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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 22nd Mar 2010, 16:44
  #6261 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Round the Buoy Again!

Having met with him in Perth some years ago I am glad to see that Walter has proved that he was right about what kit was fitted, and the fact that it was not correctly covered by the paperwork or the MOD responses continues to say even more about airworthiness and the issues of the Chinook Mk2 introduction to service, together with the many investigative failures of the BoI. However, I do not agree with the rest of Walter’s theory – for which I have not seen any convincing evidence.

Baston's point, more innuendo (ie a baseless invention of thoughts or ideas) than anything else I suggest, that, based on Walter’s theory, it would have been careless of them to have continued to approach the Mull in that weather is yet again trying to justify the original speculation and hence the pilots’ guilt – especially since it is an undisputed fact that they had changed waypoints whilst approaching the Mull. Why would they do this if they planned to approach the landing site? I could think of several reasons relating to known airworthiness issues as to why, having made the waypoint change, they might have made a sudden change of plan and decided they had to land at the Mull helicopter landing site, but they would also be speculation.

This thread is about why they were found guilty of Gross Negligence based on speculation by senior officers, and not supported by the BoI’s findings, at the time, and NOT on trying to make facts from speculation on what caused the crash – we don’t know and will never know this, and I have difficulty in understanding why so many contributors cannot grasp this fact. Clearly we are all entitled to our thoughts and to express an opinion, but finding such guilt based on opinions and not facts is not part of our system of justice, and, as all who write here know, was against the RAF's own rules of the time. Everything we have found out about the airworthiness issues and the mistakes made in the Introduction to Service since that time makes such a finding, already unjustified under these rules, even less credible.

Instead of continuing to go round in circles I would still like to see one of these contributors who are so certain that they “know” the answers and can therefore justify the guilty verdicts of what amounts to manslaughter against the pilots, answer the simple questions I asked in post 6256 – which had been put to the AOCinC without getting any response. Any takers?

JB
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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 18:03
  #6262 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

John Blakeley. It is not for me to defend their airships, bu I am amused by your reference to your 'simple questions ' earlier. When I scrolled back, I found that you had asked at least eight questions in that verbose posting. No wonder you did not get a straight answer. Regards JP
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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 18:09
  #6263 (permalink)  
 
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JP

I think ANY answer would be the right and courteous reply.

X767
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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 18:35
  #6264 (permalink)  
 
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Simple Questions

JP,

You must be getting pretty desperate with this response! Far beneath your usual standard. As far as I can see the only thing you do is to defend their airships, as you call them. They were, verbose or not, simple questions. But then in my view you have never responded, with anything other than blind support for the Reviewing Officers' speculation, to simple questions on why the verdict, which broke their own rules, was justified either. You have also, as far as I can see, refused to acknowledge or consider at all that the many facts that support the airworthiness and Introduction to Service issues the aircraft had might in some way support the need to cast doubt on the "rule breaking" verdict either! Since you know what caused the crash perhaps you know the answers, and you could answer a couple of the simple questions to help me out.

JB
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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 19:15
  #6265 (permalink)  
 
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I'm having a slow day here - I removed Walt from my ignore list again to have a look at this evidence people find compelling and found:

- 2 pictures of HC2s that he'd posted (the second one is an HC2, Walt - that colour scheme didn't come in 'til the Mid Life Update, and HH was never a unit code on any HC1 in the early 1990s), both of which have the UHF homing aerials fitted. In the second photo, one is in front of the mainwheel leg and the other is to the left of the retractable landing light.

- A picture from CGB showing the original paintscheme plus the same aerials.

I'm aware from later ops that the walk-on CPLS was/is able to use the same aerials.

How then, despite Walt's misidentification of the 2nd a/c in his picture and the presence of the same aerials in both, does this somehow translate into his being right all along?
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 10:15
  #6266 (permalink)  
 
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JB

Baston's point, more innuendo (ie a baseless invention of thoughts or ideas) than anything else I suggest, that, based on Walter’s theory, it would have been careless of them to have continued to approach the Mull in that weather is yet again trying to justify the original speculation and hence the pilots’ guilt
Sorry JB - but no, that is incorrect.

Are you saying that on Walters evidence they may have been doing a 'self approach' to the Mull?
I asked this of CHUGAZ subsequent to his post that I found intriguing.

Pilots guilt - well yes. If you read my posts I have always been of the opinion that a verdict of pilot error was much nearer the mark than gross negligence. If however they HAD been making an approach in that weather - and I have not a clue as to wether they were, that opens up a whole new can of worms. Someone somewhere would have known about it and presumably authourised it. It would have been a foolish thing to do.
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 10:22
  #6267 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

John Blakeley. I have never commented on the airworthiness aspects of this case because I am not qualified to do so, and even if I were so qualified I have not seen the documents.
But my background does permit me to point out that the crew committed a grave breach of airmanship by flying as they did and where they did in those weather conditions.
You may well say that the a/c should not have been flying at all, but the plain fact is that it was flying and this crew was flying it.
I am sure I do not need to repeat the whole argument yet again, but it has nothing to do with blind suport of the AMs. Regards JP
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 10:49
  #6268 (permalink)  
 
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Happy to be Corrected

BastOn,

I am happy to be corrected, especially as the rest of your new post reinforces the point that I and others are trying to make. If indeed Walter's theory were to be correct and they were making an approach to the Mull for a trial, for which they would have been authorised, it was a major failure of the BoI not to recognise this. If having been authorised for such a trial they had pressed on into bad weather then as a minimum pilot error could have been involved - indeed it is my understanding that at the time of the BoI, for whatever the thinking was, the families were told that there could be a verdict of "balance of probabilities pilot error".

I don't think they were conducting such a trial since I cannot believe that on the operations side the BoI would have failed to find this out (the engineering side is a completely different matter) and again if they intended to approach the Mull landing site why did they change waypoints? The BoI of course in the end did not come up with a pilot error verdict since, rightly, they did not have enough evidence to support this, and I would question even their "error of judgement" comment since all the evidence points to the fact that the last thing the crew intended to do, either in their flight planning or in the last moments leading to the waypoint change, was to attempt to climb over Mull. To remind you:

The Board was unable to positively determine the sequence of events leading up to the accident, and therefore concluded that although it is likely that Flt Lt TAPPER made an Error of Judgement in the conduct of the attempted climb over the Mull of Kintyre, it would be incorrect to criticise him for human failings based on the available evidence.

However, the bottom line and the point you make is that even if a pilot error verdict could be supported with facts (not speculation as I see JP repeats yet again in his latest post where he again refuses to recognise that issues which question the airworthiness of the aircraft could also have affected the crew's ability to fly it on the planned and safe flight path) this is a long way from the finding of criminal irresponsbility that the Gross Negligence verdict (based on ignoring the rules and even wilder speculation) means. That, and not speculation on either the operations or engineering side as to the cause of this accident, is, I believe, what this thread is about.

JB
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 13:20
  #6269 (permalink)  
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It is an interesting conundrum as to what the 'motives' of some of our posters are. Whether it is a form of protective 'croneysism' of which we are unaware due to anonymity here, a blind faith in the absolute infallibility of 'senior officers' or just a lack of comprehension I know not, but comments like "But my background does permit me to point out that the crew committed a grave breach of airmanship by flying as they did and where they did in those weather conditions" leave me wondering what insight these posters have that the BoI did not - if any? My background of several years of low-level ops does not 'permit me' to make those assumptions. I can surmise but not be certain. Perhaps I should also add for the sake of clarity that I am acquainted with some of the senior officers involved, but not the crew?
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 16:36
  #6270 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

BOAC. I must have missed something; I thought it was generally agreed here that the a/c flew into IMC well below the appropriate SA. What is disputed is why the a/c did so, n'est pas? JP
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 16:52
  #6271 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by John Purdey View Post
BOAC. I must have missed something; I thought it was generally assumed here that the a/c flew into IMC well below the appropriate SA. What is disputed is why the a/c did so, n'est pas? JP
As no one actually knows if they entered IMC I think it reads more accurately as above
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 17:00
  #6272 (permalink)  
 
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Seldom

As no one actually knows if they entered IMC
As they hit the hill the observers on the ground were in thick fog..................IMC?
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 17:49
  #6273 (permalink)  
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JP - nothing in dispute - as far as I know it was established that conditions at the crash site were IMC and yes, the impact was below the 6000' plus SA. The only thing in dispute is that you appear to know why they crashed whereas the BoI and the great mass of professional opinion here do not. The real puzzle is what drives you and a few others to be so certain.

Last edited by BOAC; 23rd Mar 2010 at 18:02.
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 18:26
  #6274 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

BOAC. Thankyou for the above. I think you will find that the only remaining dispute is why the aircraft did not turn port and thus up the coast, rather than continuing across the Mull, as it did. I have offered an explanation that fits all the facts, and no-one has challenged that explanation nor offered a better one. Regards JP
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 18:44
  #6275 (permalink)  
 
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John

no-one has challenged that explanation nor offered a better one
Sqn Ldr Burke stated precisely what could have happened, as he had experienced it on numerous occasions. (UFCM). However, I agree it is possible he has not actually challenged YOU on this forum or in person. As to whose explanation is "better", I expect he (rightly) regards himself an authority on such matters. Also, the events he spoke of are a matter of record. These are facts even MoD agree with.

Given then that there are at least two explanations (yours and Sqn Ldr Burke's), that would tend to indicate uncertainty. That breeds doubt.
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 20:54
  #6276 (permalink)  
 
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JP claims
I have offered an explanation that fits all the facts, and no-one has challenged that explanation nor offered a better one.
For many of us your 'explanation' (forgive me if have misunderstood it) is that an experienced crew, not only the two pilots but also a crewman noted for expressing his views on the safe conduct of an operational flight, either deliberately or casually flew into straight into IMC and then into the Mull.

This does not 'fit the facts'. It is merely an opinion unsupported by any FR or CVR. The fact that it is similar to the opinion of Wratten and Day does not give it any particular credibility.

A system failure that prevented the intended course change and remaining in VMC, similar to other system failures which resulted in the recommendation from Boscombe Down to ground the type is at least equally likely. I prefer Sqn. Ldr. Burke's view.
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Old 24th Mar 2010, 09:07
  #6277 (permalink)  
 
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Baston,
Is your memory so bad you have forgotten that all this has been discussed before.
Everyone accepts that the lighthouse observers were in fog. Most people accept that Mr Holbrook describes (marginal ) VMC.
Since the Chinook crew were neither in the boat or the lighthouse nobody knows if and when the Chinook went IMC.
Now most of us accept that because of the close proximity of the crash site and the lighthouse,it is highly likely the crew went IMC. That does not constitute absolute proof. Remember the discussion on well defined fog bank edges? There were no observers at the crash site.
Even if the crew went IMC, to be negligent it would have to be deliberate and with the aircraft under control. Sqn Ldr Burke, the leading expert of the time, says this "may" not have been the case.
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Old 24th Mar 2010, 09:59
  #6278 (permalink)  
 
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JP claims
Quote:
I have offered an explanation that fits all the facts, and no-one has challenged that explanation nor offered a better one.
May I draw you attention to my previous post 4309 (quoted below), to which I note no one has produced an explanation of why this scenario could not have happened, something that is necessary to sustain a verdict of gross negligence:

Quote:
Perhaps, encompassing everybody's theory (and being slightly fanciful), the crew had just made the waypoint change when a spurious Eng Fail caption light came on, the crew then made a slight turn to the right to make landfall for an emergency landing and, due to the distraction, hit the Mull. I can't prove that to be correct (and actually doubt it to be correct), but there is no-one who can actually prove it wrong, based upon what little evidence is known. Absolutely no doubt whatsoever? I don't think so.
Or not much more fanciful:

At the waypoint change the handling pilot applied significant control inputs to turn left up the coast of the Mull causing the connections in the broom cupboard to fail(1) inducing sudden continued changes in fore and aft pitch(2)(3) causing DECU connectors to come partly loose generating multiple spurious warnings(4). The jolting and erroneous warnings overwhelmed the aircrew and uncontrolled the chinook flew on into the fog covered Mull.

Notes:

1. HoL Report Para 57: 57. After the accident the investigators found that both inserts for the thrust balance spring attachment bracket had detached as well as most of the other inserts to both pallets. The AAIB stated, "as an insert could apparently pull out of the pallet without appreciable distress to the components necessarily resulting, the possibility that insert(s) had detached prior to the accident could not be dismissed" (para 7.4.2). In the Flight Control Summary the AAIB reiterated that "the possibility of control system jam could not be positively dismissed" and further stated that "little evidence was available to eliminate the possibility of pre-impact detachment of any of the pallet components" (para 7.4.9).

2. HoL Report Para 115: 115. Witness A also had personal experience of UFCMs in Chinook Mk 1s (QQ 792-6). In one case over a period of days an aircraft bounced vertically every time it was turned right.

3. HoL Report Para 111: 111. In relation to possible jams Squadron Leader Burke explained that, due to the complexity of the Chinook control system, a jam caused by a loose article such as the balance spring in the broom cupboard in one of the three axes, pitch, yaw or roll, could lead to quite random results in all three axes sometimes and certainly in two of them. He had personal experience while lifting off from the ground of a jam in one axis affecting the other two (Q 935).

4. HoL Report Para 54: 54. The AAIB considered the engines and controls and because of the reported FADEC service difficulties investigated the DECUs in detail. DECU no. 2 remained partially functionable with deficiencies consistent with impact damage, and with no faults or exceedances traced in its memory of the last flight. DECU no. 1 had suffered gross fire damage with part of its casing melted away and severe damage to the interior components whereby its memories of exceedance and fault listing had been destroyed.

5. I have not seen the SuperTANs report, but nothing I have read shows that it recorded the attitude of ZD576.

Of course uncommanded pitch changes would mean that there was never any last minute flare.

Equally the lack of a chain of events of co-incident broom cupboard and DECU failures would explain the lack of any further accidents.

Like Brian, I cannot say that this scenario occurred, but to find the pilots guilty of gross negligence then to my mind you have to prove this scenario could not happen.

EG
I am open to hearing how this scenario could not have happened, care to elaborate JP?

EG
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Old 24th Mar 2010, 10:15
  #6279 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

BOAC. You have asked about the motives of folk like me, and you deserve a reply; please have a look at the outrageous conspiracy I outlined at 5301. It was in the hope of stopping such nonsense that I engaged. Regards JP
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Old 24th Mar 2010, 10:44
  #6280 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

ExGrunt. Suggest you add you newest explanation of the crash to those I outline at 5455. With all good wishes, JP
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