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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 5th May 2010, 13:52
  #6321 (permalink)  
 
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Robin & Chug

If I may add something.

If an error was made inputting data to the RNS252 (SuperTANS) that, indeed, would be construed as a "pilot error", but not Gross Negligence; however any decent lawyer would quote the Release To Service in mitigation.

First, the RNS252 is one of the few Nav systems even mentioned in the RTS, implying (a) the rest were removed during conversion or, more likely, (b) Boscombe simply were not given the time to establish the installed performance (as required by the regs), so were correct in not mentioning the kit in their report; thus avoiding any confusion as to status. They accompanied this progress report with a clear statement that the aircraft was not to be released. Note - a progress report, not formal CA Release Recommendations, as required by Controller Aircraft (Sir Donald Spiers at the time) before he can sign the CAR. He signed anyway, the first act of Gross Negligence. That is, he ignored his own regulations (CA Instructions, the published orders taught to all aircraft and equipment project managers stating how JSP553 and other legal obligations were to be implemented), thus establishing a dangerous precedent.


Second, there is no level of clearance stated. Again, a clear breach of the same regulations. However, the RTS does, erroneously, say the RNS252 may be used but warns (MoD's highlighting);


GPS has not yet been declared operational (at Initial Operating Capability) by the US Department of Defense and accuracy is therefore not guaranteed to any level. Even when GPS is declared operational by the US (advised to aircrew AFTER the accident), accuracy of the GPS could degrade substantially without any indications to the crew. For this reason, GPS should not be used as the sole navigation aid.


The RTS then lists a raft of caveats, including "the (GPS) ERROR message is meaningless" and GPS is "highly susceptible to jamming".

It also says the accuracy of the Doppler/INS system "on trial" was "2.81% of distance travelled, overland, with a recently harmonised INS". This of course is rendered academic because (a) they had just flown over water and (b) the Doppler and INS were not cleared for use anyway! That implies the trials were incomplete when CAR and RTS were signed, and still incomplete at the time of the accident.


I don't like using car analogies, but this is akin to senior officers (CA, DGA2 and ACAS) saying "We're not going to bother ascertaining if the car works, but you are ordered to drive it anyway. Oh, and by the way, the steering doesn't work if you try to make a turn, we're not providing you with a means of knowing where you are and if you complain you will receive a career brief on your brief career". Which rather nicely sums up what we know happened.

The above is fact, but I will offer this opinion. I firmly believe the above Gross Negligence, including ACAS's act of signing the laughably non-compliant RTS in contravention of the regulations, influenced the subsequent actions of Wratten, Day and Graydon.

Last edited by tucumseh; 5th May 2010 at 14:08.
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Old 5th May 2010, 14:59
  #6322 (permalink)  
 
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Point taken tuc, and I am not trying to ascribe a 'verdict' to any legal case that might or might not finally determine the culpability or lack of it for this accident by anyone, be they junior or senior in the food chain. My point is, as an ex-pilot, that if the case that Robin puts forward was found to be a compelling one and was indeed reflected in the finding of a new BoI/ Accident Investigation/ Military Inquiry, or whatever the beast is now called, it would probably be one of pilot error. We must remember that it is 'only' an administrative finding, a verdict requiring a charge and full legal hearing by a civil or military court. Whether the kit was legal, the aircraft airworthy, or the weather tricky, it was the responsibility of the pilots to maintain VMC and to ensure the safe navigation of their aircraft. I have no doubt that is exactly what these two pilots did, until they were overwhelmed by something far more dramatic than an incorrect set of co-ordinates in the nav computer, for whatever reason. In other words you Court Martial the Senior Officers charged with the Gross Negligence that you describe but still find, by MI, the accident cause as pilot error if the facts were found to be as Robin described, rather than as I suspect. I hasten to add that this would be in accordance with the protocols as they existed some 40 years ago and, like me, could have been long since superseded by younger and more virile ones!
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Old 5th May 2010, 22:21
  #6323 (permalink)  
 
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Chugaz

it was the responsibility of the pilots to maintain VMC and to ensure the safe navigation of their aircraft. I have no doubt that is exactly what these two pilots did, until they were overwhelmed by something far more dramatic than an incorrect set of co-ordinates in the nav computer, for whatever reason
No doubt..................? Evidence would be good at this stage.
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Old 5th May 2010, 22:42
  #6324 (permalink)  
 
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No doubt..................? Evidence would be good at this stage.
Precisely put Baston.. Exactly what was lacking to support the verdict imposed by Messrs. W&D in servile avoidance of placing the responsibility where it belonged - the criminal release to service of an unairworthy airframe.
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Old 5th May 2010, 23:03
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Originally Posted by bast0n View Post
Chugaz



No doubt..................? Evidence would be good at this stage.
Oh the irony
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Old 6th May 2010, 08:27
  #6326 (permalink)  
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I believe that the baston/purdey team have now taken to spamming in pairs, so I would seriously suggest not giving them the incentive to continue by replying.

Above all, despite claims of 'experience' in the past, their actual understanding of low-level operational 'practicalities' appears sadly minimal as can be seen over and over again, and the lack of a balanced requirement for 'proof' either way makes sensible discussion both frustrating - if not impossible. We leave in place, and view their comments, of course, but NB Wholigan's advice elsewhere.
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Old 6th May 2010, 09:21
  #6327 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC

There is no need to be offensive - and inaccurate.

I have stated all along that the verdict of gross negligence does not hold up. I also am of the opinion, if you bother to read my previous posts, that on the evidence that I have seen the correct verdict would have been "pilot error".

If you would care to PM me I will gladly let you know the depth of my
actual understanding of low-level operational 'practicalities'
and indeed any other experience that you may feel relevant.

Try not to be quite so condescending in future, there's a good chap!
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Old 6th May 2010, 09:41
  #6328 (permalink)  
 
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Baston

I have stated all along that the verdict of gross negligence does not hold up. I also am of the opinion, if you bother to read my previous posts, that on the evidence that I have seen the correct verdict would have been "pilot error".
Indeed, this has been your consistent line; a consistency which I respect.

However, given the irrefutable evidence I outline above, which is simply lifted from MoD's own papers, would you not agree that 'Organisational Fault' (O) and 'Unsatisfactory Equipment' (UE) should have been included in any verdict?

Of course that would have meant the BoI, Wratten and Day criticising Spiers, Norriss and Bagnall, much to the dismay of Graydon. Again, the only person to emerge with credit is Captain Brougham, RN who pleaded with the above to meet their Duty of Care obligation by simply following the regulations. (Sometimes the Senior Service are worth listening to, something you will appreciate!). They refused. I will gladly amend that statement if MoD ever produce evidence that, for example, Spiers or his staffs (e.g. Norriss) ever met their obligation to advise Bagnall of Boscombe's concerns BEFORE he signed the RTS, chief among them the assertion of "positively dangerous" and "don't release to Service". Given Spiers signed the CAR, I think this highly unlikely however it is likely he acted under pressure from the RAF.
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Old 6th May 2010, 10:47
  #6329 (permalink)  
 
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bast0n:
No doubt..................? Evidence would be good at this stage.
Well wouldn't it? It would have been even better some 15 years ago when it was suppressed/withheld/ignored/adulterated (select your preference). I was merely making the point that the accident may well have been down to pilot error. You think it was, I think it wasn't. Neither of us can prove our case or disprove the other now. It is probable that we never could. What can be proved, providing the investigation is thorough and independent, is the case that tuc puts, that the Chinook HC2 was forced into service with the RAF in contravention of the UK Military Airworthiness Regulations and that consequently ZD576 was Grossly Unairworthy when it crashed onto the Mull of Kintyre. That is very relevant IMHO and if proven opens up the possibility of criminal charges being laid against those involved in that act and the subsequent cover up. As you say, evidence would be good at that stage and I trust could be forthcoming.
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Old 6th May 2010, 11:09
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I still think a contributory cause was the fact there was no low level radar coverage available in this area thus enabling the crew the option of flying in IMC at a safe altitude. This was due to the withdrawl of radar and hence a possible LARS service from Macrihanish about a month prior to the accident although Macrihanish did not close for some time after the accident.
Part of the blame should therefore fall on the senior officer who authorised the premature withdrawl of the radar.
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Old 6th May 2010, 11:23
  #6331 (permalink)  
 
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Chinook

BOAC. ......their actual understanding of low-level operational 'practicalities' appears sadly minimal Please yourself, but that is not what my logbook tells me! JP
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Old 6th May 2010, 11:32
  #6332 (permalink)  
 
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chevvron,

The aircraft's lack of a suitable IFR (IMC?) clearance is one of the factors at the root of this accident.
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Old 6th May 2010, 12:30
  #6333 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by John Purdey View Post
BOAC. ......their actual understanding of Rotary low-level operational 'practicalities' appears sadly minimal Please yourself, but that is not what my logbook tells me! JP
Might have been a better way of making the point.
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Old 6th May 2010, 12:51
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Seldom - hullo again!

their actual understanding of Rotary low-level operational 'practicalities' appears sadly minimal
Well my several thousand pennies worth were all rotary, and mostly low level - does this make me a bad chap?
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Old 6th May 2010, 13:14
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Originally Posted by bast0n View Post
Seldom - hullo again!



Well my several thousand pennies worth were all rotary, and mostly low level - does this make me a bad chap?
Apologies Sir, your expertise is a given and my comment was not aimed at you
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Old 11th May 2010, 20:39
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Justice soon?

Right, with any luck, we can perhaps look forward to some good news on this subject. Didn't David Cameron promise that he would look into getting this monstrous injustice overturned once he became Prime Minister? I certainly hope so.
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Old 11th May 2010, 21:39
  #6337 (permalink)  
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You can take a bet that a certain BEagle will contact his 'friend' at a time when he deems it appropriate.
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Old 12th May 2010, 09:37
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Chinook

Abbey Wood. I thought that Cameron's last comment on the case was that he would appoint a High Cort judge to examine the whole matter. Will someone corrct me? JP
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Old 12th May 2010, 11:56
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Here's what DC wrote in his last letter:

(.......)

Although an extensive Board of Enquiry was conducted by senior RAF officers into the tragic loss of the Chinook, there have been a number of significant concerns raised about the findings of the Board.

As you may know, the Fatal Accident Inquiry held in Paisley, the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons and the House of Lords Select Committee, have all rejected the findings of gross negligence by the RAF Board of Inquiry against Flight Lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook.

Given the public concern about the Board of Inquiry findings of gross negligence against the pilots, the Conservatives believe that the matter cannot rest there. Accordingly, we have committed to undertaking a review if we win the forthcoming General Election, a move which is supported by the then Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and the then Minister of State, James Arbuthnot.

(..........)

Yours sincerely,

David Cameron
Oh and JP,
Will someone corrct me? JP
People have been trying to do that for years.....

I will be e-mailing David later to congratulate him on becoming the new PM - and reminding him I told him he'd be PM several years ago now! I will also mention that I look forward to him delivering on his promise, but recognise that now may not be quite the time as he has more urgent matters to deal with first.
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Old 12th May 2010, 15:39
  #6340 (permalink)  
 
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@Beagle

I will also mention that I look forward to him delivering on his promise, but recognise that now may not be quite the time as he has more urgent matters to deal with first.
For once I will disagree with you. This is exactly the time for this as it fits squarely with the new open, fair etc world we are now to inhabit.

The various families have waited long enough. If this new government means what it says then this is precisely the sort of issue to be addressed now.

Regards

EG
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