Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tag-out? What tag-out?

Skipper Westbook is having an interesting day.

Via Tim Colton's blog,
The future USS Spruance, (DDG 111), recently returned from sea trials, sustained extensive damage yesterday when the engine controls failed during a test and poured fuel into a hot engine.
Not an easy business. Seems like everyone is OK though.

Good new is - you can't buy training like this!

I think we could have a caption contest on this. Mmmm. OK, this is the image that the CHENG saw as he looked up from his crackberry while heading to the ship. The CHENG said, ......

Hat tip Byron.
UPDATE: From a couple of people in the know, I think we have the two ends of the spectrum WRT what effect this will have on the ship.

1. From the good end: It will just clean the living h311 out of the turbines like what my dad did when he "cleaned out the carbon" of our 1973 Cadillac's 472/7.7L when heading down I-10 at about 90mph with me laying down on the flat area under the rear winshield.

2. From the "no one killed" bad end: Spaces possibly involved in a fire of that size; besides the turbine module and the adjacent equipment in the after engine room (#1): CCS has an adjacent bulkhead to the intake uptake space (both go through a plenum that extends from the main deck up through to the 0-2 level where the intake ends and the uptake goes just about to the top of that stack); engineering log room; mess decks (after bulkhead); Medical is close by, forward and to starboard. A bunch of offices to port and forward of the plenum. Aft CHT and pump room (5th deck). The engine room (from the size of the fire, hot yellow flames that far above the source of the fire is not good) could have extensive damage to it.

... and thanks to Byron for the tech assist.
UPDATE: More updates coming across the transom.
Approx. 1230 today, GTM 2A was lit off and started to run. Soon thereafter, a fire developed somewhere between the engine and uptakes. The result was a large flame out of the uptakes to about 30 or 40 ft. Attached is the remarkable photo. NO ONE WAS INJURED. The flame lasted for a couple of minutes. We do not know if there was operator intervention to shut down the fuel oil quick closing valves at this point but SUPSHIP/company are investigating. There appears to be damage to the uptakes including director #2 cabling, lagging and possibly director #2 itself. It's our understanding that this happened during shipbuilder (vice crew) testing/operation. Investigation in process.

Below is a brief summary of the events that occurred today on DDG111 with UEC2A

Around 10:30 I was called out for a report of a loss of communications between the Universal Control Console 4 (UCC 4) and the Data Interface Unit (DIU) in MER2 for propulsion/ auxiliaries. BIW was able to resolve this issue quickly, however it was noticed that a second communication problem was present between the UEC 2A and the UCC4 DIU. The connection between the UEC 2A and UCC4 DIU would timeout resulting in loss of control and monitoring of the engine. The engine was not running at this time. Rebooting the UEC Plus would correct the problem for around 5-10 minutes before the UEC would stop responding. BIW engineering and electricians continued troubleshooting the problem and setup data collection devices to monitor network data between the UEC and DIU. While this data collection was ongoing, the GTM 2A was started from UCC4 to support conduct of GTM water wash stage testing. The engine began to spin up when communications were lost between the UEC and the DIU. The operator issued a stop command from UCC4 when the loss of monitoring was noticed. He indicated that it took several seconds before the engine began to ramp down. Less than 1 minute later the abandon ship alarm sounded. No one in the engine room understood the cause of the alarm. It was not until leaving the ship did we understand what happened.

From the preliminary data downloaded from UEC Plus onboard data collection, it appears the GTM reached approximately 1800 RPM before it shut down. Fuel on, ignition on and flame on states do not appear to be reached during this sequence. T5.4 did not increase during the start sequence. Aside from the loss of communications, the operators did not report any other anomalies during the start. These data points are preliminary at this point, but are confusing because they are inconsistent with the damage that occurred. Much further analysis is required to determine the cause. I have requested that Lockheed Martin and BIW make the UEC Plus data available for analysis. BIW will resume troubleshooting on Monday.


Anonymous said...

And the CHENG said....


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