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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 9th Dec 2007, 17:57
  #2921 (permalink)  
 
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cazatou (K52)
This BOI felt unable to agree on a cause for the accident
In a sense, I guess you are correct. But presumably they agreed the text of the report signed off in their names.

I'm sure you will remember what they wrote:
The Board was unable to positively determine the sequence of events leading up to the accident, and therefore concluded that although it is likely that Flt Lt Tapper Made an error of judgement in the conduct of the attempted climb over the Mull of Kintyre, it would be incorrect to criticise him for human failings based on the available evidence
and:
The Board concluded there were no human failings with respect to Flt Lt Cook
As those tasked with the investigation, one can only assume they knew at least as much as any subsequent commentator. (Including you.)

It's time.
Tandemrotor is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2007, 18:22
  #2922 (permalink)  
 
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What the AAIB Report Actually Said

I am sorry to repeat a previous post but it seems that some contributors still do not understand or wish to misquote the AAIB Report - this is what its conclusions actually said:

43. Almost all parts of the flight control mechanical systems were identified, with no evidence of pre-impact failure or malfunction, although the possibility of control system jam could not be positively dismissed.

44. Most attachment inserts on both flight control system pallets had detached, including the collective balance spring bracket that had previously detached from ZD576’s thrust/yaw pallet, with little evidence available to eliminate the possibility of pre-impact detachment.

45. The method of attaching components to the pallets appeared less positive and less verifiable than would normally be expected for a flight control system application.

Like everyone else the AAIB did not know - but their comments are part of the vast jigsaw of "doubts", and we are only trying to prove the injustice of the verdict and not determine the cause of the accident! However, as has been announced this week MOD's own actions have caused the lid of Pandora's box to be well and truly opened - no it will not tell us the cause of the accident, but in my view assuming the Minister's upcoming review is both thorough and unbiased it may well suggest where any findings of Gross Negligence relating to this accident really belong - thoughts of similarities with Nimrod XV 230 on the breakdown of the airworthiness chain might be excusable.

JB
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 23:33
  #2923 (permalink)  
 
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Cazatou was quite right to point out:
<< Because there was no evidence of any technical malfunction there was no fleetwide programme of rectification or modification in order to prevent a further occurence because no technical fault had been identified as the cause of the crash.
It is now more than 13 1/2 years since this tragedy - years that have seen the commitments placed on the Chinook fleet increase markedly. They are operating under conditions that have not been seen by the RAF since WW2; with limited resources and under constant threat of hostile action. This length of time is greater than the combined durations of the Boer War, WW1 and WW2 - yet there has been no repetition of this tragedy. >>
.
In one of my previous posts (#2863) I had brought up the discussion at one of the inquiries where it was acknowledged that a double axis control jam that freed itself at the last moment was one in billions of hours – “Boeing had, from December 1994, discounted the probability of a loose article jamming the flight controls and had withdrawn a previous requirement for visual checks. …”.
.
And let’s dispel the illusion some may have got from reading this thread that the “FADEC” was some exotic feature unique to the HC2 – FADEC is pretty much a generic term for the computer control systems used in the majority of a/c jet engines today – the advantages of relieving the pilot workload, stress on the components, and efficiency far outweigh the disadvantages of an additional complex piece of equipment in the control chain.
If you check the track up to the last few seconds (waypoint change to initial impact) on a large scale chart/map as I recommend you do, you will see that the track is the same (035M) as set on the handling pilot’s HSI - entirely consistent with them following a deliberate course, being surprised by their proximity to the landmass/mist, and in the last few seconds starting an evasive manoeuvre (to the left) which explains all that is known about this crash.
Any engine runaway on this (short) leg would surely have been like the hand of God lifting them to safety (however temporary with regard to icing, etc). In fact, the power settings were found to have been “matched” which is hardly consistent with an engine runaway, is it?
.
Unpleasant though it is to confront, but if they had not been doing some special task in that vicinity, then they had put themselves in danger needlessly. How about a little effort into considering the parameters that (as I have pointed out so often) point to their approaching the landing area closely for some reason? Trying to get an agreed picture with which to confront the authorities?
.
The only way you’ll be getting the objective of clearing their names with your present course of action will be because the elapsed time is such that an admission that there could have been another cause other than pilot error would not now be so disturbing to the political process – and running around in circles trying to prove that the a/c could have been at fault and not considering anything else (that may be a distraction to this objective) has assisted the authorities in achieving this (desired?) delay.
.
I say again, there was no evidence of the type of fault with the a/c that you have been suggesting yet there is evidence, both direct and circumstantial, that points to some intentional activity at the landing area by waypoint A.
If the latter was the case, then there was an opportunity for someone else to have been culpable in this crash and because of the role of the personnel on board every effort needs to be made to either eliminate or confirm the possibility of foul play – and prosecute those culpable accordingly.
Anything less than this is a betrayal of justice to everyone on board.
It is not so much of an achievement to just clear the names of the pilots if they had not been at fault anyway, is it? – surely we all want to know the whole truth.
walter kennedy is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2007, 23:53
  #2924 (permalink)  
 
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I see walt has posted again.

I'm so pleased I am able to ignore this delusional drivel.

Please feel free to join me by placing him on your 'ignore' list accessed through 'user cp' in the top left hand corner.

Enjoy.
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 09:42
  #2925 (permalink)  
 
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Imagine you are sitting by a fast stretch of straight road, one with a nasty z bend at the end of it. It is misty - there may even be patches of fog. A car comes down that road at 80mph. A little while later it is found upside down in a ditch by the Z bend. What happened? It COULD have suffered brake failure or steering failure or a blow out or there could have been a deer or sheep on the road but by far the most likely cause is that the car was going too fast in inappropriate conditions and simply went off. That is a reasonable analogy of the Chinook crash. Gross negligence is a nasty word and most of us would settle for 'error of skill' but the fact remains that if those passengers had climbed into a commercial aeroplane belonging to the crummiest airline in the world they would still be alive but because they chose to get into a military ac flown by some jolly good eggs they got killed. The icing thing is a red herring - if the ac is not cleared to fly in icing and you encounter it, you turn round (as any ppl candidate will tell you). You do not point the ac at the nearest mountain and carry on. Flying over the sea in variable vis at low level close to the coast is extraordinarily dangerous. In my lifetime we have lost three Shackletons in those circumstances (one relatively recently) and over the same period at least four ac have gone missing inbound to Stornoway or Benbecula.The piloting community gets a pretty sympathetic hearing most of the time and we should not dissipate that goodwill by defending the indefensible. The government is not to blame for everything. Some accidents (actually, most of them) are caused by pilots.

I write because I have spent much of my life in the flight safety world and about 45 years of it flying aeroplanes. I have quite often got things wrong (and still do) and have been lucky enough to get away with it (up to now). But the new generation always seems to have to learn the basics all over again. The most common causes of accidents to VFR flights are weather and terrain. We have to learn that lesson.GM
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 10:35
  #2926 (permalink)  
 
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RTFQ ...

GM,


By writing those words (in #2929) you confirm that you have failed to grasp the issue. In so doing you unhelpfully add to the angst of the families whilst muddying the waters sufficiently to encourage others to make the same specious argument. You wrote:


“…but by far the most likely cause is that the car was going too fast in inappropriate conditions and simply went off”.


You torpedo your case, and reveal your lack of understanding of the burden of proof required to sustain a finding of negligence (to any degree), with the words “the most likely cause”.


The burden of proof in this case is absolute – “only in cases in which there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever are deceased aircrew to be found negligent”.


‘Most likely’ and ‘absolutely no doubt whatsoever’, are different. The former is a comparative likelihood; the latter is certainty. In the absence of certainty, a finding of negligence, to any degree, is not an available option. Simple, really.


Brian – nice one. Respect.


EWP
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 11:04
  #2927 (permalink)  
 
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Georgemorris, I'm afraid that you have made me angry! As the British Ambassador says in the film Battle of Britain; "It's unforgivable, I lost my temper!". In this case though I do not go on to say; "And the truth of it is, he's right, you know", for you are wrong, Sir, totally and utterly and unforgivably wrong! Are we never to be rid of these car accident analogies, always being trotted out by probationary members pushing an agenda which has the whiff of 'Old' and 'Boys' about them? Well this old boy disputes your post from start to finish. Earswentpop has more than dealt with the glaring weaknesses in your submission, but my real spleen venting is directed at your revelation that:
I write because I have spent much of my life in the flight safety world and about 45 years of it flying aeroplanes
If this is the best you can come up with after such a seemingly glittering career then I am depressed, for my background would seem to be very similar though I can only boast of 40 years, but a similar interest/passion for Flight Safety. No philosophy as you espouse was ever taught me in all that time. As for:
The piloting community gets a pretty sympathetic hearing most of the time and we should not dissipate that goodwill by defending the indefensible
.
Nobody is looking for sympathy in this thread, but simple justice. As for defending the indefensible, I would humbly propose that you would appear to be doing that, rather than those fighting the AM's infamous verdict!
Let Right Be Done!
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 11:25
  #2928 (permalink)  

 
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Chug, I seem to be following you around like a little Sir Echo, agreeing with everything you've said. I know, sad.....

But you are so right about Georgemorris. I might also suggest to him that he read just a few of the 2900-odd posts on this thread before venturing his strange opinions.

I'm further beginning to wonder why it is that a few people seem totally incapable of appreciating some absolutely basic tenets of justice and the way it is administered in this country and under Queen's Regulations for the RAF.

I note that Georgemorris is a probationary PPRuNer. Perhaps PPRuNe Towers should consider allowing his probation to lapse without promoting him to full PPRuNeitude.

a slightly puzzled
airsound
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 11:35
  #2929 (permalink)  
 
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George, as your location is given as Scotland I assume that's your real name and that we once worked together. Let me tell you, you've missed the point, mate.
This campaign is not to say that the pilots didn't make an error, but that the Air Marshalls didn't have the required standard of proof to find them grossly negligent.
Just that.
keithl is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2007, 12:13
  #2930 (permalink)  
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Georgemorris is allowed to have a view, and PPRuNe will respect that.

But, you, GM, are so way off target you need zeroing. The only way I can suggest you get seen to as soon as possible is for your to read from the start what this thread is about. It will take you a long time. There is another one, identical in subject, but in the archives of PPRuNe. You perhaps need to read all that has been written over all these many many years.

The simplicity you have chosen in your first post is, if it were not so serious, hysterical. Perhaps even in more than one sense. The premise you use isn't even close.

However, when you have had a good read and then respect the views of some very senior officers, engineers, Chinooks pilots and people who are well able to offer definitive views on the subject, and please recognise that they are not just merely familiar with it, you WILL change your mind.

In this instance you also need to understand that under the regulations - written by the Royal Air Force - is that gross negligence cannot be levelled at the two pilots in this tragic accident unless there is "absolutely no doubt whatsoever." Now read on if you will.

I might also add that it was a House of Lords select committee who agreed that the decision of gross negligence against the pilots, by two Air Marshalls, was wrong.

That is what this campaign, led by super people is all about. Changing the wrong the AM's did and giving back the good names of Flt Lt's Cook and Tapper.

No more hypothetical issues concerning cars please. This is planet earth! No doubt whatsoever!!
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 13:12
  #2931 (permalink)  
 
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GM,

PPRuNe is a very welcoming and tolerant site, so I am prepared to give you a little more slack than your post may deserve:

Imagine you are sitting by a fast stretch of straight road, one with a nasty z bend at the end of it. It is misty - there may even be patches of fog. A car comes down that road at 80mph. A little while later it is found upside down in a ditch by the Z bend. What happened? It COULD have suffered brake failure or steering failure or a blow out or there could have been a deer or sheep on the road but by far the most likely cause is that the car was going too fast in inappropriate conditions and simply went off. That is a reasonable analogy of the Chinook crash.
Well NO. Try:

Imagine you are sitting by a fast stretch of straight road, one with a nasty z bend at the end of it. It is misty - there may even be patches of fog, but the only eye witness says that the bend was visible. A car comes down that road at a speed appropriate to the conditions. A little while later it is found upside down in a ditch by the Z bend, with the brakes and steering disconnected and the engine management system burnt out. It subsequently turns out that driving instructors are refusing to drive this type of vehicle and that the owners are suing the manufacturers of the engine management system because it is not fit for purpose.

Spot the difference?

EG
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 15:00
  #2932 (permalink)  
 
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EXG, been trying to work out a rebuttal like that -
but yours is much better than any of my feeble attempts. I just wished you'd have posted it earlier and it would have saved me a couple of hours.
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 16:31
  #2933 (permalink)  
 
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Questions?

I have butted out of this discussion for 12+ years and have to admit that my personal and professional interest is respectfully far less than previous contributors.
My first observation, before I come to the question here is;
In terms of injustices there are many but two which stick in my claw.
The first is that the judgement on the crew was so wrong that even a layman can see that.
The second injustice is to the families of of the pax, who will want to have "closure" (yuk) but how can they be confident that the truth concerning events on 2/Jun/94 has been fairly investigated.
So to the questions:
Will the new Inquiry look into the reasons behind the BoI decision ?
By this I mean that Wratten and co. must have known that the verdict was wrong, if they were blind to that then surely it will have been clear to them that it would be controversial (understatement) So, in coming to their Gross Negligence verdict it would be a fair question to ask "in whose name do you come by that decision?" If it is in the name of the RAF, then in the best case scenario the least they would do is undermine moral, tradition, comradeship and honour all the things that bind the services together. Their judgement in itself creates images in my mind of the "lions led by donkeys" from a previous generation.
So,I have to ask why did they come to this conclusion, you do not have to scratch very deep to find that it was wrong.
Until this question of "why" has been answered the conspiracy theorists will keep the issue alive (there are a few of them on this thread)
Was there policy/political/strategic/personal pressure to come up with this verdict?
I assume that Wratten and co were professional aviators, fathers,sons, husbands.
They must have known the effect that their decision would have, I cannot see how any sane person could come up with the verdict they came up with.

rgds

SMK
davaar lad is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2007, 16:55
  #2934 (permalink)  
 
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Most of the heat in this discussion and the continuous circular argument stems from, on one hand the belief that gross negligence has not been proven and on the other that pilot error is at least possible. I have asked this question before but in view of the imminent review it bears repeating. If there is no evidence to prove gross negligence there is none to prove that it was not pilot error. If the verdict of gross negligence is over-turned, what other verdicts are possible?
In the Government/MOD response to the House of Lords Select Committee report, there is a section headed ‘Standard of Proof’, paras 24-26, which lists the prime criteria that reviewing officers are required to observe. Are these criteria valid?
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 18:43
  #2935 (permalink)  
 
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Boslandew
<<If there is no evidence to prove gross negligence there is none to prove that it was not pilot error. If the verdict of gross negligence is over-turned, what other verdicts are possible?>>
Quite the point, and further what else could have happened.
And to curb public speculation at the time, I believe, was the reason for the ultimate harsh verdict.
walter kennedy is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2007, 19:19
  #2936 (permalink)  
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Georgemorris,
welcome to the debate. It appears that you have fallen into the trap the MoD would like you to. As has been mentioned, (and if you have nothing to do for several days!) please read the thread from start to finish. Others who made the same start as yourself did, and then became avid supporters of the Campaign. However, if you have an opposing view, that's fine too but please spare us the hypothesis and speculation. That is reserved for Reviewing Officers only!

Davaar Lad,
welcome to you too. There is no reopening of any inquiry at this stage. A document will be presented to the Secretary of State for Defence during the meeting between him and Lord O'Neill. It will then be up to the SoS to make decisions/recommendations as he sees fit.

The only people able to answer your question why did they come to that decision would be the decision makers themselves. I very much hope there was no policy/political/strategic/personal pressure although I am sure that the fact that 29 people lost their life and also that the RAF were strapped for Chinook airframes would have been in their mind somewhere.

Boslandew,
the only accurate verdict would be that of 'Cause not positively determined'. No-one knows what happened, so anything else would be as unsafe as the current verdict. The standard of proof you refer to is no longer valid as Boards of Inquiry no longer apportion blame. However, the Campaign has always maintained that the Chinook accident should be assessed against the rules that were in place at the time of the accident. This is to ensure that we (the Campaign) play by the rules that affected the pilots.

My best, as always,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 19:26
  #2937 (permalink)  
 
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Having read all the available reports and Hansard minutes available to the public relating to this crash I felt it was an injustice to find the pilots guilty as they had been. If the pilots flew as has been alleged then they are guilty of misadventure and not negilence because I cannot accept that an experienced flight crew as this crew was would have been negligent to their low altitude and high speed if they were on a joyride then that is a different matter but given the importance of their cargo I doubt they would have ---though I never knew these guys.

Alternatively, I believe that there were anomolies with various mechanical parts or test flights ..although malfunction in general was ruled out as a cause that does not conclude that the pilots therefore were guilty of negligence.

Has any one seen the new report or know where it is posted on the net??
tiarna is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2007, 19:42
  #2938 (permalink)  
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Hi Tiarna,
the report is not in the public domain at this moment in time.

Regards,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 20:40
  #2939 (permalink)  
 
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Brian Dixon
I fully agree with your suggested verdict but wondered if there were any other possible verdicts.
Sorry to be slow but are you saying that the criteria I quoted, based presumably on Military Law, (in my day at least, a very different animal) were valid at the time. The criteria say the reviewing officer's decision was based (and required to be based) on his own experience, judgement and opinion. The final sentence of Para 25 says, "It would be wrong to avoid such a finding (of negligence) on the basis of hypotheses for which there was no evidence and which were wholly implausible when tested against the known facts".
Fair or unfair, if indeed valid, these were Rules of the day. I understand how a judges legal decision in a civil court can later be overturned on a point of law but am unclear on what grounds a decision based on someones aviation experience could be overturned (if the above is correct). If I am completely off the mark please say so and I won't persist any further.
Regards
Boslandew
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 21:13
  #2940 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding GM’s post - you “regulars” are missing the point that this is how it appears to many at first sight:
If you do the chart work and get a grasp of just how close in the waypoint change was made; then follow the argument that the turn, at that point, to 035M appears deliberate (as per handling pilots course selector) and maintained until a few seconds before impact then the view expressed by GM is to be expected by anyone having a first look at this crash – for one, they evidently had some degree of control at waypoint change and that was already unnecessarily close for this “ferry” flight as I have argued recently and GM makes the general point of the dangers in these areas under those conditions.
Without good reason to go in there (I think they did have one) it does not look good just relying upon the case for the a/c being unreliable.
.
While you castigate him for not having reviewed the numerous posts by others more knowledgeable, seemingly expecting every visitor to this thread to follow the party whip, many of the arguments you use for the alleged unreliability of the a/c do seem unfounded, unconvincing or exaggerated and thus leave any inquiring mind unsatisfied; for an extreme example ExGrunt’s last post::
<<… A little while later it is found upside down in a ditch by the Z bend, with the brakes and steering disconnected and the engine management system burnt out. It subsequently turns out that driving instructors are refusing to drive this type of vehicle and that the owners are suing the manufacturers of the engine management system because it is not fit for purpose.>>
Not quite that clear cut was it?

.
And there was that comment from PPRuNe Pop re the credentials of contributors on this thread:
<<very senior officers, engineers, Chinooks pilots and people who are well able to offer definitive views on the subject>>
I have no doubt of the quality in terms of experience and skill of many of the “regular” contributors and, despite the tone of some of their replies in my direction, I do respect this; further, I am sure that there are many others behind the scenes who advise the Campaign Group; however, I find it very frustrating that they appear to have gagged themselves by following the apparent strategy of not digging any deeper in certain areas in case of either compromising the idea of “nothing can be proven” or embarrassing unnecessarily the MOD (by “unnecessarily” I mean something that is considered sensitive, to say defence, that you may not thus far consider having any bearing on the crash and therefore, understandably perhaps, do not think necessary to make public).
As an example for what more could be established, let us look at one parameter that pilots of any Mk of Chinook could have addressed as could the assemblage of experience mentioned above – it is something that could on its own contribute to an understanding of their approach to the critical region – it is the power setting as found:
(From the AAIB report)
fuel flows for the two units at the point of electrical power supply loss, 251 and 254lb/hr (114 & 115 kg/hr);
N1 values close to 93% and 91% for No 1 and No 2 respectively (70% torque);
“Internal settings found after the accident confirmed correct operation for most of the HMA elements and suggested matched power demands for both engines at the time of impact, at an intermediate level that possibly reflected conditions during changing power demands resulting from a dynamic manoeuvre immediately pre-impact.”

A couple of questions arise:
1. People like me could get quite the wrong idea from grappling with the descriptions available of such engine systems – I thought that to get them so closely matched required a finite time in a steady state to allow either the FADEC or the pilot (via beep trim) to get them so close.
Is this generally the case? If so, is the AAIB correct regarding the intermediate level (that it possibly reflected conditions during changing power demands resulting from a dynamic manoeuvre …)? What exactly do they mean by “intermediate” in this case?
.
2. Are these figures consistent with slowing down? If not, are they typical for any recognised state (bearing in mind their alt, all up weight, etc)?
.
It is difficult for a lay person to interpret the performance charts for Chinooks and so the expert answers would be welcomed by anyone trying to analyse this crash for whatever reason.
.
The above is just one example of something that could have been explored more deeply by now. I personally do not believe that these pilots would have made simple mistakes of airmanship and so further examination should not weaken the case that the group is making. On one hand, the exploration of the meaning of several (thus far) apparently anomalous parameters could result in certain “conspiracy theories” being brought to a close; on the other hand, a hitherto undisclosed activity could be exposed – either way, no harm to your cause – and possibly a path to real justice.
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