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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 9th Dec 2008, 19:14
  #3781 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sussex
Posts: 33

Good evening Caz,
Further to your good question.
My comments were directed mostly at BBF who has a rather simplistic (look it up Ken) view of rotary ops. By drawing a parallel with a PPL who "banjos" his a/c into the side of a hill he overlooks the background and experience of the Chinook pilots.
We may have differing views, but in my view a "straightforward IMC/VMC" accident is where the pilot has so little SA that he continues on his intended VMC flight path, plunging into cloud disregarding the fact that it may be concealing terrain. I have changed "classic CFIT" from BBFs' previous post, to "straight forward IMC/VMC" purely to highlight the fact that there is a difference.
This may well be your view of what happened at the Mull of Kyntyre, but I think this is unlikely. Infact BBF suggests this is an occurence which happens regularly in the PPL world. I'd be interested in comparing the statistics between catastrophic mechanical failure amongst helicopters with those of "Classic PPL CFIT"
As for the difference, and i'm not for one moment suggesting that it was "controlled" but causes of CFIT can include
  • disorientation
  • unreliable navaids
  • error of judgement
The point is that they are not exclusively VMC/IMC accidents.
This is academic since no one knows, but if let's say you agree with my assessment, in your opinion do any or all of the above bullet points constitute gross negligence?


davaar lad is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2008, 19:41
  #3782 (permalink)  
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Lurking 123

May I refer you to the following paragraphs of the BOI as submitted to the AOC:

para 16e

"The weather was suitable for the flight but would have required flight in accordance with IFR in the vicinity of the Mull of Kintyre."

para 32c

"In the forecast conditions, the icing clearance would have allowed an IMC pull-up from low level flight to Safety Altitude over the Mull of Kintyre."

para 45b

The BOI concluded "that the Rad Alt setting procedures used by the crew were a contributory factor in the accident."

para 51

"During this phase of the flight, to continue flying visually, the crew would have needed to adjust the aitcraft's height and airspeed to the prevailing cloudbase and visibility. The Board assessed that the possibility of the crew visually acquiring the lighthouse was remote, given the fact that it was in fog at the time. The hillside from lighthouse elevation to summit was also in cloud, although there were irregular areas of improved visibility up to 500m. The general weather close to the Mull was also very poor, with broken cloud at 200ft and 500m visibility below. Furthermore, any visual contact with the Mull or Lighthouse should have prompted a reduction in height and speed well below those found at impact."

para 54

"If the crew did not have visual contact with the Mull, and had decided not to attempt a landfall in the vicinity of the lighthouse, they would in the opinion of the Board, have been faced with 2 options: to turn away from land and attempt to route VFR towards Corran, parallel to their intended track but over the sea to the west of the mull of Kintyre peninsula, until clear of the poor weather; or to climb on track, accepting a change of flight conditions to IMC if necessary." (See extract from para 32c).

para 56

"The Board considered why the crew had not been alerted to their proximity to the ground, by either visual sighting or radar altimeter information, at any time from coasting - in until the initiation of the flare prior to impact. The lack of visual warning appears to indicate that the crew had lost all visual references and werein IMC during this phase of the flight. ----- The positioning of the Rad Alt bugs would have limited the crew to either a visual or a visual and audio warning at 69ft, depending on selection of the audio selector switch which could not be determined. This warning would have been too late, in the circumstances, to prevent impact with the ground."
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 00:25
  #3783 (permalink)  
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I did appreciate you asking those questions for me but I am surprised that you think them a red herring – 7760 was found set and could have been or still could be a clue as to their actions.
This is a piece of real evidence as opposed to searching for, say, hypothetical control system defects that has taken so much of your time and effort and for which there is no evidence whatsover in this crash – that activity is a red herring if ever there was one.
Remember that it would have been improbable that, by the nature of the selector switches, impact could have got them there from an assumed start of 7000; further, that it would have been bad practice (as recommended and also from a common sense perspective) for the crew to have been bothering to change such a setting in their location and in an immediate emergency.
There was no technical reason why the secondary radar at Lowther Hill would not have had consistent returns from their transponder for most of their sea crossing (and therefore got their SSR code) – indeed, there was a witness to the replay of the recordings whose description of a straight line track implied multiple returns over a significant time.
How would those official answers look if the radar recording turned up, or someone came forward (hint, if you are reading this) as a witness to the replay of that recording, confirming that 7760 had been used?
It would surely then be viewed as very pertinent to have got those answers previously.

Oh, and I think JP's point about letting us all see the essential info that you were presenting is valid.
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 01:21
  #3784 (permalink)  
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To the Campaign, hearty congratulations on delivering yet further information to exonerate the pilots. It is an astonishing thing that through 14 years of thick and thin research no evidence has come forward to set back the suggestion that doubt about this accident exists. And the latest material cited by Channel 4 News and Dr Powers only adds credence to the belief that the test of AP3207 was neither applied nor met. Remember Pulford and Perks never saw that memo of June 2, 1994. And even without seeing it, Andy Pulford cleared the pilots of any form of negligence.

Even though the investigators learn more about the accident with each passing year, the Ministry of Defence has decided with an omnipotence only a bureaucracy could muster, that as a department it has nothing to learn about this accident because everything that is new to us is old to them and therefore dismissable. That they are prepared to illegitimise their own existence through such a coldness sags morale among the Forces fighting overseas and supported at home.
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 16:52
  #3785 (permalink)  
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Oh, and I think JP's point about letting us all see the essential info that you were presenting is valid.
Mr Purdey, until we are in a position to make our reply, I don't think it appropriate to make public our submission, so please bear with me a short while longer. I promise that as soon as I can, I will publish the document.
My best, as always.

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 17:20
  #3786 (permalink)  
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cazatou, I'm interested in how that is interpreted as "no doubt"? Rhetorical question as it has undoubtedly been discussed somewhere else in this thread. To me, this whole argument is about "gross negligence" and the openly declared definition of that phrase at the time of the accident.
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 17:35
  #3787 (permalink)  
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I have been away for sometime and very saddened to hear that the pilots were not cleared. I am sure this must have been soul destroying for the families and those who have worked tirelessly to clear the pilots names. All I can offer is my continued support.
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 19:14
  #3788 (permalink)  
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For those, like me, who missed it yesterday, here is a link to the 5-minute Channel 4 news item that was broadcast yesterday (9 Dec 08):

Channel 4 - News - Doubt cast over Chinook verdict

For the moment, words fail me, but this won't end here.
meadowbank is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2008, 23:07
  #3789 (permalink)  
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I wholeheartedly agree with antenna. Many congratulations to the campaign, and it's supporters, for uncovering such utterly damning evidence, of an organisation totally devoid of morals.

I well remember, during the build up to the Fatal Accident Inquiry in Paisley, in early 1995, asking for 'disclosure' from the MOD of information relevant to the accident.

I know for certain the legal team representing Rick Cook requested EXACTLY the kind of information now revealed in this new dossier.

Because I framed those requests!

It was denied to us, as being irrelevant to the accident, and we were accused of going on a 'fishing expedition', through MOD files!!

It was pointed out to me at the time, that 'non disclosure' of relevant information is an offence, and you can go to prison for it! I am sure there will be a paper trail to those deceitful individuals purveying their lies, and I wish to see them prosecuted!

To the fine ladies and gentlemen serving in the front line (of any service) I hope you take note of this current disgrace, which follows a long, and utterly undistinguished pattern!

Talk to your friends, and make a mutual pact to do the decent thing for each other, should one no longer be around to defend themselves.

Precisely the conversation I had with Rick Cook!

My greatest regret is that he would have made a much better 'fist' of it than I!

The once fine reputation of the Royal Air Force is being dragged through the gutter by the arrogant, and the deceitful!

This absolutely will not end here.
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Old 10th Dec 2008, 23:41
  #3790 (permalink)  
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6. RWTS has carefully monitored the progress of this trial and has put tremendous effort into ensuring that it progresses safely to provide timely CA release recommendations. These recommendations with respect to FADEC have, to date, been ignored. Until RWTS is provided with a clear, unequivocal and realistic explanation of the faults described at references B through H, with corrective action, further Chinook HC2 flying shall not be authorised. A statement of 'No Fault Found' will no longer satisfy this requirement.

7. As a trials organisation, A&AEE has always been keenly aware of the risks associated with operating the Chinook HC2 and has tailored sortie profiles accordingly. Crews of the RAF have no such luxury and are likely at higher risk than the A&AEE crews. As such, RWTS deem it imperative that, in the strongest possible terms, the RAF should be provided with a recommendation to cease Chinook HC2 operations until the conditions established in paragraph 6 are satisfied
May I just ask cazatou (K52), and john purdey: Was this aircraft fit for purpose?
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 02:18
  #3791 (permalink)  
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Having watched the saga unfold, from standing on the Mull the morning after the accident, to the present day, I have always refrained from applying the all-to-easy tones of conspiracy to a tragedy that ended in mystery. The loss was too great, too important, to encourage an already growing cottage industry of theorists that has developed over the years. Especially with no evidence pointing to a cause.
But today, on reading Tandemrotor's entries, I am left with no option but to conclude this has been a cover-up. Pure and simple.
I never wanted to say that. I have fought the instinct for years. I needed the clear proof. Maybe I blinded myself for too long. When we produced the Channel 4 documentary (and, critically, its revised version which included the Fadec concerns for the first time) I always argued "cover-up" was unfair to the MoD. A cover-up needed to be shown, not just spoken.
I was generous, to a fault, as I tried to walk in the ministry's shoes.
But to now realise the sham that was the MoD's submission to the Fatal Accident Inquiry is to find it in contempt of Sheriff Sir Stephen Young's court. To discover this material A) exists and B) can be ruled irrelevant is to have stood in that pale blue painted room for weeks in Paisley, and looked in the eye of the relatives of the dead and to have said nothing. It is the cardinal sin of omission.
It is a morally bankrupt position. It is feral; it is squalid. It is, simply, wrong.

Let's go for a bike ride
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 05:57
  #3792 (permalink)  
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the burden was on the AVMs to demonstrate "no doubt", they did not achieve this

According to Day - based on legal advice he specifically sought and received on this issue – he did achieve this (and Wratten concurred).

Day v Brennan (extract from HOL Committee)

332. Can you tell me the circumstances in which you felt it necessary to take legal advice in this case?

A. Because I realised the enormity of the decision I was about to make and I felt it right to take legal advice.

333. What sort of legal advice did you feel would help you? You were deciding the facts, were you not?

A. I was deciding on the facts but I wanted to know basically if the definition of "no doubt whatsoever" was a definition which was achievable or not.
Although deemed privileged information - the MOD legal ‘interpretation’ on the standing definition of ‘no doubt whatsoever’ that Day received has not, to date, been challenged in open court.

Lurking123 -
theories about conspiracy, hypothetical technical problems etc would go away

The STF debate – Reply #3553.

MoD has consistently stated that ARS-6 was not fitted. I believe this to be total deceit and I also believe this thread is an appropriate place to highlight that deceit.

I have also been shown evidence which indicates that ZD576 was carrying STF equipment on that fateful day and I think it important to establish that breaches of airworthiness regs continued from that day to this day specifically regarding Special Trials Fit procedures.
On a prompt, the author of the above replied:

I am wary of stepping on anyones toes here, I do not think it is for me to present the facts known about STF, some facts are still being teased out.

(AA reply) Was an active, passive or redundant STF a contributory factor in this accident, and were airworthiness regulations breached as a consequence?
Brian replied – #3566

There is no evidence I have seen that suggests that FTS equipment was on board ZD576, whether in an active, passive or redundant role. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, but I have read a substantial amount of paperwork and asked several direct questions on this subject and never had even a hint of any such equipment.
Two carefully worded answers?

Q: Was Chinook HC2 ZD576 tasked with evaluating the performance of a new/temporary navigation aid located on the Mull or a personal locator system in this flight?

A: No. The purpose of the flight was the transit of passengers from Aldergrove to Inverness.

Q: If Chinook HC2 ZD576 was tasked with evaluating a new/temporary navigation aid or personal locator system on that flight, who originated the request, organised the test and supplied the on board equipment?

A: The flight was not tasked for this purpose.
If evidence was produced (see above) to show that ZD576 ‘was carrying STF equipment’, then was ‘beta’ software present and could this have affected the aircraft’s FADEC/avionics on the day? (Note: The lack of physical evidence that STF equipment was fitted/found at the crash site does not rule out the absence of ‘beta’ software – see previous replies re STF management by the MOD)

One of many definitions:

Before a commercial software program is released to the public, it usually goes through a "beta" phase. During this stage, the software is tested for bugs, crashes, errors, inconsistencies, and any other problems. If you choose to test a beta software program, don't be surprised if it has multiple problems and causes your computer to repeatedly crash.

If STF information associated with ZD576 was suppressed and, consequently, was not made available to the BOI then, clearly, a full review would need to be carried out?

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Old 11th Dec 2008, 10:19
  #3793 (permalink)  
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Hi Tandemrotor,
the MoD, to this day, still have problems locating paperwork.

Taken from a letter, dated 18 Oct 2006, in response to a letter from me:

b. Documentation requests

(i) A copy of the RAF response to Boscombe Down's decision to stop flying
(ii) Any documentation relating to the first suspension of flight trials by Boscombe Down
(iii) A copy of Air Chief Marhsal Wratten's document Disciplinary Proceedings in Aircraft Accidents
(iv) A copy of the January 1995 memo written by Captain Brougham (RN)

(i) to (iv) We have not yet been able to trace a copy of these items of documentation; if they are subsequently found they will be provided to you
Nothing supplied yet.... (pssst - There's a copy of Mr Wratten's document in the House of Lords Library)

There are many more documents (EDS Scicon report to the MoD following their examination of the FADEC software and the third and fourth line engineering reports on the engine changes to ZD576, but to name a few). Again, if they are located, I will be provided a copy.

With regard to legal advice, AA, I received the following answer to a question I posed back in 2005:

"I am sure you will be aware that the Ministry of Defence is permitted to withhold information where an exemption and/or exception are considered justifiable. I am withholding all documentation falling under your request for 'all correspondence between AOC 1Gp, AOCinC HQSTC and DLS(RAF) and also the Treasury Solicitor regarding the legal implications relating to the crash of ZD576' under Section 42 of the FOI Act as this information is subject to Legal Professional Privilege"

I have heard nothing from the MoD since 17 Aug 2007. Perhaps I have upset them.

Thank you all for your support.

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 18:15
  #3794 (permalink)  
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John Hutton is squirming on Ch4 News right now.
Lurking123 is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2008, 18:20
  #3795 (permalink)  
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Well filited by Jon Snow, who would not let go of the issue. Hutton very defensive, accusing Snow of impuning the reputation of Senior RAF Officers. Very flustered when reort of senior TP from rotary wing test squadron was produced ststing all HC2 should be grounded, same day as the crash.
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 19:49
  #3796 (permalink)  
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Yes, caught it too. Great stuff when an SoS says; I'm only a politician, I can't second guess the decisions of professional senior RAF officers. So it was all a misunderstanding, there was no review as he and Des are only politicians! Interesting to see posts rubbishing Boscombe Down piling into the long dormant HC3 thread. Has the fact that Channel 4 was highlighting the BD reservations re HC2 airworthiness the very day of this dreadful accident any bearing on that? No? Just wondered.
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 21:16
  #3797 (permalink)  
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Channel 4 News video player

Minute 11.40 to end ..
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 23:07
  #3798 (permalink)  
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Another good item by Channel 4 news, and my thanks to the team.

Mr Hutton, you stated "We have published everything in relation to this inquiry."
Oh, really??
I have quite a list of documents still to be supplied. I take it they will be arriving through my door in the next few days then?

"There is no legal grounding in which I can overturn this finding. I'm not in a position to do that."
Not strictly accurate. BoIs are governed by rules made by the Secretary of State for Defence in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 135 of the Air Force Act. Have another look at your rules Mr Hutton. There are rules which allow for the reconvening of a Board of Inquiry, should new, or further evidence become available. Plus the fact, your position allows you to make the rules.

"I'm just a poor politician" does not absolve you from your responsibility to uphold the rules and ensure that justice is done. It is clear that there are areas of doubt and clear gaps in the available evidence. Therefore, the burden of proof of absolutely no doubt whatsoever is not achieved.

The Campaign submission to the MoD should be available in the next day or so. Please keep an eye out on the Campaign website.

My best, as always.

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook

Last edited by Brian Dixon; 11th Dec 2008 at 23:21.
Brian Dixon is offline  
Old 12th Dec 2008, 07:03
  #3799 (permalink)  
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“…and they have flown safely for 15 years”

MoD Safety stuff…..

“Actions and decisions may be challenged by others, sometimes with the benefit of hindsight. A decision may have to be defended on the basis of judgement and so the decision process must be documented and all judgements and assumptions validated wherever possible. “It has never happened before” is not valid evidence on its own, that a particular event will not happen”.

The SoS justifies not grounding Mk2 by virtue of the fact there have been no fatalities since. Yet again, MoD seeks to confuse the timeline by talking in the wrong tense. The simple fact is MoD was required to retain all necessary documentation, including reasoned responses to the Boscombe letter of 2nd June 1994. His reply to Mr Snow was, therefore, disingenuous. Where is the other evidence his own rules required which led to the decision to ignore Boscombe?

“Nothing has been covered up”.

Really? 14 years and key airworthiness documents still cannot be found, even though they will have been copied widely. MoD continues in its attempt to cover up the verifiable fact it did not comply with its own regulations. Like Nimrod, Hercules……….
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Old 12th Dec 2008, 09:42
  #3800 (permalink)  

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Sad person that I am, I've transcribed the interview of John Hutton by Jon Snow. If anyone would like a copy of the transcript, PM me.

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