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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:00
  #5941 (permalink)  
Ralph Kohn
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bastOn and John Purdey


Thank you so much for your posts.



It would be nice if you did have an opinion on this point.

Hanging their Lordships out to dry is commendable if they deserve it, but perhaps we have a case of two negligences to persue...............?


and

but I find it odd that as a fellow pilot of such wide experience you do not wish to comment on the serious accusation of poor airmanship made by CAS




To comment on airmanship aspects without the benefit of an ADR or CVR would be to speculate, except to reiterate the plethora of evidence to inquiries who heard of the supreme skill and excellence of the deceased aircrew, not just the pilots.

There has been too much speculation; it is time for facts. The immaturity of the Mk2 design was such that it did not remotely meet the criteria required by the Secretary of State before release to service.

I did read with interest some very good points, especially #5984, that the 1993 failings on Chinook are perhaps even more serious than those being pursued by the RAF Provost Marshall following the Nimrod report. This does rather emphasise the issue of natural justice.
 
Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:07
  #5942 (permalink)  
 
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In the hope that this thread does not end up as "homework" marked and found wanting by Mr Purdey, I address the PPRuNe membership at large rather than he alone. We now have authoritative and respected comment that hitherto this tragedy was denied. It seems to me that there is case for a renewed BoI (MI?) into it. Not only will this bring fresh light to the circumstances surrounding it, and in particular RTS irregularities suffered by the entire Chinook Mk2 fleet. The Royal Air Force needs to put that scandal behind it. What better way than to conduct an objective and professional Inquiry, in other words a proper Accident Investigation? If it cannot do so then that is a comment on the RAF and in particular its leadership. Given the views already expressed in his letter by the Chief of the Air Staff, an unbiased appraisal of this accident would present a great challenge to the Royal Air Force. Can it rise to it?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:24
  #5943 (permalink)  
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I'm sure I am being over-simplistic, but to me now this whole sorry affair is branching.

Are we not at the point where on the one hand we need a simple change of verdict from GN to CNPD and a separate more serious investigation into the confirmations apparent in the letters from the 2 ACMs? Perhaps another 'Haddon-Cave'?

On a separate point, I assume the 2 ACM's were 'advised' on the content of their letters by 'MOD', but I would like to know why the admission of prior knowledge of defects (and thus presumably the position of Boscombe) is now openly on record?

We have yet to pick up on Brian's #6003 by the way. Can someone do that please?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:46
  #5944 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC, the problem with another Haddon-Cave would be the problem with the original Haddon-Cave, the MOD! The Royal Air Force needs to distance itself from the baleful influence of that monstrous ministry. That the RAF High Command cannot is their misfortune. There is more at stake here than the reputations of two deceased pilots, for the reputation of the service that they served and loved itself is similarly mired. By conducting a truly independent (ie of the High Command) Inquiry it can distance itself from that mire and regain its own reputation, whilst rightfully restoring (for what other finding than CNPD could it come to?) the sullied reputations of these two JO's. If the High Command then did another W&D they would be rightly pilloried for injustice piled upon injustice and create a crisis for the Royal Air Force. Surely even they would baulk at such arrogance? A proper Accident Investigation that restored the reputations of the pilots is surely to be preferred to an administrative gesture forced from a sullen MOD?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:46
  #5945 (permalink)  
 
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Dalton's RAF page here:

RAF - Chief of the Air Staff (CAS)


Says he was OC XIII during Op Jural (post GWI) which puts him close but can't say with any more certainty than that.

Interestingly, he has also held the post of Controller Aircraft.....no divided loyalties there, then?!
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:49
  #5946 (permalink)  
 
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Hanging their Lordships out to dry is commendable if they deserve it, but perhaps we have a case of two negligences to persue...............?
Baston

I think you'll have a hard job finding anyone on my side of the argument who will say that Cook & Tapper definitively were not negligent. We can never know as there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove negligence. A cursory reading of the HoL Cttee findings shows that no-one on this Earth can say that Cook & Tapper were in unhindered control of the aircraft after waypoint change. Day's 'facts' are convincingly shot down as opinion based on a flawed Boeing computer model.

A finding of Gross Negligence requires a standard of proof of "No doubt whatsoever". It is therefore not possible to find Cook & Tapper guilty of gross negligence.

The astonishing turn of events is that now Dalton in his rush to dismiss the BBC revelations with the standard Kafkaesque bureaucratic mantra "not new evidence" has admitted in a letter to the press that the [positively dangerous] Fadec software faults were well known to the MoD but were dealt with in the [incomplete and incomprehensible to aircrew operating the aircraft] aircrew operating instructions.

The campaign has never sought to 'hang' anyone else over this tragedy. Merely to clear Cook & Tapper's names from the unjust finding of gross negligence. By their actions, the RAF seem to be forcing events to a point where an inquiry into the whole release to service becomes inevitable. That being a bureaucratic process, there will be plenty of evidence to prove or disprove negligence in the release to service process.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:49
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The then Wg Cdr Dalton took command of XIII Squadron during July 1992. He undertook an extended tour as CO (including a period as a gp capt) due to the sqn move from Honington to Marham and (IIRC) to cover an Op JURAL det. I am not close enough to visit Marham to look at the sqn cdrs board in the sqn to see the exact date he handed over (to Mick H if memory serves me right) but to the best of my knowledge he was OC on the fateful day. Obviously, I stand by to be corrected.

The reason why I mentioned 'private thoughts' in my post 5931 is that he definately wouldn't have been the sqn cdr when the BoI was finalised -whether the stn cdr would have discussed his draft comments on the BoI with either him (Dalton) or the (then) current sqn cdr is unknown (and I would imagine never publically admitted anyhow).

Apologies Brian that I can't be more accurate at the moment. If you are looking for previous views of the current CAS that may be contradictory were there any accidents during his tenure at Coltishall?

Last edited by Wrathmonk; 10th Jan 2010 at 11:26.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:52
  #5948 (permalink)  
 
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According to Defence Review:

"On completion of the Advanced Staff Course, Air Marshal Dalton commanded No 13 Squadron flying the Tornado GR1A, during which he was deployed on Operation JURAL flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq; for part of the period he was the Commander British Forces JURAL for Op SOUTHERN WATCH in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

I understand that the Tornado crash on Glen Ogle in 1994 was from 13 Squadron.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 11:32
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I don't necessarily think another H-C is necessary - some key evidence to him was actually based on the Mull failings recently "exposed". He embedded this evidence and recommendations from early/mid 90s in his report, but inexplicably baselined it at 1999; implying wrongly that the problems started then.

What recent events will hopefully achieve is a wider realisation that H-C's report and criticisms apply to a period preceding Mull. This is irrefutable; it is a simple case of mapping many of his recommendations to those made by various bodies in the period 1992-96; then again in 1999, following the Chief of Defence Procurement's admission to the PAC that airworthiness regs had not been adhered to on Chinook.

-re Simple change of verdict - Agreed. As Sir Malcolm Rifkind said, this is easily done without further inquiries and, if I interpreted Mr Tapper's comments correctly, honour would be satisfied without the need for any further action. However, I think there would inevitably be other fall-out, as the main culprits would inevitably fall out in the rush to distance themselves from the decision to release the aircraft to Service.


But that is not Mr Tapper's fault or concern, nor indeed that of most here. MoD would be well advised to have a close look at themselves and ask just how they have been brought to their knees these last 3 years and, if so minded, ask whose decisions were responsible for prompting such successful campaigns on the likes of Nimrod and C130. For be assured, these issues are directly related.


On a separate point, I assume the 2 ACM's were 'advised' on the content of their letters by 'MOD', but I would like to know why the admission of prior knowledge of defects (and thus presumably the position of Boscombe) is now openly on record?
I think it is a case of the information already being on record but a combination of MoD ignoring the airworthiness regulations and the BoI not addressing it in the first place, meant it sat on the backburner; emphasising the importance of the Nimrod and C130 cases in bringing this aspect to the fore. I suspect MoD's advice to CAS (both of them) came from the Directorate of Air Staff, who are on record as disagreeing with Haddon-Cave's conclusions. (How many shots can a foot take?).

In saying this, it is important to note that a certain poster here has been banging on about this for many years - long before me - and prepared an excellent report on the subject. Perhaps if MoD had paid attention to him red flags would have been raised in time to take corrective action on more recent tragedies. In this, they failed in their Duty of Care. Again.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 12:17
  #5950 (permalink)  
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Understood, Tuc, and your last point extremely apposite! As someone once said, all that putting your head in the sand achieves is getting your arse thoroughly kicked.

I think from here,on I shall refer to MOD as 'Lemming House'
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:23
  #5951 (permalink)  
 
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flipster

May I refer you to the written signed statement (sworn on oath), given to the BoI a few days after the tragedy, by the Yachtsman in which he states that his position was 2 NM SW of the Mull (and that the the visibility was 1 NM limited by haze) when the Chinook passed him en route to quote " the mass of orographic cloud obscuring the Mull." unquote.

To the contributor who pointed out that the Chinook was at a height that was normal for SH I would point out that this was NOT a SH sortie. It was a routine Passenger Transit Flight utilising SH assets. Whilst a high speed low level transit was right and proper on departure towards the coast, the weather forecast required (as stated by the Investigating Board in their report) "flight in accordance with IFR in the vicinity of the Mull of Kintyre". The BOI also stated quite specifically that the icing clearance would have permitted flight in accordance with IFR in the vicinity of the Mull. This requirement was not complied with - with tragic results.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:59
  #5952 (permalink)  
 
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To the contributor who pointed out that the Chinook was at a height that was normal for SH I would point out that this was NOT a SH sortie. It was a routine Passenger Transit Flight utilising SH assets.
The difference being?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 14:15
  #5953 (permalink)  
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My mistake (and apologies) folks.

I have the comments of the Station Commander in respect of the Tornado crash at Glen Ogle, not those of the Squadron Commander.

If anyone is in a position to advise who held that post at that time, I would be most grateful. If they can't be identified, I will post anyway and also include some bizarre comments from the Reviewing Officers (who I won't name, but the Tornado and Chinook BoIs Reviewing Officers opinions were only 15 days apart!).

My best, as always,
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 14:25
  #5954 (permalink)  
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The BOI also stated quite specifically that the icing clearance would have permitted flight in accordance with IFR in the vicinity of the Mull.
- MEANINGLESS - and that was, in practice, incorrect, other than in a pedantic sense since route MSA was around 6000ft (guessing). All very well saying that (?was it?) 2400ft would have been 'ok' in IFR over the Mull, it would certainly have given 'IFR clearance' over the Mull but what then? No point in pulling up (except in an emergency) when you then have to abandon the rest of the flight! To what height would you (an experienced low level pilot) have 'pulled up' en route there? How would you (an experienced low level pilot) have proposed to get back on the route to complete this important mission having pulled up to 2400ft or thereabouts? VFR was the only option the crew had to complete the detail with that equipment. The B of I was being extremely 'economical with the truth'.

Anyone know if the Icing 'clearance' of the Mk II was for known or forecast?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 15:11
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The Safety Alt for next leg to Corran was in excess of 6000ft! It was to this alt the ac would have had to have climbed before the WP, as that's what I was taught if exiting LL to ML and, anyway, it is good airmanship. Climbing to 2400ft as suggested by D and W would have had my instructors having an apoplectic fit!

Caz - good to hear you but at the FAI, with more in-depth questioning and clarification, Mr Holbrook confirmed the viz was actually better than he had intially said. In deciding which assessment was more accurate, The Sheriff said

I think that the evidence which he gave to this
Inquiry be preferred to the statement which he gave to the Board
Anyway, below 140kts KIAS, COCIOS defines VMC for helos IIRC. Nonetheless, it is possible that the crew went IMC inadvertently but we just don't know!

This of course, is your usual red-herring as the ac was not fit for the flight - defined and demonstrable against the airworthiness regs - perhaps the negligence actually occurred in Oct / Nov 1993?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 15:28
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.... taking us nicely back to Tapper's dilemma. Most military pilots plan (expect?) a VFR-to-IFR low level abort to result in an IFR transit for the rest of the route. To say that the SA around the Mull was 2400ft and therefore the pilots could have climbed to SA within the RTS is misleading. Once he had gone IFR, Tapper's only expectation would have been to continue IFR, all the way. Of course, this option was not available to him because the aircraft was unfit for the task (icing clearance).

So, put yourself at Aldergrove the day of the crash. You have a routine SH (not passenger transport) task with an aircraft that has limitations imposed upon it. You check the weather and realise you need an IFR option. You ask for another airframe - not available. Who is the tasking authority and what will their actions be if you refuse the task. Your only real option is to go VFR all the way. The odds were stacked against John and Rick before they even walked to the aircraft. Of course, you could say that they should have done a 180 as the approached the Mull maybe climbing to an IFR SA of 2900ft, returning 25 peeved-off very important people, together with their golf clubs, back to the dispersal at Aldergrove. But then human factors start to take an increasingly important role in the whole event.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 16:54
  #5957 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by flipster
Climbing to 2400ft as suggested by D and W would have had my instructors having an apoplectic fit!
- exactly, as would any other competent LL pilot. We wait to hear what Cazatou would have done - continued at 2400ft (or whatever it was)? If that suggestion did, as you say, come from Day or Wratten I would seriously question their aviation competence. [I did say 6000ft 'ish was a guess! - certainly into icing.]

As CGB says, the only other option was to climb to Irish Sea MSA and return.

Incidentally, whether the SA comment was taken out of context I cannot recall without looking through pages of stuff - indeed is it just another 'red herring' from Cazatou?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 17:17
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Brian - the closest I have got is that it seems that at some date in 1994 command of RAF Marham passed from G/C N R Irving to G/C J A Broadbent. I cannot find a date. Maybe some of 'Mother Riley's pilots' can assist further?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 18:29
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Marham Stn Cdrs

Brian,

Does this help? Service appointments - People, News - The Independent

4ma
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 21:05
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The Safe Alt around Ben Nevis is approx 6500ft (near Corran), which was above the Scottish Transition Level of around 5000ft. There was a low QNH/RPS of approx 989 mb which would have equated to a Safe FL of 73 and therefore, a Safe Quadrantal FL (tracking to the NE) of FL 90. Of course, they may have got a radar service at FL72 or even initially 6500ft, from Scottish Mil and could have remained there. Also, it is possible that they may have got 'VMC above' (cloud tops) at at a lower altitude. Sadly, airmanship dictated that they could not have depended on these possibilities and would have had to plan for the worst case; somewhere far above 2400ft and well into the forbidden icing band.

I do believe that D and W (and their accolytes) insist that 2400ft was a legal SA over the Mull - absolute poppycock, as anyone with an ounce of airmanship will tell you!
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