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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 25th Oct 2007, 06:21
  #2781 (permalink)  
 
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Seldomfitforpurpose

Thank you most sincerely, for your support in this matter.

As much as I disagree with the opinions of JP, I have to say that he is not uninformed in these matters. I think I also recall that he does indeed have first hand recollections of this period.

He has also made numerous, considered, contributions to this issue.

Whilst I disagree with his opinion, I find it quite acceptable that people can express a position which differs from mine (and many others here)

Provided their thought process is justifiable, supported by FACTS, and in accordance with the standard of proof required by the BOI to find negligence of deceased aircrew:

Absolutely no doubt whatsoever

I actually believe that, throwing these points of view up, and more importantly, countering them, reinvigorates this particularly minor contribution, to the campaign to force those in power to do the right thing!

If we didn't have people like JP, and cazatou (K52) this thread 'might' wither on the vine!

So to them, I am obliged (m'lud)

Much is occuring away from the public gaze!

Ever vigilant, we will not go away.
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 08:40
  #2782 (permalink)  
 
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Tandem,

After 30 odd years of service I unfortunately have become a bit crabby in my old age and therefore find my self with far less patience than your good self. I have never professed to have any sort of expert opinion or, for that matter first hand knowledge of this incident, in fact I was preparing for a night out on a tiny island 3 miles of the coast of Belize when it happened. But I did know the guys involved, Kev had been in my house but a few months earlier and the others I knew from my time around the bazaars.

All that I have ever asked of JP and the like is to give me conclusive evidence to support theirs and the boards conclusions which so far they have been unable to do. I am off to work this morning and I guarantee that if I took a straw poll from the pilots and crewman gathered there with regards to cloud base and visibility there would be a fairly wide spectrum of opinion, and if I then compared that data with that being given by our met office what chance do you think of EVERYONE being in agreement?

The thing that really sticks in my craw with all of this is the complete intransigence of those who came to this conclusion in this unjust case and the few in here who continue to support it. Like many others in here I have my own opinions as to what PROBABLY happened and in my heart of hearts I suspect that the BOI's finding are quite probably correct.

But where I differ from JP and the like is that my mind tells me that no matter what I THINK happened there is NO HARD EVIDENCE to support my theories and therefore there is enough doubt in my mind to suggest that the wrong verdict has been passed.

A few months back my son was involved in a road traffic accident, after coming to the front of some queuing traffic he pulled out to overtake a slow moving tractor. Unfortunately for him an impatient driver had decided to overtake from about 5 or 6 cars back and there was a coming together. Fortunately for my son he had 3 friends traveling in the car with him and as he was returning from playing football two other cars with players in them stopped to assist. Luckily no one was hurt and at the scene the other driver admitted full liability, admitted to driving to fast and admitted to being in a rush to get to a train station. No brainier thinks I but in the eyes of the law I am WRONG. In a conversation yesterday with an insurance company appointed solicitor I was advised that all the written evidence we had provided stating the other drivers confession was useless in the eyes of the court. Whilst admissible the district court judge would simply treat it as hearsay and it would have little or no bearing on the outcome. The only thing the court would take into account were eye witness accounts of what happened and even though the 3 guys in the car with my son fitted that category their testimony would be useless as they were facing forward and could therefore offer no conclusive opinion as to the exact cause of the crash. The advice was to drop the case as the most likely outcome based on the available facts was the case being dismissed to a lack of eye witness evidence.

Now JP and the like please tell why, if the burden of proof required in the case of a simple RTA is so clear and so specific, how on earth were the BOI ever allowed to reach their LEGAL conclusion with what is nothing more than hearsay as evidence?
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 14:33
  #2783 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

Tandemrotor. Thanks for a well considered post.
Seldom etc, Please say: a. Was the Helo at very low level? b. Was it travelling at a goodly forward speed towards the Mall? c. Were conditions over the Mull IMC? d. Did the crew try to turn away? If the answers are yes, yes, yes and no, then the crew were being negligent. What other proof do you need?
Do you have a deja vu feeling, because I certainly do, and although I can understand the motive of folk who wish to keep this subject alive, I'm afraid we are not going to agree on the findings. With all good wishes. JP
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 18:19
  #2784 (permalink)  

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John Purdey, Again you make many assumptions, not least that the aircraft was functioning normally. Again, there were at least three possible unserviceabilities that could have caused this accident and could not be discounted as the cause.

A. Engine runaway to high power. It does happen I've had this happen myself, not too long ago, albeit not in a Chinook but in another more modern type with DECU controlled engines. The failure was not practiced in the simulator because it had reportedly not happened before and in any case it was supposed to be impossible because of the logic of the sytem. It was not possible to programme the simulator to make it happen; I later tried to practice this but was told it wasn't possible to do so. The aircraft manufacturer could not find the reason why this occurred. We were close to the ground, in the hover and we were able to deal with it. In a situation of forward flight under a low cloudbase, it would have been much more difficult to deal with. There is so much evidene of this happening to the Mk2 Chinook, it doesn't need posting here again.

B. Control pallet failure. Found detached in the wreckage. Real evidence but not conclusive. Another Chinook had previously suffered this failure, which occurred due to a poor design feature. If the aircraft controls failed, the pilots would have had little choice about subsequent events.

C. Nav system inaccuracy. Evidence of previously reported on this airframe, but no fault found and aircraft continued in service with no rectification having been carried out.

D. The actual post accident evidence of the co-pilot's intercom selected to the emergency position indicated that the crew had a problem in communicating with each other across the cockpit. This is a danger in itself when the non flying pilot does the navigation but in an emergency situation (either of the above A, B or C. or others not discovered) it could well have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 18:52
  #2785 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

Shy Torque. We have of course been here before, and the only fact you are challenging is the assumption that the a/c was functioning as it should.
Fine, but if it was not, then how come the a/c entered a climb, as you might expect, in order to to clear the hills, and how come the a/c nosed up and to the left, as you might expect, just a couple of seconds before impact?
With renewed good wishes. JP
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 18:54
  #2786 (permalink)  
 
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JP's Repeats Himself

ShyTorque,

I strongly support your comments, but I am afraid that you are totally wasting your time with JP - I have been round this buoy with him many times, but he does not want to acknowledge even the existence of any theory that does not fit in with his "faction" even where he is basing his conclusions on theories as well. He uses Campbell's work as a "factual" reference even though Campbell knows no more than the rest of us. I do not know what happened, but if I approached the problem the way that JP does I would be quite certain of my "facts" that the aircraft suffered a major unservicability - and I reckon to have a lot more real facts to support this than he has hypotheses to support his or Campbell's position!

JB
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 08:09
  #2787 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

The various opinions on this thread are not going to make any difference to the situation, but what might move matters forward is the meeting with Sec of State that Brian Dixon has said he is arranging. I therefore suggest that we pipe down until then. With all good wishes JP
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 20:33
  #2788 (permalink)  

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I therefore suggest that we pipe down until then.
John Purdey, I think you might reflect on the fact that both John Blakeley and myself were completely quiet until you piped UP (again). Your comments cannot go unchallenged. This whole debate started because supposition was substituted for facts or evidence.
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Old 1st Nov 2007, 19:26
  #2789 (permalink)  
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Hi all,

Back after my holiday - very nice, thank you for asking

I'm catching up with all the e-mails and everything else that sits and waits for you, so will give a better update fairly soon. I will be wading through quite a bit of paper over the coming week.

One request, if I may - If Chocks Wahay sees this, could you please give me a shout (if time allows). I've tries a PM and e-mail, but that appears not to work. Alternatively. if anyone has a different method by which to contact him, please could you draw his attention to this post.

Thanks,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 2nd Nov 2007, 15:15
  #2790 (permalink)  
 
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Even Sir William Wratten (was it?) commented that they would have crossed the shoreline something like 6 secs after waypoint change - which agrees with my calcs.
So, were they flying blind for (20 less 6 less 4 for pull up =) 10 secs before reacting
OR were they flying OVER the mist for a while, it being on the sloping ground until merging with the orographic cloud (circa 900ft on the day) - (as I have described and one of the light house keepers commented at the time on hearing the approaching a/c that it would be above the mist).
I know these conditions - it is a problem of judging range to a fuzzy mass rather than being in it.
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 09:51
  #2791 (permalink)  
 
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Low flying

I am returning to this thread after some while away. I have attempted to get up to speed but these days my memory won't retain vast amounts of info so my apologies if I've missed something
Tandemrotor says that it is entirely unexceptional to operate an SH below 240'. Of that I have no doubt. In our humble Siouxs or Skeeters (who remembers those?) we flew around the North German Plain below 10' in the 60's. However, there is surely a difference between tactical low-flying, flying in the face of a known or suspected (or exercise) threat to deliver troops to a possibly defended LZ and flying passengers between A and B.
I realise that there is no Public Transport category in the RAF but the aircraft in question was essentially conducting such a flight, moving civilians (are Int guys and gals civvies?) between peace-time locations.
When operating on the North Sea we were allowed to operate down to 250' and 900 metres for "short periods" according to to the ops manual (a legal document). Over land, because of the Rule forbidding flight within 500' of any person or building, the requirement was for met conditions to allow flight at 500' with 1000 metres visibility.
My first question is, do the RAF rules make any distinction with higher limits for non-tactical flying as in this case?
My second is for Shytorque. The BAH Chinook simulator (and the S61 sim) could certainly create "Engine runaway up" or "down" or "freeze" or several others. I think the instructors boast was that they could programme nine different engine malfunctions. Is there much point in flying a twin-engine/twin-pilot aircraft and then placing it (and I am not suggesting that this occurred in this case) in such a situation, non-tactical, that a defect on one engine or system for which there is a solution, is not containable or diffficult to contain due to met conditions in which the pilot has voluntarily placed himself.
My third is this. I realise that the aim of this campaign is to get the "gross negligence" verdict lifted. More power to your right arm!. Is it your belief that were this to be lifted then, in the light of no absolute proof, the crew would be found not responsible or is there another verdict possible?
Finally, I have been enormously impressed throughout this thread by the courtesy, seeking of knowledge, tenacity and tolerance shown by most contributors, Brian Dixon above all, even when arguing with someone who's opinion they completely oppose. I have been distinctly unimpressed by the lack of tolerance and rudeness shown by a few, I have been dismayed by the very few who descend to adolescent personal insult and unpleasantness and I shudder to think that one of our number, a professional pilot, could (outside standard crewroom insults) cast aspersions on anothers parentage.
My congratulations to all the movers and shakers in this campaign
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 12:09
  #2792 (permalink)  
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Hi Boslandew,
firstly, thank you for your very kind comments at the end of your post. I have always said that I have no problem with people having a different interpretation of the few factual pieces of evidence known about this terrible accident. They, as I, are entitled to their views.

However, and this is the whole point of the Campaign - in order that deceased aircrew can be found guilty of negligence (or, as in this incident - Gross Negligence), the rules state that there has to be Absolutely No Doubt Whatsoever. Surely the fact that there are so many differences of opinion as to what may have happened on 2 June 1994, this in itself renders any interpretation as falling below the required standard of proof.

It is, indeed, the Campaign's objective to have the negligence slur removed from the record of Jon Tapper and Rick Cook. Due to the fact that there is limited hard evidence available (that is not open to different interpretations) the most accurate verdict, should the matter be re-examined, would be one of 'Cause not positively determined'.

Walter,
my apologies, I neglected to thank you for posting the photographs of the orographic cloud. They show clearly how cloud can cover landmass, yet not extend too far out to sea. One could surmise (and that's all it is), that those stood in the cloud could not see out to sea, yet those approaching the Mull could clearly see the coastline and, therefore, make a legitimate change of course.

My best, as always.
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 22:23
  #2793 (permalink)  

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Boslandew,

My first point was that an engine runaway up is a difficult emergency to deal with, even in good weather conditions. When operating in the minimum weather conditions allowed under RAF SH rules, this would be more difficult to deal with. Although the MK1 simulator allowed the emergency to be practiced, I don't know about the MK2. Did the crew have the chance to practice this type of fault in a MK2 simulator? I don't know the answer.

Secondly, I don't think the crew had any option to change the weather minima regulations they flew in just because this was an untried (and untrusted) aircraft variant. A management issue.

My own opinion is that the aircraft should not have been used for this flight or any other until any servicability uncertainties had been completely resolved. The pax should have been on an IFR capable aircraft; any other transport (civvy if necessary) should have been used in preference to one that had been grounded by the test pilot organisation the day before! I feel that egos / politics of upper management were a very major factor in the causal chain of this tragedy.

BTW, the Puma sim also had this emergency programmed in, but this was/still is a non-DECU aircraft. The diagnosis and handling of a DECU emergency can be more difficult than a non-DECU equipped one, especially when the failure mode is not forseen by the manufacturer, as was the one I personally experienced and was referring to.
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Old 6th Nov 2007, 01:26
  #2794 (permalink)  
 
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This thread remains vitally important and it is heartwarming to have so many posts from so many interested parties. For as Brian says, there is no expiry date to this, unless and until the MoD remove the stain.

The late Lord Jauncey, who chaired the Lords' select committee, referenced a point made by Lord Tombs that I think we also do not want to lose sight of (in addition to pallet detachments, DASH runaways, FADEC) - and that is the case of the fractured tie-bolt.
Tony Cable, the AAIB inspector and his team suggest, though do not confirm, "impact forces" caused the break. Lord Tombs, engineer by training, posited the possibility of pre-impact failure, which would be catastrophic as the tie-bolt linked the pilot controls and the hydraulic servos operating the flight control systems. "The bolt was badly manufactured, with a second, redundant and roughly drilled split-pin hole in the threaded area."
I concede this is just another possible cause, but it is possible. There was a lot relying on that tie-bolt, wasn't there?

Separately, Sir John Day has clarified since he wrote his reviewing opinion appended to the BoI that he does not know the height or speed of the aircraft at Waypoint change. He says it is not that important because negligence occurred by the time the Waypoint change was made (at a time unknown).
The belief the crew had inputted a WP change a postulated 18-21 seconds/1.75km before impact was found wanting when Boeing conceded the simulation could in no way be used to prove, what was at best a theory working backwards.

----------------
From the Lords' report:
"The Boeing simulation was exactly that—a simulation, not a factual reconstruction .... Since our primary interest is flight safety, our comments are based on balanced information and probability rather than absolute fact since, in the engineering safety realm at least, things are usually more approximate than absolute. In many instances with aircraft accidents, what may be considered as fact is not really fact at all and may even be contradictory of other 'facts'. For this reason every 'fact' must be weighed according to its relative probability of truth. It is rarely known with absolute certainty exactly what all the reasons for an aircraft accident are. One can only determine a most probable cause; as many accidents in the past have demonstrated, even with cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders, there is always room for doubt".

I (Jauncey) agree wholeheartedly with that standpoint but, taken in conjunction with the "remarkably thin evidence", it supports the conclusion of the committee that the conclusions of the board of inquiry did not satisfy the rigorous standards of absolute certainty required of them.
End of Lords' excerpt
-----

Add the fact Treasury had voted the money for black boxes for the Chinook fleet in May 1989 but never installed them and investigators were flying blind.

I was curious to know more from Boeing, so I visited them at their military plant in Philadelphia, where ZD576 was born and updated. The Spanish fleet of Chinooks was being updated at that time and Boeing reps. graciously showed me around, allowing me to see the 'broom cupboard' controls area, the wiring, where a key tie-bolt would go. No-one at Boeing I spoke to knows why the Chinook crashed.

The MoD has had a special team of civil servants working the Chinook file. The aftermath has taken up hundreds if not thousands of hours of their time. Brian's suggestion that a more accurate finding would be to say Cause Not Positively Established/Unknown has merit. After all, all we want is the truth and it is that finding that seems the most truthful based on the available facts.

For too long we have fought this fight, and we will not give up until there is justice. But the longer it goes on the more conversations are brought to mind, and I include just one to finish.
In 1997, I visited the Chief of the General Staff at his office at MoD HQ to talk about the accident. The CGS in 1997 was Sir Roger Wheeler, who had been the former GOC Northern Ireland at the time of the accident and who knew many, if not all, of the passengers. He doesn't know what caused the accident but relied on the RAF's version for an answer. They were the experts, right? The pilots were to blame, right?

But because he relied on the official finding Gen. Wheeler didn't know Jon Tapper had asked to replace the Mk2 with a more reliable Mk1 for the VVIP sortie, he didn't know Rick Cook had increased his life insurance weeks before the crash and the General didn't know the Boscombe Down testers had grounded the aircraft the day before the accident because they found it unserviceable. He couldn't know because none of that was included in the BoI report, with the MoD citing them irrelevancies. It took years for it to come out.

In any campaign, fight or just daily life one expects to sometimes be knocked backwards but the supreme strength of the argument regarding this injustice comes from the knowledge there has been not a single piece of evidence to emerge in all these years that sets the campaign for justice back even an inch. In fact, to the contrary, every single development in this saga over the years has only strengthened the Tapper and Cook family position, which is one of simplicity itself. Prove the boys caused the accident and we will shut up. But if you can't then please, finally consider the facts again and this time conclude what morality and orders dictate, that in cases where there is doubt deceased air crew must be given the benefit of that doubt.

The man who wrote that rule, AP3207 of the Queen's Regulations, is a now retired RAF Air Commodore. I spoke to him about the issue. Had Sir John and Sir William applied the rules? The answer was clear: "No."

I'm obliged
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Old 6th Nov 2007, 07:26
  #2795 (permalink)  
 
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Having a mental picture of the local weather is crucial to understanding their situation – as they had travelled over half a mile of land since crossing the shore before impact and before reacting it is important to realize that they were not in the mist until the last few seconds – they would have been over it.
You need to plot the tracks and positions on a large scale map (eg OS 1:25,000 rather than a ten times coarser air chart) to appreciate their situation – for example, the length of time over the ground is explained by their approach track having an angle of only about 20 deg to the coastline.
Using such a map, if you plot the position of waypoint change and the position of initial impact and draw a line between the two, you can get the effective track over the critical phase of the flight (all headings/bearings etc rel. to magnetic north below) ;
I got 34.5 – Boeing (Mitchel) got 33.5;
Taking into consideration the accuracy of my plotting, and the accuracy of the position of waypoint change, these two are very close to 035.
035 was found set on the handling pilot’s HSI.
So the a/c track achieved was as set on the handling pilot’s HSI.
Think about that.
What do you pilots make of that?
Would it be correct to make the following assumptions?:
* 035 was a deliberate/intended path;
* the HSI mode selector was on something that gave bearing.
.
Also, the right turn was not slight at all – was it?
A turn from a track (from NI to w/p change) of 027 to 33.5/34.5 is more than 6 deg – and if we accept that the intended track was 035 then there was an intent to turn right 8 deg – significant rather than slight, I’d say.
.
So what are the usual circumstances when you would put something into your course selector? I can only think of a couple:
* referring to a VOR or TACAN;
* referring to a waypoint in GPS/Doppler computer (SuperTANS in this case).
(While FM Homing does use the track bar, I don’t think the course selector is used and so I am not considering it.)
Well, there was no VOR or TACAN in that direction;
and neither waypoint A nor Corran fit the picture.
Perhaps someone with experience can offer an explanation of how temporary waypoints were generated in the GPS/Doppler system CDU from a module fitted to some RAF Chinooks in 1995 when using a personnel recovery system? – and how they could be selected so as to send the data to the HSI which had selected “GPS/Doppler” – just for academic interest of course – no one has said that such was fitted to ZD576, one of the first RAF Chinooks for which such a fit would have been a plug in.
Of course, waypoint A would effectively have to have been deselected to move onto such a waypoint, and it was.
.
Interestingly, if ZD576 had had such a fit you could use your nice big map to hypothesize a possible scenario:
If you plot waypoint A and accept that the triangular piece of ground (pictured in one of my recent posts) immediately to its north was a known landing site for large helos you will see that this 035 track was a bit to the right of it;
Imagine if a low pass or landing was planned to demonstrate the new kit – someone supposedly on this site with a PRC112 for example;
One of the baro alts was set as for a QFI at the elevation of this site and a RADALT warning was set to min, appropriate for a landing in marginal conditions;
The power setting (matched at about 70% torque?) was appropriate for slowing down (according to Mitchel of Boeing, air speed had dropped by 20kts as it approached the Mull);
The tactical callsign F4J40 was appropriate for such an exercise;
The UHF radio was set to guard - appropriate for talking to someone close by in such an exercise.
Now you get accurate range and approximate bearing from these things – an intrinsically accurate local reference that could have told you how far away you were from the site and so you could slow down in time to avoid getting caught out entering the mist unexpectedly, it being otherwise so difficult to judge the distance away – a marvelous system that has been widely used for years for CSAR, extraction, resupply, etc, etc,.
.
Of course, you would be stupid if you trusted someone you didn’t know on the ground to be in the right place if you were carrying such VIPs, wouldn’t you? I mean the level of trust would be beyond the normal between crews even. Stupid or obedient?
Anyway, the suggested use of such equipment with the operator mistakenly or willfully being higher up the hill than the landing site explains all that is known about this incident.
.
The point is, whether such equipment was used is speculation beyond that which is required to have a fresh look at this crash – whatever the procedures, the evidence is that they were either attempting to land or making a low pass/turn at that landing site for whatever reason, and that under those common local conditions at that time of day, at that time of year, they were vulnerable to being misled, by whatever means, of their range off the landmass. That they were apparently involved in an extra task/demo/exercise that has thus far not been declared surely demands a rejection of the verdicts.
And if subsequent proper and full investigation reveals that another party was involved in this extra task, then someone (other than the crew) needs to be held accountable.
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Old 6th Nov 2007, 09:26
  #2796 (permalink)  
 
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Weather Minima/Aircraft Command

Shytorque
Reading back, perhaps my question was not clear. I was asking if the weather minima would have been the same for a tactical sortie where it might be necessary to accept a greater risk than they would be for a VFR pax-carrying A to B flight sooner than for the aircraft type/Mark.
When you say that the aircraft was grounded the day before, do you mean that this specific aircraft was unserviceable or that the type itself was 'grounded' so that none of them could fly?
A delicate question. During my ten years with the Air Corps and twenty-five years as a civilian pilot I was never in any doubt about the responsibilty and authority of an aircraft commander. On my first operational unit my flight commander would give me any amount of advice but he would not make the final go/no-go decision for me, "its what you're paid for, lad!!". I once had to tell a very senior officer that I would not land him where he requested, then demanded. He was not happy but the system of 'aircraft commander' worked and I heard no more about it. A lot has been written about political pressure/senior command pressure being applied. Is there any suggestion that in the RAF SH force of that time, pressure was put on aircrews generally by someone senior in rank to carry out sorties with which they were not entirely happy or in aircraft about which there was substantiated concern about its airworthiness?
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Old 6th Nov 2007, 09:44
  #2797 (permalink)  
 
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Verdict

Brian Dixon

Brian, who would have the authority or which authority could overturn the verdict or order a re-examination of the case?

Regards

Boslandew
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Old 6th Nov 2007, 21:05
  #2798 (permalink)  
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I would think that the Secretary of State for Defence or the Air Force Board would have the authority to do those things.

Following everything that has subsequently happened, why they choose not to is beyond me!

To answer your other question - it was the type (Chinook HC2) that had been grounded by Boscombe Down, not the indiviual aircraft, ZD576.

Antenna - great to hear from you again. Hope all is well. Picking up on your last point about Gen Wheeler, I bet he didn't know that there were no Mk1s left in the RAF. All had been returned for upgrade, were in the process of being sent for upgrade, or had already been upgraded. In fact, in June 1994 there were no more than 10 Chinook airframes available for worldwide use, and it is not possible to identify how many of those were actually serviceable (as opposed to airworthy ).

Regards,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook

Last edited by Brian Dixon; 6th Nov 2007 at 21:23.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 01:20
  #2799 (permalink)  
 
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Brian
All well in the frigid land but boiling under the collar as we work to right this unhappy tale. I salute you, you irritating sod.

Tucumseh, I'm obliged for your PM. I will be in touch.

To Boslandew, Jon Tapper wanted a Mark 1. His request was turned down. He was barely current in the Mark 2 because of the shortage referred to by Brian. He specifically asked what would happen if he broke the icing rules surrounding the limited CA release of the Mark 2. He was told he would be held personally liable, thus court-martialled.
He flew a troop movement sortie on the morning of June 2 to Ballykinler. He was not happy with a PTiT guage lag. Rick Cook's last recorded conversation as he left to go to ZD576 that afternoon was to raise concerns over the engine control systems with a colleague. Jon and Rick, both Special Forces, ironically were not due to fly the roster that day but insisted because of their superior Combat Ready status. Were they happy doing it? Nope. Did they have a choice? I would also say tragically, no, no choice at all. They had done all they could to make their concerns known. It was their sorry lot, as it was the sorry lot of all those flying Mk2s in 1994, as it is those trying to fly Mk3s in 2007.
And the Loadies too were fiercely aware of the Mk2 shortcomings. From memory, it was Kev Hardie who had experienced a debonding incident on take-off, and when he got into the 'broom cupboard' found a loose spring. It forced ad hoc SOP fleet-wide - basically, shake and wiggle before take-off. If something falls off in your hanbd, don't take-off. If nothing falls off up you go.
It wasn't pretty and nothing in that respect was by the book, creating a cascading loss of standards. The rulebook ("limitations - to be issued") had gone out the window, combined with confusing FRCs by the time the first Mk2, ZD576, arrived in Ulster.

Few should be surprised - only with this privileged hindsight mind you - that within 25 minutes of take-off all would be dead.

Sir Patrick Mayhew, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State at the time of the crash, stood at Aldergrove and received home a number of those killed. I spoke to him about the accident years later and he told me he had no idea there were so many doubts about the aircraft. He too does not believe the pilots were to blame, and that is an important voice because as the ranking politician he had access to all he could want. And he wanted answers, because he had lost his security/political contact on that flight, John Deverill, the then deputy head of MI5. Sir Patrick was astonished to learn of the historic problems of the fleet.

The following represents the drumbeat of apparent inevitability leading to the June 2 crash in 1994:

April 8, 1994: returns from US after midlife update

April 21, 1994: First FADEC incident results in engine no. 1 being replaced

April 26, 1994: Second FADEC incident. New No. 1 engine is replaced

May 10, 1994: In an incident unrelated to FADEC, a mounting bracket fell off the flying controls.

May 17, 1994: No. 1 engine emergency power caption lit up three times. The no. 1 engine was rejected

May 26, 1994: ZD576 suffered various “spurious captions”. These included a master caution and no. 2 engine fail caption

May 27, 1994: Fl. Lt. Jonathan Tapper requested permission to keep an extra Mk. 1 Chinook in Northern Ireland “because of the limited operational capabilities of the HC2”. His request was turned down.

May 31, 1994: ZD576 was delivered to Northern Ireland.

June 2, 1994: ZD576 crashed in disputed circumstances on the Mull of Kintyre killing all 29 people on board.

Between April 20 and June 2, “there were a number of incidents involving airborne HC Mk2 of which approximately five were due to FADEC malfunctions whil operating in normal mode. There had also been other incidents on the ground. The MoD(PE) Project Office sought explanations of the various incidents from the aircraft and engine manufacturers but in the absence of satisfactory explanations Boscombe Down suspended trials flying.” Letter written by a Colonel within the MoD Procurement Executive, the contents of which were handed to the Fatal Accident Inquiry.

June 3, 1994, the day after the crash, experts from Boscombe Down wrote a memo crticising the FADEC software installed in Mk2 Chinooks. They concluded: “. . . the product has been shown to be unverifiable and is therefore unsuitable for its intended purpose”.

It is worth noting this June 3 memo was not given to the BoI and was discovered independent of the investigation.
antenna is offline  
Old 7th Nov 2007, 05:11
  #2800 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 786
Despite good cooperation from authorities up north, it seems that there are no photos from the sea side looking at the Mull available - despite there having been 4 hours of daylight left after the crash. There are plenty taken on the ground within the mist but nothing that could have helped us understand what the pilots saw as they approached. All I can say is that I believe the conditions that I have described previously, based upon much personal experience in such areas, are highly probable to have been prevailing at the time of the crash.
Ah well.
.
Just thought I'd leave you with some photos to give you a feel for the ground (taken at a different time of day, different time of year, etc so there're nice and clear).
http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...t=DSCF0270.jpg
This is the firm level site which I have previously described - the pos of waypoint A is just off the top left corner of the green triangle in this view.
walter kennedy is offline  

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