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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 10th Jan 2010, 22:36
  #5961 (permalink)  
 
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Lets be absolutely 100% clear here. When I spoke to Jon Tapper just before the flight, he catagorically stated that IMC was not an option, because the 0deg level was too low and the MK2 did not have an icing clearance. He was really hacked off about this.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 00:26
  #5962 (permalink)  
 
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For goodness sake folk, stop talking about rules etc. When the sh*t hits the fan or is about to, then any experienced aircrew(and both these guys were) will take whatever action is necessary to avoid killing themselves. If that action is to climb above the known highest point within a reasonable distance of the point they know they are at, then the official method of calculating safety altitude goes out the window. If that altitude is above icing conditions, so be it, it's still a better option than flying into the mountain, because as you know where you are you also know that you can descend once clear of the high ground and get below the icing level and back to VFR. People who say that once you have climbed to SA you are stuck there have clearly little if any experience of low level flying. Yes I have been there and done it albeit at 420 kts without the icing concerns, but the principle remains the same.
But.... and this is the important bit.....none of us know without any doubt whatsoever, what happened on that fatefull day, and we can speculate, give our points of view, make educated guesses based on experience, but none of us know .
The ridiculous findings have to be changed.

ps Before somebody says that they should not have got into a position where going IMC was inevitable, we do not know why they finished up where they did, we can only speculate and that just is not good enough.

Last edited by Romeo Oscar Golf; 11th Jan 2010 at 01:10. Reason: important addition
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 07:44
  #5963 (permalink)  
 
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He should never have gone IFR. He knew before he took off that the aircraft was not cleared for it.If the weather was as good as the yachtie said, he could see the fog shrouded Mull and should have slowed down, turned away, reduced height and so on. If he was able to
Syllogism

Any competent aircrew would have turned away as described, IF THEY WERE ABLE TO.

Tapper and Cook (and the other crew) were competent, in the view of all who knew them.

Therfore they were unable (for some unknown reason) to carry out the expected action.

Thank you Baston for another nail in the coffin of the totally unjustifiable verdict of Wratten and Day.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 08:00
  #5964 (permalink)  
 
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I'm a little late to this thread but......
back in the 1990's I worked for a company that was involved in the FADEC software for the Chinook in question. I was told that immeditaley prior to the crash, the demand had been given to both engines for maximum power (and lift too?) but they had not responded to the pilot's request. The internals of both control boxes were recovered but due to the heat they experienced in the post-crash fire, it was not possible to determine if they had wiring/solder faults, correct versions of firmware etc. All that is clear is that the instructions given by the pilots did NOT get translated into commands to the engines. To blame the pilots for this crash is therefore WRONG 100%.
However, we're talking abut the MoD here........
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 09:21
  #5965 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by R O G
you can descend once clear of the high ground and get below the icing level and back to VFR.
- essentially we are talking here about what the crew would have CONSIDERED in their overall 'thinking' during the trip, not what they would do IF they were forced to make an emergency abort. I don't think anyone with more than a few hours at low-level would think about 'stopping' at exactly 2400' after an abort climb unless they were turning back?

This is all a bit of a distraction from the root of the thread, but I think you need to re-check the map for the route and you will realise that your option would not pertain for a heli in that area. Yes, I have many times 'got back down' from an abort, but I would have been exteremely circumspect in trying it there and then in IMC on that route. As mentioned many times here, to consider a pull up to SA would not, I'm sure, have been in their minds, and I'm sure going 'back down again' would have been far removed from their planning I would suggest their only option would have been a let-down at Macrihanish which would, I guess, have knocked out the detail for duty time/fuel/whatever, let alone being vectored around in IMC without any icing clearance?

I really think this climb to SA thing is something we should ignore. I'm sure they would have ruled it out in planning. Let us just concentrate on the fact that we don't know FOR SURE why they 'arrived' where they did and focus there? These 'diversionary tactics' that we are suffering (crew duty/meals/S Alt/ etc are not advancing the effort, and I feel the ball is well and truly rolling now.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 09:36
  #5966 (permalink)  
 
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Fitter

Thank you Baston for another nail in the coffin of the totally unjustifiable verdict of Wratten and Day.
I think that is most unfair. I have been consistent all along that "gross negligence" is not a fair outcome.

Before the days of CVRs and data recorders there were many crashes and no one knew for sure what happened in the final stages of flight - but still pilot error was often the result of the deliberations. In this tragic case all the evidence to my mind for the last few minutes looks very much like that. Yes, I know they were truly competant pilots but the end result of whatever happened in the cockpit during the flight ended with impact with the ground. Even the best of us cock it up sometimes.

Of course the verdict of "gross negligence" should be overturned but let us all put away the rose tinted spectacles and face up to a few KNOWN facts.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 09:48
  #5967 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC, I agree that the SA argument is tenuous, to say the least. However this is an argument made by the RAF and therefore needs to be questioned.

PS. I agree that 2010 appears to be bringing a new impetus.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 10:27
  #5968 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry, but I can't find a link yet, but Air Cdre Derek Hine (Ret'd) has written to the Daily Telegraph today.

He is the officer who orignally wrote the words "Only when there is absolutely no doubt.......".

He calls for a full legal inquiry.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 10:33
  #5969 (permalink)  
 
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The Chinook negligence verdict is riddled with doubts

SIR – As chairman of a working party on Boards of Inquiry into RAF flying accidents I was responsible for the words: “Only when there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever should deceased aircrew be found negligent.”
Following clearance at all levels by the RAF and the Ministry of Defence, the words were incorporated in the manual by order of the Air Force Board in 1983.
Not surprisingly, I am appalled by the negligence verdicts made by the reviewing officers in the Mull Chinook inquiry (Leading article, January 5). The case is riddled with doubt, in particular the evidence on the weather.
I understand the pilots’ families are not seeking compensation, but solely that the honour of the two deceased pilots be restored by setting the verdicts aside without further inquiry. This now seems extremely unlikely following the letters in your columns last week from the Chief of the Air Staff (January 6) and his predecessor (January 7) who was in post at the time of the accident.
These letters misjudge the public mood and determination that this type of perceived injustice should be fleshed out in a full legal inquiry. This is now the only way ahead.
Air Commodore Derek Hine (retd)
Cambridge

SIR – Having lost a son in a flying accident which, after a year’s investigation by the MoD, was proved to be the result of a fatal flaw in the aircraft, I have always had the greatest sympathy for the families of the Chinook pilots.
It is indescribably painful to lose a son, but to have him then labelled as negligent (particularly when, as in this case, they were praised as “the best of the best”) must be beyond pain.
Surely the recent revelations warrant the reopening of the case, however many air chief Marshals object.
Carolyn Hill
Burbage, Wiltshire

Remembering the winter of 1947 – when frozen Britons showed true grit - Telegraph
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 11:22
  #5970 (permalink)  
 
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A timely and potentially important input from Derek Hine. He is yet another well-qualified aviation expert who is now openly questioning the actions of the two reviewing officers. The letter also points out that "their airships" are totally out of step with public opinion which, of course, they are.

More grist to the mill and I'm glad that the new momentum in 2010 is being maintained.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 11:51
  #5971 (permalink)  
 
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Of course the verdict of "gross negligence" should be overturned but let us all put away the rose tinted spectacles and face up to a few KNOWN facts.
Absolutely.

Known: the Chinook hit the ground.

Known: the Chinook was not fit for release to service

Unknown: What happened during the last minute of the flight.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 11:56
  #5972 (permalink)  
 
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HamishMcBush
<<...back in the 1990's I worked for a company that was involved in the FADEC software for the Chinook in question. I was told that immeditaley prior to the crash, the demand had been given to both engines for maximum power (and lift too?) but they had not responded to the pilot's request. ...All that is clear is that the instructions given by the pilots did NOT get translated into commands to the engines. To blame the pilots for this crash is therefore WRONG 100%....>>
You would have had the processing delay of the FADEC system and then the turbine lag to be overcome before the demand came into effect – as it would appear that the final extreme control demands were only made in the last ~3 secs before impact, then you cannot draw the conclusion that the FADEC was at fault in not translating the demand.
It would be of interest to all readers here if you were to ask your (then) colleagues to quantify what the expected FADEC processing delay would have been back then – don't forget to factor in that the FADEC would have been (before those last seconds) reducing fuel to reduce RRPM as they had been slowing down (in terms of TAS from waypoint change to impact site according to Boeing's analysis) and thus the rotors would have been tending to pick up RPM as the drag reduced – how responsive timewise was the FADEC system to changing processes?
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 12:00
  #5973 (permalink)  
 
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Unknown: What happened during the last minute of the flight
Quite - but many accidents have come up with verdicts in pre data recording aircraft without that knowledge. Balance of probability and all that.........and there is a lot of probability hanging around here.

Last edited by bast0n; 11th Jan 2010 at 12:34.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 12:15
  #5974 (permalink)  
 
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Quite - but many accidents have come up with verdicts in pre data recording aircraft without that knowledge. Balance of probability and all that.........
Yet at around the same time, another BoI investigating the Glen Ogle Tornado GR1A crash had full information from both ADR and CVR.....and the published verdict was that the cause could not be positively determined...
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 12:15
  #5975 (permalink)  
 
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Balance of probability and all that.
But, presumably, those accidents would have been before the "absolutely no doubt" policy Hines speaks of?
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 12:31
  #5976 (permalink)  
 
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A GENERAL POINT
The one thing I share with the bulk of the campaigners is that the verdict of gross negligence was wrong simply because blame could not be put onto the crew with “absolutely no doubt whatsoever” - this would have required that a crew error had been positively identified which directly led to the crash and certainly this extreme verdict should never be applied simply because no other reason was identified.
I have said this years ago that I believe the verdict was announced to allay possible public unrest at the time by implying that it was definitely just a case of pilot error, no room for conspiracy, nothing untoward could have happened here, etc. and to put an end to deeper digging. As I recall, there was a theme of painting the pilots as cavalier, listening to a pop station, a psychologist being wheeled out to say they may have been incompatible, that they were travelling too fast, etc. etc. etc. - any spin they could to put the pilots in a bad light. Why?
You will not succeed in clearing their names using your current tactics until the powers that be deem it safe to do so in terms of there being no chance of public outcry as to how this team so conveniently got crashed out of the way of that peace process – as the ramifications of that peace process are being felt hard now in both communities, I feel that this time is still some way off. As things stand, the campaigners are still playing into the hands of the powers that be, stalling any deeper digging for an indefinite period. Perhaps getting to the whole truth is the only timely way?
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 13:06
  #5977 (permalink)  
 
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Many here have expressed a level of dismay with regard to Dalton's defense of the MoD. Many seem to think that he was a better man than this episode may demonstrate. Others have expressed surprise that he "drew his revolver and pointed it directly at his foot". On can reasonably assume that, in order to reach his current position, the man is not a fool. Has anyone considered that the apparently errant shot from the revolver was, in fact, quite deliberately aimed?
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 13:38
  #5978 (permalink)  
 
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Other senior officers seem to have reached the post without being very marvellous.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 14:20
  #5979 (permalink)  
 
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AA:
Has anyone considered that the apparently errant shot from the revolver was, in fact, quite deliberately aimed?
So what you are proposing is that the CAS has a cunning plan? I've no doubt he has, but what is desperately wanted from him is not cunning, cleverness or craftiness but plain old fashioned, stand up and be counted, career on the line, leadership. The words hell and freezing-over come immediately to mind. I see in the Times today that his chum's, Sir Jock's, job is on the line. If only that applied to the whole rotten crew! The CAS should be concerned primarily with the good name of the Royal Air Force. The good name of the Royal Air Force dictates that it takes possession of this scandal before it takes possession itself. With due respect to Air Cdre Hine, a legal inquiry will do just that. The inquiry should be a renewed Board of Inquiry that unlike its predecessor seeks out all the evidence that it can. If it does that it can only but bring into disrepute the CoC of which Messrs Wratten and Day were mere bottom feeders. This boil must be lanced for it infects and poisons the good name of the Royal Air Force. How dare these people damn those who have uncovered it as harming the morale of our serving personnel. They and they alone are responsible for that and have reneged on their duty of care to their subordinates and their Service.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 11th Jan 2010 at 14:33.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 16:13
  #5980 (permalink)  
 
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I don't believe Dalton should, necessarily, be required to show such "leadership" which would be, after all, falling on his sword for a 15 year old cause.

If, as I suspect may be the case, he is playing politics with the MoD and the politicians and doing it rather well. In doing so he protects his pension etc. by stating irrefutably that there is no new evidence and that Wratton and Day will be upheld while, at the same time, offering up on a platter the very gem that, (if the media can be stirred up - and a scandal like this will almost certainly get them buzzing like an angry hornet's nest), will force the overturning of Wratton and Day.

I think it might be time to concede that what our military needs up there in that rarefied atmosphere are not leaders per se but rather politically adept men or women who have the best interests of the country and the military at heart. I think it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt over the last decade or so that "leaders" get crapped on by the professional politician/Civil Serpent. It's time there were people up there who can stand toe to toe with them when necessary.

Maybe, just maybe, Dalton is a little glimmer of hope. Only time will tell.
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