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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

Old 30th Mar 2016, 12:52
  #801 (permalink)  
 
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Once upon a time, I worked in Health and Safety, and spent a lot of time learning my way around the various UK legislation.

No surprise - factories were the greatest generator of H&S rules, but fairgrounds were in second place behind them (third, slightly surreally, was herring processing).

The understanding that fairground rides of any sort can be very dangerous has been with us for over a century.

Rospa have a whole page on bouncy castle safety here, which links various other documents.

Okay, with an aeronautical engineering degree, I could work out the loads on a castle and safe values on anchor points fairly accurately in half an hour. I wouldn't expect a fairground type operator to have my level of knowledge - but I would certainly expect them to understand RoSPA and related rules and guidance, and have access to rules of thumb on when things get dangerous. If there's evidence they didn't, there's no excuse.

At Shoreham, yes, perhaps some double standards - but the most recent AAIB report does certainly show where some serious questions might be asked of the FDD. On the other hand, maybe they have, and we just don't know about it.

G
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 20:32
  #802 (permalink)  
 
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I don't have a problem with the arrests of the jumpy house operators. It's possible that they knew it was too windy, or it may have been a sudden gust. That can be sorted out. However, I doubt they had airspeed indicators or more than a tiny fraction of the training even a lowly private pilot like myself gets. In the end, the wind did it, they didn't actively cause the accident. They can only be guilty of failing to anticipate the hazard.

Shoreham, on the other hand... According to the AAIB, the Hunter "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs".

The Hunter ended up exactly where he put it. Other control inputs, other outcomes.
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 21:25
  #803 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 118.9 View Post
It is quite astonishing that the FDD 'was not provided with or was not aware of the display sequence.' Marry this up with what CAP 403 states about not doing ad-hoc and unrehearsed manoeuvres. The FDD would therefore not have known, could not have known, if he was or wasn't witnessing an impromptu manoeuvre or two. Granted, G-BXFI's routine may have been to script, perhaps a flawed script, but how can a FDD manage aerial safety if he doesn't know what the pilot is going to do?

Although Canada, Australia, USA and other display regimes are stated, South Africa has a rather onerous but simple system. Full written display sequences (entry height, speed, direction, linking manoeuvres and the whole nine yards) must reach the FDD well before the show. Then, all aircraft doing aerobatics must do a validation in front of the FDD - no validation, no display. And finally, all display pilots must personally attend a safety briefing by the FDD (often multiple briefings are held to accommodate those far away).

And finally, my hobbyhorse again: Ban downward vertical pull-through manoeuvres in high inertia jets. Had these been banned, this Thread wouldn't exist.
Precisely what has been done at Farnborough for many years. I was associated with the display from 1974 to 2008. Every person displaying, even the Red Arrows, had to have their displays observed and validated by a team of experienced test pilots from the Flying Control Committee; I have known them tell ATC to instruct the pilot to break off his display and land on several occasions when they decided it didn't meet their exacting standards.
If in doubt, the FCC would watch video replays of the display and examine the position of the control surfaces at particular times to assure themselves the pilot was completely in control of the aircraft.
CAP 403 was 'written around' the Farnborough display regulations which had been developed by SBAC over many years of experience.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 18:41
  #804 (permalink)  
 
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The Hunter ended up exactly where he put it. Other control inputs, other outcomes.
So true!

Every person displaying, even the Red Arrows, had to have their displays observed and validated by a team of experienced test pilots from the Flying Control Committee; I have known them tell ATC to instruct the pilot to break off his display and land on several occasions when they decided it didn't meet their exacting standards.
As it should be. The display pilot must be able to define a repeatable routine, with plausible escape routes, and no need to change from that. If you're changing from a proper, accepted plan, either your plan was not good enough, or you're freelancing! Neither is appropriate in display flying!
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 19:49
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Step Turn

"So true", is it? I think not. If you read the AAIB carefully, it say's appeared

You do love jumping to conclusions, don't you.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 05:34
  #806 (permalink)  
 
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The AAIB report shall stand on its own, and I would accept its findings with confidence. My "so true" is my expression of concurrence with the statement I quoted. I agree with the notion that the pilot accepted responsibility of control of the aircraft, and, while exercising that control the aircraft ended up in a very bad place.

Had the pilot made different control inputs, the plane would have ended up somewhere else. I think it is very true that pilots must always understand where an aircraft could end up based upon their control inputs, and fly accordingly.

I have always flown considering that conclusion, no jumping required....
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 07:40
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Sometimes the investigators have a very difficult task- some wreckage found a year later, no witnesses, etc. This is not one of those cases. There were many witnesses and video from many angles, including inside the cockpit. When the AAIB report states the Hunter "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs" they are basing that on a careful examination of the video, particularly the video from inside the cockpit. The phrase "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs" speaks volumes.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 07:58
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Step Turn

First, you jump to the conclusion that a Maule pilot was reckless and guilty of an offence which he clearly was not. Now you come here stating that this pilot made control movements to put the aircraft in to the ground.

Please don't come here in Mother Teresa style stating the obvious in that that pilots must understand how control surfaces work in relation to their control inputs. Whilst it is refreshing to learn that you will accept the AAIB findings, perhaps you would also like to give us your interpretation of the word "accident".


PrivtPilotRadarTech

The phrase "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs" speaks volumes.

Does it? Who for?
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 10:25
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It seems to me that "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs was clearcut."

The aeroplane was behaving as it was supposed to, but it's not totally impossible that there was some abberative behaviour that AAIB couldn't see from the limited evidence they had.


Personally, whilst I disagree with him to some extent, I think that Step's views about the Maule pilot are entirely defensible. It's not at-all hard to make a case that flying along the surface of a lake skimming the wheels in the water is reckless. That wasn't so far as I can see the concern of the court - their concern was whether it was illegal or not - and a clear decision was reached that it wasn't.

It I decide to drive down to the coast tomorrow and try and swim the English Channel without training or backup, doing so would be reckless, stupid and irresponsible. It would not so far as I know be illegal.

If I train & build up a lot of experience in low flying, risk assess it carefully, and fly a carefully planned route at 250ft in a twin with plenty of excess power over the top of various houses, that would be annoying and illegal. But, from the point of view of safety, arguably it's not all that reckless.

They ain't the same thing.

G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 1st Apr 2016 at 10:49.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 10:41
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What did the motor appear to be doing, from these exalted, omniscient insights?
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 10:48
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G

Reckless and/or illegal are of course not the same thing, and I have never said or implied they are. It was my submission weeks ago that the Maule pilot was neither, which was clearly endorsed by the court.

....and again, in my opinion, the Hunter pilot falls within the same category and was not reckless or doing anything illegal.

The AAIB is not that "clearcut" to me and has not been subject to any professional cross-examination. Hopefully, that will not be needed.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 10:57
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AAIB reports aren't supposed to be clearcut about conclusions and causes of course - that is not their purpose.

The purpose of an AAIB report is to provide recommendations which will support prevention of future accidents. In that regard, they're doing a good job, but it's still work in progress.

But, the statement about "appeared to be responding to the pilot's inputs", did seem to me clearcut in what it was saying - it appeared to be behaving as normal, but abberation couldn't be completely ruled out. A clearcut statement, not a clearcut conclusion.


Regarding the Maule pilot - I doubt that the court considered or cared about anything but the legality of the flight. It's not their job to reach conclusions about recklessness, save where being reckless is an illegal act.

G
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 12:10
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"Illegal" is an observation of circumstances relative to society's laws (which of course can differ by locale). In some cases something which was not illegal later becomes so, when there is enough public pressure to change a law. For my observations, the public nearly never insist that laws become more permissive, particularly for aviation. I accept that in the case of the "Ullswater pilot", local laws were not broken. The justice system did it's job.

"Reckless" is a little more difficult to measure, it depends to some degree upon more activity specific knowledge - which our peers could be expected to have. So when I fly, I consider what my peers might say about decisions I make. I purposefully bring my plane into contact with the water regularly, my peers are fine with that. They would think poorly of me if I did it with the wheels extended. My insurer is also my peer, and would certainly deny a claim I could make following an event where I deliberately contacted the water with my wheels extended.

My peers in marine public service would think poorly of me if I undertook operations on the water without wearing a lifejacket, or immersion suit, conditions considered (I make no remark in this respect about the "Ullswater pilot", as I have no idea what he was wearing, just a general statement). My peers would think poorly of me if I undertook "unusual" marine operations in public view, without telling someone I was going to so as to prevent false emergency call. False emergency calls mean that response to real calls is delayed, and the public bear a cost.

As for the pilot of the Hunter, based upon what the AAIB has said thus far, I believe he flew an aircraft, which was controllable, in a way such that no further application of his control could prevent a crash. It was his job as pilot to maintain a safe margin of control for society's sake, and that margin was not maintained.

Referring to the relevant Canadian regulation, in part:

(2) Except where conducting a take-off, approach or landing or where permitted under section 602.15, no person shall operate an aircraft
(a) over a built-up area or over an open-air assembly of persons unless the aircraft is operated at an altitude from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface,
Though I realize that the authority to fly at an airshow may permit lower altitudes, I cannot imagine any authority, or member of the public, who would exempt the requirement to prevent a hazard to persons on the ground. Even if the airshow operator says "Hey, we have an exemption, you can fly low here...", that does not absolve a pilot from continuing to assure they maintain control of the aircraft so as to be able to prevent a hazard to persons on the ground.

If the public thinks that we pilots do not think we are always bound by that simple moral responsibility, the public will certainly insist that lawmakers create laws - more laws, because we pilots took a liberty with public safety...

And Jetblu, you'll believe this: When I once witnessed a microlight pilot seriously buzzing people on a beach - to the point they were ducking, I followed him until he landed, and spoke sharply to him about it. His apparent embarrassment and remorse to me (his peer) was persuasive such that I made no more of it.

When I once buzzed people on a beach, to draw attention to three apparently drowning swimmers off shore, I reported myself to the regulator shortly afterwords. I was thanked for my effort by Transport Canada (and the swimmers were rescued). I have never needed to perform low level aerobatics over an assembly of persons.

I respect Jetblu's privilege to disagree with me, but it does not sway my opinion of either event....
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 13:56
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Step You're wasted as a pilot and auxiliary fireman. You should take up a position as a traffic warden and really help your peers out.

Most pilots I know are fully aware of their moral responsibility to the public. Why you should think otherwise is simply baffling unless you believe it strengthens your discussion here. Again, what evidence do you have to categorically state that the Hunter pilot believes otherwise?
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 16:03
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How about we all just kick the ball, and not each other chaps?

Jetblu and Step are both aviation professionals with good reputations, it's really not that odd for such people to disagree on something - but absolutely no reason to make that disagreement personal.

G
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 17:28
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What did the motor appear to be doing, from these exalted, omniscient insights?
It might have been anywhere between flat out to idle to being in the process of fully sh1tting itself...BUT....isn't there a part of the display flying process that checks ones planned v actual height before pulling through the apex of a vertical figure?

If the previously mentioned AAIB's view that :-

""appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs" one assumes a view taken from the view recorded on the Go-Pro's rolling wings level could have been one option?

Quite how or why aftermarket camera footage is being treated in the same way as FDR information from a legal perspective is interesting because its fitment (the aftermarket video camera) has less to do with flight safety and more to do with capturing the event for other purposes, mainly I'd argue entertainment.

If we allow reasonable arguments about process to be turned into kicking a can down the road, it leads to a loss of credibility and is damaging in the long term.

Lets not forget that the display season ticks closer and with no published or accepted conclusion to the accident clearly the better management of any specific risk associated with the accident is impossible.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 17:31
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Yes, you're right G, but Step may not realise that he is on a very touchy subject at the moment, throwing some wild accusations about a very professional pilot whom is based at my home airfield and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, who's not in a very comfortable place right now.

It's a tragic event all round, no mistake about that.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 18:11
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Hunter takes off and lands at about 130kts.

At 100kts , inverted, as reported many posts ago, all you can do is spin if you clank it.

...the manoeuvre was a recovery from the vertical, I think.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 23:03
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Which of you was there? Time out please, let's hear what the AAIB conclude? yes?
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 00:44
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JetBlu: "he is on a very touchy subject at the moment, throwing some wild accusations about a very professional pilot whom is based at my home airfield and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, who's not in a very comfortable place right now."

Thanks for being honest about that. It speaks volumes. It wouldn't matter to me if he were my own brother, or the Dalai Lama.
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