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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

Old 11th Sep 2015, 01:05
  #561 (permalink)  

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There has been some very interesting speculation in the last page or so here, but I doubt most of you have much concept of how small the influence of the weather phenomena you're discussing is on a fast jet. I'm sorry to say that your lack of understanding has taken you up a blind alley. Sea breezes, down draughts and inversions can pretty safely be discounted as serious threats to fast jet aeros.
Worth repeating for the amateur meteorologists.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 03:51
  #562 (permalink)  
 
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This pilot almost got away with his manoeuvre. If he'd had another couple of hundred feet, it would have just been another 'interesting' clip on youtube. There are many clips there of near misses (and non misses) with the terra firma, usually by well trained military pilots flying a variety of modern fighters. It can happen to the best of pilots in the best aircraft. And it regularly does....

If he'd smacked it into some farmland, there would have been a great deal less fuss, but it would have been the same accident as far as the nuts and bolts of what caused it are concerned. I suspect calls for 'something to be done' would be just as absent as they were after the recent Gnat accident.

Heaven forbid that the findings of the AAIB should be anticipated, but I'd happily bet my next months wages that this was just exactly what it appears to be.

Not the first by a long way, or the last.

Barring the odd unfortunate occurrence, like this one, the 'system' has done a damn good job of protecting those near to, and attending, Airshows for decades. Quite a few decades...Has everything to be zero risk?

Precisely nothing needs to be done, apart from the CAA resisting the urge to kneejerk the very much attended and enjoyed UK Airshow scene into another 'elf 'n safety, hard hat zone.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 07:11
  #563 (permalink)  
 
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@AtomKraft
Not the first by a long way, or the last.
Well, I very much hope it is.

People seem to be forgetting that this "stunt" (and I use the word quite deliberately), killed 11 people, all of whom were where they were on their legitimate business and had every right to believe they were safe, and that some prune was not about to drop 10 tons of fuel filled aircraft on top of them.

The accident was foreseeable and preventable. The CAA's almost immediate reaction by restricting this kind of display was not "knee-jerk" reaction, but a belated recognition that it is not acceptable to put the general public at risk for the pleasure of a few.

As a fellow human being, I wish the pilot a speedy recovery, but he, and all those in the approval chain behind this very obviously dangerous manoeuvre must expect to bear the cost, judicial and otherwise.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 07:26
  #564 (permalink)  
 
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'fast jet'

Originally Posted by Mach Two View Post
There has been some very interesting speculation in the last page or so here, but I doubt most of you have much concept of how small the influence of the weather phenomena you're discussing is on a fast jet. I'm sorry to say that your lack of understanding has taken you up a blind alley. Sea breezes, down draughts and inversions can pretty safely be discounted as serious threats to fast jet aeros.
Excellent point, but the aircraft is reported in the AAIB interim report as flying at around 100 knots inverted at the top of the manouevre. In such a fast jet, is that really flying? If he had had another 30 feet to play with, he might just have made it. In such a marginal condition, flying so near the point of stalling/mushing, small and apparently insignificant factors must play a larger role.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 07:29
  #565 (permalink)  
 
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Idle bystander.
Like you, I hope it is the last time a pilot attempts a looping manoever and finishes up piling in.
Unlike you, I know it won't be.

We can make the world a very much safer place if we all stay in our beds of a morning.
Or a teensy bit safer, and a great deal more boring by banning anything that people like you think reckless- but where do we draw the line?

This accident has 'happened' many times before, and it will happen again. Low level aeros catch pilots out from time to time.

Having a road under the aircraft when it ran out of sky was just plain bad luck. You wouldn't be squawking if it can gone in 100m away, would you?

You can slice it anyway you like, but that's about it really. At least, that's my view on it.

My point, really, is that a mechanism for reducing- not eliminating- things like this happening exists. And works.

Events like this accident are thankfully extremely rare and unusual- but it's just not possible to reduce the likelihood of a similar thing happening to zero!

Last edited by AtomKraft; 11th Sep 2015 at 07:57. Reason: Adding that last bit
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 08:03
  #566 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AtomKraft View Post
Idle bystander.
Like you, I hope it is the last time a pilot attempts a looping manoever and finishes up piling in.
Unlike you, I know it won't be.

We can make the world a very much safer place if we all stay in our beds of a morning.
Or a teensy bit safer, and a great deal more boring by banning anything that people like you think reckless- but where do we draw the line?

This accident has 'happened' many times before, and it will happen again. Low level aeros catch pilots out from time to time.

Having a road under the aircraft when it ran out of sky was just plain bad luck. You wouldn't be squawking if it can gone in 100m away, would you?

You can slice it anyway you like, but that's about it really. At least, that's my view on it.

My point, really, is that is mechanism for reducing- not eliminating- things like this happening exists. And works.

Events like this accident are thankfully extremely rare and unusual- but it's just not possible to reduce the likelihood of a similar thing happening to zero!
So if it was just "bad luck", and therefore no culpability, and those killed were not officially spectating, who is going to compensate the families of those killed? Or is that just their " bad luck", and someone needs to say to them, sorry, but these things just happen and will continue to happen?
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 09:45
  #567 (permalink)  
 
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Some very interesting thoughts .....

Culpability
Compensation
Recklessness

Presumably the police want to interview him to establish the extent of the first, if any, in their view.
On compensation, I understand the insurance policies of war birds usually caps the liability out at a figure of x million. I would not be surprised if the amounts involved here are in excess of the cap.
On recklessness there are plenty of legal cases deliberating what the standard should be in cases of specialised occupations, eg surgeons. On the one hand it has been argued that the standard to prove recklessness should be a mistake that no other in that profession would have made. The profession here being Hunter Display Pilot.
My guess is that to establish culpability, compensation, and whether there was recklessness, this will eventually end up in the courts.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 10:11
  #568 (permalink)  
 
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Reckless behaviour?

Atom:

AAIB Bulletin: 11/2009
G-HURR
Air Accident Report 6/2009

Causal factors:

1
The accident probably occurred as a result
of the pilot attempting an unplanned rolling
manoeuvre.
2
When the manoeuvre was commenced,
the airspeed was adequate, but the nose-up
pitch attitude was insufficient to enable the
manoeuvre to be completed safely in the
height available.
3
When the roll stopped in the inverted position,
the aircraft’s nose dropped rapidly and there
was insufficient height available for the
recovery manoeuvre the pilot attempted.

From the AAIB report into the last fatal airshow crash at Shoreham. Would you say that attempting an unplanned manouevre in the way that this pilot did was possibly "reckless". No doubt he also did not intend to crash. Fortunately, the consequences of this error of judgement were confined to that of the loss of life of the pilot, and the loss of the aircraft to those in the community who enjoy seeing these planes fly.

Recommendations in the report included that pilots should have current experience of flying similar routines in similar aircraft, that the display itself should be approved in specifics, and that human factors need to be given prior consideration and pilots trained in recognition of such.

My understanding is that if a driver in an emergency vehicle answering an emergency disobeys a red light signal, that they are subject to the same law as everyone else, but the CPS will usually decide not to prosecute.

The difference I would say between an 'accident' involving vehicles on the road, and an airshow crash, is that most of us, unless habitual pedestrians, use the roads, and an acceptance of risk is natural and necessary in order to move around. Attending or performing at an airshow is not necessary and usual in terms of behaviour, it is essentially unecessary and a matter of choice. What makes this situation interesting, is that those killed were not officially spectating, and many just happened to be passing by lawfully using the road, as such, in these terms, their deaths were completely unecessary.

Assuming at this point, that at the very least, the latest crash involved a degree of error or misjudgement on the part of the pilot, and if displays were to continue without significant change, would not another crash in several years time and possibly this time on top of Shoreham or Lancing towns themselves, appear negligent at the very least on the part of the regulating authority?

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Old 11th Sep 2015, 10:24
  #569 (permalink)  
 
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The book "Flying at the Edge" by Tony Doyle has a chapter (12) on display aerobatics. It can be read online and I think has some relevance to this thread.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 10:41
  #570 (permalink)  
 
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Notapilotbut
Are you one of those people that gcal is referring to?

To answer your question about possible recklessness in the Hurricane accident. No, I don't think he was reckless and I've not heard of anyone at all who thinks he was. He made a mistake, and in aviation these can cost you dear. You ever made one?

Neither, in my opinion was the Hunter pilot reckless, although the findings of the AAIB will tell the full story. I think he just made a slight cock of the thing, and ran out of sky and ideas at about the same time. That's just my 2p worth. Although he was a very professional pilot by all accounts, even the best can get caught out. I'd be very surprised if he was behaving recklessly given what's 'known' so far about this accident.

Last edited by AtomKraft; 11th Sep 2015 at 10:56.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 10:45
  #571 (permalink)  

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There has been some very interesting speculation in the last page or so here, but I doubt most of you have much concept of how small the influence of the weather phenomena you're discussing is on a fast jet. I'm sorry to say that your lack of understanding has taken you up a blind alley. Sea breezes, down draughts and inversions can pretty safely be discounted as serious threats to fast jet aeros.
I take your point as I don't have fast jet experience, just 21000 hrs on commercial jets however I am aware that an increase in temperature reduces the thrust and that this aircraft went over the top of the loop at 100kts. If you say this is not a factor I of course accept your experience.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 10:54
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Guys and gals, whilst I can understand the thirst for facts and answers, there is a lot of chasing-of-tails going on here. Patience is required.

We are fortunate that the AAIB will have an opportunity to converse with the pilot, plus there were cameras on the aircraft, and plenty of externally shot video and still photography. I have little doubt that answers will be found, and quite quickly too - the AAIB are masters at piecing this sort of stuff together (having attended a course that included a look at some of the AAIBs past investigations and methods ...). They were very quick to get an informative preliminary published so they are 'on the case'.


Patience .......

Precisely nothing needs to be done, apart from the CAA resisting the urge to kneejerk the very much attended and enjoyed UK Airshow scene into another 'elf 'n safety, hard hat zone.
Regrettably, I think that will be a result of this accident.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 11:17
  #573 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AtomKraft
Precisely nothing needs to be done, apart from the CAA resisting the urge to kneejerk the very much attended and enjoyed UK Airshow scene into another 'elf 'n safety, hard hat zone.
Years ago I went to a talk by Bill Bedford, and I don't think he'd agree with you.

He described, including a stunning picture with smoke trail, a time he almost spun a Hunter into the ground from 18 or 20,000 feet, and criticised his complacent bad preparation.

According to obituaries you can still read now, he was a lifetime campaigner for improved safety standards in demonstration flying.

There shouldn't be anyone who can fairly say this job is complete.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 11:25
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Originally Posted by aox View Post

According to obituaries you can still read now, he was a lifetime campaigner for improved safety standards in demonstration flying.

There shouldn't be anyone who can fairly say this job is complete.
There is only one way to "complete" the job.......
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 11:27
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Aox
If it's improving standards that you want, then I'd be surprised if anyone at all would take issue.

Somehow, I don't think 'improving standards' is what the CAA have in mind.....

Whatever they have in mind will more likely feature words like 'reducing', 'restricting', 'limiting' and 'banning'.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 11:51
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Originally Posted by notapilotbut View Post
how does one balance the risk to many versus the enjoyment of a relative few?
".
This is the crux of the whole business.

When you do a risk assessment, you consider two things.

1. The likelihood of the event.
2. The consequences.

If we do this for airshow crashes into spectators outside the airfield, the empirical evidence shows that the likelihood is astronomically low.
Once since 1952?

The consequences in this case were pretty much a worst case scenario.

Let do the same for airliners approaching Heathrow over London.

The empirical evidence suggests that this is also extremely unlikely, but the consequences could be orders of magnitude higher.....



So which should we ban?

Does anybody need to be on that airliner over London?

Where do we stop with this descent into impossible quests for perfect safety?



This graph is for RAF accidents, but it pretty much mirrors the general aviation graph.
The easy gains have been made.
We stopped making a difference with new rules in the 80's

there is a small but unavoidable risk involved in flying as in all things.
All we are doing now is reducing flying because less flying means less accidents.
I don't think that the trade off is worth it.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 11:58
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Incidentally, Bill Bedford was mentioned earlier.

It is hardly surprising that a pilot of his generation fully supported more flight safety. He crashed a few times and must have seen huge amounts of waste.
This is from his era.



It is a rather different world now.

It is plain to see that at that time aircraft were falling out of the sky like rain.
We have come a long way. but people seem to think that we must always do better.
Why?

The only way to be 100% safe is to stop flying.
That is where we are getting to now, and I don't want to see it happen
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 12:20
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Personally knowing the pilot very well I would add my personal opinion that planning was not an issue in this tragic event. Andy plans and executes everything he does with the same high level of precision and professionalism that he displays when flying.

I will not comment further on the accident, that is for the AAIB to do.

As far as limiting airspace to that directly over airfields or stopping the overflight of roads you may as well ban flying. A 10 second pause in a routine whilst figuring out a master caution light in a jet doing 420kts will put you over a mile from where you started. These are the velocities and energy we are dealing with. A rolling turn back, or half a Cuban 8, is a standard manoeuvre to put you back on the display line. Trying to plan any display that doesn't overfly a road in the UK is, in my opinion, impossible. The display line for Farnborough crosses a housing estate and a bypass at its eastern end. Do we ban that? I would humbly suggest that performing high energy turns whilst trying to stay withing a tightly constricted display space might be more dangerous than what we have now. It is not easy to get a display clearance, the safety criteria to be adhered to are rightly stringent. Lets not add unnecessarily to that burden.

It was a terrible accident and I await the AAIB report as much as anyone.

My thoughts and wishes go out to all those involved.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 14:45
  #579 (permalink)  
 
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The point is that there are risks in everything, and trying to make aviation safer is a sisyphean task at this point.

If you honestly care about safety, then redirect the concern into areas where the easy gains are still there to make.
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Old 11th Sep 2015, 15:12
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I have previously suggested that there may have been a physiological incident as a causative factor in this accident. Definitely not proven at this point, and it may be impossible for even the AAIB to definitively pin down because about the only thing that might confirm it would be a cockpit camera focused on the pilot.

Now suppose that a physiological event was found to be a factor in this incident. How would you mitigate that?
Didn't the Red Arrows lose a pilot in 2011 for that very reason?
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