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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 2nd Jan 2011, 12:27
  #7401 (permalink)  
 
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Cazatou,

Can you please tell us why AOC 1Gp decided that Flt Lt Cook was the Handling Pilot?

Olive Oil,

I don't know your background, but any competent aircrew will tell you that serviceable on aircraft acceptance does not necessarily mean serviceable some forty minutes later. From Waypoint change to Impact we have no information whatsoever on the serviceability of the aircraft.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 12:59
  #7402 (permalink)  
 
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Dalek

It was the investigating BOI that came to that conclusion based IIRC on the authorisation as well as the AAIB report and the autopsy evidence.

PS

If they had any doubts as to the servicability of the aircraft - what were they doing at high speed and low level flying an aircraft full of passengers directly towards fog enshrouded high ground?

Last edited by cazatou; 2nd Jan 2011 at 13:13.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 13:40
  #7403 (permalink)  
 
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Caz,
Have you ever even considered that the high speed may have resulted from unserviceability (FADEC / Burke), instead of any deliberate action on the part of the crew.

What the Auth sheets say and who flies at any particular point in a leg is certainly no conclusive evidence that RC was the operating pilot.
I can't remember what the BOI / AAIB said about who was flying.

Last edited by dalek; 2nd Jan 2011 at 14:02.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 14:27
  #7404 (permalink)  
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Cazatou - welcome back! Post #7426 now?
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 16:01
  #7405 (permalink)  
 
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Handling Pilot

Dalek,

This is what the BoI said:

The Board was unable to positively confirm who was the handling pilot (HP) at the time of the accident, however, it would be conventional in Chinook operations for the HP to occupy the RHS. Furthermore, the technical report indicates that Flt Lt COOK's feet were probably on the pedals at the time of impact. It is also conventional for the non-handling pilot (NHP) to make the radio calls on the VHF and UHF radios, and it was the opinion of the Board that the calls on these radios were made by Flt Lt TAPPER. The Board concluded that it was most likely that Flt Lt TAPPER was operating as NHP and Flt Lt COOK was operating as HP during the flight.

Cazatou,

I see you are trotting out the HMV record again - how about answering the questions?

JB
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 16:28
  #7406 (permalink)  
 
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In an effort to simplify things in this non-flying mind, I re-read #7426, had no trouble understanding it, and came up with these quotes:

Q1. Where a person fails, whether negligent or not, the board should consider the possible human failings of others who placed that person in the situation. So how did the staff at HQ1 Gp meet this requirement?
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Q2. Who, for example, made the decision to allocate ZD 576 to Aldergrove, and what consideration did he give to the known issues with its serviceability?[/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Q3. Again if I am incorrect please put me right, and tell me what staffing the engineering and airworthiness areas received in 1 Gp?[/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Q4. When did HQ 1 Gp approach DLS for their confirmation that the Gross Negligence verdict was "lawful" and in accordance with the rules?[/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Hope that makes things easier. Qs 2 and 4 need only very short factual answers.[/FONT]
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 16:59
  #7407 (permalink)  
 
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If they had any doubts as to the servicability of the aircraft - what were they doing at high speed and low level flying an aircraft full of passengers directly towards fog enshrouded high ground?
Good question..............

Actualy I believe from all the evidence, that they were chuntering along at a speed quite normal for a Chinook and still hit the putty. Please put me right all those in full knowledge of FADEC - did it take full control of the aircraft or just the engines? Did it link to the autopilot and have the capability to throw you into the ground at a most inconvenient moment without the HP having any input whatsoever?If it did, why on earth did sensible pilots fly this uncontrollable beast........?

Happy New Year.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 17:21
  #7408 (permalink)  
 
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bast0n:
why on earth did sensible pilots fly this uncontrollable beast........?
A very good question old chap. The ones at Boscombe Down refused to, unfortunately other Chinook Mk2 pilots were not made aware of that. These pilots didn't want to, requesting a MK1 for the task, they were turned down and told to fly this one.
As to your technical queries I can only say that the man to have asked then was Sqn Ldr Burke, RAF Odiham Test Pilot, who had more experience than he would have wished of FADEC malfunctions and the jamming of flying controls (in various combinations of axis), but the BoI declined to call him. Perhaps others better qualified than I might address them for you now.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 17:26
  #7409 (permalink)  
 
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Chugaz

These pilots didn't want to, requesting a MK1 for the task, they were turned down and told to fly this one.
Are you really telling me that pilots can be ordered to fly an aircraft they know is unsafe - in peace time?

I think that would be an unwise obedience of orders.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 18:10
  #7410 (permalink)  
 
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No, bast0n, I'm not telling you that. You know I'm not telling you that. Those pilots did not know what we know now. They did not know that their aircraft had been illegally granted a Release to Service into the RAF. They did not know the catalogue of technical malfunctions that had been exhibited before, during and after entry into service. In short they knew very little, but enough to know that they did not know enough. There is evidence of their concern in that, and of attempts to deal with the paucity of information that came with this new type.
I find it interesting that you concentrate on their alleged negligence, oh sorry you call it pilot error don't you, though seemingly accepting the RAF's version nonetheless, while ignoring the alleged Gross Negligence of Very Senior Officers. Default selection cutting in again is it?
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 21:42
  #7411 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dalek View Post
JP,
Thank you.
With or without being rude, how can you justify the Gross Negligence verdict without demolishing Sqn Ldr Burke's evidence?
If UFCM / FADEC problems still cannot be ruled out, how can the verdict be justified?

A Happy New Year to you and all the other participants.
dalek,

Due it's toxicity JP simply cannot answer your question as to do so blows his theory clean out of the water.

If he acknowledges Bob Burke's evidence, which is absolutely 100% credible it introduces the very doubt that he assures us does not exist, so you will be ignored.

One or two on here are very very clever at avoiding the subject matter they know they cannot discredit.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 22:38
  #7412 (permalink)  
 
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Chugaz

I find it interesting that you concentrate on their alleged negligence, oh sorry you call it pilot error don't you, though seemingly accepting the RAF's version nonetheless, while ignoring the alleged Gross Negligence of Very Senior Officers. Default selection cutting in again is it?
That is not fair, and you know it. I have always been against the "Gross" negligence verdict - but I do find it amazing that they apparently accepted, and flew, in an aircraft that they were unhappy with - for whatever reason. Pressure from above? Lack of gumption to say "no way"? Who knows.

Never in my time did I ever accept an aircraft that I was worried about. Why did they? They patently were worried about it, for why did they ask for a Mk 1?

I ask again - did this Mark 2 have the ability to fly itself into a nearby lump of rock without the pilots having any input whatsoever?

It is not the only aircraft in the world with FADEC or equivalent systems in place.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 22:52
  #7413 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bast0n View Post

I ask again - did this Mark 2 have the ability to fly itself into a nearby lump of rock without the pilots having any input whatsoever?
Can you say hand on heart, without any any doubt what so ever that it couldn't?
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 23:33
  #7414 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you JB.

Cazatou, Yet again you misinform. How can you equate "feet probably on the pedals", to absolute certainty RC was the operating pilot.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 00:22
  #7415 (permalink)  
 
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bast0n:
Never in my time did I ever accept an aircraft that I was worried about.
That is utter drivel, bast0n, and you know it. How on earth did you make it through to retirement without ever being worried? Old pilots and bold pilots eh? I guess you're the exception that proves the rule, or simply lacking in all imagination? I find your posts to be some of the most annoying of all, bast0n. At least the apologists just keep pumping out the same old hackneyed script and not answering questions, either from a sense of duty or self preservation. What motivates you I know not, nor really care, but I find your middle of the road position, of accepting the scenario pushed out by Messrs W&D yet not able to bring yourself to accept their finding as untenable.
For myself, if I truly believed that these two pilots maintained heading and speed on track for sharply rising ground after going IMC, with 25 pax on-board, I wouldn't come to any other conclusion than that they were negligent. I might demure at gross negligence simply because of the lack of certainty, but as I understand it your position is that the MOD scenario is correct, but that the pilots were merely in error, is that right? You may have gone through life unworried, but I wonder if your crew and pax felt the same?
Oh, and as for:
It is not the only aircraft in the world with FADEC or equivalent systems in place
You really must be joking. It isn't that FADEC's were fitted, but that they were controlled by totally corrupt code resulting in arbitrary run-ups, run-downs, and shut-downs with no manual reversion. How well briefed these pilots were about that I know not, but given that Very Senior Officers were so briefed and still saw fit to release the aircraft into RAF service, I suspect that they knew little other than rumours. Stops them worrying too much, don't you know?

Last edited by Chugalug2; 3rd Jan 2011 at 00:32.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 01:41
  #7416 (permalink)  

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Seems blatantly obvious that someone in high office became exasperated and decided it was time the Chinook HC2 went into squadron service, despite all common sense saying it wasn't ready.

There was no aircrew manual, and no flight reference cards for the type. The Mk2 was, in aircrew terms, in many respects very much a new type (although it looked externally much like the previous version).

The MOD airworthiness procedure was simply short circuited, ignored, forgotten, bulldozed or over-ruled, simply because helicopter availability in NI (an operational theatre and a political "hot potato") was at a very low point.

Crews were given a conversion to type and told to "get on with it" despite the shortcomings and lack of normal essential documentation for emergency procedures.

Why did they "just get on with it"? Because being told to "get on with it" is what military personnel are disciplined to do, from day one. They make the best of a bad job. In an operational theatre they must do so, the system demands it implicitly. Crews who object sufficiently strongly to an order are likely to be given formal disciplinary action. I know of one case where this occurred, during the Falklands war, again on a Chinook Squadron. A pilot stood up for what he believed to be correct, out of operational concern for the safety of the aircraft and lives of their aircrew. His concern was ignored. Not only that, he also received formal disciplinary action and was removed from his post. It effectively ended his RAF career. However, he was proved to be correct in his concern. If his concern had been addressed in a more positive way, we would probably have had more than one Chinook for the Falkands campaign. The rest went down with the Atlantic Conveyor. Those saying that this crew should simply have refused to fly should bear this sort of thing in mind. Jon Tapper probably did..

Why was the normal airworthiness procedure allowed to "no longer apply" to the Chinook Mk2?

The "new" Mk2 aircraft were in fact rebuilt Mk1s. To obtain a Mk2 they had to remove an RAF Mk1 from squadron service.

Someone, probably to save face for the RAF, stuck his neck out and took a huge gamble. We know the result.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 02:25
  #7417 (permalink)  
 
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Baston:

That is not fair, and you know it. I have always been against the "Gross" negligence verdict - but I do find it amazing that they apparently accepted, and flew, in an aircraft that they were unhappy with - for whatever reason. Pressure from above? Lack of gumption to say "no way"? Who knows.

Never in my time did I ever accept an aircraft that I was worried about. Why did they? They patently were worried about it, for why did they ask for a Mk 1?

I ask again - did this Mark 2 have the ability to fly itself into a nearby lump of rock without the pilots having any input whatsoever?

It is not the only aircraft in the world with FADEC or equivalent systems in place.
I'll start by saying two things. Firstly, you have been consistent in your determination that this affair was not the result of "gross negligence" on the part of the crew and secondly, that you do keep "going on about" the circumstances and talking as if the crew simply flew the airframe, willy nilly, into a hillside. I believe you'll find that's what niggles people about your continuous posting here - I've said it before and I'm quite happy to say it again - you come across as a troll.

That aside, there is clear evidence that these two pilots were unhappy with the aircraft they were tasked to fly and asked for another. It's quite obvious that, for whatever reason, their misgivings were over-ridden or assuaged. I accept that you never accepted an airframe you were not happy with flying but I'll ask you to answer honestly - how many airframes of a new mark number that were of questionable reliability were you asked to fly when there were serviceable airframes of the lesser mark number available that were pretty much proven to be safe? There is a huge difference and I don't know why or whether these two, clearly very professional pilots, chose to take the Mk 2 or were pressured into taking it did so - we'll never know.

It is, I believe, more unfair of you to not understand or accept that, for whatever reason, these pilots chose to fly an airframe they were clearly unhappy with than it is for you to cry "foul" on Chugs for questioning your debating technique...

I think there were many aircrew that flew the Mk 1 that were not entirely happy with some of it's "idiosyncrasies" let alone crews that were unhappy with the Mk 2. I think I can say that with some authority, (I might be incorrect regarding others - though I lived and worked closely with many of them), since I was almost certainly the first to simply refuse to fly a Mk 1.

Yes, you're correct. The RAF and I parted ways - but not until their psychiatrist had given me and F-Med 7, (I think that's what it was), which is a certificate of sanity.... The Chinook, in my opinion, has always been a bloody dangerous airframe. The Mk 2 sounds like an accident designed to happen... I lost several friends on the Mk 1 because it failed to do what it was supposed to do. I see no reason why the Mk 2, with all its documented problems should have got RTS in the first place - especially knowing the failings of the Mk 1.

The argument seems to be that the crew were "grossly negligent" in that they flew an airframe into a hillside. Surely, since they asked for a Mk 1 and were clearly not accommodated does not the negligence, (were there any to be found), get moved up a layer of command to the person who refused to provide the Mk 1 airframe?
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 09:45
  #7418 (permalink)  
 
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I hope everyone had as good a Christmas as I did – magic!


Chinook240
I understood from references to the "steer meter" output that the ADI in the HC2 was fully an Attitude Director Indicator but I did not know that there was not a way of driving the HSI from the Flight Management System (FMS, Racal 252 in this case). At first sight it seems strange that the RAF would choose not to have this option as the components were there in similar architecture to the 47D which could display GPS data on the HSI as could, for example, the commercial version of Racal's RNAV-2. Perhaps someone on this forum could explain why?


I also understood Chugalug's point about the necessity of navigating visually at low level, relying upon eyeball and maps – correct me if I'm wrong, but GPS was not to be used as the primary navigation even in civil aviation for some time after this event – but there was no restriction to its use to save pilot workload for keeping to track on a long route (fuel economy and time) provided that VFR were complied with (ie that you could see the ground below and around for a minimum distance).


They had very much done a bee line from Aldergrove to waypoint change, the last 20 miles over the sea without a distinctive feature on the Mull to aim for, and so I say that they would surely have had to have had some practical course deviation indication for the HP – it seems that this would have been on the AI (in the form of steer indicators) rather than the HSI – I do not believe it would have been practical or necessary to have had the NHP looking at the CDU and saying "Left a bit, right a bit" for 20 miles nor would it have been practical to have had the HP trying to read the CDU for himself. Recalling what Group Captain A D Pulford said to the committee (27 Sept 2001) on spatial disorientation:
<< … What we are looking at here when considering the possibilities of spatial disorientation, when flying over the sea in what I would term a "goldfish bowl" (this is when the poor visibility and mist and weather conditions you are flying in tend to merge with the grey sea underneath) the body is deprived of visual cues and you are then very dependent upon the instruments that you have in front of you to inform the brain that actually up is up and down is down. … I think here we were looking at the possibility, as a contributing factor, where certainly the flying pilot—the handling pilot—would have had his spare capacity diminished by the fact that he was having to concentrate on the instruments to ensure that he kept the wings level and the aircraft flying. ...>>
To which I add, “and keep on track” - which they had done over 20 miles of sea with the cloud and mist obscured Mull ahead.


The steer directions on the AI would definitely have been processed data as opposed to raw therefore the potential for error would have been compounded as I have been trying to explain in previous posts. Anyway, I have made the point for a long time that it would have been wrong to rely upon the GPS as close in as waypoint change – they would only have been using it for the route flying and, the crux of my arguments, had to have had a local reference of some kind to have approached so closely in the prevailing conditions, nevermind turn in and reduce power.


Do you agree that the pilots would nevertheless have set their HSI course selectors on the course that they were interested in? That the course deviation (from the GPS computed track) was displayed to the pilots on the AI rather than the HSI does not detract from the significance that I have put on the HSI course selector settings in my analysis with respect to the planned and actual tracks.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 10:04
  #7419 (permalink)  
 
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I find it bewildering that the blame culture continues to limit itself to whoever had his hands on the sticks. There were four crew members on this aircraft and one of the crewmen came from the Mull and therefore had local knowledge of the area. The GPS was not reliable and suffered from sh*t in equals sh*t out; and notwithstanding that, I had encountered errors of up to 5 miles on albeit rare occasion using the same kit without 'finger trouble' being a factor. If the pilot operating the nav kit was heads in, then reliance for safety would have been down to operating pilot and crewman. (The local knowledge crewman was also the one at the front).
When faced with similar circumstances regarding weather delivering SF to an exercise target in Germany, my crew stopped, literally, turned around (spot turn) and landed safely in the nearest available field. This aircraft also should have been able to slow down-go down-turn around which was and remains SOP for bad weather.
The bottom line is that we will never advance beyond speculation regarding those last minutes of flight, and because nobody ever will know for sure what really happened to burden the crew with total responsibility is and will remain so: Unfair.
Instead of us concentrating on reasons why the crew cannot be blamed, the MoD should be presenting evidence 'beyond all doubt' as to why the crew can be blamed. .....or change the verdict.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 10:39
  #7420 (permalink)  
 
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Airborne

you come across as a troll
So be it!

Chugaz

I find your posts to be some of the most annoying of all, bast0n
Yes - I am deliberately putting across a middle view. The vast majority of pilots that I have discussed this with agree with this argument - and it is only that.

The middle view again, and I am sorry if it annoys you, is - Pilot error largely to blame but not "Gross" negligence.
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