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Old 07-02-2019, 19:54   #106
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

I know it's been a hard pill for the navy vetrans to swallow but the navy just isn't capable of operating moving machinery any longer. We appreciate your past service but it's time to move forward. Naval surface ships are no longer needed and should be put to bed. Sure, the navy might have aided in a few rescues at sea but after all the collisions they came out with a net loss of life. Don't try and defend incompetence. They have charged several officers with manslaughter in a feeble attempt to show those responsible will be held accountable but they stopped far short of what the public wanted.
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Old 07-02-2019, 19:58   #107
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Nor is any warship absolved from their navigational responsibilities.
Tell that to the navy.
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Old 07-02-2019, 20:03   #108
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Not true. Paint your car gray and drive around at night with the lights off. Report back how it turns out.
Tell me about a time outside of war when a Navy ship is using navigation lights.
You need to spend time in the real world of shipping traffic. How often have you actually tracked a modern Navy ship at night visually and/or with radar?
The first clue that a vessel is a warship visually is that their navigation lights have a distinctive profile. In my experience they hardly ever transmit AIS which used as an overlay on radar makes them standout distinctly. When on the Furuno and Sperry radars I've used, because of their radar characteristics the radar has difficulty holding onto them as targets but it's not at all like a large ship appearing as a small indiscernable boat.
You clearly are anti-Navy for whatever reason but why not use rational arguments to make your case. It is well established that US Navy ship handling skills are poor and it isn't because of individual watchteam shortcomings. It is systemic and will take time to correct.
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Old 07-02-2019, 20:19   #109
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Tell me about a time outside of war when a Navy ship is using navigation lights.
You need to spend time in the real world of shipping traffic. How often have you actually tracked a modern Navy ship at night visually and/or with radar?
The first clue that a vessel is a warship visually is that their navigation lights have a distinctive profile. In my experience they hardly ever transmit AIS which used as an overlay on radar makes them standout distinctly. When on the Furuno and Sperry radars I've used, because of their radar characteristics the radar has difficulty holding onto them as targets but it's not at all like a large ship appearing as a small indiscernable boat.
You clearly are anti-Navy for whatever reason but why not use rational arguments to make your case. It is well established that US Navy ship handling skills are poor and it isn't because of individual watchteam shortcomings. It is systemic and will take time to correct.
Ohhh, Isn't AIS required now? What way is it, they follow the rules or not?

Yes, the problem is systemic but the watch team is still responsible. Private industry calls it accountability. The Navy calls it time for a cover up.

Do you think it was OK for the Fitz to turn off AIS, run dark, navigate outside established shipping lanes in heavy traffic, and run at high speed? Is there anything else they could have done wrong? That's why there is so much speculation that these so called accidents weren't accidents at all but planned to send business to the shipyards in return for kickbacks. I don't know if I buy into that completely but it sure would explain six collisions in a year.

I bet if you calculated the accident rate of Naval ships per mile traveled vs the merchant fleet you would find that the Naval ships are millions of times more likely to be involved in a collision. That's how aviation safety is compared to driving safety. You won't ever hear the Navy giving that data on their safety record but I'm sure they have it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 20:43   #110
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Do you think it was OK for the Fitz to turn off AIS, run dark, navigate outside established shipping lanes in heavy traffic, and run at high speed?

The Fitz and McCain crews have been held accountable. They screwed up as well as the Crystal.
They weren't running dark.
I don't agree with not broadcasting AIS and the Navy has modified to some extent that directive.

What I have seen depicted as the situation is not what I consider heavy traffic, nearly all of those contacts are stationary. Many areas of the world truly are heavy traffic and often ten times the contacts. The speed a vessel uses is up to the ship and maneuvering in the vicinity of a high-speed vessel is simple using ARPA, more labor intensive using a moboard.
The speed of a vessel in relation to the "Rules" is not strictly defined in Rule 6 but various factors are delineated. When a collision occurs clearly Rule 6 has not been observed.
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Old 08-02-2019, 00:10   #111
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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The Navy has no purpose in modern warfare and should be ELIMINATED.

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The Navy should be mothballed.

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Naval surface ships are no longer needed and should be put to bed.

Wow.
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:49   #112
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Do you think it was OK for the Fitz to run dark, navigate outside established shipping lanes in heavy traffic, and run at high speed?

Firstly, you've been told several times the Fitz was not running dark - she was showing navlights. Why do you insist on perpetuating a myth?

Secondly, Fitz may have been at high speed, if you consider 20 kts high, but so were the merchant vessels in the area - Crystal was at 18 kts.

Third, from the graphic previously shown, it appears no ship was using this so-called "established" shipping lane and Crystal was blatantly fracturing rule 10.

Why the hate for the Navy?
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:01   #113
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

20 knots is not fast at all. In terms of collision avoidance, speed is beneficial. It gives me the ability to make smaller course corrections for the same CPA or BCR. Of course, that may not apply to very busy areas, where you have to handle multiple situations at once.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:29   #114
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Why the hate for the Navy?
I don't hate the Navy but do have a zero tolerance for incompetence that costs human life and billions of dollars. I pay for the Navy with my tax dollars and speculation suggests these are deliberate acts for personal gain.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:21   #115
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Lodesman, are you retired Navy.

The Navy is entrenched in tradition, it's their culture. Grand Daddy, Daddy, and now Buffy are Naval officers. Grand Daddy earned it and Daddy and Buffy inherited it. The inbreeding has destroyed the Navy to the point that the species is no longer sustainable.
The Navy has public relations officers that stage press conferences with Naval spokesmen adorned in colorful merit badges surrounded by a cheer-leading team of other officers adorned in colorful merit badges. They try and use their extensive training in the use of hand gestures, facial expression, use of key words, and never ending use of acronyms in a feeble attempt "look" competent. They show up late to stress to the unknowing viewer how busy they are and how hard they are struggling with the issue. All fluff, no substance. All bark, no bite. I stopped collecting merit badges after Cub Scouts but it seems they never outgrew that stage.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:14   #116
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Still reading this and not sure if it's been posted yet but this article is pretty good.

https://features.propublica.org/navy...crash-crystal/
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:16   #117
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Still reading this and not sure if it's been posted yet but this article is pretty good.

https://features.propublica.org/navy...crash-crystal/
Thanks for posting the link. I started reading it and quickly realized the Navy is much less competent than even I imagined. When you're competent at your job, there is no hesitation on what or how to do it. It is second nature. That didn't exist with the command. Disgusting.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:24   #118
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

" Still reading this and not sure if it's been posted yet but this article is pretty good.

https://features.propublica.org/navy...crash-crystal/

Great reference thanks for sharing.

Green and undermanned crew. Poor radar and AIS equipment, fatigue, watch keeping on port side but no watch on starboard side which was where the risks were present.

Many errors leading to this collision.

Snipets:

Then there was the crew. In those eight months, nearly 40 percent of the Fitzgerald’s crew had turned over. The Navy replaced them with younger, less-seasoned sailors and officers, leaving the Fitzgerald with the highest percentage of new crew members of any destroyer in the fleet. But naval commanders had skimped even further, cutting into the number of sailors Benson needed to keep the ship running smoothly. The Fitzgerald had around 270 people total — short of the 303 sailors called for by the Navy.

Key positions were vacant, despite repeated requests from the Fitzgerald to Navy higher-ups. The senior enlisted quartermaster position — charged with training inexperienced sailors to steer the ship — had gone unfilled for more than two years. The technician in charge of the ship’s radar was on medical leave, with no replacement. The personnel shortages made it difficult to post watches on both the starboard and port sides of the ship, a once-common Navy practice.


Although the Fitzgerald radars did not show them, more than two dozen ships surrounded the destroyer, all close enough to track. Three of them, large vessels off the starboard bow, posed a grave danger to the warship. They were closing in. Quickly.

But the ships didn’t appear on the combat room’s key radar, the SPS-67, because neither Combs, nor Woodley, nor anyone else, realized that it had been set to a mode designed to scan the seas at a greater distance. With the SPS-67 button taped over, only specialized technicians could change the tuning from another part of the ship.

The lack of ships on the radar screen created such a false sense of security that Woodley felt comfortable asking Combs permission to leave his station for a bathroom break, which is rare for a shift in the combat room. When he returned at 1:20 a.m., he glanced at his screens. Nothing to concern him.

“I didn’t get any radar, I didn’t pick up anything on the 67,” Woodley said.

Then, at 1:29 a.m., one minute before the collision, Woodley looked up at the laptop with the Automatic Identification System. He noticed a “pop-up” — a ship that he had not seen before. It appeared very close.

Woodley turned to Ashton Cato, a weapons specialist assigned to midwatch. Cato operated a camera with thermal imaging that could see miles away. On some nights, he would watch the crew on faraway ship decks lighting up cigarettes.

Woodley ordered Cato to point the camera in the direction of the approaching ship. As Cato moved the camera, the screen suddenly filled with the image of a fully loaded cargo ship, lit with white lights like a Christmas tree. It was headed straight at the Fitzgerald, a few hundred yards distant.

Cato only managed to get out a few words.

“I got a ship.”




From the bridge, Coppock could see 12 miles across the ocean to distant lights glimmering in cities along Japan’s coast. The moon had risen, casting a river of light across the Pacific. The temperature was around 65 degrees. The waves were cresting 1 to 3 feet.

Coppock glanced up at the SPS-73 radar screen in front of the darkened bridge. She noticed a cargo ship approaching the Fitzgerald from about 12 miles away. The radar indicated it would pass behind the Fitzgerald, about 1,500 yards to its stern. She began tracking the vessel but did not pay close attention to it.

Much like the radar in the combat room, the bridge radar was not providing a complete picture. In reality, there were three large cargo ships approaching the Fitzgerald, but the SPS-73 never showed more than two of them at the same time.

It remains unclear why the radar did not show an accurate picture of the ships at sea that night. One explanation is that the three ships were traveling close together. The cargo ship Coppock was tracking was west of the Fitzgerald but parallel to two other ships following roughly the same route. Closest to the Fitzgerald was a Chinese cargo vessel, the Wan Hai 266, slightly smaller than the Crystal. Next was the Crystal, about 1,000 yards past the Wan Hai. Farthest away was the 142,000-ton Maersk Evora, one of the beasts of the ocean at 1,200 feet in length. About two dozen smaller ships, many fishing boats, bobbed around them.

Another possibility is that Coppock may not have ensured that the radar on the bridge was properly adjusted to obtain a finer-grained picture. A post-crash reconstruction showed that Coppock lost sight of one of the ships due to clutter on the “improperly adjusted” SPS-73 screen.




Even without the radar, however, Coppock and the bridge team should have been able to see unaided the lights on the masts of the cargo ship she’d identified along with the two others running parallel to it. All three were headed toward the Fitzgerald — though at times, they would have obstructed one another from view.

A video taken just minutes before the accident, for example, clearly shows the Maersk Evora illuminated from 10,000 yards away. The Crystal also had navigation lights running, and it was less than a few thousands yards away at the same time.

But nobody, it turned out, was standing watch on the starboard side of the ship.

In years past, commanders traditionally posted lookouts on the port and starboard sides of the bridge. The lookouts had one job: search the sea for hazards. But Navy cutbacks in personnel prompted Benson and other captains to combine the duties into a single job. “We just don’t have enough bodies, qualified bodies, to have a port and starboard lookout,” said Samuel Williams, a boatswain’s mate first class.

Parker, Coppock’s No. 2 that night, was supposed to walk back and forth between the two sides during the watch, with the rest of the bridge team helping her keep an eye out.

But Parker had walked out onto a small metal deck located off the bridge on the port side of the Fitzgerald just after 1 a.m. She was there with Womack, trying to fit in some training by helping him develop his seaman’s eye, the ability to estimate distance and bearing by sight. Parker had not received a promotion on a previous ship, after its commanding officer thought she had trouble assessing the risk posed by ships in the surrounding ocean.

Over the next 15 to 20 minutes, the pair observed five or six ships. It may have been a good training exercise. But it was poor navigation practice. None of the ships on the Fitzgerald’s port side were a threat.




arker walked across the bridge to check the starboard side of the Fitzgerald. She glanced at a display to check the time. It was 1:20 a.m. As she stepped out onto the bridge wing, she saw lights shining from the bow of an approaching ship off in the distance, about 6 miles away. It was the Crystal. Parker alerted Coppock. Coppock told Parker not to worry — she was tracking the ship. She said it would pass 1,500 yards behind the Fitzgerald.

Parker had her doubts. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to cross us behind,” she said. Parker stepped out to the bridge wing to check again. Suddenly, she noticed something strange. A second set of lights glided out from behind the first.

It was the first time that anyone on the Fitzgerald had realized that two ships were steaming toward the Fitzgerald’s starboard bow. The Chinese cargo ship was indeed going to pass behind the Fitzgerald. But the Crystal, which had slightly altered its course, was heading straight for the destroyer.

“We gotta slow down,” Parker told Coppock.

No, Coppock told her again. “We can’t slow down because it’ll make the situation worse.” Coppock worried that slowing down might bring her into the path of the ship that was supposed to pass behind them.

In such situations, Parker, the subordinate, is supposed to express concerns to a superior officer. The Navy encourages what it calls a “questioning attitude” supported by “forceful backup.” But Parker did not press her concerns with Coppock about the oncoming ship.

At 1:25 a.m., the Fitzgerald was 6,000 yards from the Crystal, 5,000 yards from the Wan Hai 266 and on a collision course with the Maersk Evora, approaching from 14,000 yards away. There was still time for the highly maneuverable Fitzgerald to get out of the way.

But Coppock disobeyed Benson’s standing orders. Rather than call Benson for help, she decided to continue on her own. Coppock didn’t call down to the combat room to ask for help, either.

“I decided to try and handle it,” she said.

At around 1:30 a.m., time had run out. Parker ran inside from the bridge wing, yelling, “They’re coming right at us.”

Coppock looked up and spotted the superstructure of the Crystal through the bridge windows. She stepped out on the starboard wing for a better look and realized she was in trouble. In Navy terms, the Fitzgerald was in extremis — in grave danger of catastrophe.

To avoid the Crystal, Coppock decided to order a hard turn to the right, the standard action for an evasive maneuver under international navigation rules.

She shouted the command to Womack to pass on to the helmsman. But Womack did not immediately understand her order. After Womack hesitated, Coppock decided that she was not going to clear the Crystal by going toward the right. Such a turn would put her on a possible collision with the Wan Hai 266.

“Oh ****, I’m so ****ed! I’m so ****ed!" she screamed.

Coppock could have ordered the Fitzgerald into reverse; there was still time to stop. Arleigh Burke destroyers can come to a complete halt from 20 knots within 500 feet or so.

Instead, Coppock ordered a move that disregarded the very basics of her training. She commanded the helmsman to gun the destroyer’s powerful engines to full speed and duck in front of the Crystal by heading left. “All ahead flank,” she ordered. “Hard left rudder.”

Helmsman-in-training Simona Nelson had taken the wheel of a destroyer at sea for the first time in her life 25 minutes earlier. Nelson froze, unsure of how to respond.

Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Williams noticed Nelson struggling. He took control of the helm and did as Coppock ordered: He pushed the throttle to full and turned the rudder hard left. The ship’s engines revved to full power.

The move put the Fitzgerald directly into the path of the oncoming Crystal.

Coppock did not sound the collision alarm to warn sailors of the impending risk.

“I just got so wrapped up in trying to do anything that I had to just drop the ball on everything else that I needed to do,” she said.

Instead, she ran out to the starboard bridge wing. The Crystal’s blunt prow loomed above her, a wall of black steel angled sharply upward. To keep from pitching overboard, Coppock seized the alidade, a large metallic instrument used for taking bearings.

“Grab onto something,” Womack shouted to his fellow sailors on the Fitzgerald bridge.

At 1:30:34 a.m. on June 17, 2017, at 34.52 degrees north latitude and 139.07 degrees east longitude, the ACX Crystal slammed into the USS Fitzgerald. The 30,000-ton Crystal was moving at 18 knots. The 8,261-ton Fitzgerald had accelerated to 22 knots.

The Crystal’s prow and its protruding lower bow seized the Fitzgerald like a pincer. The top dug into Benson’s stateroom, 160 feet back from the Fitzgerald’s bow, shearing off the steel hull and crumpling his cabin. The bottom ripped across Berthing 2 and nearby compartments, leaving a hole 13 feet by 17 feet.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:53   #119
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Still reading this and not sure if it's been posted yet but this article is pretty good.

https://features.propublica.org/navy...crash-crystal/

Great reference thanks for sharing.

I agree that this is a pretty good article but as a "great reference" not so much without specific citations.
If is written in a story/novel format. The various accident investigation reports would be more reliable. This account may or may not differ and in certain areas may rely on speculation and creative writing.
Still, a pretty good article.
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Old 08-02-2019, 13:52   #120
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

The top Navy command did everything possible to doom that ship. They staffed it with incompetence (where it was staffed at all), didn't maintain key systems, set a unrealistic cruise schedule, ignored repeated requests for assistance, etc.

I certainly don't know what else could have been done to deliberately cause those accidents
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