A Royal Air Force C-130J has declared an emergency off the coast of Scotland and dropped around 10,000ft in the space of 60 seconds before landing at Leuchars.

Open Source Intelligence accounts advise that that aircraft looks to have diverted into Lecuhars after pulling a sharp turn over the North Sea.

The Open Source Intelligence Twitter account SkyWatcher Intel notified me of this event, if you don’t follow them then I’d suggest you go do that now.

Image via FlightRadar24

It is understood that the aircraft and another flying with it have both landed safely.

What is the significance of “Squawking 7700”?

Captain Hoke is a Boeing 757/767 captain for a package express airline and also runs the website AeroSavvy, he had this to say.

“Declaring an emergency means the crew determines they have an “urgency” or “distress” situation. “Urgency” means the crew is concerned about the safety of the flight and needs timely (but not necessarily immediate) assistance. A “distress” condition means that the flight is in serious and/or imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.”

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Rob Collinson

Have they landed safely?

Bloke down the pub

Surely losing one engine wouldn’t of itself cause a four engined aircraft to lose 10,000′?

Tony

Probably not. Loss of cabin pressure would.

Cam Els

Depends if its burning or not. You need to land right now if the fire won’t go out.

John Molloy

It was an engine failure not a fire

John Molloy

It wouldn’t loose that height because one engine failed, I think they meant it made a quick descent prior to landing although I doubt it descended that much in 60 seconds

Trevor W Hogg

Obviously John you’ve never been on a Herc or seen a Herc doing a TALO.

Ian

If it was an engine fire and the extinguisher on that engine failed they would enter a steep dive to try and blow it out

A&Daccountant

Correct, the aircraft is capable of flying/gliding much longer than this. Such an extreme descent is ‘we need to get this aircraft on the ground now’. Scenarios where this might be needed: fire, fumes, hydraulic failure, electrical failure

Joe Young

It didn’t have to lose altitude it chose to, that’s the protocol for that kind of emergency.

Awhb

Everyone safe and sound.

dan

Reminds me in the movie Aliens when Private Hudson on the drop ship says, “we’re on an express elevator to hell, going down!” lol

Cam Els

Wow. So not Dundee Airport then? Not a place to drop into with a 4 prop! Glad everyone is safe.

Alan dawson

One of the crew probably got wind a lad off 51Sqn was drilling his misses 🤣

David Arthur

The c130 is a very agile aircraft, it can land and take off from short runways, I know off pilots who landed these aircraft in South American jungles dropping in over clifftop almost vertical onto small jungle airfields, for this aircraft to drop from high altitude fast is not unusual and these pilots train for such scenarios especially in conflict areas, probably all in a day’s work for them, the aircraft also has a good safety record.

Cam

Good that Leuchers is still getting some use.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree. I’m for the army occupying ex RAF stations as strategic assets like runways are retained.

Chivenor and Woodbridge are also used occasionally.

John Clark

Absolutely Daniele, airbases make great facilities for the army anyway, plenty of space and storage of air transportation ready equipment.

A well maintained runway is precisely what’s needed, especially for rapid reaction elements.

It’s far easier to bring the C17/A400/C130’s to the assets, than have the logistical problems of transporting all the personel and equipment to the air hub.

Daniele Mandelli

Bingo. My thoughts exactly John.

I was disappointed that Lynheham ended up as the new REME hub replacing Aborfield and Bordon, rather than a super army garrison with runway for instant deployment. The AAC could have used it, for example.

Luckily the army/ RM have occupied several ex RAF stations over the last two decades.

John Clark

Lyneham was wasted with its long runway and facilities, it would have made a great garrison for say one of the new rapid reaction force units being planned.

Unfortunately Daniele, common sense doesn’t often come into play, as we very well known and often discuss here mate…..

Wayne Lawton

It was John, they have put a Solar Farm on the grass bits ,so it’s a no go for the airfield. Totally wasted.

Daniele Mandelli

At least its retained on the defence estate.

Pacman27

Let’s not forget that these are also useful for helo pickups as well and from my personal experience RAF bases tend to have better accommodation than an equivalent army base.

Sandy

I was a 17 yo para recruit in 65 at Abingdon doing my jumps course.
Better accommodation better food knives forks and glasses on the dining room table.
Oh what a difference from Maida Bks Aldershot march to the scofff kfs and pint mug behind your back and 5000 calorie pigs feed

john bull

Lyneham still gets used regularly.

Heidfirst

Currently QRA North there whilst Lossie’s runway is being worked on. Also SF exercise Chameleon for the last week or so (what this Herc. will have been there for along with AH64 & Chinook) .

M J Brighton

Why an emergency decent for an engine failure, they have 3 more. Eng failure in my time on c130 never earrentef ener decent

An old loadie

One engine failure in the Herk is not uncommon. Something else was going on to cause the extreme altitude descent.