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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 15th Nov 2010, 12:32
  #6981 (permalink)  
 
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Caz:

My 6995 reads:-

Well Caz... You've successfully proven that this witness is utterly unreliable... You said:-


Just to remind you of the evidence of Mr Ellacott that the Chinook had passed over him - "I then heard the sound of a propeller going around for about 4 or 5 seconds and then I heard an explosion .... Visibility at this time was only about nine or ten feet maximum". "It was difficult to say how far I was from the point of the explosion, but I don't think I could have been any more than 100 yards."

The speed assessed by AAIB at impact equated to slightly more than 250 ft per second - which equates to more than 80 yards a second.
Let's give the chap the benefit of the doubt and say it was 4 seconds before he heard the explosion. That, per the speed assessment, equates to 320 yards... Yet he claims to have been no more than 100 yards. How far could he see?
It seems quite straightforward to me. You state that the speed of the Chinook at the time was around 80m/sec. Mr. Ellacott claims he heard the aircraft fly for a further 4-5 seconds after it passed him putting the aircraft between 320 and 400m from him at impact. Yet Mr. Ellacott thinks he was less than 100m from the point of impact. He further states that the visibility at the time was 9-10 feet. One can't really trust that now can one? Were this gentleman in a court of law his testimony would be considered unreliable at best and would probably be, quite rightly, passed over altogether.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 12:54
  #6982 (permalink)  
 
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Guys can we knock this on the head.
Holbrook was clear of the fogbank. Everybody else was either in fog or just outside the fogbank. If you found another 1000 witnesses you would come up with 1000 differing opinions.

Negligence was claimed at Waypoint change. The only person near the aircraft at that point was Holbook.
We can make and educated guess that, like Holbrook, the crew would have been able the see the lighthouse area.
What they could see a few seconds later and why they went there in the first place, I have no idea.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 13:53
  #6983 (permalink)  
 
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Mr Holbrook stated on oath in a sworn written statement to the BOI that when he saw the Chinook he was 2NM SW of the Mull and the visibility was 1NM limited by haze. That statement was made in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. Subsequently he gave evidence in respect of the weather to the FAI and the HOL Committee. There were, however, variations in the evidence he gave to each of these Inquiries.

The evidence he gave to the BOI was the evidence that faced the Reviewing Officers and their Air Staffs. It was that evidence, given in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, that had to be considered in forming their judgements.

It is worth remembering that the average groundspeed from the departure fix to impact was assessed as being in excess of 150kts and that the speed at impact was assessed as approx 150kts. Mr Holbrook assessed the speed of the Chinook in his evidence to the HOL Select Committee as "60-80kts". If Mr Holbrook was correct then the Chinook must have accelerated rapidly after passing Mr Holbrook in order to achieve its impact speed of approx 150kts. If that was indeed the case then the correct finding would have been "Recklessness."
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 14:19
  #6984 (permalink)  
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On and on we go!

1) If he saw the Chinook the Chinook could probably see him and thus in sight of the surface. Thus ZERO evidence of being IMC at waypoint change? ANYONE DISAGREE?

2) I'm sure the '150kts' has been done to exhaustion, has it not? Do I not recall IAS 140kts and 10 kts tailwind? I would suggest HIS assessment of speed would be very unreliable.

Let's focus on the findings and not supposition/guesswork/imagination/paranoia.

Just in case, let's also drop duty times since the accident was early in the duty cycle.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 14:33
  #6985 (permalink)  
 
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Caz,
Same old mantra. You answer only the bits you like.
The visibility was over 1nm. The aircraft was clear of cloud and in sight of the surface. They were VMC?? A simple yes / no will suffice.
RACAL says the IAS at Waypoint Change was 127, Holbrook puts it lower.
Either way was the speed excessive at that point??
The SH pilots on this thread say not. Tell us again your expertise to refute this.

There was no departure fix. However the G/S from TO to Impact was 150 to 155kts.
They therefore must have transited at a IAS of greater than 127.

This indicates a slowing down approaching the coast. Come on Mr A1, does this indicate good airmanship or not?? Simple Y/N will suffice.

Both RACAL and the accident investigator suggest the aircraft must at some stage have increased speed between Waypoint change and impact.

Appart from the Sqn Ldr Burke theory of an engine runaway or deliberate siucide, can you give us your expert opinion on why this could happen.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 15:39
  #6986 (permalink)  
 
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cazatou (K52)
Mr Holbrook stated on oath in a sworn written statement to the BOI
Would you be so very kind as to tell me where I can find the reference to his BOI evidence being "sworn on oath' please?

It's just that I have very extensive paperwork, and I can't find that reference anywhere. Perhaps you have information others have not seen?

I was present when he was sworn in at the FAI, so I know the veracity of his evidence there.

Many thanks.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 15:57
  #6987 (permalink)  
 
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Witness No 18, pages 6-36 to 38. "Mr ----- ----- Holbrook, (address given) .................. having been duly sworn, states:

I am ............... etc

It is signed at the end by, I assume, Mr Holbrook.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 18:48
  #6988 (permalink)  
 
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Tandemrotor

ALL statements of evidence to Boards of Inquiry are made on Oath or Affirmed by those without Religious persuasion.

Having stated that, there is no guarantee that the information conveyed is accurate or pertinent.

ALL 10 eyewitnesses actually on the Mull at the time of the crash reported the weather to be generally foggy and very bad. These witnesses all heard the crash and, in some cases, stumbled upon the wreckage. It is therefore almost certain that their recollections of what they saw or heard pertain to the actual crash.

Mr Holbrook in his evidence to the FAI indicated that he watched the helicopter for only some 25-30 seconds. In his evidence to the BOI and
to the HOL Committee he indicated that his sighting of the aircraft was limited to a 5 second view.

Furthermore the times, distances and estimates offered to the FAI were given some 18 months after the event and vary with those given to the BOI and the HOL Committee.

When the Pilots selected the way point change they should have been in no doubt as to their duty to have slowed down, turned away from the Mull and climbed to Safety Altitude as quickly as possible.

They took none of these actions and the subsequent tragedy resulted solely from their inaction.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 19:28
  #6989 (permalink)  
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When the Pilots selected the way point change they should have been in no doubt as to their duty to have slowed down, turned away from the Mull and climbed to Safety Altitude as quickly as possible.
- a slightly odd way to conduct a low-level sortie, Caruthers. Is that what you used to do at each waypoint? In this case that would have required a return to base, wouldn't it, since they were unable to 'climb to Safety Altitude'. (5900') I'll grant you one out of three, though.

I hesitate to awaken the slumbering again, but I presume you are CONVINCED they were IMC at that point? Care to share your evidence? Oh, sorry, I forgot...................you won't.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 19:34
  #6990 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately a climb to SA wouldn't have been an option, due to the +4deg icing restriction placed on the aircraft.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 19:37
  #6991 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cazatou View Post
Tandemrotor

ALL statements of evidence to Boards of Inquiry are made on Oath or Affirmed by those without Religious persuasion.

Having stated that, there is no guarantee that the information conveyed is accurate or pertinent.

ALL 10 eyewitnesses actually on the Mull at the time of the crash reported the weather to be generally foggy and very bad. These witnesses all heard the crash and, in some cases, stumbled upon the wreckage. It is therefore almost certain that their recollections of what they saw or heard pertain to the actual crash.

Mr Holbrook in his evidence to the FAI indicated that he watched the helicopter for only some 25-30 seconds. In his evidence to the BOI and
to the HOL Committee he indicated that his sighting of the aircraft was limited to a 5 second view.

Furthermore the times, distances and estimates offered to the FAI were given some 18 months after the event and vary with those given to the BOI and the HOL Committee.

When the Pilots selected the way point change they should have been in no doubt as to their duty to have slowed down, turned away from the Mull and climbed to Safety Altitude as quickly as possible.

They took none of these actions and the subsequent tragedy resulted solely from their inaction.
Caz,

I know you will not answer this because you can't but if Mr Holbrook could see the Chinook and the folk on the Mull could not how do you know if the aircraft was IMC at way point change.

In fact as there is not one single eye witness apart from Holbrook how do you even know what weather the aircraft experienced at any point.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 20:02
  #6992 (permalink)  
 
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When the Pilots selected the way point change they should have been in no doubt as to their duty to have slowed down, turned away from the Mull and climbed to Safety Altitude as quickly as possible.

They took none of these actions and the subsequent tragedy resulted solely from their inaction.

Caz, how do you know they didn't try?

Could you please comment of SFI (RAF) Chinook 12 (Undemanded Flight Control Movements) which is a perfect description of what Sqn Ldr Burke experienced, warned of and was prevented from giving evidence about. MoD initially denied Sqn Ldr Burke had done any such thing until the written proof was found, but (conveniently) after the event. Nor is it clear if the BoI (or any inquiry) considered the SFI. One would imagine they would mention something so vital; but then again, they didn't mention the fact the aircraft had no proper clearance for flight in the first place.


To assist you;

There have been a number of incidents of yaw kicks on Chinook HC Mk2 ZA718 during recent flight trials at Boscombe Down. The characteristic is manifested by very sharp uncommanded inputs to the yaw axis which result in a rapid 3-4 degree change in aircraft heading, in both the hover and when in forward flight when the aircraft is subject to high levels of vibration.

Sqn Ldr Burke's evidence was that this particular UFCM manifested itself at the end of a straight leg, when attempting a turn. In fact, remarkably like the ZD576 scenario. To a non-pilot, that sounds quite alarming, but MoD's failure to mention it may mean I'm wrong and it is entirely normal.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 20:21
  #6993 (permalink)  
 
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An aircraft was fraudulently released to service in an unairworthy condition, and an aircrew were required against their protests to carry out a mission in it. An accident subsequently occurred with no witnesses who could see the sequence of events immediately preceding the impact. Subsequently, evidence was withheld from the enquiry, and when that still did not produce the required result, a shameful verdict blaming the dead was imposed by those with a vested interest in cover up.

And one of their supporters in this travesty can still claim

the subsequent tragedy resulted solely from their inaction.
Hopefully, Lord Phillips (in possession of the withheld evidence, and the fact that MOD claimed such evidence did not exist) will take a different view.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 21:01
  #6994 (permalink)  
 
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cazatou (K52), chinook240 thank you.

Hopefully, Lord Phillips (in possession of the withheld evidence, and the fact that MOD claimed such evidence did not exist) will take a different view.
As indeed has EVERY subsequent independent review of the evidence!

Roll on summer 2011.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 22:21
  #6995 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately a climb to SA wouldn't have been an option, due to the +4deg icing restriction placed on the aircraft.
Doesn't this single fact utterly preclude a verdict of gross negligence when coupled with the obvious pressure to successfully conclude what is, after all, a pretty mundane task? Or would that oversimplify the issue for the Caz's, Wratton and Day's of this world...

Oh... Caz... I notice you call for me to "explain myself" yet when I do you chose to ignore me... Funny that...
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 00:08
  #6996 (permalink)  
 
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WEATHER
Summarising the yachtsman's evidence (repeating parts posted a while back by John Blakeley which should have cleared this up):
<< … In his statement to the Board Mr Holbrook said that the aircraft was well below cloud level and visibility was about a mile limited by haze. ...
64. When he gave evidence at the FAI Mr Holbrook expressed the opinion that the pilot could have seen "the location of the Mull lighthouse" and described the low cloud as
"hugging the Mull" (Sheriff's determination, p 110 of HL Paper 25(ii)). He was criticised by the Ministry of Defence for having given different versions of his account to the Board and the FAI. In these circumstances we invited him to give evidence, an invitation which he willingly accepted.
65. Mr Holbrook's evidence to us began with a statement which he had asked leave to make (Q 594). He explained that the low cloud clung to the contours of the high ground so that the location of the Mull massif itself was not in doubt from sea level. He considered that the crew of the aircraft when he saw it could determine without ambiguity where the Mull was and could see the cliffs, beach and lower perimeter walls of the lighthouse complex. 66. Mr Holbrook reaffirmed that when he saw the aircraft he could not see the physical features of the Mull but he went on to explain that he was able to see the location of the lighthouse complex because the buildings and the white perimeter wall showed up as a colour change against the background of the land mass (QQ 594, 602). The top of the lighthouse was in cloud as the cloud level moved up and down (Q 606). Mr Holbrook went on to explain that the cloud was following the contours of the land and was very localised (Q 615). >>



The first bit makes the point that the general cloud in the area was not an issue for a LL VFR flight (which fits in with the forecasts) – the rest describes a localised weather system generated by the Mull itself (and therefore fixed on it on the windward side) and this, in my opinion, was to have been expected on such a headland at that time of year, at that time of day, with a strong onshore wind blowing.
In my opinion, there would have been two components to that localised weather:
1 A locally generated cloud base on the top of the Mull at 800-900 ft (known as “cap” cloud, orographic cloud, or up-slope stratus);
2 Local ground hugging mist following the slopes up, starting at the level of the base of the lighthouse at 270 ft (a less widely understood formation, dependent upon compression and speed-up of the lowest layer of air, – not up-slope stratus).
The local cloud (1) formed on the top of the Mull was typically orographic and had formed when the air mass reached its dew point at about 800 ft ASL (as far as can be gleaned from information available); it would usually have a defined base (in this case ~800ft amsl) at which point the moisture in the bulk of the air mass pushed up by the landmass condenses – covering its top and preventing geographic orientation from the large scale topography - it should not be confused with the mist on the lower slopes.
The mist (2) on the lower slopes of the Mull is rather special – in these conditions, the lower layer of the air mass moving against the slope is subject to streamline compression and results in a phenomenon called “speed up” – the speed of the air near the ground increases significantly and because of the Bernoulli effect the pressure in this layer is lower which effectively lowers the temperature of this layer and so this layer can reach its dew point in advance of the bulk of the air mass and so form that thin blanket of mist, which has the appearance of running up the slopes. The profile of the slopes facing the strong wind that was coming off the sea (moisture laden near the end of a summer day) was ideal for the formation of this mist and it was to have been expected at the time.
In fairness to those on this thread who have had difficulties finding authoritative references to this kind of fog formation, it is hard to find – I have often witnessed such (much sea time off the NW Scottish coast and hill walking) and so I dug deep to find the scientific explanation, the answer coming from recent wind farm studies and it is termed “speed-up”. It is not orographic or up-slope stratus that you would be familiar with but when you have orographic cloud on such a headland you can confidently expect it on the lower slopes running up to merge with the orographic cloud when a strong wind is blowing.
Here's that video I took at the crash site that I have posted on previous occasions (not so benign conditions for its formation but shows the process):
MullMistVideo video by grauniad - Photobucket
The relevance in this case is that this layer is close to the slope and so the resultant mist closely follows the slope up until the level at which the bulk of the air mass reaches the dew point and forms the orographic cloud (about 800-900 ft ASL in this case). Below 800 ft, one could be confident that the mist ahead was on the land and not closer – if your navigation (by whatever means) was telling you that the land was, say, ½ mile away then you would not enter the mist for another ½ a mile – the downside is that ground detail is obscured and, as the mist merges with the orographic cloud at 800-900 ft which covers the upper slope and therefore obscures the hill top profile, judgement of one’s distance off visually is extremely difficult and so remaining clear depends upon your other navigation.
Conversely, if you do have some reliable means of accurate navigation, it would not be unreasonable to plan a close approach to it as you could avoid running into it – here's a hypothetical scenario for you to consider:
You want to swing around the back of the light house at speed;
with the mist starting about the level of the light house, you are confident that you can do this while staying above the mist (they were approaching the shoreline several hundred feet higher than the elevation of the light house yet beneath the base of the orographic cloud);
having been there on previous occasions, you know that an approach to the LZ at waypoint A has a safe wave-off by initiating a banked turn (anything between 30 and 60 deg at high cruising speed given the turning radii for a Chinook) on crossing the shoreline – a perfect line-up for swing around the light house;
the tricky bit is identifying the required crossing point and judging one's closing range with the misty background, the ground to the right being higher sooner and you wouldn't want to overshoot the shoreline because you weren't expecting it just yet;
you couldn't go wrong if an exercise was set up involving someone with a PRC112 standing on that LZ, also toting a VHF radio perhaps for the HP to line up on using the VHF homer system, belt and braces, a walk in the park;
trouble is, you wouldn't have any visual cues to contradict your instruments if the chaps on the ground were ½ mile or so up the hill … until you entered that mist.


Oh and while we're at it, forget the ridiculous idea of them spiralling out of control – check out the data from the last steering calculation – fits in with a straight and level leg after the slight turn to the right after waypoint change – and of course, we have that final leg on a track that was set on the HP's horizontal situation indicator course select.

Last edited by walter kennedy; 16th Nov 2010 at 00:22. Reason: added link
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 06:42
  #6997 (permalink)  
 
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Tucumseh 7072 is correct. There is no firm evidence that a climb, slowdown or turn were not attempted. There was no equipment on the aircraft certified to tell us if this was so, or not. And no eyewitnesses to the facts.


Walter
Unless you know different. The "Last steering calculation... must have come from RACAL.
Now read RACAL 1.1.5 and tell us why you are presenting this report as fact. AGAIN.

RACAL make no such pretence.

Cazatou do you accept VMC at Waypoint change Y/ N.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 07:02
  #6998 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately a climb to SA wouldn't have been an option, due to the +4deg icing restriction placed on the aircraft.
Or they could have turned away from land and then when safely established over the sea they could then have climbed to the safety altitude....
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 07:27
  #6999 (permalink)  
 
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VVK

If you allowed PM's it would save me cluttering up this site, as I and many others have attempted to answer this question many times over the years.
In a nutshell:

1. They were negligent.
2. They suffered from a engine runaway or control restriction, as described by Sqn Ldr Burke.
3. They were not where they thought they were. (Distraction, Visual Illusion, Navigation equipment mishandling or malfunction). Take your pick.

In future please read back or PM some of the regular contributors. They will point you to the right place. Save us going around in circles.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 14:00
  #7000 (permalink)  
 
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Airborne Aircrew

The Chinook impacted at a Groundspeed assessed as 150 kts which is in excess of 250 ft per second. Mr Ellacott stated "I then heard the the sound of a propellor going around for about four of five seconds and then I heard an explosion. Visibility at this time was only about 9 or 10 feet maximum". He then went on to say that he did not think that he could have been more than 100 yards from the point of the explosion.

The Chinook would have been at least 1000 ft from Mr Ellacott when he first heard it whilst he and his Brother in Law were looking for WW2 Aircraft Crash Sites. Mr Ellacott immediately set of towards the Crash Site whilst his Brother in Law went to the Lighthouse to raise the alarm.

I fail to see how you consider that I denigrated Mr Ellacott.
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