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MAA MILITARY AIR SAFETY CONFERENCE

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MAA MILITARY AIR SAFETY CONFERENCE

Old 17th Sep 2012, 11:45
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MAA MILITARY AIR SAFETY CONFERENCE

I've just received the calling notice from the RAeS giving the line up for the MAA conference that they are hosting in London on 24th-25th October.

Apparently the speakers will tell us that "the UK Ministry of Defence has implemented the vast majority of the Haddon-Cave Review’s recommendations and a profoundly different UK military aviation regulatory environment is in effect".

Like many others I am far from convinced that the MAA, as part of the MoD, can provide a "profoundly different UK military aviation environment". The MAA should be a totally independent organisation, just as the CAA and AAIB are totally independent from the airlines.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 13:36
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The MAA has been great in implementing paperwork, admin burdens and not much else.

All of the extra work has not been met by a commensurate increase in manning -criminal. If fact the (bow wave) of work (more like a tidal wave and subsequent 3 metre sea level rise) has had an adverse effect on front line ops.

In my experience, the JHC has royally shat upon the front line units. I have direct experience of the implementation, and it was very poorly coordinated......depending upon goodwill, holding officers and last minute ridiculous deadlines passed from above.

A lot to be answered for......the whole point of this was to reduce risk and make the middle managers take the correct steps to a safe outcome. In reality, it's been about "complying" and seeing to have done so.

If it was that important, much more time and funding would have been provided.

An utter shambles IMHO.

Nobody disagrees with the principle.....if it was done properly......no doing so.....well, isn't that how we got into this whole mess!
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 14:05
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It does appear to be more about "being seen to have done something" than anything else.

I do hope some members of the MAA read this and take on board concerns from the coal face.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 14:09
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1.3VStall

As you have a calling notice will you be attending in order to put your point across (either in Q&A [if there is one] or over coffee and biscuits)? Perhaps take ralphmalph along with you as well!
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 14:18
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Simply changing the rules doesn't change an organization or its culture, and certainly not in a short space of time.

There does seem to be an element of trumpeting that everything is now fine and dandy....
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 16:29
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Apparently the speakers will tell us that "the UK Ministry of Defence has implemented the vast majority of the Haddon-Cave Review’s recommendations and a profoundly different UK military aviation regulatory environment is in effect".

The key question is this. Would implementing Haddon-Cave's recommendations have prevented Nimrod, Chinook, Sea King, Tornado, C130 etc? No.

Would implementing mandated regulations of the day? Yes.

The reason for this is because Haddon-Cave refused to publish the most damning evidence or address the root causes. Consequently, the MAA is, by definition, deeply flawed.

If I were invited, I'd be asking if the staffs who consistently advised Ministers that the airworthiness regulations WERE being implemented robustly are still in post; and if so, why.


The very fact that Ministers had to address this basic question, long before XV230 crashed, demonstrates SOMEONE knew the regulations weren't being implemented, and notified the correct authorities of the fact.

Why did Haddon-Cave not mention this? Because the truth exposed many of his conclusions as arrant nonsense - most notably the claim the failures only commenced in 1998. Again, it follows the MAA's efforts are based on a false premise.

No, I don't think the MAA will mention any of the above.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 16:32
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Wrathmonk,

I'm seriously considering attending, but the £135 + VAT attendance fee, plus the cost of an overnight stay in town, is a bit off putting!
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 17:13
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If I had to pay £135.00 +VAT simply to be told "the UK Ministry of Defence has implemented the vast majority of the Haddon-Cave Review’s recommendations and a profoundly different UK military aviation regulatory environment is in effect" I'd be demanding my money back.
Who do they think is going to believe this baloney? As tuc says, Haddon-Cave's recommendations were flawed because they did not deal with the core problem, that airworthiness provision and air accident investigation must be separate and independent of the operator (ie of the MOD) and of each other. Mull alone shows us the tragic and unjust cost that is paid when that is not the case. These people are Snake Oil salesmen and their product is equally life threatening.
This scandal will not go away and the RAF in particular has to bite the bullet just as the South Yorkshire Police are having to do. Illegal orders were issued and people have died. That has to be addressed.
Self Regulation Does Not Work and in Aviation it Kills.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 17:26
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simply to be told
My point exactly. Stand up and be counted. Raise your hand when they ask 'any questions' and make YOUR point. Very rare you get the opportunity to throw questions at the 'hierarchy'.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 17:37
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No, I don't think the MAA will mention any of the above.
Perhaps I should have mentioned that, yes, I do have the evidence that the MAA are fully aware of everything I say. For a start, a verbatim transcript of a meeting with a Minister at which this was the main subject on the agenda. Given this, and the evidence thrust under their noses by that Minister (!), one wonders why they continue to regard Haddon-Cave as their bible.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 19:57
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Wrathmonk, the time to stand up and be counted was when those charged with implementing airworthiness regulations were given a direct illegal order to suborn them yet to sign them off as being complied with. As a result, for instance, a fleet of knowingly grossly unairworthy aircraft was released into RAF squadron service and 29 people died.
What is said or not said in that RAeS Conference Room will not change things one iota. The RAeS is the lapdog of the MOD and certainly won't want to make any trouble for it. Those Fellows who tried to raise this issue previously were effectively silenced. The RAF High Command will carry on in its default mode which is to protect its members, serving or retired. That is where its loyalty lies, nowhere else. This matter will be resolved eventually outside of the MOD and despite of it, just as the scandal of Hillsborough has vis-a-vis the Emergency Services.
The depressing thing is that, dreadful though it was, Hillsborough was a one off event. Airworthiness related fatal military air accidents will be with us for years, MAA not withstanding, until the Regulations can be reliably enforced.
That cannot happen unless and until the MAA, its heirs and successors, are demonstrably free of interference from above.
That cannot happen unless and until it is independent of and separated from the MOD.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 21:03
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If by "implemented" they mean "We have written some vague rules and bunged 'em out the Abbeywood door" - then they have suceeded!

If they are implying they have changed the mindset of serving personnel and improved the services' safety - they will be on Trial some day.

Having lived through CAP360 to JAR145 and then to EASA Part M implementations I have never seen such a klusterFeck in "implementing" new rules before.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 21:46
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Apparently the speakers will tell us that "the UK Ministry of Defence has implemented the vast majority of the Haddon-Cave Review’s recommendations and a profoundly different UK military aviation regulatory environment is in effect".
The statement seems pretty explicit.
The MAA knows there hasn't been a huge sea change in culture, since AEMS,DAEMS kicked off. Things have 'started' to move but there is a realisation that it will take time. Are the RAeS lap dogs of the MOD ? News to me & if they are, so what. The conference is a talking shop not a rule making body.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 22:13
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Biggus nailed it...

Simply changing the rules doesn't change an organization or its culture, and certainly not in a short space of time.
...and as Tuc said earler, there were plenty of rules in place over the years to prevent these tragedies, the problem was the organisation chose to go around those rules. Without understanding the reasons behind that wilful and probably criminal avoidance of enforcement, nothing will change.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 08:49
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Are the RAeS lap dogs of the MOD
Just like MoD, there are those in the RAeS who seek to do the right thing, but are shouted down and bullied by those who refuse.

In the RAeS, the latter are well represented by the usual suspects - the cadre of retired senior RAF officers who launched into print blaming the pilots every time the Mull of Kintyre campaign looked like making progress.

One only has to compare the media utterings of, for example, Graydon and Alcock, with the official briefings to Ministers (and Liam Fox's statements) to see that, in this sense, MoD and RAeS are one and the same.

Why do you think the MAA have chosen to congregate at the RAeS? Because they are, essentially, on home turf. But perhaps someone will ask why a past President, at the behest of a senior retired RAF officer, ordered three Fellows to "burn" their revealing report on Mull of Kintyre in 2000.

There are many RAeS members who abhor the actions of the few. Now is your chance to ask the awkward questions. Like, why has the MAA never acknowledged that not one single conclusion or recommendation in any of the ART reports came as a surprise, as they had all been notified previously - and ignored. (Noting that, as they adhere to the Haddon-Cave lie that the problems started in 1998, the ARTs came as a complete surprise to the MAA when advised of them in January 2011). The answer is that, to acknowledge the ARTs and the fact nothing was done, would be to admit the above retired senior RAF officers abrogated their responsibilities, leading directly to avoidable deaths.

No MoD department will admit that, and the RAeS will not mention it. But an independent one would confirm it. After all, it is a simple matter of record.

Last edited by tucumseh; 18th Sep 2012 at 08:52.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 23:11
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Sir George Cayley
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1.3VStall

The MAA should be a totally independent organisation, just as the CAA and AAIB are totally independent from the airlines.
I'm not sure the CAA is 'totally independent' from the airlines that fund its very being.

It was BA and others that pushed for the withdrawal of cross subsidies that was a disbenefit to GA.

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Old 19th Sep 2012, 08:44
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Sir George, one of the many benefits of being an ex-pilot is that I no longer have to pay the Dane-Geld to the CAA. We all have had call to grumble, or worse, about one aspect or other of their operation at various times. That is all I ask of the MAA, for there is no panacea to be gained here, merely the avoidance of avoidable accidents and the needless loss of lives.
The airlines, as the principle paymasters of the CAA, may well have influence, maybe undue influence, but has it affected the CAA's most basic responsibility of ensuring the safe operation of civil aviation within UK skies and of UK registered aircraft everywhere? Military aviation is of course a different beast, but it should at least enable crews to close with the enemy, or carry out their operational task, without spontaneously blowing up, losing control, or not having the most basic defence against minimal enemy action.
All of the above pertains to air accident investigation where the independence to criticize anyone found at fault, be it crew, operator, or even regulator, is called for and exists in civil aviation in the guise of the AAIB. These are the fundamental requirements too of military aviation. If the MAA and the MAAIB are finally made free of the MOD, and of each other, then no doubt these threads will still abound with grumbles about both of them. We can only look forward to that day, when there will be members posting on this forum who might otherwise lie buried, with full military honours, instead.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 19th Sep 2012 at 09:10.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 10:08
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Ralphmalph's post is pretty much what I would have written...well said!

If the MAA think they have implemented HC's recommendations, I know of one man who should attend the lecture, because, having listened to him lecture me on the subject, I now know he vehemently disagrees that this is the case.

Yup, you guessed it, Haddon-Cave QC himself. He told us that he recommended stripping away process (the comfort blanket that hides danger) and he thinks the MAA have absolutely not grasped this principle, having done exactly the opposite.

Movement Against Aviation - We're not happy unless you're not happy.

We'll tell you what you have put in place is inadequate, but won't tell you what would suffice, just better luck next time...
We'll tell you this at the 11th hour.
We'll make sure that instead of prepping to fly, doing planning, making bookings, doing route study, delivering quality briefings, that all of that is compressed to a nano-particle size compared to the 'safety adding' activity of running around getting MAA approvals.
We reserve the right to change our mind and move the goalposts, almost in a manoeuvrist approach to stopping you go flying, by remaining so unpredictable and lacking in overall policy, that any staff work completed more than 2 months ago will almost always need repeating.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 12:34
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There are free places available to serving MOD; I got one yesterday.
I may retrawl this thread nearer the time to find a suitable question to pose. Not that I will expect a straight answer, you understand.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 18:44
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nice castle

The example you relate regarding H-C is absolutely true; as are your other comments.

But the enduring problem H-C created, which has facilitated the MAA taking the approach they have, is that he flatly refused to criticise certain senior officers (in fact, praised them), when all the irrefutable evidence he was shown demonstrated the systemic failures commenced in the 1980s, not 1998. And that, far from being caused by the demise of the Chief Engineer’s post, were caused by his very existence and his policies (also provided to H-C).

If you have the opportunity, ask him why he didn’t mention any of the Airworthiness Review Team reports. (He no longer replies to those of us who gave evidence). If he saw them, it was a criminal omission not to mention them. (They wholly contradict many of his conclusions). If he did not see them, he should ask his friends Alcock and Graydon why they didn’t mention the reports when they spoke to him. And he should ask Sir Donald Spiers (ex Controller Aircraft) what he would have done had he been shown the early ARTs. (Answer – withdraw CA Release, which would require ACAS to ground the aircraft). If the latter is the case, it is incumbent upon him to submit an addendum to his report outlining this concealment of evidence, recommend criminal charges and a review of recommendations rejected by MoD. The inevitable outcome would be an independent MAA.

He’ll ignore you. But if by some chance he's interested, invite him to e-mail me.
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