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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 29th Dec 2007, 10:16
  #2981 (permalink)  
 
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I have been following this thread for a number of years and, although I have been upset and angry at the some of the things that have been said I have never been moved to write... until now.

My husband was a member of the crew that died in the crash and whilst I know nothing about flying I have an interest in what is said and the campaign and I know that he would have supported it whole heartedly.

As Brian, the voice of reason here it would seem, rightly continues to point out, it is the RAF's own rule that there should be no doubt in charging pilots with negligence. The fact that this thread has continued for so long and has captured the imaginations of so many is testimony to that.

From a personal point of view, and word for the crewmen who are usually overlooked in all this, I know my husband would not have tolerated unsafe flying whlist he was on board. I know this because he was known to have refused to fly with pilots before and this is recorded in the BOI report, as was the forward crewman on the day.

I have no idea what happened, and whilst many people on this forum have ideas I am afraid that is all that they are. What I do know is that my husband is dead and no great theories and posturing here will change that. Whilst I have had to live with that for thirteen and a half years I feel that a great injustice has been done to Rick and John.

Last edited by Pen333; 29th Dec 2007 at 10:42.
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 10:27
  #2982 (permalink)  
 
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Penn333

We have met, and I knew and flew with your husband. I am very moved by your contribution. And extremely grateful.

Whilst the two crewmen may appear to have been 'overlooked', I can assure you that their tragic loss is still felt by all those that knew, and worked with them.

The same should also be said for the 25 passengers on board that day. Though I did not know them in the same way.

I know you are absolutely correct when you say that the guys would have wanted us to do what we are doing.

Why do I feel they would have done it so much better for us, if the situation was reversed?

Best wishes

Last edited by Tandemrotor; 29th Dec 2007 at 10:41.
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 11:10
  #2983 (permalink)  
 
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Your comments Boslandew bring us back to my original query, is this campaign aimed at reducing the verdict of gross negligence to just negligence? For which ever way you look at it the pilots are culpable to some extent, any other conclusion is wishful thinking or simple vindictiveness towards two senior officers one of whom has 'been there and done it'. He believed that in view of the evidence and in all probability this incident was due to gross negligence. Maybe the strict 'standard of proof' is missing but perhaps the standard is no longer relevant, many examples of dangerous and ill disciplined flying have escaped proper judgement due to this requirement for 'absolute proof' The member of the board I know was not air rank.
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 11:44
  #2984 (permalink)  
 
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"Maybe the strict 'standard of proof' is missing"

If you are happy enough to admit this then why are you so adamant that the verdict is correct, surely if you believe what YOU have typed then IAW the rules in place at the time the verdict is unjustified...................or am I missing something here
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 11:48
  #2985 (permalink)  
A really irritating PPRuNer
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Courtney,
I can absolutely assure you that there is no vindictiveness towards the Reviewing Officers. They expressed their opinion - and it is just that. An opinion.

He believed that in view of the evidence and in all probability
Which bit of 'absolutely no doubt whatsoever' is difficult to understand? I can find the written submission to the House of Lords Select Committee, by the author of those words (Air Commodore Hine) if it will help.

Maybe the strict 'standard of proof' is missing but perhaps the standard is no longer relevant
Why? Because it doesn't suit your viewpoint? The standard is no longer relevant because Boards of Inquiry no longer apportion blame. However, at the time of the accident, they did, and that is the burden of proof we are willing to be measured against.

As I say, I have no issue with either you, or your opinion. It simply differs from mine.

Best wishes,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 12:00
  #2986 (permalink)  
 
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Therein lies the rub, it's all about rules and their interpretation. I cannot concieve how this accident happened without negligence on the part of the pilots. Attach whatever label you wish to that negligence, JD decided it was gross. You guys have been going round in semantic circles for years, to what end I ask? Is it to clear the pilots or attach a different label? You talk about slurs/stains to their reputation, the implication being that in the absence of absolute proof there must be none. Unfortunately the circumstancial evidence is damming, the board may have been constrained by the rules the senior officers weren't.
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 12:40
  #2987 (permalink)  
 
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Courtney
My apologies. My 2981 was not clear. I intended the first paragraph for you and the second for the thread at large
Boslandew
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 13:26
  #2988 (permalink)  
 
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the board may have been constrained by the rules the senior officers weren't.
We agree. Thank you.

The senior officers were operating outside the rules in place.

As I said earlier: "Wrattan and Day were more cavalier with their interpretation of the standard of proof required."
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 13:29
  #2989 (permalink)  
 
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JD's response to previous arguments. The contention that this accident was probably down to a technical malfunction is just to far fetched.







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Advanced search HansardArchivesResearchHOC PublicationsHOL PublicationsCommitteesYou are here: Publications and Records > Select Committees > Committee to review Chinook ZD 576 crash > Committee to review Chinook ZD 576 crash
Select Committee on Chinook ZD 576 Supplementary Memoranda

MULL OF KINTYRE


1. This paper represents a critical analysis of the various scenarios put forward by the Cook/Tapper families to cast doubt upon the verdict of Gross Negligence.

SITUATION AT WAY POINT CHANGE
2. Even our sternest critics agree that the crew would not have made the three button presses on the Super TANS to change to Way Point B if the Chinook had, at that point, been suffering from a major emergency. The key aspect, therefore, is the weather in the vicinity of the Mull of Kintyre at the time of the crash.

WEATHER AT THE MULL OF KINTYRE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT
3. All 10 eyewitnesses on the Mull of Kintyre reported the weather as being generally foggy and very bad. Nine of these eyewitnesses specifically gave evidence to the Board of Inquiry about the weather conditions at the time of the crash. A summary of their evidence to the Board of Inquiry, relating specifically to the weather conditions at the time of the crash, is as follows:
                    All nine of the above eyewitnesses heard or felt the Chinook crash. It is, therefore, almost certain that their recollections of the weather are specifically linked to the time of the crash. In particular, the lighthouse keeper's evidence (Mr Murchie) is particularly relevant as he would have been used to meteorological observations.

                    4. On the other hand, Mr Holbrook (the yachtsman) gave significantly different weather evidence to the Board of Inquiry and to the Fatal Accident Inquiry. He told the Board of Inquiry that, when, some two nautical miles south west of the lighthouse he had seen the Chinook fly past his yacht, the weather was as follows: "The visibility was about one mile and limited by haze". In spite of this evidence to the Board of Inquiry, he told the Fatal Accident Inquiry, some 19 months after the Chinook crash, that the weather and aircraft speed were significantly different. He told the Fatal Accident Inquiry: "I recall the conditions of visibility at sea level as being fine, perhaps as much as five miles. I think at that point I could even see the Antrim coast so it might have been as much as six or seven miles".

                    5. Of all the witnesses in the vicinity of the Mull of Kintyre at the time of the accident, Mr Holbrook is alone (if his evidence to the Fatal Accident Inquiry is to be believed) in saying that the weather was not foggy. He was of course at sea level whilst the nine eyewitnesses on the Mull of Kintyre were some hundreds of feet up the mountain and thus above the cloud base. It is also significant that, of all the witnesses who reported on the weather conditions, Mr Holbrook is the only one who did not know until much later that the Chinook had crashed. Therefore, his linkage of weather and time will not be as accurate as those who heard the Chinook crash near to them.

                    6. Based on his evidence to the Fatal Accident Inquiry, it is therefore feasible that, at the time of the crash, Mr Holbrook could see the cliffs below the lighthouse and maybe even the lower portion of the lighthouse. It is also perfectly possible that he could at times during the afternoon and early evening have seen the entire lighthouse, as the cloud base was obviously moving up and down during the course of the day. However, it is an indisputable fact that, at the time of the crash, the visibility at the lighthouse was about 15-20 metres as reported in evidence to the Board of Inquiry by Mr Murchie, the lighthouse keeper.

                    7. This means that the pilots of the Chinook could not possibly have seen the top of the lighthouse as they approached from the south, because it was engulfed by thick fog with a visibility of 15-20 metres. It was possible that, a few minutes before or after the crash, the fog may not have been as dense or even that the cloud base may have lifted to above the level of the lighthouse; however, at the time of the Chinook's approach and when it crashed, Mr Murchie's evidence of visibility is indisputable. It is also clear from the other eyewitnesses on the Mull of Kintyre that the cloud (or fog) extended well up the mountain.

                    VISIBILITY FROM THE CHINOOK COCKPIT
                    8. RAF Visual Flight Rules require the crew to have a minimum visibility of 1 km. We now know that their actual track was to the right of their planned track. With a visibility of only 1 km, they would have therefore seen the cliffs, at the latest, at the point marked on the attached map (Annex A). Giving the crew the benefit of the doubt with regard to groundspeed[<A href="http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldchin/25/25m06.htm#note2">2], this means that they flew on for over 500 metres before making the Way Point change to proceed to Corran.

                    9. If they could see the cliffs at a range of 1 km, I am convinced that no reasonable pilot would have then flown straight on towards the rapidly rising high ground before intending to turn left along the line of the cliffs whilst remaining below the cloud base. If this was their intention, they should have started to reduce speed and turn left between sighting the cliffs and making the Way Point change. We know that they did not do this.

                    10. If, on the other hand, they sighted the cliffs at 1 km range and intentionally decided to proceed straight ahead and cruise climb on track over the mountain, the pilots' actions would have amounted to Recklessness, which is a more severe degree of negligence than Gross Negligence.

                    11. It is much more likely that, by the time of the Way Point change, they had already started their cruise climb and were no longer complying with Visual Flight Rules. This more likely scenario is underpinned by the cross-sectional diagram at Annex B; the only other possible scenario being that they could see the cliffs at 1 km range as described in paragraphs 9 and 10 above. This diagram uses exact known facts where they are available and, in other cases, uses well proven approximations, or gives the crew the benefit of the doubt. For example, impact at 810 ft is a known fact. Cruise climb at 1,000 ft/min is a well proven approximation based on both the Boeing simulation of the flare and the fact that a Chinook at that weight and speed (135 kts Indicated Air Speed) can only achieve a maximum rate of climb of 1,100 ft/min. Similarly, the 665 ft height at the beginning of the flare assumes a 145 ft height gain (Boeing Simulation diagrams at Annex X to the Board of Inquiry Proceedings refer). The 21.5 seconds to Impact for the Way Point change assumes that the ground speed was only 160 kts (135 kts Indicated Air Speed plus 25 kts tailwind component), rather than the worst case groundspeed of 175 kts, which would give only 19.6 seconds to Impact.

                    12. This diagram shows that climbing at 1,000 ft/min the Chinook must have been at a height of at least 373 ft, and possibly higher, when the pilots made the Way Point change. Even at the maximum cruise climb rate of 1,100 ft/min, the Chinook must have been at a height of at least 344 ft. This is still approximately 50 ft above the height of the lighthouse, which we know, at the time of the crash, was in fog (ie cloud) from the lighthouse keeper's evidence to the Board of Inquiry. We also know from the evidence of the other witnesses in the area at the time of the crash that the fog (cloud) extended up the mountain to well above the height at which the Chinook crashed.


                    13. The analysis above conclusively shows that, whatever the precise weather conditions at the time when the pilots made the Way Point change, they were grossly negligent at that point in time. Temporary, major aircraft malfunctions after the time of the Way Point change are, therefore, irrelevant to the finding of Gross Negligence.

                    TEMPORARY CONTROL RESTRICTION

                    14. There is no evidence of a temporary control restriction; however, it has been postulated as occurring coincidentally with the Way Point change and then clearing at some four seconds to impact when the pilot flared the aircraft. It is just not credible that, faced with such a situation and imminent death, the pilots would not have pulled Emergency Power in an attempt to maximise their Rate of Climb and applied as much rudder as they could in an attempt to yaw the aircraft away from the rising ground (which was predominantly on their right). We know that they did not pull Emergency Power as the Emergency Power flags had not been tripped; this would have occurred five seconds after maximum permissible power had been exceeded. We also know that they had not tried to apply the maximum possible amount of left rudder because the aircraft did not crash with any appreciable amount of side slip. The very high Collective position found in the wreckage is entirely consistent with the emergency flare being initiated just before impact. Emergency Power was probably pulled in the flare, but there was less than five seconds to impact so it did not have sufficient time to activate the Emergency Power captions. Similarly, the 77 per cent left rudder found in the wreckage is consistent with either a desperate attempt in the last four seconds to yaw the aircraft or an involuntary rudder pedal movement during the crash.

                    15. It therefore follows that a temporary control restriction could not have contributed to the crash, notwithstanding the fact that the pilot's gross negligence occurred at, or before, the Way Point change.

                    FADEC INDUCED ENGINE RUNAWAY

                    16. A FADEC induced engine runaway has also been postulated as a possible cause of the accident. As with the suggested temporary control restriction, this hypothetical scenario ignores the fact that the pilots had already placed themselves and their passengers in an unacceptably dangerous situation at the Way Point change, from which safe recovery was virtually impossible without immediate decisive action to carry out an emergency pull up and turn away from the high ground. If an engine runs away up, the other engine automatically runs down to compensate. If the runaway up is not severe, the two engines will remain in an unbalanced state with one at a higher power setting than the other. If the runaway up is severe, the rotor head may accelerate to 115 per cent before the higher powered engine (the one that has runaway up) is automatically "tripped" and decelerates to a low power setting (flight idle). As the rotor RPM reduces to 100 per cent, the other engine (which will have slowed down to compensate for the excessive power being generated by the engine which has runaway up) will accelerate to a high power setting in an attempt to keep the rotor RPM at 100 per cent. Thus, in a situation where an engine had runaway up, the two engines would not have been at matched power settings at impact, as found by the AAIB Inspector during the physical examination of them. It therefore follows from this analysis that an engine runaway could not have contributed to the accident, notwithstanding the fact that the pilots' Gross Negligence occurred at, or before, the Way Point change.

                    Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day


                    2 Groundspeed of 160 kts (135 kts Indicated Air Speed plus 25 kts tail wind component), rather than the higher groundspeed of 175 kts which was also a possibility. <A href="http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldchin/25/25m06.htm#n2">Back





                    © Parliamentary copyright 2001
                    courtney is offline  
                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 13:39
                      #2990 (permalink)  
                     
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                    I am unsure, but could you confirm this 'argument' was put to the House of Lords Select committee?

                    An 'independent' inquiry much like the FAI.

                    Care to remind us what they had to say after their deliberations?

                    If you can't recall, I'm sure someone else will come along to assist.

                    I didn't think you liked going round in circles??
                    Tandemrotor is offline  
                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 13:55
                      #2991 (permalink)  
                     
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                    Tandem, you accuse Day of a cavalier response. The above is his reasoning as someone who knows what he is talking about. I am not concerned with the machinations of their lordships, politicians, sherrifs, J Nicols and his absurd C4 documentaries and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all. JD's arguments seem well reasoned and logical, after all, the aircraft was flown at high speed into a cliff. It is perhaps understandable, in view of the loss of lives, that he chose to step beyond the confines of the 'rules'. It seems to me that this campaign is designed to clear these two pilots regardless. 'It's what they would want us to do' you state. Are you sure?
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                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 14:01
                      #2992 (permalink)  
                     
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                    courtney

                    Just to remind you what the Select Committee thought of Day's argument:
                    "We unanimously conclude that the reviewing officers were not justified in finding that negligence on the part of the pilots caused the aircraft to crash."
                    I agree with them. As do many, many others who 'know what they are talking about'!

                    You agree with two individuals who you freely admit 'stepped beyond the line'.

                    Fair enough. But they were wrong to flout the rules!
                    Tandemrotor is offline  
                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 14:09
                      #2993 (permalink)  
                     
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                    So give us your scenario Tandem.
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                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 14:28
                      #2994 (permalink)  
                     
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                    My scenario?

                    I am prepared to be guided by EVERY independent review of this sorry miscarriage:
                    the reviewing officers were not justified in finding that negligence on the part of the pilots caused the aircraft to crash.
                    It seems to me that anyone who is;
                    not concerned with the machinations of their lordships, politicians, sherrifs, J Nicols and his absurd C4 documentaries and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all
                    Has their fingers stuck very firmly in their ears.

                    Courtney, your statement:
                    It is perhaps understandable, in view of the loss of lives, that he chose to step beyond the confines of the 'rules'.
                    I think that is perhaps an eloquent way of expressing what we have been saying for some considerable time, and if I may say, totally undermines your argument

                    Thank you.

                    Last edited by Tandemrotor; 29th Dec 2007 at 14:51.
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                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 14:40
                      #2995 (permalink)  
                     
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                    Need I say more? I rest my case. You are not concerned with the events but the technicalities of a set of rules. You may succeed with your obsessional campaign but ultimately the existing judgement on these pilots will be seen as reasonable by their peers, and they themselves may well agree.
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                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 14:56
                      #2996 (permalink)  
                     
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                    I was their peer.

                    Please don't presume to tell me what I 'see as reasonable'.

                    What has been done to them is totally outside the rules by which they should have been judged.

                    Furthermore, it has also been assessed by virtually everyone as utterly outside any form of natural justice.

                    Our case will 'rest' when justice is served.

                    And not one second sooner.
                    Tandemrotor is offline  
                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 18:51
                      #2997 (permalink)  
                     
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                    Location: Liverpool based Geordie, so calm down, calm down kidda!!
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                    I was a peer as well as many others here. The majority most definitely DO NOT agree. You seem to avoid reading the bits that undermine your argument. Whether it be a technicality or not, they are still wrong to give their verdict. If as you say 'it is only words we care about', then its ok to change the verdict. It must be, its only words........
                    I don't know who you are (or were previously), but I believe you must be a reincarnated ppruner from the past. You are entitled to your opinion and that is why your posts are tolerated in a civilised manner. I find your ability to make a statement that backs OUR argument, then choose to ignore the relevance, as very very offensive and, well, ignorant. I delighted in ignoring Walters green men posts, you now join my list as ignored. Not because I can't take your views, but because you cant accept your own views!!
                    jayteeto is offline  
                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 20:34
                      #2998 (permalink)  

                    Avoid imitations
                     
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                    ultimately the existing judgement on these pilots will be seen as reasonable by their peers, and they themselves may well agree.
                    Or they may well not agree!

                    btw, Strange how you popped up here at this very late stage.
                    ShyTorque is offline  
                    Old 29th Dec 2007, 23:54
                      #2999 (permalink)  
                     
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                    Why, Courtney?

                    Courtney, in #2968 you wrote:

                    Certainly one can argue that absolute evidence is not possible without flight and cockpit recorders and that the findings broke with the tradition of not finding deceased crew guilty of negligence, but it was probably time for this quaint tradition to be binned”.

                    By such words you torpedo your own argument, and reveal a scheming, gusting sinister, element to your contributions.

                    You torpedo your argument by agreeing that the (absolute) standard of proof required in this case simply has not, and never can be, met.

                    By continuing:

                    “…the findings broke with the tradition of not finding deceased crew guilty of negligence, but it was probably time for this quaint tradition to be binned”,

                    you downgrade the collection of rules imposed by lawful authority at the time, on your whim. And which key decision makers in this miscarriage, not to mention subsequent reviewers, were members of that lawful authority? (Rhetorical).

                    The sinister element comes from your timing of arrival in the merge, your rate of escalation of argument per number of posts, and your emphasis on the specious elements of the case. This is clearly designed to influence relative newcomers to the dispute, as it sounds almost plausible, at the first pass, to the uninitiated. You are content to drop the burden of proof required in this case from ‘absolutely no doubt whatsoever’, to ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, or lower.

                    All of this, considering important review events in the next few weeks, makes me suspicious of you Clive (strike Clive), I meant Courtney, obviously.

                    EWP
                    earswentpop is offline  
                    Old 30th Dec 2007, 08:38
                      #3000 (permalink)  
                     
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                    Ah so we have reached the final resort, insult. The bottom line fellas is that these two flew a fully servicable aircraft (no evidence has been found of any problems, including the engines) at high speed into a rock face killing 29 people. You wish to excuse them on the basis of some rules. Good day to you.
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