Author Topic: f-16s at SYR  (Read 10216 times)

Offline darry2385

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f-16s at SYR
« on: February 03, 2009, 03:40:52 PM »
The 174th FW is stationed at KSYR, so every now and then I pick up the airport's communication w/ them on the KSYR feed.  I can't hear the pilots, presumably they're on a scrambled channel or something along those lines, but thats not my question.  As they're turning the break before coming back around to land, the tower controller says to the pilot: "west cable indicates up".  What does that mean?



Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 04:10:50 PM »
Hey, Darry -

There is a steel cable that resides in a perpendicular channel across the runway.  This cable is there to literally stop the F16s in the event of an aborted takeoff or problems on the landing roll.  This cable is elevated up out of the channel when there are F16 operations (departures or arrivals).   I don't know how high the cable is elevated but I would suspect perhaps a foot or so above the runway.  Think of this cable as somewhat similar in concept to what you see on aircraft carriers. 

There is a cable that crosses each end of the the main runway, located about 2,000 to 2,500 feet from the end. 

You will also hear "barrier maintenance" as a callsign a lot when the ground frequency comes in on the feed.  This is the group responsible for inspecting the cable to be sure it is fully operational.    They drive a truck from the guard base onto the taxiways and eventually to the point on the runway where the mechanical housing is for these cables, adjacent to the runway at each end.

As far as the communications are concerned, the F16s talk on a UHF frequency that is not scrambled.  In the beginning of the feed I had tried to scan the frequency but the quality was too poor (presumably due to my 9 miles from the airport) so I had to abandon it.   If I ever get the feed relocated up to the airport I may try to add these frequencies back in.

All SYR VHF frequencies you hear on the SYR feed have a counterpart in UHF for the F16s, which is why you hear the controllers talking but not the F16 pilots responding.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 04:12:27 PM by KSYR-pjr »
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline darry2385

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 01:04:50 PM »
Thanks for the explanation, makes sense.  And looking at Google Maps, I think its quite clear where the cables are. 

I wouldn't worry too much about the UHF freqs, all the planes will most likely be gone by October. 

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 02:09:28 PM »
Good idea about looking at Google Maps.  I didn't think to originally do it, but here is the screenshot of it with the west cable annotated:



Oh, and I now see I overestimated the cables' distance from the end of the runway.  Both cables are actually closer to 1,400 feet from the end.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 02:15:39 PM »
An interesting point about Google Maps/Earth and the SYR airport.   

For the longest time the airport image itself was much lower resolution than the surrounding area, which was in a very high resolution.  This meant that Map/Earth users could not zoom into the airport's image without the image breaking up and becoming meaningless.  I always assumed that this was purposely done by Google to protect the ANG base there at SYR.

However, these days there is a higher quality image, but still not at the resolution of the surrounding area.  It almost seems that the image was "washed" out by Google for the same purpose as above.   I liken it to looking at a watercolor representation of the image, especially notable when you zoom all the way in.  Try that with the surrounding area for a comparison.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline makonyy15

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 03:50:28 PM »
Have you tried Windows Live Local? Their "Birds Eye" option allows for pretty crisp and clean images of the airfield, IMHO. You can see the cable location here, http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=r5j5n98npy39&style=b&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=8378239&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

I usually rely on Google Earth for its ease of use and download-ability, but this proves handy sometimes when you want to get even closer.

Offline Аэрофлот Jr.

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 08:15:00 PM »
Never knew about this steel cable thingg at KSYR lol i thought it was only on Navy Aircraft Carriors .. Anyways thanks for the good information guyss .

I think this is a stupid question ,, but  any chance of that steel cable stop the jets over running the runway on landing or aborted takeoffs ?

and great picture 'makonyy15' !
sincerely, Rae

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 08:38:01 PM »
Have you tried Windows Live Local? Their "Birds Eye" option allows for pretty crisp and clean images of the airfield, IMHO.

Ah, much nicer. 

The availability of these high quality images begs the question:  Why does Google "wash" the airport image when MS clearly does not?
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 08:48:54 PM »
I think this is a stupid question ,, but  any chance of that steel cable stop the jets over running the runway on landing or aborted takeoffs ?

The cable must be in the down position for all non-F16 operations so there would not be enough time to elevate it should an aborted takeoff or an overrun occur.

Secondly, how do the F16s use this cable?  Not being a military pilot nor never having seen this in action I don't know exactly.  However, logic suggests that the F16 is probably equipped with a hook similar to military aircraft involved in carrier operations - not something with which public air transport aircraft are equipped.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 08:54:33 PM »
Interesting.   Just found this brief article about the Wisconsin Air Guard's F16s necessitating the installation of a similar cable at another airport:

Wisconsin ANG 115th FW gets cable-arrest system

The article states that F16s are equipped with an arrestor hook and that there may be scenarios where, if a runway overshoot by a non-military aircraft is expected, the tower will raise the cable.   The article also states that the cable is elevated about 6 inches off the runway for the F16s.


Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline Аэрофлот Jr.

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2009, 09:45:12 PM »
Interesting.   Just found this brief article about the Wisconsin Air Guard's F16s necessitating the installation of a similar cable at another airport:

Wisconsin ANG 115th FW gets cable-arrest system





ohh  i see . good article. its pretty cool system .
sincerely, Rae

Offline darry2385

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 10:38:35 PM »
Right after Google updated the airport imagery from the very low-res to normal resolution, it wasn't immediately washed out.  Guess they got some pressure from somebody to wash it a little bit. 

Great clear images from MS though, wonder why they can do it but Google can't.

Offline mkop

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 01:17:05 AM »
This system is also marked on the airport diagram. Look for the little zig-zaggy line with arrows that's marked BAK-12/14.



Many civilian airports that are used for military operations have one of these systems installed.

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 09:33:39 AM »
This system is also marked on the airport diagram. Look for the little zig-zaggy line with arrows that's marked BAK-12/14.

Ha, very good - Thanks for teaching this GA pilot something today.    I have been using Jepp Charts since my instrument  instruction days.   After you posted this fact I pulled up the Jepp version of the airport diagram to see how I might have missed learning this.    Look here (red annotation mine):




It seems that Jepp chose to only depict the "Z" shaped arrows while leaving off the label.    Having never been shown that and admittedly never curious enough to think that the "Z" shaped arrows actually denoted something specific, I was not aware that the system was on both types of charts.

BAK - In looking that up just now I see stands for Barrier Arrestor Kit. 

I am going back to bed now having fulfilled my quota so early this morning of learning something new every day.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline Biff

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 02:41:06 PM »
Secondly, how do the F16s use this cable?  Not being a military pilot nor never having seen this in action I don't know exactly.  However, logic suggests that the F16 is probably equipped with a hook similar to military aircraft involved in carrier operations - not something with which public air transport aircraft are equipped.

You might be surprised how many Air Force types are equipped with a tailhook: the F-15, -16, even the F-22 has a hook.  Unlike their Navy brethren, their hooks are designed mainly for emergencies.  A press of a button blows a bottle that forces them down.  To raise the hook, you have to walk around the back of the jet and man-handle it back up.  ;)  They also have a shear bolt that will break to allow the hook to swivel after you catch the cable crooked.


Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2009, 06:00:18 PM »
Interesting information, Biff.  Thanks for that.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline ChristopherT

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2009, 06:07:50 PM »

I agree!  You learn something new everyday here on LiveATC!  :-D

     ChristopherT

Offline Аэрофлот Jr.

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2009, 06:17:23 PM »

You learn something new everyday here on LiveATC!  :-D


Very truee
sincerely, Rae

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djmodifyd

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2009, 03:49:21 PM »
We have the BAK-14 cable system
we have a panel in the tower that controls it.  We lift the cable when the f16's are arriving/departing and other then that it is lowered.

and the F16's do have a hook on them that they will lower if they need it, that is how they engage the cable.

aircraft can roll over the cable if need be, but we are supposed avoid doing that unless we can't help it, although the f16's 90 percent of the time roll over the cable anyway.

but say we forgot the cable up, and an aircraft aborted, they would roll right over it.  Also, the panel alarms after 5 minutes if we leave the cable up as well

Offline mklatval

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2009, 09:04:18 PM »
As a controller in training at BTV (mentioned above) I can also add that the requirement to have cables for the F-16s is also based on runway length. If we had something like 150 more feet of runway, it would be unnecessary. The cables are finicky and need lots of regular maintenance. We put them up for all F-16 arrivals and departures (they depart over the departure end cable)

djmodifyd

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Re: f-16s at SYR
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2009, 07:34:31 PM »
As a controller in training at BTV (mentioned above) I can also add that the requirement to have cables for the F-16s is also based on runway length. If we had something like 150 more feet of runway, it would be unnecessary. The cables are finicky and need lots of regular maintenance. We put them up for all F-16 arrivals and departures (they depart over the departure end cable)

VERY finicky.

we actually had an f16 take the cable yesterday, the brakes went out on landing roll.  first time i've ever seen one take it.

nothing happened, but it was a pain trying to re-sequence everyone to the other runways as we had 5 people right behind the f16 on final