gCaptain: The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault

This is an interesting, step by step outline of why the Captain of the USS Fitzgerald will be found at fault for the recent collision. The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault. This Is Why. – gCaptain

Lots of interesting points. Here is one that is worth noting. The amount of time a merchant captain spends on the bridge of a commercial ship, dwarfs the amount of bridge time that a naval office has.

But unlike the merchant captain and the enlisted specialists working on navy ships, the U.S. Navy Captain and his bridge officer (OOD) are generalists. A large percentage of their careers are spent working shoreside jobs and their shipboard time was spent rotating through positions: the engine room, the combat information room, in administrative positions and elsewhere.

In short, the merchant ship captain and bridge officers have significantly higher number of hours spent on the bridge then their naval counterparts.

The video is not of the “Fighting Fitz,” but it is of another Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer making a 180 degree turn.

And finally, specs on the ACX Crystal. (Compare this with the 100,000 HP of the USS Fitzgerald.)

She has a single 8-cylinder diesel engine capable of pushing one propeller with 29,200 horses for 3/10ths the amount of power of the destroyer. The acceleration of a ship like this is measured in miles, not minutes like the destroyer. Diesel engines like hers are the size of a modest house and are locked into a certain speed at night. The bridge officer can cut speed immediately but at the risk of damaging equipment. Changing speed safely requires that the engineers wake up, change into work clothes and walk down to the engine room to check the equipment before moving the throttle.