The Royal Norwegian Air Force should very much limit the operational use of its four Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, the boss of the RNoAF’s own HQ of Operations, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga Lunde writes.
According to Norwegian ABC Nyheter and NTB media channels the high-ranking officer expresses his worries in a recent letter in which he comments on the conclusions of the Swedish Accident Investigation board, two years after the fatal crash of a RNoAF C-130J against Sweden’s highest mountain: the Kebnekaise. All five crew members on board perished.
The commanding officer feels the transfer from the older C-130E/H to the new C-130J went too quick, with too little start-up training time for the crews, too little time to come to adequate routines to fly the new aircraft and not enough personnel appointed to man the new Super Hercules’s. Until things have been fixed, the RNoAF should refrain from using the new Hercules in daring or operational situations, like tactical flying by aircraft 5630 during Cold Response 2012, the general feels.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force operates four C-130J-30s from Gardermoen IAP, where they replaced six C-130E/Hs. The first Julliet arrived in November 2008, the last in June 2010. After the crash of aircraft 5630 against the Kebnekaise on 15 March 2012 during operational exercise Cold Response 2012, the United States quickly allocated one of the C-130Js in production for its own forces to the Norwegians. This replacement arrived in September 2012.
In its accident investigation report, officially released on 23 October 2013, the Swedish committee (Haverikommission) states that the RNoAF crew training and crew documentation were partly to blame for the accident, as well as the Swedish air traffic control at Kiruna Airport and the main ATC in Stockholm.
On 21 December last year the Norwegian government requested to technical, engineering, and software support for its C-130J aircraft from the United States for an estimated cost of US$ 107 million. The package will include familiarization training for the Portable Flight Planning System (PFPS) and Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS), spare and repair parts.
© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger
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