the Kyrgyzstan Transit Center, when the base lease expires in 2014, while the US looks to use it for withdrawal from Afghanistan.​

    Not saying these things are related, but found these factoids when hunting for the original stories, which mentioned the plane breaking up in flight. Later stories just called it a "crash" and failed to mention the explosion, which I thought was odd.

    Clearly an explosion preceded the crash of this ancient plane:
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It's not even old enough to collect a social security check.
  3. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    that's too bad for the crewmen. they have a dangerous job flying that sitting duck of an aircraft with all that fuel. wonder if it was just a case of tired iron. it may not be old enough to collect social security, but it's old enough to start the paperwork.
  4. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Very sad--the families of the Spokane airmen haven't been reached yet.

    Finally, the Daily Mail headline includes "explodes in mid-air," with some photos of wreckage for you aviation experts. Seems to me a plane as seasoned as this would not commonly blow up if it were simply hit by lightning. Initial reports were that the front of the plane could not be found.
    It was carrying "70 tonnes" of fuel, not sure if it holds a great deal more, but probably not a tank vapor situation.

    I don't know why the "crash" headlines bother me so much, OCD or I'm getting a bit crotchety myself.
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Probably not much more -- my recollection is that a fully loaded 747 only carries ~50 tons. 70 tons is a lot --remember the 747 that blew up after departure from JFK in the 90's?

    The KC-135 just adds fuel bladders below the cargo deck. In most variants the center tanks & wing tangs are just one large fuel system that they can either fly on or dispense.
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Things happen with airplanes. Chaffed wire, something broke, who knows. I was in a squadron that had an airplane thst exploded. Will never know the cause for sure but it was thought to be related to swapping a fuel gauge in flight, something we did routinely.

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