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Nimrod crash in Afghanistan Tech/Info/Discussion (NOT condolences)

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Nimrod crash in Afghanistan Tech/Info/Discussion (NOT condolences)

Old 28th Aug 2008, 10:57
  #1321 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
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2nd Anniversary Memorial Service,NMA, 2Sep08


A Service of Remembrance will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum on Tuesday 2nd September 2008. The service will be celebrated by Rev Fr Bob Halshaw, Resident RAF Chaplain RAF Kinloss and the Last Post/Reveille will be played by a Trumpeter of The Band Of The Royal Air Force Regiment.

We intend meeting at 1045 and attend the National Remembrance at 1100 in the Chapel. We will then assemble at the Armed Forces Wall section containing the names of the crew and have the short service.

Hope that you can spare the time to either join us or spend some time on the day remembering that even the best are not spared from tragedy.

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Old 31st Aug 2008, 08:21
  #1322 (permalink)  
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No wonder Nimrod is top of RAF worry list

Families sue MoD over air victims' right to life
Afghan spy plane deaths were unlawful, historic test case is to be told
Jamie Doward and Mark Townsend
The Observer, Sunday August 31 2008
Article history

Benjamin Knight and Stephen Swarbrick were killed on RAF Nimrod XV230 after a refuelling fault led to an explosion. Photograph: AFP

Families of servicemen killed when their Nimrod spy plane exploded in the British military's biggest loss of life since the Falklands War are to sue the government under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), claiming it failed to respect their right to life.

In what promises to be a historic and controversial legal test case that could trigger scores of similar claims from British military personnel serving around the world, the families will tomorrow issue proceedings against the Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, alleging the government failed to offer adequate protection to men by minimising the risks of a fire on board the plane.

It will be the first time the Ministry of Defence has faced a legal challenge under the ECHR and the case is likely to cause a furore as it raises complex questions about the extent to which the government can be liable for the deaths of military personnel killed in war zones overseas. It will also refocus the debate around the military's preparedness for combat and the condition of the equipment being used by the armed forces in theatres of war.

The RAF Nimrod XV230 Nimrod exploded on 2 September 2006 in Afghanistan, killing all 14 servicemen on board including Benjamin Knight, 25, and Steven Swarbrick, 28, whose families are launching the legal action.

Evidence presented at the inquest into the mens' deaths highlighted a series of faults with the plane, which exploded after an airborne refuelling operation. The coroner, Andrew Walker, heard how the plane had no fire detection and suppression system and that there were serious design flaws with the way it had been modified that meant ducts were prone to overheat. However, a safety code drawn up for the plane in 2001 considered the possibility of it overheating after refuelling 'improbable'.

Walker was scathing about the RAF and the MoD. He said the aircraft had 'never been airworthy' and called for 'this cavalier approach to safety to come to an end'. Largely on the strength of the evidence presented at the inquest, the families have now decided to start legal action against the government.

'We feel had this happened to a private company somebody would have resigned by now, somebody would have said, "This was my fault",' said Benjamin's father, Graham. 'Heads rolled over Terminal Five and that was just about a backlog of luggage. Fourteen men have died and still there's been no resignations.'

Earlier this year, in a ruling that has paved the way for tomorrow's groundbreaking legal action, a judge ruled that article 2 of the ECHR imposed obligations on the state to take sufficient steps to protect the life of its military personnel and to minimise the risks posed to them even when serving abroad. 'A soldier doesn't lose all protection simply because he is in hostile territory carrying out dangerous operations,' Mr Justice Collins said in his ruling.

In the case of the Nimrod tragedy, the families argue more should have been done to reduce the threat of an explosion after refuelling. 'The families feel there was a duty on the defendant to ensure the aircraft was airworthy,' said their barrister, John Cooper. 'It was not airworthy.'

A spokeswoman for the MoD said: 'We cannot comment on a potential lawsuit; any such action would of course be addressed when presented to the MoD. We have ceased air-to-air refuelling and the use of very hot air systems when our Nimrods are in flight. These measures, together with the enhanced aircraft maintenance and inspection procedures introduced ensure the aircraft, as it is today, is safe to fly. 'But Graham Knight said the measures were not enough. 'At 25 my son's life was taken away because somebody didn't do their job properly,' he said.

Last edited by nigegilb; 31st Aug 2008 at 10:59.
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Old 31st Aug 2008, 22:09
  #1323 (permalink)  
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Story now on the BBC website:

BBC NEWS | UK | Nimrod families take legal action
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Old 31st Aug 2008, 22:53
  #1324 (permalink)  
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If it is now a legal action, continued speculation that is seen on this thread isn't in the interest of anybody involved. Hopefully events will see closure on the matter sooner than later so that the other families involved can have peace.

Last edited by Alber Ratman; 31st Aug 2008 at 23:42.
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 18:59
  #1325 (permalink)  
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Writ served today

Wonder how long Des will remain in charge for, failing to minimize risk is still a moot point for many of us......

Nimrod families launch claim against the MoD as others prepare to follow suit

Two families bereaved when an ageing Nimrod aircraft exploded in Afghanistan have lodged a High Court action against the Defence Secretary as military lawyers claimed many others plan to follow suit.

By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 4:09PM BST 01 Sep 2008

Benjamin Knight, 25, and Steven Swarbrick, 28, were killed along with 12 other service personnel on September 2, 2006 when their 40-year-old plane exploded in a fireball moments after a mid-air refuelling.

The coroner who heard their inquest said the Nimrod had "never been airworthy" and called for the MoD's "cavalier approach to safety to come to an end".

A writ was served on Defence Secretary Des Browne, accusing the Ministry of Defence of negligence, failing to minimise risk and a breach of the right to life in relation to the mid-air accident.

The case is one of the first to use a ruling in the High Court earlier this summer knocking down the MoD's claim that the Human Rights Act cannot be does applied to service personnel serving abroad.

At present, there are 10 similar claims lodged with the High Court against the MoD or Mr Browne, including one relating to a soldier who accidentally shot himself on a firing range in Iraq and a number of cases concerning deaths in Snatch Land Rovers.

Solicitor Jocelyn Cockburn is representing a number of families suing MoD including that of Pte Phillip Hewett, 21, one of three soldiers who died when their Snatch Land Rover was targeted by insurgents.
She said that rulings by coroners that were critical of the MoD on issues ranging from body armour shortages, poorly-protected vehicles and other aircraft accidents could pave the way for a series of claims.

"The amounts of money paid in damages in these cases is not a great deal," she said. "The main impact is that it will be humiliating and embarrassing for the Ministry of Defence. Maybe the next time they go to war things will be done a bit differently."(Hear hear).

John Cooper, who is representing Mr Knight and Mr Swarbrick's families, added: "The chances of success in this case are very high. There are a number of families who are very interested in the outcome and will be carefully considering whether they can bring a similar action."
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 20:28
  #1326 (permalink)  
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The coroner who heard their inquest said the Nimrod had "never been airworthy" and called for the MoD's "cavalier approach to safety to come to an end".
Thank God for the Coroners! After the debilitating effects of Cool Britannia, The Third Way, Good Days to Bury Bad News, Cash for Honours and Living with Prudence this poor nation's champions are surely the incumbents of this 800 year old institution. Ironic that such an ancient and arcane body should be the salvation of the youngest and most high tech of the UK's Armed Forces. For when the history of our times is written, the debt owed to them by the Royal Air Force will surely be seen as profound. Why? Just wait and see the chain of consequences that follows. I salute them all!
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 20:53
  #1327 (permalink)  
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Hope you are not implying criticism of CAS, Sir Glenn Torpy there Chug, might have to report you to Stasi Chief J Smith.....
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 21:02
  #1328 (permalink)  
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It's lucky that the cost of fighting this suit/paying the families if they win won't come from the military budget isn't it................
Oh......wait a minute.......
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 21:45
  #1329 (permalink)  
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It would certainly have been cheaper to have disconnected the SCP before the crash,Tourist and after previous incidents. But you raise an interesting point regarding compensation. It is my understanding that MoD has insurances that pay for statutory compensations, however, I do not think that MoD will be able to claim in the case of Nimrod, presumably because of negligence issues. Furthermore the cost of the program to ALARP Nimrod is around £52m, taken directly from other frontline projects. At the same time £2.8Bn has been wasted on BOWMAN.

Think back to the Hercules, cost of foam in 2002, $20,000 per set. Cost of relacement Herc £50m. Cost of crew-priceless.

Negligence in any industry is very expensive, I hope you agree.
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 22:49
  #1330 (permalink)  
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Hope you are not implying criticism of CAS, Sir Glenn Torpy there Chug,
I try not to imply such criticism, merely spell it out. But the changes that I envisage would extend much further than rearranging the deck chairs and their occupants on the promenade deck. The root and branch reforms that must occur in the higher command of the Royal Air Force as well as at the MOD will track back to these outspoken independent advocates of the common man. Given the state of denial within those two bodies it was never going to be self driven. The security of this Nation should never again be left to the mercy of the likes of those who have put it in this parlous state, and I am particularly thinking of those senior officers who presided over the dismembering of the enforcement of UK Military Airworthiness Regulations.
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 09:54
  #1331 (permalink)  

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We are well beyond rearranging deck chairs on the promenade. Torpedo and his silent associates should be playing nearer my God to thee on the promenade deck at this point. HM Royal Air Farce is one ship going down rapidly due to basic design flaws, how quaint in such a different world.

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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 10:16
  #1332 (permalink)  
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I have now read the thread from start to Finish, Im half way through the BOI, does and one know where I can get a copy of the QQ report?


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Old 13th Sep 2008, 21:52
  #1333 (permalink)  
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RAF sits on Nimrod reports - Times Online
This link may change

RAF sits on Nimrod reports

The report makes similar conclusions to those made by Andrew Walker, Deputy Oxford Coroner, with regard to the XV230 incident, also blaming misalignment of fuel pipes and couplings.
It said most fuel leaks into the bomb bays of Nimrod MR2 aircraft had been caused by misaligned pipes or couplings and that some in the second aircraft were out by as much as 10 degrees, well outside safety limits.
It also criticised the lack of training given to technicians servicing the aircraft and their supervisors on fitting certain types of couplings, despite the same problem being reported by the official RAF board of inquiry into the fatal XV230 incident.
Calls for proper training to be given to the technicians had been ignored for more than six months and had only been implemented in December after the second incident.
The report, which was a flight safety investigation rather than a full-scale board of inquiry, noted that “the emotional issues relating to the tragic loss of XV230 had a massive impact on way that this emergency was dealt with.”
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 10:52
  #1334 (permalink)  
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Does the RAF not have their own in house training schools any more? or has it been a case of cutting back on training and contracting out servicing and maintanence????

surely the MOD would have learned from their mistakes in the passed, I rememeber seeing recently on TV an article about the Nimrod, and how the officer being interviewed on board was saying how safe it was now, but if half the systems and AAR are shut down to make it safe, then surely it is not the operational aircraft it should be? what would it take to be able to conduct AAR safely on that aircraft other than money?? what are the techinical challenges?

I'm almost half way through the BOI report, just finding it hard to get a copy of the QQ report. With this thread and the BOI it totals near 750 A4 pages.


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Old 14th Sep 2008, 18:42
  #1335 (permalink)  
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Nimrod Reports

I understand that the second report mentioned in the Times article, relating to a second duct failure, was available in early 2006 several months before the XV230 accident. This report was requested at the inquest several times, but it was never presented. Following this incident, which involved XV229, it was strongly suggested by BAe that the risk level should be raised to REMOTE/CATASTROPHIC (HRI B). Subsequently, in Feb 2008, QinetiQ recommended that because this was the second failure the level should be set to OCCASSIONAL/CATASROPHIC (HRI A), which is classed as being INTOLERABLE. Currently, IPT have it set at IMPROBABLE/CATASTROPHIC (HRI C).

Until the duct replacement programme is completed in June 2009, this will be the state of the fleet. So I say to the guys who are still flying, ask what mitigation is in place to cover this level of risk. You will probably be told that the risk is mitigated by regular inspections. This is another point addressed by QinetiQ; hazards can not be mitigated by inspections, or fire dectection and suppression. Hot gasses escaping from a duct can only be mitigated by having adequate shielding.

No wonder MoD wanted to keep these reports away from the inquest.

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Old 21st Sep 2008, 08:50
  #1336 (permalink)  
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New article in the Daily Mail

Revealed: Damning new evidence of fatal flaws in RAF death crash Nimrod jets

Revealed: Damning new evidence of fatal flaws in RAF death crash Nimrod jets | Mail Online
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 16:25
  #1337 (permalink)  
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Usual dross.

Badly spun kack, as you might expect from the Mail on Sunday.

Nothing that will make me, or a couple of hundred other aircrew, think twice about flying.

Still happy to fly in it. Still happy to go to war in it. Still happy to be thrown around at 200 feet over the sea in it. Still happy to save lives and guard our nation in it.

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Old 21st Sep 2008, 17:04
  #1338 (permalink)  
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Whether or not we aircrew have confidence in the jet is irrelevant. Mis-aligned couplings can never be acceptable.

Aircrew were briefed on Friday on the 1st Qinetiq report on the teardown. Misaligned couplings were not mentioned in the presentation and I believe they were not scoped in that particular report.

Anyway, life just got very awkward for the fleet management.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 18:25
  #1339 (permalink)  
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Best get yourself out of the crewroom and across to NLS or the IPT and find out everything that is going on as a consequence of the strip down - the information won't find you. You might still feel you have no problems flying (in) the aircraft, and I am not trying to convince you otherwise, but at least you choice will be based on the best facts currently available, rather than just faith in the 'old girl' and the system.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 18:40
  #1340 (permalink)  
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I was briefed by a senior officer from Kinloss yesterday who rang me up and told me there were problems with corrosion and hydraulic pipes chafing and also informed me there would be an article in a Sunday paper. I asked the senior officer if corrosion could be a serious problem "Yes" he said "It can be"

I understand that a spokesman at the MOD said they had found untoward issues during stipdown.

I will be asking for a copy of the 1st Qinetiq report on the teardown of Nimrod MR2 XV236 via the FOI so I can read it for myself and let you know exactly what it said.

Last edited by Tappers Dad; 21st Sep 2008 at 19:41.
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