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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Runaway diesel

I have written this up before.. but it bears retelling. When I was a tot, my father was chief engineer aboard the USS Holland, a Navy Sub Tender stationed in Rota Spain.

A new guy on the crew was assigned to start up a generator, a "rock crusher". This type of diesel engine has two cranks and crankcases, one up and one down with the pistons coming together in the centre to produce compression and combustion (hence, 'rock crusher"

The new guy was busy talking to one of his new crewmates while filling the upper crankcase with oil and overfilled it. Upon starting, the engine immediatly ran away. After cutting fuel (which did nothing, obviously) they tried to cut air. In an engine that big, you cannot use a rag, it has a flap built into the intake. When they went to use it, they discovered that the flap was missing.

All they could do was evacuate the engine room, alert the bridge and damage control, and wait for it to blow.

Moral of the story, make sure all your safety gear is present and works -before- you have a problem.
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