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Old 13th Jan 2018, 03:30
  #388 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Norfolk
Age: 62
Posts: 1

If we are to question the meaning of given words in the official report, reference should be made to the definitions contained in dictionaries that were contemporaneous or previous to the event and not to modern reference sources.

The archaic language used and retained in the British legal system hinges around the fact that the phrases used have a very distinct definition as established by prior court judgements.

I maintain that certain disputed parts of the official report are not deliberately inaccurate or even incomplete accounts of events. I suggest that in the light of more modern reporting standards, it is we who are drawing incorrect interpretations of what was said and meant at the time. Also we have to account for less advanced analysis techniques and methods available 55 years ago. That predates colour TV and most people having a landline phone in their home as far as the UK is concerned. Yet here I sit typing on a tablet with access to all the knowledge in the world just a few screen taps away. Okay not quite, but you get the idea.

I have absolutely no doubt that Lockheed would have dearly loved to write the accident off to pilot error. There are certain parts of the report that lead me to think the investigation was initially biased towards establishing this as a cause. That would not be considered unreasonable at the time because the majority of air accidents then were frequently down to pilot error. The increasing complexity of aircraft, lack of CRM, failure to recognise performance or weather limitations, were all contributory factors, but the pilots were frequently and unfairly given the blame in many case, in the light of more modern understanding of the issues.

Every aircraft has design flaws inherent in its construction. To my mind, the side stick controls in modern Airbus aircraft have directly contributed to quite a few accidents and near misses. Many professional pilots would vehermently disagree with my opinion and counter argue that the system is vastly superior to the older yoke design.

When I was taught to fly, the rule was to avoid thunderstorms by a minimum of ten miles. Modern aircraft with a schedule to keep are flown over, under, or through thunderstorms every single day, mostly without incident. But who or what gets the blame when things inevitably go wrong once in a while? Mostly, the pilot!

I am quite happy to accept that your version of events may lean towards being a more correct account considering the political, commercial and sociological pressures to try and play down aviation accidents at the time. I question what purpose is served in picking at these threads in the hope of unearthing some official wrongdoing though. All the people involved are undoubtably deceased and the fact is that in the light of this and other early accidents, the Electra and variants such as the Orion P3, has had a long and distinguished career as one of the most robust aircraft ever built.

I sincerely hope that the FOI request turns up more complete records of the investigation such as original notes and witness statements together with the investigators notes. Only with access to these records can any serious and legitimate attempt be made at rewriting the story of flight 706.

These records should be stored in an archive somewhere, although if they have been destroyed or disposed of and that may be considered as going some way towards pointing at a cover up or somewhat misleading account of the investigation. Of course, the documents could have been innocently destroyed by fire or other natural events, become lost in administrative clutter, eaten by vermin, or simply disposed of because there was no room to store them.

I personally don't see any evidence of conspiracy or skullduggery in the official account. There are gaps which can be filled by inference, but I doubt that these were purposefully designed to mislead in any way. I fully accept that documents could emerge that cast doubt on the official report, but until they surface I have to regard further discussion as being likely to be fruitless.
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