Following the accident was there any weeding out of those who were out of their depth in the aircraft? Also was the noise abatement procedure re-examined and were sop tightened?
No, there was no 'weeding out' of people who couldn't cope. Nothing changed. There was a guy in the left-hand seat who rejoiced in the name "Dangerous Dave", who was only ever rostered with two senior F/Os (to look after him). A delegation of senior F/Os went to talk to a senior Training Captain about the matter, and they received an assurance that, when the Trident went out of service, this man would be removed. He would never be permitted to fly a two-crew aircraft.
A couple of years later, Dangerous Dave was flying a 737 with newly-recruited F/Os. Thank God, nothing ever happened to him that required any exceptional skill, and he retired without killing anyone.
Re NA, it remained the same, but monitoring flap and droop selections became paranoid. On a Route Check, the captain put his hand on the droop lever at 200kts. P3 said nothing. Later, the captain said, "Why didn't you stop me from grabbing the droop handle?" P3 said, "Well, you didn't move it." The captain said, "What if I had moved it?" P3 replied, "If you'd tried to move it I'd have broken your f****ing wrist."
CRM really took off over the following years, but the Old Guard were allowed to see out their time and qualify for their pension.
Last edited by Aileron Drag; 8th Jul 2012 at 21:32.
Because of the way the inquiry was "handled" they never believed that the Noise abatement procedure was at fault.(nor some other ridiculous SOP). They ignored Cunninghams testimony and either they didn't have enough pennies to pay for a copy of Handling the Big jets or they didn't understand it. And obviously Davies never mentioned his recommendations over a drink at the Lodge - probably why he only made assistant master whilst Owens became grand master.
Whilst it is slightly off track the social political climate of the time needs taking into consideration. TSR2 had been cancelled as had the Canadian Arrow because of pressure from the Yanks. Britain was in the midst of a social revolution. Heathrow became known as ThiefRow because of the baggage handlers love of other peoples stuff. There were several other groups who ran a mafia style operation - all of which management would not touch. BEA would only pay three months sick pay and after that you had to claim the dole. Our loss of license insurance paid 10% for psychiatric problems. An american company introduced a fairer loss of license insurance then stole our money. Whilst the long term sick ground workers were looked after flight and cabin crew were basically sacked except if you were "one of the boys". So the guys who couldn't cope were left with a choice, dole then a reduced pension, continue flying knowing that you were incompetent if an emergency happened and relying on our FOs and very sadly a few guys topped themselves. Whereas SR paid your full salary for two years and any medical treatment you needed.(including alcoholics). Gave you a fulfilling ground job. And if you didn't recover gave you an extremely good pension - more than BA paid senior captains.
I always felt extremely sorry for the guys who couldn't cope and flew accordingly cautiously although there were a few ######## who would resort to bullying then I sailed on the other tack. Fleet managers were play the I'm stupid card time and what a rewarding job you are doing "SIR".
blind pew, thank you for that helpful background. In another field in the 1970s and 80s, (a branch of the electronics world NOT involved with airlines) there was much 'old boy' network and favours and Lodges.
I recall (in 1984) being very puzzelled about the behaviour of a group telecomms manager and having it explained to me: "But don't you realise why he does that? It's because he can then put all the purchases of XYZ equipment, through his good friend in the City of [name of large telecomms company] who is a big friend of his and they are in the same Lodge together." It was said to me as if I should have worked out, or known, that that was how the system worked.
Just a few years ago, in an unrelated business matter, someone told me that X had only joined the Masons to get more of them using his betting shops. They said that, whilst X liked the social aspect, he certainly didn't believe in the religious part and took little interest in the charity work - it was just business as he knew the Masons would be more likely to place bets in a shop owned by a Mason.
Obviously pax boy. Had a mate who took a security guard for a ride on the bonnet of his car which resulted in an ABH charge which was dropped after a handshake. Trouble was he wasn't - the property speculators he moonlighted for had taught him the grip and signs. The big boys he drove for found out and sacked him. Took the threat of strike action to get him reinstated. Conversely my neighbour used his mates to get my planning application stopped - the way of the world - did me a favour as it was the last straw so I emigrated to new horizons.
Location: On the Rump of Pendle Hill Lancashire UK
My colleagues and I, in the Steel Stockholding Industry lost a very jovial and happy colleague in that accident, he was our local contact with the British Steel Corp, he was extremely well liked and missed just for his ability to always smile and be happy.
Ironic really, for a few years later whilst I too was working for the BSC, Papa India was the subject of a Management training course, where the public enquirey details and all the faults thus found were used as examples of bad and mishandled management procceedures, sad thing is the guy who had organised the course had no idea that we all knew one of the pax, it was very quickly dropped like in 5 minutes.!!
Just spoke with keighley's dad and sister. He flew the Whitney bomber on a virtual suicide mission and crashed on Texel. He spent the war in the great escape prison and was on the death march. The family didn't deserve to lose their son nor go through the cr*p that certain individuals put them through. The only question his mother asked me on every visit was did Jerry kill all of those people.
The AAIB inspector I spoke to distanced his organisation from the inquiry conclusions in his first breath of our conversation.
Having read a considerable amount of what I consider the important testimonies, having the identical training with Jerry and experiencing several different philosophies I believe I understand what I happened. The majority of the BEA were blinkered because they had very little experience from outside of their goldfish bowl or were just plain thick. Those who did understand some of what happened kept stumm because management with the issue of a stall procedure showed their cards. Childs who stood up to them told me that his life was made untenable and resigned.
I saw graffiti weeks b4 the accident on the inside of the lift in car park 1e- for management and pilots only in cental area -this was hastily repainted and a day afterwards it had reappeared with @@@@ is still a c@@t. I also read it in the men's bog ( left my drag gear at home) in a restaurant in dusseldorf....
The book can be downloaded if you have an Amazon Kindle account, cost isŁ3.50.
Is it allowed to provide a link here to the publisher or is that considered advertising? (It would also reveal 'Blind Pew's' identity...)
The book contains some amusing anecdotes but is largely a rambling rant at authority, and several named or barely disguised individuals, that verges on the libellous. Many of the stories are poorly researched and several are false.
Joined BEA (as was) late 1971 as an S/O. Soon afterwards attended my first BALPA meeting. I recall the acrimonious atmosphere when the topic of industrial action was raised. Stan Key seemed to be in a tiny minority opposing IA and was vehemently shouted down by opponents. We newbies were surprised at the bitterness we witnessed. Three months later Simon Ticehurst's father-in-law (Capt Emerson, an excellent instructor) checked out my colleagues and me on the Vanguard at Luqa. One of those colleagues was one of the two Vanguard copilots positioning to BRU on PI with John Collins. (I'm not 100% sure about the Ticehurst-Emerson connection, though - might be a false memory. Apologies if I've got it wrong.)
Can it be obtained in any other format by us non-Kindleites?
The only hardbacks I can find on Amazon re Papa India are used copies of John Godson's 1974 book, which I assume isn't what's being referred to here. I can't find any reference to an ebook at all, maybe I'm not looking in the right place.
It is available in hardback and paperback thro Amazon UK and Com. I wanted the electronic version free but the publishers refused and so it is at the minimum price they allowed. It is my story - I had a photographic memory and was the "star" on the ill fated course that produced P2 on Papa India. The book was researched over several years included course mates of Jerry keighley (who was my best mate), His father , the best training captain (and pilot) that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, a senior flight manager, numerous archives and several FOI requests. I was forwarded copies of relevant newspaper articles of the time...some of my quotes are from there, but those parts of the story that I was not directly involved in came from mates that were.
There were a lot of stories that I couldn't use as the culprits would have been identified. I deleted 50,000 words after counsel's opinion - the person advises Private Eye - not because they were not true but because of the nature of the British libel laws which Pen International are trying to change. Sadly BEA pilots of the time believe they were the best inspite of EIGHT crashes in my six years - 248 dead. Only two days ago a mate told me how they nearly went into the drink in a T3 off Malta with a wrong selection. I believe it wasn't reported although I didn't ask.
The book has been professionally proof read and anything possibly libellous was deleted.
For those in BEA my PPRuNe handle gives my identity.
It is not just a "rant" about BEA but a human story about a dream to fly, overcoming fear and the reality of being a junior pilot in the 70s.
I have just read Ray Blythe's book - only the makers name - it mirrors some of my experiences.
We all have individual opinions on what is best practice... The Americans have decided that 1500 hours is a minimum to operate heavy metal with pax whereas in Europe one can be released on line with less than 250 hours. They also fined a certain operator and threatened to withdraw their operating permit stateside for a flight which operated outside of the flight testing envelope which had certain aspects which reeked of incompetence to me. Then we could talk about AF, DGAC and EADS. What we need is transparency in the industry and not vague threats of laws introduced to stop the nobility killing each other in duels.