The US Air Force is scrapping a brand-new gunship after an in-flight incident that left it damaged beyond repair. Flight Global reports:
The US Air Force had to scrap one of its brand-new Lockheed Martin AC-130J Ghostrider gunships following a training mishap earlier this year, the service has revealed.
While being operated at roughly 15,000ft, “the aircraft exceeded the targeted angle of sideslip until it departed controlled flight,” the report states. It “momentarily inverted, before being recovered after losing approximately 5,000ft of altitude.” The aircraft’s crew – who escaped injury – returned to base and landed safely, but the Ghostrider was rendered a total loss, having exceeded its operating g limits and design load.
There's more at the link.
That must have been a very wild ride indeed. I wonder how many of the crew had to change their underwear as soon as they landed? (I'm not mocking them, you understand . . . I'd probably have been among their number had I been aboard!) On the other hand, the incident illustrates the strength and ruggedness of the C-130 design. A lesser aircraft would probably have broken up in mid-air.