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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 4th Aug 2006, 19:46
  #2481 (permalink)  
John Purdey
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Chinook

ABinW.
I think you are missing the point. It is absolutely certain, without any doubt whatever,as they say, or as you ask, with 100% certainty, that the aircraft was at low level and high speed heading towards cloud-covered high ground. Now, either the aircraft was not under control (all systems seized or whatever) ; or, the crew were not where they thought they were, and they climbed to clear hills that turned out to be several hundred feet higher than they expected. I do not mind in the least which version you care to support, but there are many experienced folk out there who accept the sad and unfortunate view that the crew got it wrong. I happen to be one of them.
We have been here many times before, and my original point a few posts back was simply that being at low level, high speed and heading towards those hills in those IMC conditions was itself the negligence of whch the crew were accused. I ask you once again, would you have pressed on?
With all good wishes. John Purdey
 
Old 4th Aug 2006, 21:20
  #2482 (permalink)  
 
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"Now, either the aircraft was not under control (all systems seized or whatever) ; or,..........."

So you aren't certain as to what happened. Hardly surprising, since you clearly do NOT know what happened beyond any doubt whatsoever.

As I've said before...

Why can you not understand such a simple concept? Are you an ex-Air rank, or what?
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Old 4th Aug 2006, 22:09
  #2483 (permalink)  
 
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jp,

Your words:
fugitive technical fault which seized the aircraft systems for about 20 seconds between waypoint change and impact, but them which vanished three secondes before impact leaving no post-impact evidence
John Blakeley's words in 2003:
Although the Board found that most of the attachment brackets were detached from the control pallets they decided that detachment was likely to have occurred during the post-impact break up of the aircraft. Thus the Board considered any pre-impact control malfunction as "highly unlikely". This is a remarkably "brave" conclusion given that they had clear evidence of a fault that was still the subject of a serious defect signal investigation at the time of the accident. The Board is understood to have based their decision on the AAIB investigation, but Mr Cable's evidence to the House of Lords certainly does not support such a positive conclusion. This was summarised as follows:
He (Mr Cable) further explained that the detachment of the pallet inserts and the components carried by them could possibly cause a restriction or jam. "It would be very difficult - impossible - to dismiss the possibility that there had been a restriction and evidence had not been found" (Q 196). This explanation is readily understandable given the crowded equipment in the broom cupboard. A balance spring is some 6 inches long by 1½ inches in diameter and its mounting bracket about 1½ inches long.
The evidence of the RAF Odiham Unit Test Pilot, Sqn Ldr Burke, to the House of Lords is also relevant in this area. This was summarised as follows:
In relation to possible jams Squadron Leader Burke explained that, due to the complexity of the Chinook control system, a jam caused by a loose article such as the balance spring in the broom cupboard in one of the three axes, pitch, yaw or roll, could lead to quite random results in all three axes sometimes and certainly in two of them. He had personal experience while lifting off from the ground of a jam in one axis affecting the other two (Q 935). He also referred to the problems of DASH runaways in Chinooks of both marks causing temporary loss of control of aircraft (Q 929).
(My bold).

In your need to be simple, I suspect that you have conveniently forgotten this.
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Old 4th Aug 2006, 23:48
  #2484 (permalink)  
 
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So JP,

No surpises that you go with answer "b" and simply spin your way out of commiting to an answer.

As that does not really answer my original question I shall ask it again.

On a scale of 1 - 100 percentage wise how certain are you your version of events took place?

You have two possible answers

a: 100% certain

b Less than 100% certain

Please answer simply "a" or "b"

Can't wait for your next spin

all spelling mistakes are "df" alcohol induced
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 00:47
  #2485 (permalink)  
 
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JP

Please simply explain to us, on what FACTUAL BASIS you can state that the aircraft approached the Mull at high speed, and low level and for what extent your FACTUAL EVIDENCE allows you to state, this period existed.

Simple question

Simple (but complete) answer appreciated.

Are you prepared to debate the quality of your facts?
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 01:46
  #2486 (permalink)  
 
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John Purdey
Talk about spin, indeed!
You wrote (#2495):
<<It is absolutely certain, without any doubt whatever,as they say, or as you ask, with 100% certainty, that the aircraft was at low level and high speed heading towards cloud-covered high ground.>>
and later:
<< being at low level, high speed and heading towards those hills in those IMC conditions was itself the negligence >>
.
Try a different spin, like this:
“The aircraft was traveling in good VFR conditions (in sight of the sea below; several miles in all directions apart from straight ahead; clear ahead until the Mull shoreline – not breaking any rules in this respect for a helicopter until they cross the shoreline),
at a low level which was midway between the surface of the sea and the cloud base (ie nothing wrong with their choice of altitude in the conditions)
and at a speed which was well within the cruise range for the type (check manufacturers specs at that altitude, ambient temperature, and all up weight – they had power to spare as is incidentally proven by the application of cruise climb without loss of speed) and therefore an entirely appropriate speed for the purposes of the flight and which should not be described as high (unless they knowingly got too close to the shoreline).
.
As it was their intention to make a slight turn to the left close in to the Mull and go up the shoreline, which would not have required them to slow down, all that they did wrong was get too close – a judgment error rather than negligently breaking the rules.
.
Why they got too close and even made a steer to the right is a moot point when it comes to the issue of negligence – without any other factors being known, they were hardly guilty of gross negligence on the above argument – it is only misleading spin on their actions, confusion as to their intended route near the Mull, and misrepresentation of the conditions that “sells” the idea that the pilots were negligent. This spin is so apparent in the transcripts of the inquiries along with a good deal of general obfuscation.
.
If you compare this treatment with other crashes you would have to wonder why there seemed such an effort to blame the pilots most harshly – in my opinion, it was to allay public concerns about sabotage as soon as possible as any such perception could have caused civil unrest in NI at the time – the public would think that for the pilots to be so harshly judged they must have been at fault beyond doubt.
Over many posts I have made it clear as to why I think they steered right and carried on after waypoint change.
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 09:21
  #2487 (permalink)  
John Purdey
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Chinook

ABinW.
Based on the evidence of the yachtsman (a trained researcher) that the a/c was below the low cloud base; and the evidence of the lighthouse keeper (a trained observer) and the walkers on the hill, that the hills were in cloud; and the technical evidence from the wreckage that the a/c had high forward speed, I have 100% confidence that the statement about low-level, high speed and IMC is correct. So let's have you answer a simple question; if the a/c was not at low level, where was it; if it was not flying at high speed, what was it doing; and if the hills were not in cloud then what were the conditions?
(This is becoming very repetative again and again and again, so no more from me)
With all good wishes. JP
 
Old 5th Aug 2006, 09:42
  #2488 (permalink)  
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JP's spin is out of this world. He either lives on another planet or designs fairground rides!
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 16:02
  #2489 (permalink)  
 
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JP- Below cloud base = IMC

How?
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 21:29
  #2490 (permalink)  
 
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OK,

I will put my head above the parapet.

When giving evidence to the BOI the yachtsman, Mr Holbrook (the lone yachtsman), stated on oath to the RAF BOI that the Chinook was travelling "somewhat faster than Sea Kings in level flight" and that the visibility at sea level was "about one mile limited by haze". MOD state that a Sea King in transit will typically fly at an airspeed of 100-110 kts.

At the FAI he estimated the speed of the aircraft to be 60-80 knots. He also indicated to the FAI that he watched the helicopter for some 25-30 seconds, during which time he was manoeuvering his yacht around fishing boats (although in evidence to the BOI and the HOL Committee he indicated that his sighting of the aircraft was limited to a 5 second view.)

I used the phrase "the lone yachtsman" because that is how he was described by the BOI who were, no doubt, thankful that they had at least one witness to the last minutes of the fateful flight. However, at the FAI he stated that he was manoeuvering his yacht around fishing boats and watched the helicopter for only some 25-30 seconds.

Let us unpack this:-

The "Lone Yachtsman" of the BOI is surrounded by "Fishing Boats" who, of course, have a crew. We have no idea of the size of these boats, but if it was only someone to steer and someone to gather the fish then that is 2 per vessel. If it was only 2 vessels then that is 4 witnesses. However he never mentioned the boats to the BOI.

Then we come to the HOL Committee.

This is his "Piece de Resistance" where he suddenly unveils to the Committee that he called down to his "Cabin Boy" "to come and look at the helicopter that is coming to rescue us""

Cabin Boy???

He never mentioned this to the BOI either

So; if there were only 2 "Fishing vessels" with a 2 man crew apiece then; then,with the addition of the "Cabin Boy," there were a total of 5 "Witnesses" who were never interviewed by the BOI because they were unaware of their existance.

One final point. He was the "lone yachtsman" - except we now know that he was not alone. How many other potential witnessses were there whose evidence was never heard because "The Lone Yachtsman" got in first and neglected to mentiom their prescence to the appropriate authorities at the time?
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 21:42
  #2491 (permalink)  
A really irritating PPRuNer
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Didn't we 'do' the yachtsman several pages ago (again)?

I haven't looked for the page number, but seem to recall that Mr Holbook was a little dissapointed in the tardiness of the MoD with regards to collecting (or not) his eye witness testimony.

Had it been obtained at the time, the poor chap would not be subject to the scrutiny he finds himself in on a regular basis.

My best, as always,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 08:30
  #2492 (permalink)  
 
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Brian,

There were many witnesses in NI, both Military and Civil, who had to be interviewed to assess whether the crash had been caused by hostile action.

That having been said, his initial evidence was fairly straightforward. The problem I have is that his evidence is not consistant and that, far from being the "Lone Yachtsman" as he was described because of his original evidence, he was manoeuvring his yacht around fishing vessels and had a crewman.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 10:19
  #2493 (permalink)  
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Caz,
are you saying then, that the verdict is based upon an investigation where not all potential witnesses were identified and debriefed?

My best to you, as always,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 10:39
  #2494 (permalink)  
 
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Brian, allow me to assist.

I helped Cazatou (K52)'s allegation regarding Mr Holbrook on page 97, and again on page 116.

Here it is repeated ONCE AGAIN for those who missed it first time, or for anyone who is 'hard of hearing'!

Cazatou

Perhaps you have forgotten a previous conversation between us on page 97:

Quote:
Tandemrotor
Over 500 posts. I really must consider clicking here so I can order a Personal Title.

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Oh dear

As FJJP so rightly states, we have, of course been round this particular block before. You do however raise an intesesting point, that I at least had not previously noted.

There is indeed a paragraph in the BOI which states:

Quote:
"The aircraft was sighted by a yachtsman approximately 2-3 nm from the Mull of Kintyre, flying at high speed in a level attitude towards the Mull."

This can only have come from a question, and response, in his evidence to the BOI, which was:

Quote:
Q2. How does the height and speed of the helicopter you saw on 2 Jun 94 compare with the Sea Kings you have seen in the past?

A2. I have seen Sea Kings in 2 attitudes firstly in level flight and secondly in the hover, I would comment that in terms of speed the aircraft I saw on 2 Jun 94 was somewhat faster than Sea Kings in level flight and at a height higher than Sea Kings when they are hovering but comparable with Sea Kings in level flight.

No other information regarding aircraft speed was either sought by the BOI, nor given by the yachtsman!

You will of course note that while the term "high speed" in the BOI is attributed to the yachtsmans evidence, no such term is present in that evidence!

We now turn to his evidence at the FAI when, standing in the dock, he stated:



Quote:
"Again, with the proviso that I only saw this aircraft for a few seconds and I am not an expert in these matters but I would have estimated it's speed to be something between 60 and 80 knots if I had to put a figure on it.

Cross examined: "I take it you accept that that is just, as you have said very fairly, your estimate of it?" -

"Sure, but it was not moving any more rapidly......This is the first time I had seen a twin-rotor blade helicopter and it wasn't moving at an undue speed relative to a Sea King which would have been engaged in looking at the sea surface for example."

Later in his evidence he states:

Quote:
Cross examined "Your estimate of the speed of this helicopter, how was that done?"

"I was asked how was that done? Probably the only reference I have to that is helicopter activity off Troon. The movement from moving to being stationary.

Cross examined "So you had seen other helicopters flying around?"

"I know what 30 knots looks like in a boat so I would have been able to multiply that up and that is it. That is the limit of my understanding of speed.

Cross examined: "So you think it might have been between two or three times faster".....? -

"Yes, it was not going at a helluva speed. It wasn't moving at a speed that would have caused me to remark on it in any way (at) all in terms of moving very rapidly from A to B and that is what caused me to think maybe it was looking, that there was some sort of event and it was looking for somebody."

So cazatou, and in summary, you will see:

1) Nothing in the yachtsman's evidence to the FAI either contradicted, or even "amended" (correct error in, make minor alteration in) his original evidence to the BOI. He simply had more opportunity to clarify.

2) The BOI's only question regarding aircraft speed, was too limited to illicit the accurate information that may otherwise have been available. And there was no follow up question. It was a 'bad' question.

3) It would appear the BOI were incorrect to cite the yachtsman's testimony, as evidence of the aircraft's 'high speed'. He simply NEVER said that!

As you will know, and now it has been demonstrated he was a reliable witness, he also had some very interesting things to say about the weather.

Would you like to debate that next?

BTW

Could you please point me in the direction of the testimony that leads you to suggest he does "not now consider the speed to be as high as he had previously stated and that he had amended his viewpoint after watching RN Sea Kings approach to land at Prestwick."

I can't seem to find it.
Last edited by Tandemrotor : 15th March 2006 at 00:30.

Your quotation regarding Mr Holbrook's assessment of speed is highly selective, and incomplete.

But I told you that already on page 97.

Have you got it yet????

The reason that it is problematic to prove negligence BEFORE waypoint change is this:

NO RECORDED EVIDENCE WHATEVER, EXISTS AT ANY MOMENT IN THE MINUTES OR SECONDS PRIOR TO WAYPOINT CHANGE
Sailing round the same old bouys!
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 13:37
  #2495 (permalink)  
 
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Tandemrotor,

In his evidence to the BOI Mr Holbrook gave his position as "2NM SW of the lighthouse". He gave his best estimate of the Chinooks speed as "somewhat faster than Sea Kings in level flight". He later clarified this in his evidence to the Select Committee as "between 60-80 knots". MOD are of the opinion that Sea Kings normally operate at 100-110 knots; so "somewhat faster" could give a speed of approx 130-150 kts which would reflect the known average groundspeed of the aircraft. He also indicated to both the BOI and the HOL Committee that his sighting was limited to a 5 second view. To the FAI, however, he stated that he watched the aircraft for some 25-30 seconds whilst manoeuvring his yacht around some fishing boats.

To the BOI he indicated that he was a solo yachtsman whereas 8 years later to the Select Committee he stated that he called to his "crewman" to come and look at the helicopter. Equally he did not mention the fishing boats in his evidence to the BOI which explains why he was dubbed "the lone yachtsman".

The average groundspeed from the ATC fix on leaving the Aldergrove CTZ to impact was 158 kts. The AAIB concluded that the groundspeed at initial impact was "in the order of 150 knots on a track of approximatey 12 degrees True, and the aircraft was climbing with a flight path approximately 20 degrees above the horizontal." The impact assessment by Boeing gave a groundspeed of 162.8 kts on an aircraft heading of 017 degrees True.

If the evidence of Mr Holbrook is correct then the aircraft would have had to accelerate to a speed well above the average groundspeed of 158 knots to satisfy the known timing constraints of the ATC fix at 16:46:24 and the initial impact power-down time of 16:59:36. With only 2nm to go to the lighthouse this would almost certainly have required exceeding Vne.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 15:30
  #2496 (permalink)  
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If we accept Cazatou's analysis this surely points to an engine runaway.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 19:57
  #2497 (permalink)  
 
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Cazatou (K52)

Just to help us understand the accuracy of your 'back of a fag packet' assumptions with which we are supposed to be able to satisfy the required standard of proof (Absolutely no doubt WHATSOEVER - if you recall!)

Would you please:

1) Define precisely what you mean by: "ATC fix on leaving the Aldergrove CTZ"

How accurate was this so called "fix"? What was the evidence exactly?

2) Even if your estimate of "average groundspeed" is vaguely accurate, in order to increase the credibility of you position, shouldn't you be giving us your 'best guess' at the aircraft's air speed for that period?

For example, what if a significant tail wind existed over the vast majority of the aircraft's VFR routing? Wouldn't that result in a high average 'groundspeed', when in fact the aircraft could have been cruising well within normal airspeeds?
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 21:54
  #2498 (permalink)  
 
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Tandemrotor,

Perhaps you should do as I did and look at the RAF website.
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Old 7th Aug 2006, 12:33
  #2499 (permalink)  
 
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Tandemrotor,

The forecast surface wind for the North Channel was 150 degrees 12-18 kts, the 2000 ft wind forecast was 190 degrees 25 kts. The wind at take-off from Aldergrove was given as 170 degrees 10 kts. The forecast winds give a tail component of 9.2 kts at the surface and 24.5 kts at 2000 ft. The average groundspeed from the ATC fix on leaving the CTZ to impact was 158.0 kts. All sightings of the aircraft, and there were a large number of eyewitness reports of the aircraft over Antrim, reported the aircraft at very low level, typically at 100 ft AGL.

PS

The "positive fix" at 16:46:24 was from Aldergrove ATC giving the aircrafts position as 027 Degrees magnetic and 7 NM from the Aldergrove beacon. That fix was, of course, on tape.

Given that the Yachtsman estimated the height of the aircraft as 200-400 ft, a "significant tailwind" at the estimated height would have been reflected at the surface and given rise to possible gale conditions. Moreover, they had only approximately 2.1 NM to impact which occurred at a calculated groundspeed of 162.8 kts: which compares with the AAIB conclusion from their wreckage and crash site inspection that the groundspeed at intial impact was "of the order of 150 kts".

PPS

The difference between the "calculated" groundspeed and that recorded by AAIB is explained by a last minute manoeuvre to avoid impact by rapid application of aft cyclic stick. If applied to the difference in the groundspeeds a derived instantaneous flight path angle of +23 degrees climb is obtained.

Last edited by cazatou; 7th Aug 2006 at 15:32.
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Old 7th Aug 2006, 15:00
  #2500 (permalink)  
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Cazatou
Your recent post addressed to Tandemrotor leaves many questions unanswered.
The weather conditions en route are all forecast (not actual).
The ATC fix is, of course, not that accurate by modern standards.
The altitude of the aircraft by all witnesses are estimates.
The groundspeed is a ‘calculated guess’ derived from imprecise data.
Hardly a ‘without doubt whatsoever’ scenario, is it?
I could go on and on but I think we have all been there too many times already.

Last edited by XM147; 7th Aug 2006 at 20:10.
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