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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 23rd Jun 2009, 15:32
  #4921 (permalink)  
 
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Fitter2

As in a Court of Law the verdict is in the hands of those whose duty it is to deliver that verdict. In a High Court it is the duty of the Jury; in the case of the Chinook Board of Inquiry it was the duty of the Reviewing Officers to agree or amend the findings of the BOI and to apportion any blame (should that be required) in accordance with the Air Force Act.

At the same time as the Chinook BOI there was a BOI into the loss of a Tornado through an explosion and engine fire during a Bombing exercise at the Nato Range in Sardinia. The BOI found the crew negligent in that they failed to carry out the Fire Drill.

This finding was overturned by the AOC 1Gp as the tape of the CVR (which had been salvaged) and analysis of the ADR showed that at no time was there any visual or aural fire warning and that the first the crew knew about the fire was when their leader, whom they had asked to do a visual inspection following the engine rundown, told them to "GET OUT -GET OUT". In addition the Board had failed to notice that the engine bay doors of the affected engine had been blown off the aircraft by the explosion so that even if they had pressed the extinuisher button the extinguishant would merely have dissipated to atmosphere. The doors had landed on the beach on the run in to the Range; a fact noted by the BOI in a different annex to the BOI.

Would you say the AOC was wrong to amend the findings of the properly convened Board of Inquiry?

What about the Tornado mid-air over Canada? The Pilot whose Tornado hit another stated in evidence that he did not realise that he was supposed to wear his newly prescribed "Corrective Flying Spectacles" whilst he was flying an aeroplane!! Perhaps he thought the RAF were just being generous?

Last edited by cazatou; 23rd Jun 2009 at 16:16.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 16:11
  #4922 (permalink)  
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In a High Court it is the duty of the Jury; in the case of the Chinook Board of Inquiry it was the duty of the Reviewing Officers to agree or amend the findings of the BOI and to apportion any blame (should that be required) in accordance with the Air Force Act.
Not entirely accurate Caz.

Queen's Regulations, Chapter 17, para 1259 (3):Constitution of a Board
The president and members of a Board (mimimum number President plus 2) should have no personal interest either in the subject matter of an investigation, or the individuals likely to be concerned in it.

No mention of the Reviewing Officers being part of the Board constitution, as far as I can see and there is no provision in those Regulations that permits them to substitute the findings of the Board with their own. What QR1271 (6) actually states is Each transmitting authority is to examine the proceedings and record thereon an opinion upon the matters investigated. Proceedings submitted to the MoD, unless indicated in other regulations, are to be in duplicate including the original.

The Reviewing Officers, according to QRs, are entitled to their opinion, but there appears to be no authority allowing them to substitute the finding of a properly constituted Board. Legal Services could not clarify this point, so I would be grateful if anyone out there could give me a definitive answer and point me to the relevent documentation.

As an aside, Lt (RN) Kingston was informally interviewed by the Board on 7 Jun 94, and formally interviewed on 9 Jun 94. He was also called to give evidence at the FAI over a three day period in Jan 96. I am sure that the issue surrounding the planning of the sortie would have been covered to the satisfaction of those conducting the investigations.

My best, as always,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook

Last edited by Brian Dixon; 23rd Jun 2009 at 18:40. Reason: Added somthing, then changed my mind and deleted it prior to posting.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 16:33
  #4923 (permalink)  
 
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Brian

"No personal interest" I would take to mean "relating to private concerns". As AOC or AOCinC the interest is Professional ie " the competence, or the correct demeanour, of those who are highly trained and disciplined." (Chambers Dictionary).
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 16:37
  #4924 (permalink)  
 
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I see Caz has degenerated from not answering the question to not even reading it.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 16:39
  #4925 (permalink)  
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No problem with that Caz, as it relates to the President and Board members who, I am sure, also conformed to the definition you quote.

Nowhere does it state that the Reviewing Officers have the authority to substitute the findings of the Board. They are, of course, entitled to their opinion (as per QR 1271 (6)).

My best,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 16:41
  #4926 (permalink)  
 
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Caz

Of course, in the cases you quote the then AOC 1Gp had evidence in which to base his overturn decision on rather than just his opinion. And in both cases the pilots lived to fly another day. Sadly, very very different to the Chinook case IMHO.

Walter

Can't speak 100% for sure regarding NI Ops but back in the 90's, before all Fast Jet stations adopted the station name as the first part of the callsign, the station trigraph (i.e the first three letters) changed on a daily basis. The last 2 numbers were generally the pilots individual callsign which he kept for the duration of the tour. Therefore in this case I would suggest that F4J was the Aldergrove callsign of the day and 40 was the Captains individual handle. For that reason I think any callsign issues leading to another sub-plot is a red herring! Please note this is my opinion having never operated either helicopters or out of Aldergrove so (RW chaps) if I'm talking hoop then let me know and I will delete!
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 17:46
  #4927 (permalink)  
 
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Wrathmonk
I appreciate your addressing the callsign issue – it would be nice if someone would confirm it. The reason I have pressed on this is that more than one credible source had told me it was a tactical callsign that was appropriate for a SAR exercise.


Dalek
<<Within accuracy limits of plotting from a half mil LFC. There is no misplot of the lighthouse. >> I would have thought that with more than one way point obviously being derived from convenient grid intersections on OS maps that there was use of more than the LFC to which you refer – and way point A was not a safe route waypoint as I have argued before – you simply cannot concede a (way)point, can you? If they were doing coarse route flying in the way you and BOAC suggest it is done, why on earth would they have gone as close in as the position of waypoint change with the visual conditions ahead as they were?


Tandemrotor's D Notice
Now there's an interesting thing, TR's post #4973 aimed at Cazatou: TR has been privy, it seems to info that only the interested parties have had access too – and says it would be a crime for any lesser mortals to get hold of it – and even if they heard it from someone, it could not be regarded as anything more than hearsay. Well may they say that “we shall never know what happened” (so oft repeated in so many ways). What the hell could there be, apart from perhaps some specific operational procedures, that is not safe to divulge to the public after all this time? Anything that has bearing on this crash should be made openly available to give a chance for fresh minds to try and sort it out – after all, TR's “ ...many extremely well informed individuals on the 'right' side of the argument ...” have not gotten anywhere in fifteen years.


General point
Cazatou and I have different views entirely on the possible causes of this crash – the one thing we have in common is that we are, albeit in different areas from different perspectives, trying wherever possible to establish pertinent details – this seems to contrast with so many posters here that argue against anything being determinable. While individual items of data that could be termed significant can, on their own, be argued there is sufficient available data for correlation such that a specific scenario fitting all such data has a very high probability of being correct.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 18:27
  #4928 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wk
the visual conditions ahead as they were?
- here we go again. Can you remind me what the view from the cockpit was? I cannot see any facts regarding that. Is it in the BoI or the HOL findings? I have looked. Maybe TR has it in those 'secret' add-ons?

Of course, there is the OBVIOUS answer - because they could see the Mull?
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 19:39
  #4929 (permalink)  
 
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WK
Cazatou and I have different views entirely on the possible causes of this crash – the one thing we have in common is that we are, albeit in different areas from different perspectives, trying wherever possible to establish pertinent details – this seems to contrast with so many posters here that argue against anything being determinable. While individual items of data that could be termed significant can, on their own, be argued there is sufficient available data for correlation such that a specific scenario fitting all such data has a very high probability of being correct.
The common thread in Cazatou's 'pertinent details' (for example his assertion that not taking breakfast in the Officers' Mess is 'proof' that one has taken breakfast nowhere) appears to be a desperate attempt to find any reason (however tenuous) to divert attention from the lamentable airworthiness state of the aircraft, and therefore the responsibility of senior officers at MOD and their staffs. The correlation would imply that airworthiness was the actual cause (although it is unlikely that any positive proof of the actual cause will ever be established). His latest assertion that the ROs were 'obliged' to apportion blame has immediately been discredited by the quote from applicable QRs. What next, I wonder.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 21:23
  #4930 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC

Talk about round the bouy!

- here we go again. Can you remind me what the view from the cockpit was? I cannot see any facts regarding that. Is it in the BoI or the HOL findings? I have looked. Maybe TR has it in those 'secret' add-ons?
Yup - land/sea/cloud. Take your pick. It HAS to be one of these choices.This is fact. ( except of course for the possible "illusions" mentioned elsewhere).



See land - don't run into it.
See sea- OK so far, good time to check the old time/distance check.
See cloud - avoid it.

Is this so very difficult to assimilate.............?
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 21:40
  #4931 (permalink)  
 
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With the greatest respect to those that perished in this tragic accident, can I ask what is the purpose of this thread. Surely the horse has bolted with regard to any reversal of the BOI's findings.
E86

Last edited by eagle 86; 24th Jun 2009 at 07:13.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 21:48
  #4932 (permalink)  

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Having spent 14 years as a Captain on 32 Sqn I believe that the asset most required of a VIP Pilot is the ability and courage to say "NO" when the cicumstances demand it. This was not an SAS insertion in a combat zone but a routine Passenger transit flight to be conducted under VFR in accordance with the rules and regulations pertaining at the time.
So why were these passengers not flown by other means, in an airworthy machine?
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 22:02
  #4933 (permalink)  
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Baston - are you in fact Caz in disguise, as I was not asking you?
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 22:23
  #4934 (permalink)  
 
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Walter:

- this seems to contrast with so many posters here that argue against anything being determinable.While individual items of data that could be termed significant can, on their own, be argued there is sufficient available data for correlation such that a specific scenario fitting all such data has a very high probability of being correct.
I believe you'll find that people aren't arguing against _anything_ being determinable at all. What they are doing is arguing that even in, (to paraphrase), the best possible scenario that fits all the available data "a very high probability of being correct" does not fulfill the requirement at the time that a finding of Gross Negligence must be the result of no doubt whatsoever.

Please don't misunderstand me, finding the "specific scenario fitting all such data" is a commendable goal. But doing so should be an academic exercise to try to determine as closely as possible what _might_ have occurred. This comes with the understanding that each data point that is missing, questionable or that goes unconsidered is a point of doubt as to the integrity of the scenario.

Most here have submitted themselves completely to the rules and regulations laid down by the RAF/Army/Navy. While submitting ourselves we were held to the regulations by those who made and/or enforced them. We also expect(ed), as in any trust relationship, that those who would hold us to those regulations might be willing to abide by the regulations that apply to them with regard to the disposition of their minions.

Unfortunately, in this case, it seems two men's trust might have been betrayed since accepting "a very high probability of being correct" fails to fulfill their superior's responsibility to them.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 23:37
  #4935 (permalink)  
 
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It is even worse than that AA, for not only was the Duty of Care to subordinates betrayed, but the MOD's own Airworthiness Regulations were wilfully and deliberately flouted by Senior Officers in a vain attempt to save money at the behest of their political masters. The cost of such Gross Negligence was not only high in treasure but, far worse, in lives also. This aircraft was unairworthy as a direct result of such Gross Negligence and 29 people died when it crashed. As another direct result of disregard for the importance of Flight Safety that same Airworthiness Authority deemed ADRs and FDRs to be irrelevant to Military Aircraft such as this one. An Accident Investigation was carried out which turned out to be a complete charade given that the elephant in the BoI's room, the aircraft's lack of airworthiness, was effectively ignored. The final act of this incompetent and corrupt Authority was to condemn the deceased pilots on the arbitrary and selective findings of those implicated in the above disreputable scenario. I feel that this case reflects badly not only on the Ministry of Defence which is shown to be unfit to any longer bear responsibilty for UK Military Airworthiness, but also on the good name of the Royal Air Force. The former can be resolved by establishing an independent MAA and MAAIB. The latter can only be resolved by the Royal Air Force itself. It must start by reopening this BoI and quashing the finding of the ROs ASAP, but it will take much much more to purge itself of this disgrace.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:55
  #4936 (permalink)  
 
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Visibility and Illusion

Walter,
I have never presented my interpretation of events as facts. I have never said that Waypoint A has to be the lighthouse.
It is just that I have never seen any evidence to support a planned approach to the Mull. As I have said "in my opinion", and that of my Puma and Tornado friends, the failure to insert a Waypoint between Belfast and the Mull suggests no planned accurate or precise approach. The BOI, FAI and HOL seem to agree, as this issue seems never to have been considered.
On my "coarse TP" theory, why did they in the then "visual conditions", approach so close to the Mull?
What "visual conditions" were those then?
Full and honest answer. I don't know.
Do I have a theory. Yes.
Visibility is infinately variable. It is common to have four different visibilities in four different directions. Change height by a few feet, it changes. Change heading, it changes.
Visibility is difficult to assess over land and impossible over the sea.
I will use simple figures to demonstate a possible scenario.

When you leave Belfast, the forecast visibility is say 3nms at the Airfield and the Mull. You plan your "coarse turn" at 2 nms from the coast.
Once airborne you assess the visibility as 3nms, same as the Met.
By coast out, the visibility may have changed little.
As you fly North the visibility slowly decreases, but you probably will not notice. You have no reference points.
You see Mr Holbrooks boat, still to you the Vis seems 3nms. But is it a 30, 40 or 60ft boat?
One minute later the clincher. The lighthouse appears in the gloom. You check the TANS. 3 nms to run. You have been right all along, the Vis is 3nms, exactly what you expected.
Hit the real or mental stopwatch. Check groundspeed. 120 kts. Thirty seconds to turn.*

What if the TANS is lying? What if the accurate range is 1.5nms. Where will you be 30 seconds later? When will your brain register the error?
Big tree little tree, big cliff little cliff, big lighthouse little lighthouse. All you RAF types have seen the films.

So what have we now. "Gross negligence" or "error of judgment" partly induced by equipment error.
Did this happen? No idea.
Could this happen? Yes.

It is more likely than an experienced crew planning to skim a ridge by 300ft IMC.
And it is about as likely as a UCFM at a precise moment in time.

* Spot the deliberate mistake

Last edited by dalek; 24th Jun 2009 at 19:15.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:04
  #4937 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC

are you in fact Caz in disguise, as I was not asking you?
OOerr! Sit down at the back or I shall throw the blackboard rubber at you..........

Read your own post again.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 10:11
  #4938 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC

He is much older than me!!!! (If much is taken in the ironical sense!!!)

PS This retirement lark is B*****Y exhausting.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 13:16
  #4939 (permalink)  
 
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PS This retirement lark is B*****Y exhausting.
At least it gives plenty of time for writing imaginative fiction.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 13:40
  #4940 (permalink)  
 
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Fitter2

At least it gives plenty of time for writing imaginative fiction
If only we could all write such interesting and informative posts as Fitter2..................

Children, keep on focus...........................
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