F-22 ‘Disaster Averted’ — USAF Credits AGCAS For Saving An F-22 Raptor & Its Pilot From Crashing in Alaska

For the 1st time, the US Air Force Safety Center disclosed how the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance Method (AGCAS) saved an F-22 Raptor and its pilot in 2020. The software package experienced earlier saved the Raptor and its pilots in two other incidents, according to stories.

Adhering to its introduction on fighter jets, the technological innovation has been attributed with stopping crashes of 12 F-16s and a few F-22s.  The report unveiled that a pilot flying an F-22 in Alaska became disoriented, getting rid of handle in June 2020. If not for the AGCAS, the jet could have crashed.  

The F-22, in this circumstance, experienced taken off from Joint Foundation Elmendorf–Richardson in Anchorage and was flying in “Instrument Meteorological Problems,” or IMC.

This indicates that the pilot had to use his instruments because of to weather and visibility. The lack of ability of a pilot to interpret plane perspective, altitude, or airspeed about Earth or other details of reference is regarded as spatial disorientation.

This can come about in any form of plane, both equally navy and civilian. Flight in Instrument Meteorological Problems (IMC), the place insufficient visibility prevents a pilot from applying external reference points and, in some situations, his senses end “agreeing” with the genuine frame of mind of the plane, is a frequent lead to of Spatial-D.

File Graphic: F-22 Raptor

In this circumstance, the pilot of the stealth fighter jet “was concentrated on their predicament display and over-banked the plane to 135 levels angle of bank and started to accelerate swiftly as the nose ongoing to tumble,” the Air Force Safety Center explained.  

“The aircraft was at an altitude of 13,520 toes earlier mentioned sea amount, with its nose pointed downwards, traveling at a pace of around 600 mph.” The fighter jet was then pulled out of its dive by the application technique onboard the plane, which “initiated an automatic fly-up.”  

The aircraft was also seemingly inverted when the program was enabled. When the method finished retrieving the jet from its dive, it was all around 2,600 feet over the ground. This incident emphasizes the importance of AGCAS. 

Similar Incidents involving F-22s

On December 6, 2016, one more F-22 incident involving AGCAS took put above the Gulf of Mexico that experienced taken off from Tyndall Air Pressure Foundation in Florida. The Air Drive Protection Middle, like the Alaska incident, blamed the occurrence on spatial disorientation.

On this occasion, the pilot gained a warning from the application. According to the Basic safety Centre, the aviator “did not recognize a nose-reduced angle whilst rolling to a 45-degree angle of financial institution and descending underneath 2,000 ft MSL [mean sea level] in excess of drinking water.”

The signal rang in the cockpit at 1,540 feet previously mentioned sea degree, and the pilot was equipped to get better the airplane on his possess. The aircraft was slipping at a velocity of 9,400 ft for every minute at that time.

The Basic safety Center mentioned, “It was identified to be a help you save for the reason that the pilot was spatially disoriented and unaware of the altitude and mind-set of the plane at the time of the Vehicle-GCAS alert and likely would have flown below the 1,000 toes flooring or impacted the h2o with no the aural warning.”

The plane achieved a low altitude of 1,430 higher than sea degree.

A Lockheed Martin illustration of how Auto GCAS works. It capabilities otherwise in an F-22 when compared to F-16s and F-35s. Lockheed Martin

On March 2, 2021, an additional F-22 incident took position more than the Pacific when the pilot was practising essential fighter maneuvers with an additional plane right after departing from Maritime Corps Air Station Miramar in California.

“The pilot lost sight of the other aircraft” while carrying out a unique dogfighting maneuver, the report explained.  

The pilot then attempted to find the second airplane, but accidentally drove the aircraft into a nose-reduced acceleration toward the ocean. AGCAS then acquired regulate of the jet and rectified it when it was 4,520 ft over the h2o, with its nose inclined down 42 levels and flying at 800 miles per hour.

During the dive, the F-22 arrived in just 1,730 feet of the drinking water below.

Although the Air Pressure Security Centre considers all 3 instances to be AGCAS software program-centered saves, Lockheed Martin only views the 2020 celebration to be a conserve attributed to the application. T

his discrepancy in viewpoints appears to be thanks to adjustments in the data out there to appraise the functions, as nicely as software package dissimilarities amongst AGCAS versions. 

What is AGCAS?

Given spatial disorientation has by now resulted in the decline of several planes and pilots, the Pilot-Activated Restoration System was developed as a to start with response to the problem.

As extensive as the pilot can activate the technological innovation, the Pilot-Activated Restoration Method (PARS) will help save pilots struggling from identified Spatial-D. They have to push a button, and the laptop will acquire cost of the airplane and return it to a safe and sound situation.

However, there are continue to situations wherever the pilots are unable to evaluate if there is ongoing spatial disorientation. 

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The AGCAS was intended to deal with this situation. AGCAS, compared with PARS (Precision solution radar), immediately triggers inputs to the flight controls with no the have to have for human intervention.

When Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) is predicted, the technological innovation employs sophisticated laptop application, terrain maps, GPS, and prediction algorithms to “take the jet” from the pilot.

AGCAS is not uncovered on each fighter jet. The final decision to equip the US Air Force’s 3 fly-by-wire fighter jet variants occurred approximately twelve many years back.

According to the Air Pressure Basic safety Centre, it is mounted on 100% of lively F-22s, somewhere around 100% of the F-35A styles flown by the Air Pressure, and all over two-thirds of F-16s.