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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 5th Jan 2009, 06:30
  #3901 (permalink)  
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Happy New Year to you.

I cannot argue with the first part, but your argument –re airworthiness falters as soon as you equate it with serviceability. That is MoD’s line when it suits them, and I know you are no supporter of them. The fact is that under no reasonable interpretation of the mandated regulations (which have barely changed in decades) should the Chinook HC Mk2 have been released to service post-conversion. That being so, perhaps the underlying reasons for this bizarre decision should be explored (the political imperative?), and those involved questioned (who are barely mentioned in the Mull papers, except those who have been permitted to judge their own case). You also ignore, as do MoD, that most fiendish of beasts, the intermittent fault; of which there is much evidence.

You cite the evidence set before the House of Lords Select Committee. Notwithstanding Boeing’s minute detail and reasoned explanations for some events, I note the Committee determined the verdict should not stand, as the burden of proof could not be met.

I am not trying to undermine the rest of your hypothesis, just clarifying a couple of points.
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Old 5th Jan 2009, 08:06
  #3902 (permalink)  
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Wlater's Theory


Tucumseh has made all the points concening your confusion of servicability and airworthiness, and I can only strongly support his comments. What you are trying to do is to change the complete approach of the Mull Group, but without a single shred of firm evidence other than your own theory, plausible as it is to you and possibly others, to support such a change of strategy. Clearly if you were correct then it would be a major, indeed earth-shattering, issue - not least for the governments involved as well as the RAF. Produce your firm evidence for a conspiracy theory or even that they had a "secret" task to carry out on the Mull, and I could be the first to support you, but in the meantime please do not "undermine" the work of the Mull Group to clear the pilots of this gross miscarriage of justice. You may believe that their aims are too limited, but as we have discussed face to face they are not trying to define what caused the accident - because to repeat yet again "we will never know".

A Happy New Year to you.

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Old 5th Jan 2009, 09:40
  #3903 (permalink)  
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A Happy New Year to all, and especially to all those who have worked so hard and for so long to achieve simple justice for two deceased pilots and their grieving loved ones. Walter, and for that matter VSF, concentrate our minds wonderfully. Should we look to the undoubted intrigue on both sides of the "struggle" for an explanation of this tragedy as the former suggests, or simply pack it all in as demanded by the latter (and supported no doubt in the MOD's murky corridors)? Or do we take a lead from tucumseh and John Blakeley and look to the airworthiness, or undoubted lack of it, of this particular aircraft and its sister HC2's? There is much more to emerge in that regard, as proved the case with the Hercules and Nimrod, than is yet generally apparent. That deficiency in those three types, and many others for that matter, was the responsibility of the very organisation that holds hostage the reputations of these two pilots and that presided over the kangaroo court of W&D's findings, the Ministry of Defence. Judge, Jury and Chief Suspect at one and the same time, for it is the MOD that was and still is responsible for UK Military Airworthiness provision. It has been shown to have reneged completely on that responsibility for the past twenty years or so. It certainly reneged on it in releasing the HC2 for service when it did, as tuc tells us. In doing so it laid the path for this accident, and for that matter the geopolitical outcome that Walter so succinctly describes. What I would call Gross Negligence at the very least.
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Old 5th Jan 2009, 19:26
  #3904 (permalink)  
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Here's hoping New Year's bashes have left us all with an equal handicap – hurts but was worth it!
Now, it may seem strange for me to suggest it but wouldn't airworthiness etc be better off on another thread with the other examples? As I see it, such considerations do not apply in this case as the a/c seemed to have been performing as expected. All in all an aweful waste of time, a distraction/red herring, and a flase hope for many. At least it has been thoroughly explored – unlike the other option for which there is ample evidence.
I'd like to point out a few things that you seem to have left unchallenged and yet limit the scope of analysis:
Speed and available power;
Altitude from Carnlough to the Mull;
Waypoint accuracy.

Speed and available power
2 RAF witnesses at one of the inquiries gave their views that at 150 kts a/s (postulated as was at start of pull up manoeuvre) a cruise climb of only about 400 or 650 ft/min respectively was to be expected – (obviously with the same load) Boeing reckons 1000 easily obtainable. Further, earlier in the leg across the sea the air speed seems to have been no more than 135 kts at which that a/c should have been able to easily cruise climb at 2000 ft/min (ie no loss of speed).
So it had some grunt in reserve contrary to the picture painted? - opens up the scope a bit?

Altitude from Carnlough to the Mull
The perception is that they were very low level all the time – accommodating the alleged absence of radar data and negating possible use of navaids such as the MAZ TACAN – do you realise that there are only 3 sources of height data for the entire leg?
These were:
the yachtsman's estimate (understandably vague as was his position at the time of the sighting);
data from the encoded altimeter saved in the system some 15-18 sec before impact (and so after the position of waypoint change, very close to the Mull) giving approximately 613 ft amsl;
the position of impact (810 ft amsl).
Given the habit of mil helos doing a VFR low level over the sea of avoiding 250 – 750 ft (leaving that to fixed wing low level), common sense would suggest an altitude of at least 750 ft across the sea.
This supports the view that radar returns would have been expected at Lowther Hill (as per press article – pity the recordings aren't available as the secondary returns would have had the FL/height data). Further, with the climbing capacity they had (without reducing speed) they could easily have popped their head up a few miles before the position of waypoint change to get a fix off the old MAZ TACAN (to which the TACAN CU was set (ch 107x) and the bearing to which (028) was found on the navigator's HSI) – they'd have needed to get up to about 2500 to get LOS (wouldn't take long starting 750+ and climbing at 2000+ ft/min followed by rapid descent).
They may not have done so but as it was so easily possible should it not have been considered?

Waypoint accuracy
It has been noted somewheres that waypoint A was approximate, that it was a sloppy pos for the lighthouse, and that at least it must have been less important than the other waypoints because it did not have arcsecs/lots of digits/whatever – check out the other waypoints:
7 waypoints had been entered into the STANS route:
H N 54.47.70 W 006.36.00 spudfield
A N55.18.50 W 005.48.00
B N 56.43.00 W 005.14.00 turning point, no specific feature
C N 57.35.02 W 004.04.45 100yd swim to Ft George
D N 57.32.42 W 004.02.92 about middle of Inverness Aerodrome
V813 N 54.41.10 W006.11.89 spudfield

So comparatively, wpt A is not less accurate/important than the other waypoints just because it has less precision in the digits.
Only thing is the others are nice safe points to head for – wpt A is damn close to steep high ground, unecessarily so for use like the others – and it just happens to be the ideal spot to aim for when approaching the landing area that I have described.
While mentioning that LZ, it has a reasonable length in the direction 035 mag (at the time) and this would have been the obvious approach path; 035 was the path from the position of waypoint change to the crash area and it was on the HP's HSI course selector; one of the baro altimeters had a subscale setting that would have given the QFE at the site's elevation at the time and one of the RADALT warnings was set at the min (69ft?) consistent with an imminent landing.

So this is part of the evidence that they may have had an intention to land or closely pass that LZ, for whatever reason – they had the capability and opportunity to have popped up and taken a fix off the TACAN which they appeared to have done (navigator's HSI) suggesting that they were concentrating on local navigation in the area of the Mull – have you got any evidence at all to suggest problems with the aircraft?

Last edited by walter kennedy; 5th Jan 2009 at 19:30. Reason: spelling
walter kennedy is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2009, 10:25
  #3905 (permalink)  
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Chugalug2 makes a good summary of the MoD's position:

Judge, Jury and Chief Suspect at one and the same time
Hardly surprising that they have so far failed to agree with all of the independent reviews of the case, is it?

Perhaps it is time for a formal Judicial Review, with the MoD as the accused? (But I'd want to be certain that the judge was above nobbling!)

Last edited by meadowbank; 12th Jan 2009 at 13:33. Reason: correct typo
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Old 12th Jan 2009, 14:19
  #3906 (permalink)  
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As always, catching up with this thread is interesting, particularly in light of recent decisions. I think, after 197 pages of comments and BoI reports etc, that I remain unconvinced of the cause of the accident. That, for me, sums it up.

After having read everything I can on the subject, I do not feel confident enough to have an opinion about the cause that I would care to share in the bar at Odiham, although I have discussed many other subject there. Hence, IMO, I remain unconvinced that the original findings were correct.

This is enough for me to stop reading this thread now, although I wish the active campaigners luck in progressing the matter further - you have my upmost respect as you continue your efforts to clear the names of those involved. I fear that the matter is now closed among those with the power to change things.


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Old 16th Jan 2009, 22:53
  #3907 (permalink)  
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South bound

Except that, within the next 14 months at most, there has to be a General Election. Who knows what a new Government might decide?
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 07:08
  #3908 (permalink)  
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Aah! Take heart.

We have not long to wait. This letter written to BEAgle does it for me.

And don't forget these words from the Leader of the Opposition (which I have in writing):

Dear (BEagle)

Thank you for your further e-mails about the Chinook accident.

You ask whether I would take early action to reinstate the reputations of the pilots if I form the next Government.

As I mentioned in my previous letter to you, I do believe that the reputations of the two pilots deserve to be reinstated, as the Lords Select Committee recommended, and in the absence of any overwhelming argument presented to me as Prime Minister that is what I would do.

Your sincerely,

David Cameron
It cannot (hopefully sooner!) be later than 2010
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 16:48
  #3909 (permalink)  
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Cameron to act?

I would hate to dampen hopes but you really do need to read what Cameron says in his letter very carefully. The key words are "in the absence of any overwhelming argument presented to me".

I cannot recall one Minister, or Prime Minister, of either party who was prepared to do other than stand by the findings of the BOI and Reviewing Officers when presented with the appropriate briefing.

It is very easy to say one thing in opposition, it is an entirely different ball game when in government. It won't happen.
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Old 20th Jan 2009, 08:47
  #3910 (permalink)  
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I remember John Reid being very, very keen to get to the bottom of this saga and potentially overturn the Wratten/Day findings when he took over as MinAF in 1997. As Atlantic says, after the appropriate briefings...

Populism takes many forms and Young Etonian Mr. Cameron seems to have most of them in his skill-set.
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 22:10
  #3911 (permalink)  
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This Chinook crash was not the first time aircrew were blamed in a case where there was obviously a different flight plan to that acknowledged – a classic example is the WW2 Sunderland crash with the Duke of Kent on board.
An official statement on that went as follows:
Accident due to aircraft being on wrong track at too low altitude to clear rising ground on track. Captain of aircraft changed flight-plan for reasons unknown and descended through cloud without making sure he was over water and crashed.” …” weather conditions were fine and there was no evidence of mechanical failure.” ... “the responsibility for this serious mistake in airmanship lies with the captain of the aircraft”.
With a crew that included four experienced navigators.
That crash ended a peace process.
walter kennedy is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 19:37
  #3912 (permalink)  
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You are referring to the crash of Sunderland Mk3 W4026. There was a survivor (Sgt Jack the rear gunner) who gave evidence to the Inquiry and you have also failed to mention that the Navigator was not the normal Navigator for this crew - indeed he was not even from the same Squadron. He came from 423 Sqn RCAF.

So please tell us - what exactly was the new piece of navigational equipment that was used to induce that particular crash?

That crash happened during a war for survival when training time was limited and casualties were high - from first to last the RAF lost 70,253 Officers, NCO's and Airmen killed or missing on Operations of whom 55,573 were aircrew. Bomber Command alone lost 8305 Aircrew on non operational flights.
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Old 28th Jan 2009, 19:50
  #3913 (permalink)  
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<<There was a survivor (Sgt Jack the rear gunner) who gave evidence to the Inquiry ...>>
The BOI was held in secret and the record is said to have been lost (as was the flight plan). Jack was sworn to secrecy on his hospital bed and would not say a word about it to the Duke's widow despite several visits to him by her. He drank himself to an early grave. Further, I have come across one reference to his not having been called to give evidence.
The Duke's papers, which may have shed some light on his intentions and therefore any possible oddities about the intended flight, are still locked away from the public.
<<... and you have also failed to mention that the Navigator was not the normal Navigator for this crew ...>>
The crew were hand picked for this mission and there were no less than 4 navigators (the top of the pile, apparently) – there's heaps about this crash that I could mention but care not to on this thread.
<<... what exactly was the new piece of navigational equipment that was used to induce that particular crash?>>
Gee, I dunno – got any suggestions? There was a northern chain (Dunnet Head, etc) operating from late '42 but would it have been near to a try out as early as the date of the crash (August '42)? Anyways, I am sure that there would be no mention of the gear being fitted to a Sunderland at the time, if ever.
Anyway, I was merely referring to this crash as a similar example wherein the pilots were blamed without the planning/mission being fully divulged, was I not?
While I have no idea why that a/c crashed, the timings and significant deviation from the assumed route (there was an official comment about them changing flight plan) give rise to doubt about the simple picture as to their original intentions – they had turned onto a direct path to Loch More where seaplanes did land regularly which does fit with some conspiracy theories.
<<That crash happened during a war for survival when training time was limited and casualties were high ...>>
The crew were as highly trained as you could get for a Sunderland; the hills were not what you could call high; conditions were largely clear; Sunderlands were robust and reliable.
However, they were unlucky in Scotland at the time – another Sunderland crashed a few weeks later near Tiree, unfortunately killing someone on board who was investigating the crash of the other Sunderland – he was more than just an aviation journalist, he was one of a large group (including Duke of Windsor, Duke of Kent, lots of other notables, and by no means least General Sikorsky who perished when a Liberator plopped off the end of the runway at Gib) that Churchill termed “peace conspiracists”.
It is hard to ignore the apparent increased likelihood of an odd accident occurring when politically inconvenient people are on board – which was certainly the case with ZD576.
walter kennedy is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2009, 10:04
  #3914 (permalink)  
Just a numbered other
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This Chinook crash was not the first time aircrew were blamed in a case where there was obviously a different flight plan to that acknowledged
A few of your posts seem tomake a point that the plan was not followed, based on the waypoints chosen, and your assumption that it was the crew's intention to actually overfly those waypoints.

That is not how support helicopters operate. The change of waypoint simply allows navigation to the next point with electronic guidance, but does not imply that the aircaft is likely to follow the exact line between the points.
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Old 29th Jan 2009, 16:37
  #3915 (permalink)  
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<<A few of your posts seem tomake a point that the plan was not followed, based on the waypoints chosen, and your assumption that it was the crew's intention to actually overfly those waypoints.>>
Don't think so. I think waypoint A was of possible significance because it just happens to be at the “threshold” of a known landing area for Chinooks – an obvious inner marker to have as a waypoint if you were to land there.
The track of 035 mag that was on the HP's HSI course selector and that the a/c made good after its turn at the position of waypoint change (that was the track from this position to the impact area) would be the ideal line to take if approaching it (try standing at the site with a compass correcting mentally for the different variation back then and the local variation).
The HP's baro altimeter had a setting appropriate as a QFE for that landing area on the day (same elevation as Aldergrove); one RADALT warning was set at minimum.
So when I say that I think the flight plan was different it is that while they were supposed to be just en route passing by the Mull I think it is obvious that they were set up to land.
To help you picture this, there is an excellent photograph that appeared in the “Times” (Tuesday, January 9, 1996/Home News/ p 4) taken from above the crash site shortly after the crash: the scorched debris field is clear, and down below in the distance is the landing area that I have described previously (with photos so you should be able to recognise it); you can work out the orientation by the angle of the rocks and shoreline in the distance and the lighthouse. If you were aware of the landing area's previous use and the settings that I have mentioned above, would you not have the suspicion that this was a simple overshoot?
A fast approach to this landing area with a misjudgment of their closing range would explain it.
But would such experienced pilots attempt such a manouevre in conditions of the ground ahead fuzzed up with upslope mist such that visual judgment of closing range would be unreliable? Not without a trusted local reference or guidance of some form or other, in my opinion – something that they would have trusted more than the SuperTANS as they discarded waypoint A while it was still ahead – something that could have misled them, wilfully or erroneously. Any suggestions?
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Old 30th Jan 2009, 18:17
  #3916 (permalink)  
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With regard to the Sunderland crash and the number of Navigators and other personnel.

1.The Sunderland could operate for 13-14 hours whilst on patrol and it was not possible to stop the war whilst crewmembers left their positions to stretch their legs etc. Sufficient personnel were carried for each "Trade" to ensure that positions were rotated.

2. No 204 Sqn (Sunderlands) operated out of Iceland. It would have been routine practice to send Personnel posted to that Sqn out by aircraft that were routing through Iceland whilst engaged on other tasks.

3. Just how many more revelations of homicidal mania by or on behalf of HMG are we to be treated to?
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Old 31st Jan 2009, 09:04
  #3917 (permalink)  
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So you agree that there was normally more than one navigator (there was still more than usual on board that day) -
So what use was your comment that suggested that the navigator was not a usual member of the crew?
You really are a time waster.
walter kennedy is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2009, 10:00
  #3918 (permalink)  
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1. Would you care to enlighten us as to what was the "usual" number of Navigators carried by a Sunderland operating in the North Atlantic during that period of the War and the source of your information?

2. You do not comment on the personnel en-route to join 204 Sqn.

3. Would it not be the case that any "induced accident" would have been planned to take place over the Atlantic (so as to suggest enemy action) rather than overland which could leave potential survivors?

4. Would you care to enlighten us as to the total number of Service Personnel "sacrificed" in such incidents in each World War and subsequent conflicts?

5. What is your theory regarding Amelia Earhart?
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Old 31st Jan 2009, 11:32
  #3919 (permalink)  
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You boys really need to get a life. Must be bl---dy boring in Perth.
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Old 31st Jan 2009, 18:04
  #3920 (permalink)  
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If you did not know better you could be excused for thinking Perth was a village
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