Wednesday, August 12, 2020


This was interesting too. Somebody activated the fire suppression system in the hanger of the Minnesota National Guard and foamed all 10 aircraft in the hanger. I hope they were as foam tight as they are watertight but I wouldn't bet on since one of the things that often happens is people pull access panels off to get at the guts of the machine.

We had some jerk deliberately activate the fire suppression system in the helicopter hanger on my first ship. We were enroute Karachi to Bahrain after a month in Karachi and the CO had agreed with the embassy to allow American citizens to use our post office to mail things home to America. I had 84 bags of mail stacked in the hanger waiting for transshipment to  the Fleet Post Office in Bahrain. They were all thoroughly foamed. That night the CO came on the 1MC just after lights out and said very clearly that everyone was looking for the guy who pulled the activator and if he was found he was simply going to be lost overboard. It sounded very sincere to me. The suppression systems cannot be locked since they're emergency equipment so anybody could do it and the activators were located in out of the way places throughout the ship.


capt fast said...

Umm. had a system purge switch hidden somewhere in my aircraft known only to a few technicians, the maintenance crewchief and the mission crew commander by way of his briefing kit. had a little red guard on the switch and a bit of copper safety wire and seal to indicate someone had triggered it. tripping the switch wiped the hard drives, soft drives, all the ROMs, for all the connected systems, surveillance and radar software, intel goodies, navs, comms, computers, airframe support systems, power generation and distribution, the works. the aircraft became a lump unable to even start the engines. Knowledge of the switch location was closely held. the fact that it existed was common knowledge and the location was different on every aircraft. there were several dummies. only one was functional and a tool was needed to access it. We were somewhat paranoid in the 1970's and 80's.
one day, someone found it. it was not a good day. there were Article 15's and OSI investigators involved. I imagine the perpetrator would have jumped overboard if not for the 32,000' first step. that would have been the easy way out.

HMS Defiant said...

Yep, I remember those days and then we lost a special mission P3 that had the gall to land in China when forced down by China. I doubt they purged anything. In my day the one P3 we lost on my watch was off Masirah when it threw a blade that sliced open the fuselage. I doubt they wiped anything. It was raised to find out why it threw the blade and then turned into a firefighting prop in the UAE.

capt fast said...

I recall the EP-3/china incident. the boys and girls threw every box they could rip out into the sea. still, I was given to understand that a whole bunch of goodies were left untouched. still wonder if that was on purpose.
I imagine the anger at Naval Intelligence over that incident was appalling. heard serious criticism over them not ditching.
having experience in the realm of ditching at sea with a Lockheed product leaves me with respect for their decision not to ditch.