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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 5th Aug 2004, 17:08
  #1081 (permalink)  
 
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Mr Dixon, I am disappointed in you.

You know full well that what the AOCinC wrote was: ‘Why they therefore elected to ignore the safe options open to them and pursue the one imposing the ultimate danger, we shall never know’.

We know what the pilots did, Mr Dixon. What we shall never know is why.

We know they were negligent, Mr Dixon. The mystery is why.

Your inclination to isolate some the AOCinC’s words to suit your purpose may well persuade those who are not intimately familiar with the detail. I’m afraid you do not misdirect those of us who are.
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Old 5th Aug 2004, 17:52
  #1082 (permalink)  
John Purdey
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Chinook

WOrkER

Indeed we shall never know WHY the crew decided to press on, though I have been urging for more than a year now that the most likely explanation (theory of course) is that they were 500 yds or more to the right of their intended track, and thus faced terrain about 500 ft higher than they expected.

The other theories very from the improbable to the impossible; for example, we actually have one contributor who thinks that a sabateur MAY have planted a mobile beacon beyond the hills so as to seduce the crew into flying towards that beacon, and thus into the high ground. This means that he knew the aircraft was going to fly this mission, with those passengers, on that stretch of the route, and in doubtful weather, and that after the crash he would dismantle his mobile transmitter and disappear. I ask you!

No amount of specualtion about supposec technical mal-functions in this aircraft can possibly account for the FACT that the crew had the choice of turning away from the hills, and chose not to do so.
And of course, the lobby opposing the verdict of crew error is deliberately trying to confuse the issue by interoducing as many irrelevany matters as they can possibly think up.

Sad but unfortunately true, the crew, beyond any shadow of doubt, got it wrong.
 
Old 5th Aug 2004, 18:15
  #1083 (permalink)  
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JP
'beyond any shadow of doubt' is not quite the same as 'absolutely no doubt whatsoever' is it?
XM147
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Old 5th Aug 2004, 19:53
  #1084 (permalink)  
John Purdey
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CHINOOK

XM 147.

My goodness, how you quibble!

My sincere apologies for a careless phrase, but for my quote 'any shadow of doubt', please read 'absolutely no doubt whatever'.

Was there really a significant difference, and is that the kind of shade of meaning on which you are relying?

The crew had a choice of turning away, and failed to do so.
With all good wishes, John Purdey.
 
Old 5th Aug 2004, 20:23
  #1085 (permalink)  
 
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A careless phrase it may have been JP, yet it illustrates quite explicitly the fact that mere lip service has been paid to the most stringent burden of proof in existence.

Without data to prove beyond absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the crew were knowingly and wilfully negligent there is no basis in English Law for the verdict of the 2 AM's.

We are aware of the circumstances of the tragedy worker, yet the point remains that the burden cannot be satisfied if your questions of why remain unanswered.
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Old 5th Aug 2004, 20:33
  #1086 (permalink)  
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WOrkER,
my apologies for disappointing you. I can assure you it was unintentional.

From your first post it is clear that you have followed this thread for quite a while. You therefore know that my only intention is to clear the names of friends not in a position to do so themselves. You must also know that I firmly believe that the burden of proof is seriously undermined, and that is the entire thrust of the campaign.

I entirely take your point that we know what the pilots did - they hit the Mull, (as far as the end result goes), but as you say, we shall never know why. This is the same as the conclusion of the Air Marshal. You need to prove why that course of action was taken in order to secure such a conclusive and damning verdict.


Unless we find out why, the verdict of negligence is unsafe. I feel it is incorrect to assume that one knows what was going on in the cockpit following the change of waypoint. The simulation is just that, a simulation, and there are no known eye witnesses or survivors.

As you have been following this thread, I would have thought that you would have known me better than to accuse me of being selective in quoting the Air Marshal just to 'misdirect' others. My views are widely known and there are many who have read all of the Air Marshal's words, and disagreed with his opinion.

I have no problem at all with people having an opposing view to mine, and I respect you and them for it, so please don't accuse me of misdirection. That's not how I conduct business.

My best, as always.
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 5th Aug 2004, 21:07
  #1087 (permalink)  
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JP
It is not just your phrases that are careless. Have you thought about your analysis of the final moments of the flight - of which we know so little. There is some evidence of unusual control movements in the final seconds. These may be the result of suddenly being aware of high ground. They could equally be the result of fighting against undemanded engine or contol movements. I dont know, and nor do you, nor does Worker, nor does K52.... without doubt whatsover.
We do not know if the crew had a choice of turning away from high ground. We do not know if they were in control, or fighting the controls, at that moment in time. The technical history of the aircraft suggests that problems were not uncommon. If there were first class witnesses, survivors, black boxes, RT calls, radar traces or the like we would be in a better position to make judgements. But without that information we are all in the dark, save simulations and frankly inspired guesswork.
That is what this forum is all about. Noone knows for sure exactly what actually happened ie without doubt whatsoever.
Untill we do we cannot have confidence in the verdict of the 2 AMs.
Best wishes
XM147
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Old 5th Aug 2004, 22:28
  #1088 (permalink)  
 
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This from WOrkER posted 5th August 2004
<<Do note, however, that we want to see facts only. And you will need also to explain why your analysis of whatever facts you identify carries more weight than the analysis of the air staffs of the MOD and HQSTC, the reviewing officers and three successive CASs.>>
Well, here's a fact for you that did not get much of a mention by those authoritive bodies to which you refer:
Helicopters en route from NI to the mainland REGULARLY approached at low level, at speed, to make a turn actually on the shoreline in the same conditions as prevailed for ZD576s last flight.
Below I explain where I got this from:
I was standing once, talking to the lighthousekeeper (a man who would have spent a lot of time there), a little way up the slope from the lighthouse to the crashsite, at a point where the rising air started forming thick mist so that one was just loosing sight of the sea (a bit higher up, no vis; a bit lower, see for miles), we heard a helicopter approach at speed (but never saw it) and it turned steeply very close to us continuing up the shoreline, "they do that all the time" he said pointing out the prominent large rock that was usually the turning point (not the lighthouse itself), and this in the near identical conditions as on that fateful day - which is not that much of a coincidence bearing in mind how prevalent such conditions are in that locality, "they" being who? - is this a major civvy route for helicopters?? I ask this toungue in cheek because no one yet has owned up to it being the practice for military helicopters en route from NI to the mainland (even the belated begrudgingly brief acknowledgements to "handrailing" do not give the detail especially in regard of how close in they turned), and no clear statement has been made (to my knowledge) that these conditions were common (clear at sea but the Mull cloaked in ground hugging mist obscurring detail) indeed the official line seems intended to give the public the impression that the aircraft was ploughing through murk when in fact visibilty was excellent except for the ground detail being obscurred, now of all those helicopters who "... do that all the time" some must have been done it in those common conditions (like the one I witnessed) and there is no way that it would have been safe to have approached the Mull at speed to make such a turn relying on visual references or any GPS based system as just a few hundred metres error in judging the turn would have resulted in the same fate as that of ZD576, which brings me to the point what were they using, if you could get a signal form the MAC TACAN you could count down the distance to go to the turn (DME functions are normally very accurate if you get coverage and if you dont you just dont use it) but it is not at all clear that you could get the MAC TACAN at their altitude and approach direction, which is why I ask if there had been any other DME set suitably located for such flights so obvious would its utility have been.

From a navigation systems point of view, I would have thought the possibilty of using DME would have been perfectly reasonable and worth exploring. However, rather than explore this and help find out one way or the other, energies appear to be directed at avoiding it as if it were the plague. An example is this excerpt below from a recent posting:
This from John Purdey posted 6th August 2004
<<The other theories very from the improbable to the impossible; for example, we actually have one contributor who thinks that
a sabateur MAY have planted a mobile beacon beyond the hills so as to seduce the crew into flying towards that beacon, and thus into the high ground.
This means that he knew the aircraft was going to fly this mission, with those passengers, on that stretch of the route,
and in doubtful weather,
and that after the crash he would dismantle his mobile transmitter and disappear. I ask you!>>

I will try to address these points JP makes in - you may find it interesting how extreme the spin is bearing in mind that my reasoning has been put in some detail in several posts over a fair amount of time:
(Basically, I have been suggesting that the a/c was flying in good VFR conditions apart from the Mull's ground detail being obscurred (as was commonly the case) and, given the "end on" approach direction, there would not have been the topography for spatial awareness for the last mile or so until very close in such that shoreline detail would have been clear enough - at their speed, they would have had to have been using something else to judge their distance for starting that critical turn so close in as it was - DME the obvious choice - just for that one point in an otherwise easy VFR flight.)
I had suggested that, if the MAC TACAN was not useable on this leg (and no one has confirmed or denied this satisfactorily yet) a portable DME (only) could have been set up for the use of such (regular) flights (for this local awkward bit) - whichever, my point was that such ground equipment would have been very easy to tamper with to give a false distance reading and not that some other equipment had been carried in as JPs 1st point; the saboteur would not have needed to be very technical to have altered the internal time delay in the existing equipments; I think this answers his last point too.
As to knowing who was on board, the route, ETA at the Mull etc - well, if it was done this way then there is only one answer, isn't there? - and the implications of this are very serious, which is why it needs to be explored to closure. But this is the crux of this debate - the unwillingness to confront one obvious method because of the implications - surely try to explore all reasonably possible causes first - be objective - be politically correct later, if you chose, but have the balls to ask your colleagues for the facts - if they were using a DME reading then at least there would be grounds to discredit early findings as this would have been pertinent, surely?
"... and in doubtful weather..." I take it you mean the localised mist on the Mull - it was perfectly clear at low level out to sea - and, well, you could almost count on it being like that so prevalent were those local conditions at that time - a free shot anyway, if conditions had been good on the Mull and the distance reading not watched closely then the anomaly may not have been noticed.
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Old 6th Aug 2004, 00:17
  #1089 (permalink)  
 
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WOrkER

With the greatest respect, I'm troubled by your exhortation in an otherwise well reasoned post to:
Please remember that we have not only read everything ever written on this accident, we have actually studied it all.
There is enormous danger for a free society where those who are elected to office are, because of the very fact that that they have been elected, distrusted. Increasingly, it is unelected officials, bureaucrats and advisers, such as yourself I suspect, rather than Ministers, who decide policy. These ‘experts’ may offer useful advice. But politics and government is about more than expertise; it is about wider judgments of the national interest and recognition that decisions in one policy area can have profound consequences in other areas. In a democracy, the people’s representatives must take the decisions after weighing all the opposing views and arguments. Otherwise, we live in a dictatorship of ‘those who know best’ - those such as you, perchance?

Last edited by Argus; 6th Aug 2004 at 01:02.
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Old 6th Aug 2004, 13:07
  #1090 (permalink)  
 
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Wider support

A two page report on the Chinook appeared in the AOPA magazine this month , I think the report will have nothing to add to the posts made here but it brings this injustice to the attention of parts of the aviation comunity who would not normaly see much of military aviation.

I see this as part of the process of keeping the pressure on the MOD and the officers who are responsable for this appauling injustice.
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Old 6th Aug 2004, 13:28
  #1091 (permalink)  
 
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WOrkER,

Your posts trouble me deeply, the more so since I believe that these pilots might have been negligent, but do not accept that they have been proved so.

You say that if there is nothing to place before Ministers to refute negligence, plus ca change. So, you believe that absence of evidence of innocence is de facto evidence of guilt. That is not the basis of the criminal law in this country, yet had the pilots survived, they would surely have been tested before the criminal courts if your argument held sway.

You say that "we" know what the pilots did. I do not. Nor do I, or you, know what the pilots did not do, beyond the obvious point that they did not, for whatever reasons that we do not know, prevent the aircraft from striking the Mull.

You say "we" know the pilots were negligent. With the greatest respect, "we" know nothing of the sort; we merely find that the most likely explanation from the few known facts and our own previous experience. That is not proof of guilt. It is not sufficient for the finding of negligence to stand. The Minister does not need to be persuaded that the verdict of negligence can be proved wrong. He needs to be persuaded that the factual evidence was insufficient to support the finding of gross negligence in the first place. These positions are further apart than you seem able to comprehend.

For the record, I too deplore the frequent abuse hurled at the Air Marshals on this forum. They did not shirk their responsibilty, though they did, in my opinion, go too far in their conclusion.
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Old 6th Aug 2004, 14:12
  #1092 (permalink)  
 
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Ginseng

As you (and many others) believe the pilots might not have been negligent, then you will be able to explain:

How, if IMC, the pilots could possibly have been justified in remaining below safety altitude before WP change.

How, if VMC, the pilots could possibly have been justified in remaining off planned track, heading directly for the highest part of the Mull, able to see it was covered in cloud above 300ft, until they were only some 5 seconds from landfall, without making any effort to guarantee safety by immediately turning left as soon as they were aware of their predicament, and thereby placing the Lighthouse on their right.

How the pilots could possibly have had the safety of their passengers and crew uppermost in their minds whilst proceeding as they did, in either IMC or VMC.
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Old 6th Aug 2004, 15:30
  #1093 (permalink)  
 
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WOrkER

My friend, do not seek to strengthen your own argument by twisting my words. What I said was that I thought the pilots might have been negligent, but had not been proven to be so . That is not the same as the implied quote which you ascribe to me.

Your exam questions are pertinent, and you are right to ask them. They are indeed troubling. But neither you nor I can find answers to them in this case. For whatever justifiable reasons, the aircraft had not been fitted with a full accident data recorder. This is hardly the pilots fault, yet the absence of the greater certainty which it might just have provided was held to be sufficient evidence, in the absence of anything influential to the contrary, to damn them to a charge of gross neglect of their duty. That was, at best, disingenuous.

I say again that I accept these pilots might have been negligent, but in their deaths we do not have adequate evidence to deny them the benefit of the doubt which they might have received from a court.

For the record again, I too am frustrated by the wilder hypotheses that all too often appear on this forum. They add nothing positive to the argument and serve to distract one from the essential point, which is the standard of justice applied in this case.
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Old 7th Aug 2004, 18:52
  #1094 (permalink)  
John Purdey
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XM 147.

Many thanks for your post dated 5th., and apologies for not replying sooner.

You tell us that the evidence of unusual control movements in the final few seconds of flight could mean that the crew suddenly became aware of the high ground ahead of them, OR, it might mean the result of fighting against undemanded engine or control movements (I paraphrase, please excuse possible inexactitudes).

But what several contributers to this long-running discussion seem not yet to have hoisted in, is that the crew should not have put themselves in that situation so close to the hillside, whether it was a visability problem or a problem with the controls, with the top of the hills covered in cloud/mist/fog/ (take your pick).


I seem to recall saying this some months back, but: either the crew were in control of the aircraft as they pressed on towards the hills (which I repeat in those conditions they had no right to do), or you have to believe that the controls locked solid in all three axes, and the power controls failed, and the crew sat there helplessly, with no ability to affect events or to make an emergency transmission as the aircraft flew on into the ground.

Tell us which you prefer.

I am not being offensive, but my goodness the strange theories that have been floated makes one wonder about folks' comonsense.
With all possible good wishes, John Purdey.
 
Old 7th Aug 2004, 21:54
  #1095 (permalink)  
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JP
Thanks for your reply which is very much as I expected as you have very determined opinions (to which you are entitled). But I do not agree with you. Sorry.

I do not prefer any of your suggested scenarios as I do NOT know exactly what happened.... and nor do you.

However, I have been (as I am sure you have been) in situations when in a matter of seconds (often only one or two) a decision has had to be as to whether a Martin Baker exit is preferable to staying put. The crew (and passengers of ZD576) did not have this option. Whatever may or may not have happened they had to stay put and try to sort out the problem..... if there was one. This is the whole point, we do not know.

Much of this discussion revolves around the last 30 seconds or so of the flight. But again we have a problem: we do not know the exact height, speed or heading (ie 3 dimensional position) at the the beginning of this period of time without doubt whatsoever. We have an awful lot of opinions - yours is one of them.

To conclude that the crew of ZD576 were guilty of negligence your case relies on facts that are not facts but hypotheses or assumptions. That does not fit comfortably with the standard of proof required.

Best wishes
XM147
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 18:18
  #1096 (permalink)  
John Purdey
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CHINOOK

My dear XM147, it surely must have been one or the other.

With all good wishes,
John Purdey
 
Old 8th Aug 2004, 18:58
  #1097 (permalink)  
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JP
I repeat, I do not know what happened during much of this flight. And neither do you.

I repeat again, your case relies on facts that are not facts but are hypotheses or assumptions. That does not fit comfortably with the standard of proof required.

I prefer facts: you prefer hypotheses and/or assumptions.

So our chances of agreeing are remote. Sorry JP.

Very best wishes,
XM147
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 19:56
  #1098 (permalink)  
 
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JP

Perhaps I might answer your question.

The pilots must have been in control until at least WP change. It is inconceivable that they would have made the three cockpit selections to change WP if out of control. We can also be in no doubt whatsoever that they were at low level and at high cruising speed, heading directly towards the Mull. This is not hypothesis. It is fact.

That we do not know their postion at WP change to within a few metres, or their height to within a few feet, or their speed to within a knot, is all irrelevant.

But it is these very irrelevancies that others seize upon in their claim of insufficient proof/evidence. Otherwise, on what grounds could they decline the questions I raise in my post of 6th August?

The invitation therefore remains open. XM147, Ginseng, Mr Dixon, please note.
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:52
  #1099 (permalink)  
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WOrkER,
noted.


Your questions weren't declined. They had been answered before on one of the many pages in this subject.
However, I'll give you my opinion.

I don't know how any crew could be justfied in remaining below safety altitude if they were IMC at the time of a waypoint change. However, we don't know that this crew were, and making the assumtion that they were negates the verdict.

If they were VMC, there would have had to have been a visual recognition, and acknowledgement, of the waypoint prior to it being changed to Corran, irrespective of whether or not they were flying directly over the pencil mark on the map. Why then, after making the change, did two experienced pilots choose to fly, in the words of the then Station Commander of RAF Odiham, ... a speed and power combination that is unrecognisable as a Chinook technique.

You make the comment "That we do not know their position at WP change to within a few metres, or their height to within a few feet, or their speed to within a knot, is all irrelevant."

Actually, with the greatest of respect, it is quite relevant as it makes it absolutely clear that no-one knows exactly what went on in those last few minutes of the flight. It also shows that the simulation is simply just that - based upon best guess statistics. On that basis alone, Jon Tapper and Rick Cook deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps I could now pose a few questions to you.
1. Had the pilots seen the lighthouse prior to changing the waypoint?
2. Why did they elect to fly an unrecognisable Chinook technique?
3. What were the two crewmen doing during the latter part of the flight?

I look forward to your response.
My best, as always.
Brian

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 21:33
  #1100 (permalink)  

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I agree Brian,

The $64 question, is when is the resident PM at the moment going to meet with you all, as promised.

I realise he is having a hectic time at the moment swanning around on Freebies around the world, is it Italy this week?

Dear me I am becoming a Cynic
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