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Erebus 25 years on

Old 2nd Jul 2016, 11:09
  #1001 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 3 Holer
RUBBISH

That is as ridiculous as saying:

I'll blindfold you and if you run straight ahead you will end up in the swimming pool. After the blindfold is placed on the unsuspecting "victim", the swimming pool is replaced with a brick wall.
If they weren't lost, what exactly were they, if you don't mind me asking? You are either certain of where you are, or you're not.

If you are not actually where you certainly think you are, you are doubly lost. Especially when you are within 4 minutes flying time of a 14,500ft mountain that you can't see....even though you consider you are in VMC.

And then you decide to descend below the MSA...

Now ALL souls are 'lost'.
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Old 2nd Jul 2016, 11:49
  #1002 (permalink)  
 
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but for this specific case fact overcomes theory
I'm afraid it doesn't. SOPs were regularly disregarded, and this was the "Normalisation of Deviance". Saying that all the others had severe clear VMC for the descent doesn't cut it, because at what point below severe clear does it then require compliance with the SOP? Even with the severe clear they busted the 6,000 which was claimed to be the minimum. Why was that? Because Wilson had briefed it was OK?
In that case, would the company be at fault? perhaps morally, but they never actually broke the law, the driver did.
In this case the company advertised the fact that they were not complying with SOP by letter dropping almost every residence in the country, on top of newspaper and TV articles. Why did neither the regulator nor the airline bring down the hammer on these practices? By their very failure to act they become complicit, the executive (eg chief pilot) is responsible for what the crews get up to by maintaining standards. Maintaining standards was not exercised by the executive. To that extent, not being a lawyer, I consider personally that they failed in their duty of care to their customers, and hence are liable.
You, and many others use the argument they were inexperienced in Antarctic flying, well surely that would be a very good reason for sticking to the rules
Why the crew did what they did we will never know, and can only surmise. The crews had received no training in polar operations, and the problem becomes one of you don't know what you don't know. So what did the crew know?

No body had bothered with a descent in accordance with SOP.
No body complied with the 6,000 supposed rule.

McMurdo is socked in, but we have an area right here with VMC conditions and extremely good surface definition - broken ice floes in the water.

Commercial pressure to supply the customers that which they had paid for. Customers are not going to be too happy to arrive back in NZ having seen only clouds, and the airline ain't going to offer a refund.

From the luxury of our armchairs we can quarterback until the cows come home, but the people up front on the day were human, and beset with all the frailties present in humans. The task is to take the lessons of what went wrong, and remove those slices of cheese, with out apportioning blame.
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Old 2nd Jul 2016, 12:06
  #1003 (permalink)  
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Even with the severe clear they busted the 6,000 which was claimed to be the minimum
.

That was in fact a CAA requirement. I do believe there was a CAA Airline Inspector scheduled to go on that flight, due to family reasons he could not make it.

One wonders if the flight would have been conducted the way it was if it was known a CAA inspector was on board.

Commercial pressure to supply the customers that which they had paid for
I wonder what the pax would have elected to do if they had of had a choice? If they had been advised of the weather at McMurdo, and been advised of what the captain planned to do, what do you think their choice would have been?
 
Old 2nd Jul 2016, 12:29
  #1004 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder what the pax would have elected to do if they had of had a choice? If they had been advised of the weather at McMurdo, and been advised of what the captain planned to do, what do you think their choice would have been?
I gave up crystal ball gazing years ago, no talent if my stock market picks are anything to go by.

You are judging things with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. Always perfect.
One wonders if the flight would have been conducted the way it was if it was known a CAA inspector was on board
Well might we wonder, the Douglas Aircraft executives experienced a flight at 1,500 feet and wrote to Morrie all enthusiastic about the low level flight. Morrie of course denied he read the the letter, and was unaware of the low level escapades. Why would the inspector complain in any event? It was spread all over the media what they were doing, and they could not have been unaware by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 2nd Jul 2016, 20:39
  #1005 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan
I wonder what the pax would have elected to do if they had of had a choice? If they had been advised of the weather at McMurdo, and been advised of what the captain planned to do, what do you think their choice would have been?
I gave up crystal ball gazing years ago, no talent if my stock market picks are anything to go by.
It's really not that hard a question. If you were a passenger on that flight, would you have preferred to have come home without seeing McMurdo, or have preferred being alive?
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Old 2nd Jul 2016, 23:49
  #1006 (permalink)  
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In this case the company advertised the fact that they were not complying with SOP by letter dropping almost every residence in the country, on top of newspaper and TV articles. Why did neither the regulator nor the airline bring down the hammer on these practices?
Why not indeed, but the riding orders issued to the crew clearly gave them no discretion in the matter of descent, and it was stated clearly it was to avoid Mt Erebus. If they had of sighted Mt Erebus, or even positively identified Ross Island then perhaps a case could be made, but to descend below MSA with the information they had was foolhardy
 
Old 3rd Jul 2016, 02:52
  #1007 (permalink)  
 
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Why not indeed, but the riding orders issued to the crew clearly gave them no discretion in the matter of descent
This is getting somewhat tiresome. All the crews had no discretion in the matter, that's the point I've been making, yet no body, or at best an extreme few, complied. Can we give it a rest?
It's really not that hard a question. If you were a passenger on that flight, would you have preferred to have come home without seeing McMurdo, or have preferred being alive?
You've twisted the question Hempy. That's not what prospector asked, and the answer to yours is self evident.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 03:50
  #1008 (permalink)  
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I consider personally that they failed in their duty of care to their customers, and hence are liable.
I would have to agree, but, were not the crew employees of the company and as such must shoulder part of the blame?

We get back to the sticking point, Mahons finding that the "crew made no error". That to many is obviously wrong.
 
Old 3rd Jul 2016, 05:38
  #1009 (permalink)  
 
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Mahons finding that the "crew made no error". That to many is obviously wrong.
Of course it's wrong prospector, but the lesson is to understand the causal factors that came together to precipitate the event.

Anyone know the name C. B. Hewitt?
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 05:57
  #1010 (permalink)  
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The crew were NOT lost, unsure of their position or any other "figure of the imagination" reason for hitting Mt Erebus.
prospector and Hempy say the CVR recordings contained evidence of the same. Sorry lads, been over it a hundred times and CAN NO FIND.
However, I did find the following evidence extracted from the CVR by experts.
“Mr Shannon was not very interested in the cross – talk which was taking place behind the pilots. He said he drew the conclusion that neither the pilot nor the co-pilot entertained the slightest apprehension at any stage, and he drew the further conclusion that each of them was perfectly satisfied as to the course and position of the aircraft.
Would that be because the crew thought they were flying over the flat, safe waters of McMurdo Sound? Absolutely it would!
Mr Baragwanath, who as I have said, heard the tapes (CVR) in New Zealand, at Washington and at Farnborough has this to say in the course of his final submissions: “The point is, there is no evidence that this flight crew was in doubt to it’s position”. With that comment, I entirely agree”. (Mahon)
So that puts that to bed.(AGAIN!)

We have now covered the low flying, descent below MSA, flight in VMC, radar descents and being lost (as we did 10 years ago during the same debate) and Collins and his crew still come up roses. Could say Mahon got it right. I do feel for Mr Hewitt megan.

May I ask you prospector, what error did Collins and his crew make?
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 06:09
  #1011 (permalink)  
 
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I do feel for Mr Hewitt megan
Poor bugger, so do I 3 Holer. I wonder how he has fared all these years, the toll must have been immense on his psyche. Can only hope he has coped.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 07:12
  #1012 (permalink)  
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He could possibly be a little consoled in the knowledge he was the second last hole in the Swiss cheese caused by those systemic failures of the Air New Zealand administration at that time,which fostered and enabled human error.

Correctly identified by the Honourable Justice Peter Mahon during his Inquiry.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 08:08
  #1013 (permalink)  
 
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Megan #999:
I thought the usual practice when quoting someone was identify the person quoted and, preferably, where the passage is to be found. All this post consists of is a wall of words - but, to be fair, there are no more crocodile tears for the family of the negligent captain and the useless first officer.


Your second quote appears to be from Mahon’s report. I assume,therefore , that you accept what I have said about the audio-tape, because Mahon did, and you yourself have highlighted the relevant part. If you also agree with Mahon’s assertion that the pilots would receive contradictory information about the position of an important waypoint and not question the briefing officers,then you’ve probably an 18-year old having some fun online.


The first quote looks like something from Chippindale. It appears that you regard this gentleman as an incompetent fool, who occasionally gets things right when it suits. Firstly, there were other flight plans at the briefing. Chippendale might not have known this at the time, but it emerged that there was another flight plan dated 1977 showing McMurdo Station at the waypoint. This flight plan was used by F/O Cassin to program the simulator and he may well have retained it, as a version was found in the wreckage.


None of the pilots asked any question about the position ofthe waypoint, so consider the counter-factual: All the pilots believed that the waypoint was 27 miles west of McMurdo Station. Think of all the questions that would arise. Why did the audio say otherwise? After F/O Cassin programmed the simulator and it was repositioned, it ended up over McMurdo Station – How could that happen? How are we supposed to overhead McMurdo Station for the cloud-break procedure if it’s not on the nav track?


The other bit from Chippindale that you’ve highlighted I’vealready dealt with – see #930.


Then think about Captain Simpson, and his leaving the briefing under the assumption that the waypoint was 27 miles west of McMurdo Station - which, for his flight, it was. What, therefore, was there anything for him to be surprised about? Why would he have performed two manual updates to the AINS? The plain fact is that Captain Simpson believed the waypoint was in the general vicinity of McMurdo Station and he was surprised when he discovered it wasn't. After his flight he rang Captain Johnson and suggested that future crews be told where the waypoint was so as to avoid an unnecessary manual update.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 12:39
  #1014 (permalink)  
 
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negligent captain and the useless first officer.
You forgot the negligent and useless airline.
I thought the usual practice when quoting someone was identify the person quoted and, preferably, where the passage is to be found
Pot, kettle. You keep making statements as if they are fact without any reference. And you're usually wrong, which I assume is why you never include a reference. Any student of the accident would instantly recognise from where the quotes come. I usually say "Chippindale said", but omitted in this case. Get off your high horse you fool.
pilots would receive contradictory information about the position of an important waypoint and not question the briefing officers,then you’ve probably an 18-year old having some fun online.
Hang on a minute, I'm not that old. You obviously have no understanding of human physiology, and what has primacy, visual v aural.
The first quote looks like something from Chippindale. It appears that you regard this gentleman as an incompetent fool
Not at all. The only fool I've come across is your self - I was going to say good self, but that would be stretching the truth far too far.
All the pilots believed that the waypoint was 27 miles west of McMurdo Station.
So they did, read what they effing said.
How are we supposed to overhead McMurdo Station for the cloud-break procedure if it’s not on the nav track?
The same way they were going to on the route that had been in place for 14 months you fool.
Then think about Captain Simpson, and his leaving the briefing under the assumption that the waypoint was 27 miles west of McMurdo Station - which, for his flight, it was. What, therefore, was there anything for him to be surprised about? Why would he have performed two manual updates to the AINS? The plain fact is that Captain Simpson believed the waypoint was in the general vicinity of McMurdo Station and he was surprised when he discovered it wasn't. After his flight he rang Captain Johnson and suggested that future crews be told where the waypoint was so as to avoid an unnecessary manual update.
Really? And what is the reference for that little gem that you seem happy to bludgeon others about?

I think Morrie had your type in mind for high office within the airline.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 21:20
  #1015 (permalink)  
 
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That’s from Captain Simpson’s first written statement, recording his recollections of his initial interview with Chippindale. A copy is at pages 352 and 353 of MacFarlane’s book. The relevant passage is as follows:


“Did Captain Collins contact you after your flight, or didyou discuss your flight with him?”


“No. but I did telephone Captain Johnson … with the suggestion that maybe it would be a good idea to point out to future crews that on Antarctic flights the McMurdo position on the flight plan was to the west of the McMurdo TACAN coordinates, so they would carefully consider any cross-track errors before rushing into a manual update over the McMurdo base area. Although I had been expecting to go the left of the Nav track when flying visually on heading to track over the airfield area, I had been somewhat surprised to see it was as much as 28 miles left when over the TACAN.”


All consistent with a belief that the waypoint was at the NDB at McMurdo Station, which was a short distance to the west of the TACAN - so Captain Simpson expected to be left of track when over the TACAN, but not by much. If megan is correct, that that assumes any of these questions have ever crossed that young mind, there would have been nothing to be “somewhat surprised” about.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 22:53
  #1016 (permalink)  
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May I ask you prospector, what error did Collins and his crew make?
You may ask, and my answer will be "look at the photo Hempy posted".

.

Last edited by prospector; 3rd Jul 2016 at 23:09.
 
Old 3rd Jul 2016, 23:01
  #1017 (permalink)  
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Hang on a minute, I'm not that old. You obviously have no understanding of human physiology, and what has primacy, visual v aural.
Love it!

You may ask, and my answer will be "look at the photo Hempy posted"
I expected nothing less from you prospector. (Politely)
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 23:35
  #1018 (permalink)  
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I see it all, that was not a mistake? .

Me
Mahons finding that the "crew made no error". That to many is obviously wrong.

Megan
Of course it's wrong prospector, but the lesson is to understand the causal factors that came together to precipitate the event.
Thought we were starting to make some headway, but apparently not.
 
Old 4th Jul 2016, 03:21
  #1019 (permalink)  
 
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From the luxury of our armchairs we can quarterback until the cows come home, but the people up front on the day were human, and beset with all the frailties present in humans. The task is to take the lessons of what went wrong, and remove those slices of cheese, with out apportioning blame.
Actually, I think most of us here to a greater or lesser extent can understand Collins's actions in terms of how he came to do the things he did. But understanding the man's actions doesn't mean that his actions were right, or justifiable. Trotting out lines like "armchair critics" and "we need to learn from this and remove slices of cheese", then having a group hug before retiring to read Daughters of Erebus simply isn't good enough. Hempy's photo says why better than I can in words. 257 people with families and legacies all died in that photograph. They deserve better. Learn from what went wrong, of course; but implicit in that process is some aportioning of blame.

And several of us here having looked at all the facts closely, strongly believe that even without the benefit of hindsight, better could reasonably have been expected of Collins (and Cassin) on the day.
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 04:20
  #1020 (permalink)  
 
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3 Holer #1010: Crew sure of position, ya reckon.


Did the first officer have the best view to the right?


Did the captain overrule the first officer's recommendation to turn right?


If so, why, if he thought the high ground to be to the left?


Did the captain initiate a left turn via the autopilot after deciding to climb out?


If so, why, if he thought the high ground to be to the left?


Were the crew certain of their position at this point. I'll answer for you: No they were not.


Were they certain beforehand? If you can be certain that the world is flat, then yes, they were certain - but they had no right to be and were gravely at fault in their misplaced certainty.
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