Responding to F-14 Fleet Rudder Hardover Incidents
NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIV PATUXENT RIVER MD
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Since the summer of 2000, the F-l4 community has experienced three occurrences of rudder hardover. The NAVAIRSYSCOM F-l4 test and management teams commenced an investigation into the causes of the failure. This investigation led to the development of rudder hardover emergency procedures for the F-l4 aircrews. To assist in developing and evaluating the emergency procedures, the team utilized the F-14 simulation model in the Manned Flight Simulator MFS at NAWCAD, Patuxent River, Maryland. Flight fidelity was checked using qualitative comments from an F 14 fleet pilot who experienced the rudder hardover failure in flight and subsequently safely recovered the airplane. A flight test effort was deemed prohibitive due to safety concerns, cost, and the immediate need for NATOPSPCL procedures required by the fleet squadrons. One challenge in using the simulation was that the resident MFS F-14 aerodynamic model had some limitation that had to be understood when performing tests on these malfunctions. The resultant rudder hardover simulation malfunctions were recently inserted into the F-14 Operational Flight Trainers OPTs and are currently being used to train fleet F-l4 pilots to handle this emergency situation.
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