Images of damaged C130 after RQ 7 midair surface from Afghanistan

Update 19/8/11 Fingers being pointed at the C130 crew probably best to wait for the accident report before commenting, it takes two to tango and in this case a controller as well.

Reports earlier today left us wondering how the C130 fared, looks like they must have had quite a time making a safe landing.

Lots of what if’s here. No doubt the report will be comprehensive.

The reporter stated that:-

On closer inspection I could see a part of the one Blade had been broken off the No 2 Engine which seemed to not have feathered fully, the massive hole in the left wing had broken the fuel tank, and was told that they believe the wing, main spar and wing box was also bent.

I`m still wondering if she will ever get airborne again but if not, she had done one hell of a last flight and the crew must have done an amazing job getting the wounded bird down on what is one of the more challenging runways I`ve ever seen. Not often that you get to hear of survivors of a mid-air Collision

Great Job guys, and a great one to the amazing story of the ever awsum Hercules!!!!!!


Now who has a picture of the RQ7?







  21 comments for “Images of damaged C130 after RQ 7 midair surface from Afghanistan

  1. Ben Trapnell
    17 August 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Now for the question: Who (the Shadow or the Herc) wasn’t where they were supposed to be? We hear so much about overseas procedural/operational deconfliction, this never should have happened.

    • 17 August 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Well there will be a full and frank report no doubt. Would still like images of the RQ 7 should anyone have them.

  2. x
    18 August 2011 at 1:30 am

    Need better sense & avoid technology on the C-130.

    • Patrick Egan
      19 August 2011 at 3:46 am

      Mark I eyeball failed this time…

      Wonder how many hours of UAS theater operations there are?

      • Joe
        19 August 2011 at 6:24 pm

        UAS of all sizes have compiled MILLIONS of flight hours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • Luke
      19 August 2011 at 4:42 am

      The C-130s actually have one of the most advanced traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) on any military Aircraft, having worked on 130 avionics. The problem is if the other aircraft is non-altitude reporting it will just tell you there is an aircraft around, but not where it is, and this is assuming the RQ-7 even has any type of TCAS on it at all. This is not the first time a c-130 has almost had it’s wing taken off, but I can ALMOST assure you that this C-130 will fly again after many hours of depot level maintenance. Wingbox damage on a 130 happens and I have seen planes one time flighted with cracked wingboxes.

  3. 18 August 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Defense Research Associates out of Dayton, OH has a Sense and Avoid technology that scans the pixels of the video screen and measures the contrast of light of an object and can serve as an assistant to the operator, or direct the UAV to avoid collision through a series of thresholds or Alarms.

  4. 18 August 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Having flown as a crew member on many variants of the 130, I can assure you that the avoidance technology is top notch. It fails at the point where UAV crews consistently fail to adhere to the operational restrictions in place in theatre. I guarantee you, without a moment’s hesitation, that this will reveal a failure on the part of the UAV driver. Period.

    • Lucas
      19 August 2011 at 1:38 pm

      We all appreciate your ignorant speculation on UAS operators. I have had numerous manned aviators at fault for not being in the proper location as well. Maybe you should wait until the investigation is completed before stating pure assumptions.

      • Joe
        19 August 2011 at 6:12 pm

        Agreed Lucas, as a UAS Operator myself for almost 18 years, there have been a few UAS Operators at fault for airspace viloations in the past, but having seen manned Pilots CONSISTANTLY break Aispace procedures in Theater and here at a LARGE Training Base, I will not mention, they always seems to blame the UAS and/or Operator first, before ANY investigation has begun. Check out the link from Lucas you will see the C-130 overtook the Shadow from behind. Let’s give all ivolved the benefit of the doubt, and not assume anything until an investigation is completed. From the looks of the C-130, I doubt there is anything left of the Shadow for pics to come out…

        • DrewJ
          26 August 2011 at 1:33 am

          As a last note, a plane with no pilot is a nuisance/menace to operations worldwide. Say what you will of the benefits, you guys are not pilots and need to be purged from the skies.

    • Batjac
      23 August 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Not so fast my frind. Initial reports say the Shadow was right where it was told to be by ATC waiting on teh Herc to land. Either ATC or teh Herc crew apparently screwed this pooch.

  5. Lucas
    19 August 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Just saw this article from this website…
    Don’t worry, I won’t rush to judgment though.

    • Jacob
      19 August 2011 at 7:19 pm

      “I guarantee you, without a moment’s hesitation, that this will reveal a failure on the part of the UAV driver. Period.”
      Hahahahaha, I guarantee you, without a moment’s hesitation, that you sure look silly now DAVE. Period.

  6. Martin
    19 August 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Having flown over 2000 hours of combat missions in an RQ-7A and B, I really question Dave’s confidence in the error on behalf of the Shadow operator. Too many time to count, I have slapped the ACO and ATO on the S-3’s desk, asking why fixed and rotary wings keep violating my airspace which is cleared both through ATC, Center, or Kingpin and theatre A2C2. I look forward to hearing the full report, and am glad no one got hurt!

  7. Rich Sterchele
    19 August 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Imagine the damage if the RQ-7 Shadow UAV had been armed?

  8. Rich Sterchele
    19 August 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Image if the Shadow UAV had been armed?

  9. 19 August 2011 at 6:57 pm

    not good!

  10. GB
    22 August 2011 at 7:37 am

    First what should be considered is the potential loss of life that was averted b/c of quick crew actions. Good job in a bad situation.
    Next point should be comm’s and warning systems. Are they adequate? Many times neither comm from C2 to ATC to Aircraft, and back, are inadequate. I would question whether clear and consise knowledge of the UAV intentions/locations were solid with ATC and to the C130.
    Mistakes happen. Rules written. New Manuals procedures established. Safety reports sent. Reprimands given. Etc. some valid, some for the sake of an ‘action’.
    I also question comments made by those in power before all facts known to outside sources to include the pics. Great OPSEC.

    Ironically, I have flown on missions here in theater in C130’s, and in close proximity of UAV’s. I have seen errors on all parties part; C2, UAV, Manned, ATC, etc so there are too many variable to make quick judgement. I bet no one has seen the TCAS give mulitple or false indications…or Transponder quit working…how about things i dont know much about; has there ever been a software problem or radio delay in UAV [that is rhetorical..don’t need to help the OPSEC violations along] point is things happen outside the control of any live person.
    Let’s be happy that the crew did a remarkable job of securing the airplane and getting safely on the ground.
    Let’s learn from mistakes, if found, and move on in this effort against the real enemy instead of making enemy’s out of our brothers in arms.
    Most of the discussions above serve no useful purpose except to see your own opinions in print…and printed opinions are just opinions and we all know about opinions right? they are just like…..we all have them.. etc etc. And that my friends is MY OPINION. ;-)

  11. Harold B.
    22 August 2011 at 4:35 pm

    GB, this is Harold commenting on you comment. I agree with you on your point of asking everyone to refrain from placing blame. All that is important is that we lost no war fighters. The reason we have the best pilots in the world is because of experiences (good and bad) through history. We must learn from our own mistakes and from the mistakes of others in order to be better at what we do. I commend the pilots of both aircraft for being a part of OUR United States military and want to thank you for your service. I am a retired USAF member, and have worked on the C-130 aircraft as well as being a member of C2. Positive comments to the troops involved is all that need to be iterrated in these cases. Lessons will be learned from this. Who was at fault is minor to the take-aways that we can all use to our advantage moving forward.

  12. 27 August 2011 at 3:44 am

    Hmmm… 5000 hours in the C1-130A and B and H and there are some jocks that become complacent, thus dangerous to themselves and others. As a retired standboard jock, I have seen it all. Great pilots—they make errors also. Hope they watch out better…Follow proceedure..hut hut.

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