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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 19th May 2008, 07:27
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Diligence?

Cazatou,

It is a pity that given the time they had for such diligence they did not consider the airworthiness and operational implications of the Boscombe Down letter based on the 25 May 94 meeting - the details have been posted on this thread. You will recall that previous incidents on ZD 576 were amongst 15 unexplained in-service (not flight testing) problems that led to Boscombe grounding their fleet (for the second time) and recommending that the RAF do likewise. ZD 576 was lost as this letter (to DHP) was being issued. Interestingly DHP did not mention this letter in his briefing to the MOD legal team for the Scottish FAI and as far as I am aware it was not even brought forward to the HofL Select Committee - it is still a fact that the BOI was never asked to look at the airworthiness of either ZD 576 or the Chinook fleet at that time. I think it is not unreasonable to wonder why such basic questions were not, apparently, asked - if not by the BOI then by the diligence that you say was part of the review process. Perhaps you know why?

JB

Last edited by John Blakeley; 19th May 2008 at 08:30.
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Old 19th May 2008, 15:09
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John Blakeley,

Why a letter and not an Immediate Signal if Boscombe had ceased trials?

If the cessation of trials was Flight Safety based then why not a "Flash" signal?

Was the letter to DHP copied to HQSTC and HQ 1Gp?

Were HQSTC and HQ 1 Gp even "in the loop" as far as formal information on trials progress was concerned?

At what frequency were updates on trials progress produced?
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Old 19th May 2008, 16:52
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Walter,

The Pilots can set their course pointer to any heading they desire, they can have different settings between the two sides of the cockpit.

In VFR nav it is quite acceptable to have no navigation aid to point the pointer and bar at, infact it is quite usual, it merely functions as an indication to the handling Pilot as a desired track.

The indications from a PRC112 do not go onto the HSI in any way they are displayed on an entirely seperate display, rarely fitted.

Last edited by Master of None; 20th May 2008 at 08:58. Reason: spelling
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Old 19th May 2008, 16:54
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Cazatou,

How would I know the answers to all of these questions, especially the thought processes of the staff involved at the time - it is you that is making claims for "the diligence shown at all levels of the BOI process to ensure that all avenues of inquiry were followed and properly assessed". As I recall the letter was certainly sent to the Air Staff in MOD - I assume that BD might have assumed that having written to DHP and MOD it was up to them as the project and operational authorities to act, but of course by then the accident had already occurred. Perhaps the letter was not further assessed or referred to in later briefings because the staff concerned were too busy with the aftermath of the accident, or they might have even felt that they could be criticised for their actions (or inactions, I don't know) following the 25 May meeting which led to this letter being written. Again as you know all about what happened in the review process you may be able to shed some light.

Given that, as I recall, AOCinC HQSTC a few weeks later wrote referring to the BD letter and criticising the actions of BD I think that you can assume that he and/or his staff were "in the loop" at least during the period of this all encompassing due diligence!

Did the BD comments link to a potential cause for the accident - maybe, maybe not - we will never know. The point is that they certainly should have been assessed as part of the BOI and the Review Process, especially given the claims you are making for this process. As I asked before - you seem to be saying that you know all about the thoroughness of the review so why do you think this vital and highly relevant issue was not recognised and assessed? The BD comments and actions certainly add to the doubt and give another reason why the Gross Negligence verdict cannot be sustained - that is what this thread is all about.

JB
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Old 19th May 2008, 20:08
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John Blakeley,

To my mind it is quite simple; if I have interpreted what you have said correctly.

1. The Chinook Mk2 was operating on a provisional "Release to Service".

2. Problems arose during the Boscombe Down Trials which lead to the premature cessation of those Trials; but no action was taken by Boscombe Down, MOD or the STC EA to suspend or amend the provisional "Release to Service" under which the Chinook Mk2 was operated.

3. No action was taken by those Agencies to ensure that HQ 1 Gp was immediately notified of the cessation of Chinook Mk2 trials (and the reason for that decision) prior to the tragedy of 2 June 1994?

4. None of the above absolves the Flight Deck crew of ZD 576 of their responsibility to operate the aircraft in accordance with Military Flying Regulations, Air Staff Instructions and Group Air Staff Orders extant at the time.
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Old 20th May 2008, 07:34
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Simple maybe but why is it one rule for the airships and one for the aircrew!!

Cazatou I don't know if your steps laid out in post 3490 are correct or not, particularly No 3, as a mere Air Trafficker at the time how would I.

However if we assume they are correct, how do you or any of us know that Rick and Jon wilfully broke No 4 in which you stated.....

4. None of the above absolves the Flight Deck crew of ZD 576 of their responsibility to operate the aircraft in accordance with Military Flying Regulations, Air Staff Instructions and Group Air Staff Orders extant at the time.

As John Blakeley reminds us in #3486 this airframe featured in a list of 15 unexplained in-service incidents that led to Boscombe grounding their fleet. Furthermore, the official inquiry into this conceded that it was not possible to rule out some sort of failure as a potential causal factor -that alone makes it impossible to say, without the required degree of certainty in force at the time, what caused the accident.

So, again operating within the rules in force at the time, Gross negligence cannot and should not be levied at the 2 deceased pilots.

Therefore whilst it only remains a possibility, however strong/likely you may think that is, that the aircrew did not operate in accordance with the extant regulations to me, and many others on this forum, it seems a certainty that the airships did not abide by those same rules when discharging their role in the review and decision-making process.

So I think we agree on one thing - it is quite simple; where we differ is in what the outcome should be. My belief is that we should follow the regulations in force at the time.

No absolute certainty = remove the Gross Negligence decision.
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Old 20th May 2008, 09:35
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Please Answer the Question

Cazatou,

S&S has replied already and I totally agree with the sentiments expressed. You are, clearly, a politician as you have not answered the question I keep asking you on how you know how thorough the diligence process was at the Review stage, but perhaps I should assume that this is because you were stating an opinion and not a fact. I will give you my fact based response to your points 1-3, S&S has answered point 4 with a similar response to that which I would have given.

1. Assuming that MOD have given us the correct document the aircraft was operating on a RTS called "Chinook HC Mk2 - Document in the Form of an Interim CA Release" (Annex A to Letter Report TM 2210 dated 26 Oct 1993). The document was, I believe, at Issue 1 AL1 at the time of the accident. The first "official" MOD(AFD) RTS appears to have been issued on 10 January 1996 under cover of letter D/DD Mar & Hels 270/2/1 - this in turn is based the CA Release Issue to AL6 - AL7 came out on 30 April 1996, with AL8 following on 30 September 1998 - that is the last version provided to us by MOD. You are aware of the airworthiness issues with the AL1 version - including the icing limits and problems such as false engine fail warnings.

2. The problems were not with the BD flight trials alone (eg the software audit trail) but also with in-service incidents for which there was no clear explanation - 15 of them (in 1258 service flying hours) to quote the BD letter. BD did do something - they had had a meeting on 25 May to discuss FADEC issues in relation to the CA Release, which AD/HP1 chaired. This included a rather indeterminate (in terms of the minutes) discussion on the in-service problems. Present were representatives of most of the recipients of the subsequent letter of 6 June (see below) in which BD confirmed that they were stopping trials. Representation included three members of the DHSA, including two Group Captains, but not the AFD DD Mar & Hels. The letter was signed by the then DTE(P&A) and the exact wording of the concluding paragraphs was:

"I have to state that the serious, frequent and unexplained incidents to which I have alluded, have eroded what confidence we had in the Chinook HC Mk2 engine management system. This unease has grown despite our meeting on 25 May. The unquantifiable risks identified at the CA Release stage may not in themselves have changed but some have become more clearly defined by events, to an extent where we now consider the consequences of the risks and the probability of an occurrence to be unacceptable.

As a result of our concerns for the flight safety of the aircraft I have regretfully taken the decision to suspend Chinook HC Mk 2 flight trials until such time as we are satisfied with the explanations for, and solutions to, the above incidents (Note: the last one of the BD list was for ZD 576 on 19 May). Furthermore, we strongly recommend that you make our concerns known to the RAF in order that they may consider their own position.

Please be assured that this decision has been taken in complete isolation from the tragic accident that occurred on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June, and that we remain committed to pursuing the outstanding CA Release trials as soon as our flight safety concerns are overcome. In the meantime, we will of course continue to provide you with whatever advice and assistance we can in your deliberations and to help bring the outstanding investigations and studies to a satisfactory conclusion."


This letter went to DHP A/DHP 1 for action and was copied to MODUK(AIR) DD Mar & Hels as well as the UK CLO in Boeing and D Flying. I imagine that BD, who could anyway not have unilaterally "withdrawn" the CA RTS (which they had not wanted to issue in the first place) believed that they had fulfilled their obligations. My question to you remains - if the diligence was as complete as you claimed with your statement "the diligence shown at all levels of the BOI process to ensure that all avenues of inquiry were followed and properly assessed" why was this vital letter with its clear airworthiness implications not included in the Review process or any of the subsequent inquiries? Do you know?

3. As I said before I have no idea what actions were taken by the staffs (other than the implication that the BOI team was never informed and hence never followed up this area with the BD "experts") - the comment at point 3 is yours and not mine - I was rather hoping that you would know given your firm assertion. I have tried to answer your questions -how about you answering mine!

JB
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Old 23rd May 2008, 05:49
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Master of None
Thank you for a constructive reply – clear and to the point.
I am responding so as to get a common understanding of the importance of those course settings as found (as opposed to just being argumentative as so many posts here are).
.
<<The Pilots can set their course pointer to any heading they desire, they can have different settings between the two sides of the cockpit.>>
Agreed – this is how I originally understood it – only the track bar being slaved.
Now can you now see how your original description of the CDBs being on different headings confused and detracted from the point that the course selectors were on different headings? Going back to my basic point that they had traveled 40 miles to the position of way point change on 027 and from that position to the crash area was 035 mag and so the course selector settings of 028 and 035 were significant.
You are in good company – Grp Cpt Pulford, when asked by a law lord about Flt Lt Tapper having altered the course selector on his horizontal indicator, similarly confused the course selector pointer positions (to which 028 & 035 related) with CDI/CDB positions along with a lot of waffle that would not have allowed anyone without specific technical knowledge to get any further – leaving probably the impression that there was a fault and that these settings had no significance at all (you should read the transcripts of that bit of that inquiry - SELECT COMMITTEE ON CHINOOK ZD 576/Examination of Witness/ THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2001/GROUP CAPTAIN A D PULFORD/ Q48A).
Perhaps some of the amateur lawyers on this thread may like to debate the adequacy of Grp Cpt Pulfords answer – I'd be surprised if it did not attract some sort of censure if the Law Lords had another look (OK, I think from memory it was the chairman who asked this and he has sadly passed away, I believe). Oh and while any of you are looking at this reference, you may want to look at the a/c track as depicted in slides 25a & 25b – the turn to the right is absent and the track moved over from going through the position of way point change so as to reinforce the idea that they just flew straight in – compare with the maps I posted back in Jan #3095.
.
<<In VFR nav it is quite acceptable to have no navigation aid to point the pointer and bar at, infact it is quite usual, it merely functions as an indication to the handling Pilot as a desired track.>>
Understood – with no navaid influencing the track bar, it rests in a straight line with the course pointer and obviously gives a bigger, bolder indicator to line up on in this case than just the heading bug (which is often used for this).
It should be borne in mind, in this case, that the navigator had waypoints in the SuperTANS that may have been acting on the track bar if they had been slaved, or put another way if the HSIs had not been acting completely separately, so that the bar may not have been lined up with the HP's course pointer when it was on 035 - nevertheless I take your point that 035 on the course selector may have been just used as an aide to his following a particular heading instead of the less conspicuous heading bug.
However, this does not detract from the point that the HP had his course selector on a heading that just happened to be the actual track on that last leg which surely suggests that this track was intentional (odds of 359 to 1 against it being just a coincidence).
I am adding to this by suggesting that, in the limited arena of events between the position of way point change and the crash site, why would you bother with setting the course selector? - I can only suggest the process I described in post # 3470.
.
<<The indications from a PRC112 do not go onto the HSI in any way they are displayed on an entirely seperate display, rarely fitted.>>
Are you thinking of the QuickDraw gear? (Manufacturer's blurb “No aircraft modification is required: Simply plug the General Dynamics Quickdraw Interrogator into the crew member's headset connector on the intercom panel. It is available to interrogate a GPS-112 radio via the aircraft's onboard UHF line-of-sight radio.”). Someone on this thread has stated adamantly that they were not carrying this gear - on the other hand, it would be hard to know if the ARS6 set up was in place from casual inspection. “QuickDraw” only gives range – ARS6 has its own UHF antennas that also give approximate bearing.
System diagrams I have seen from other countries that use equivalents to ARS6 – in a/c with BUSs as that in 47D/HC2 Chinooks – route the range and bearing data to the HSIs – for obvious reasons of convenience to the pilots (data on their main nav instrument) otherwise where would you mount an extra panel in those a/c such that the HP can see it himself? If you are saying that you are familiar with HC2 systems and that you are confident that this is not the case then you have saved a lot of time here - but it would still be interesting to know exactly how this data was displayed in the later HC2s which did have ARS6 modules fitted.
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Old 25th May 2008, 15:11
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<<The indications from a PRC112 do not go onto the HSI in any way they are displayed on an entirely seperate display, rarely fitted.>>
Are you thinking of the QuickDraw gear?
Unfortunately anyone with this level of understanding...has none...now on the ignore list...and sorry, wont bite again from any arsehole like Walter.
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Old 26th May 2008, 01:33
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Any lack of understanding is because those with experience and understanding do not share it on the open forum.
One of the reasons for coming to this thread was to get understanding - a bit of constructive input would do wonders - after nearly 14 years why not get your heads out of the sand and try it?
Why are such systems such a great secret today?
And as I have said so often, you do not have to get hung up on that specific equipment - just put your minds to explaining that turn towards a known landing spot, etc, etc.
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Old 26th May 2008, 02:39
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JP,

Just returned from a well earned break and would like to take issue with your last post, and I apologise in advance as it would seem from your opening tone in that, and several previous posts that I am becoming somewhat of a nuisance to you.

When I asked you "tell us again where it was established as to what the crew could see from the flight deck windows"

Your reply included the following "Noone will ever know exactly what the crew could see out of the cockpit, but I can imagine only two broad possibilities" which to my simple mind merely confirms what I have always said, Sir don't actually know what the cause of this accident was.

The only thing anyone knows with any degree of certainty is that ZD 576 struck the Mull of Kintyre tragically killing everyone on board.

What ever you, and it would appear the AM's imagine happened to cause the accident is simply that, imagination and that in the context of this case simply does not cut the mustard.

I am more than a little offended by the final remarks you make to me where you ask "Meanwhile, I'm sure followers of this thread would be interested in your third, fourth, and nth possibilities if you have them"

I challenge you to go back and find where I have ever presented nth possibilities and I assure you that you will not find them. However what you will find is that I am on record on more than one occasion in here stating that I think that what you suggest is probably what actually happened

The main difference between us, I believe, is that I see the world in glorious Technicolour and having read all of the posts from start to now in this campaign I have been convinced by a whole swathe of experts who have contributed so knowledgeably that, whilst I may well still probably be right but I'm not definitely right. Hence the verdict should be over turned and justice be done.............unless of course you are able to convince me otherwise.
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Old 26th May 2008, 09:48
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And this is the whole point of the Campaign. There is uncertainty. There is an element of doubt. Therefore, the verdict cannot stand.

On the one hand, and writing about the Chinook crash, ACM Wratten states: Without the irrefutable evidence which is provided by an ADR and a CVR,
there is inevitably a degree of speculation as to the precise detail of the sequence of events in the minutes and seconds immediately prior to impact.


Yet, fifteen days later, he writes, on another BoI:
It is therefore because there is no scope for conjecture (and not too much scope, as the Station Commander believes) that I find any consideration of human failings to be academic and fruitless. Despite the wealth of detailed evidence, we are confounded and under these particular circumstances. I consider it is futile to indulge in hypothesis.

There is a 'wealth of evidence' and it is futile to indulge, yet where there is minimal evidence, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

I think not.

Still no news from Westminster folks, but as soon as there is, I will let you know.

My best, as always.
Brian

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Old 26th May 2008, 13:37
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Chinook

Seldom. I thought we were discussing what the crew could see out of the cockpit. You have not answered my point. Regards. JP
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Old 26th May 2008, 14:28
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Hi Mr Purdey,
I take it you are referring to your post at #2484.

Again, we discuss the point, no - fact, that no-one alive can say with absolute certainty what could be seen from the cockpit on that fateful day. Furthermore, no-one can say what discussions took place between the crew, what instruments were fiddled with, whether they intended to land somewhere else, whether there was a problem with the aircraft or anything else, for that matter.

You have offered two broad possibilities, and I have no problem with that. They are just that - possibilities.

What someone needs to discover - and I don't mind who, is what exactly took place on that flight. Only then can we all agree that the evidence supports a verdict with a burden of proof of absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

Nothing less will do.

Therefore, at this precise moment in time the only right and proper verdict should be cause not positively determined.

My best, as always.
Brian

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Old 26th May 2008, 16:55
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It is therefore because there is no scope for conjecture (and not too much scope, as the Station Commander believes) that I find any consideration of human failings to be academic and fruitless. Despite the wealth of detailed evidence, we are confounded and under these particular circumstances. I consider it is futile to indulge in hypothesis.

There is a 'wealth of evidence' and it is futile to indulge, yet where there is minimal evidence, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

I think not.

Thank you Brian, all said.
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Old 26th May 2008, 17:28
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JP,

I suspect what grates most is the fact that I continue to have the temerity to question you in this manner, hence you missing completely the message delivered in my last post. In order to clarify I offer the following observations for your consideration.

With regards to what the crew could actually see from the flight deck windows, I, like you, the Air Marshall’s and everyone else with an opinion on this subject simply do not know with a degree of certainty to satisfy the verdict in this case.

Was the aircraft fully serviceable prior to impact, I like you, the Air Marshall’s and everyone else with an opinion on this subject simply do not know with a degree of certainty to satisfy the verdict in this case.

Pick any other theory on this subject and the answer remains the same, I like you, the Air Marshall’s and everyone else with an opinion on this subject simply do not know with a degree of certainty to satisfy the verdict in this case.

I will reiterate, as I have previously stated, the only known fact in this case is that ZD 576 impacted on the Mull of Kintyre sadly killing all those on board and until Time Travel is discovered then I, you, the Air Marshall’s and everyone else with an opinion on this subject will never know what ACTUALLY caused this tragic accident.

Now rather than debate what may or may not have been seen from the flight deck windows I challenge you to furnish me with irrefutable evidence to support your assertion that the verdict in this case is right and proper. However bearing in mind that, to use your words and not mine, you “imagine only two broad possibilities” I seriously doubt you are going to be able to substantiate your opinion, but I do look forward to you trying.

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Old 27th May 2008, 10:15
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Chinook

Seldom. Please stick to the point; there are only two possibilities as regards the forward view from the cockpit, which do you believe to be the correct one? JP
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Old 27th May 2008, 11:02
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JP,

I have already given you a clear and precise answer to your question. I simply can't answer that as I, like you do not know.

However bearing in mind this from your last post

"there are only two possibilities as regards the forward view from the cockpit

can we take it you now agree that there is some doubt with what was actually seen from the flight deck window?
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Old 27th May 2008, 11:14
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Chinook

Seldom. Please see my 3484 again, and then let us stop this pointless repetition. regards. JP
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Old 27th May 2008, 11:18
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Mr Purdey,
of the two possibilities, which on was it? After all, the verdict makes it clear that there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever, so one should easily be able to say which one it is (complete with supporting evidence, of course).

The fact that there are two possibilities is, in itself, enough to undermine the verdict.

14th anniversary coming up in just under a week. I hope that Mr Browne makes a decision soon.

Regards, as always.
Brian

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