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BOI into the 2012 Tornado Collision over the Moray Firth

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BOI into the 2012 Tornado Collision over the Moray Firth

Old 30th Jul 2013, 11:46
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BOI into the 2012 Tornado Collision over the Moray Firth

Does anyone know if the BOI has announced its findings with the regards to the collision of two Tornados over the Moray Firth last June?

Distant Voice

Last edited by Distant Voice; 30th Jul 2013 at 15:13.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 14:20
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I'm told the "enquiry" part is finished and the Board are now finalising the findings.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 14:34
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Thank god this was just a question about the BOI. My heart sank when I saw the title - any chance it could be amended please.

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Old 30th Jul 2013, 16:57
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Tornado Collision over Moray Firth

Stimulator. I second that notion!
Also, being out of the country I am somewhat out of the loop with things like this. How is the surviving crew member? I have heard little about him since the crash. Hopefully he can/has come through it in reasonable health.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 19:24
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Sorry Stimulator, but I am not sure how to change the thread title. I have tried. What is important is the cause of the accident. Was cost cutting a contributing factor? ie lack of TCAS.

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Old 30th Jul 2013, 19:40
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Technology does not save us from everything.......I was flying that day and was split by the pair as they left Skye....

TCAS might have warned.....

But procedure should be the first port of call....RIP gentlemen, I heard your PLB's on the net.....sobering
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 19:46
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Tornado Collision over Moray Firth

Distant voice.
Cost cutting would be a harsh statement. The Tornado has never had TCAS so it is hardly a cost cut. TCAS in FJs can be useful but not perfect.
I do not wish to enter into a huge debate on the matter though due to the sensitive subject matter.
Two people I knew died that day along with another of their colleagues. Hopefully the fourth member is on the road to recovery.
Lets not form the basis of a tabloid story by pointing the finger before the report has been published.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 21:10
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I must admit I was hoping, I'm sure everyone will understand, that the thread title referred to the incident last year.

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Old 30th Jul 2013, 22:26
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Would also like news of the surviving crew member, if not inappropriate to ask.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 07:34
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Can a moderator change the title? I thought there had been another one!
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 08:27
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I attended the 1 year memorial service up in Lossie a few weeks ago. The church at Lossie was packed to the rafters, which was superb to see. The surviving crew member was present and looked well. XV(R) Sqn have had a cairn constructed overlooking the Moray Firth in memory of those lost that fateful afternoon.

Cairn is dedicated to the memory of RAF Lossiemouth airmen | insideMoray

The first annual groundcrew Vs aircrew football match was played a few days afterwards too, it was won by the groundcrew!
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 09:23
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I also was worried there had been another one!!

Can people PLEASE think carefully about new thread titles?
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 09:59
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Bob Viking, I do not consider that the cost cutting statement is too harsh, and yes I realise that TCAS has never been fitted to Tornado; that's the problem. Please read on.

Two years earlier, in June 2010, there was a Category A (just one step down from mid-air collision) near miss east of Roybridge, with visibility at 50 km. One of the pilots reported that he was unaware of the proximity of the other jet above them until it was first seen in the pilot’s rear view mirrors as they turned. The small cross-sectional area of a grey GR4, head on, with no crossing motion “masked it’s [the other aircraft] presence until the last moment” The Airprox report, produced jointly by the CAA and the military concluded;

“TCAS or another form of cooperative CWS (Collision Warning System) would undoubtedly have helped to improve Situation Awareness and aid an earlier visual acquisition. Work is in progress to equip the Tornado GR4 with a CWS”

The Airprox comment leads one to believe that CWS/TCAS recommendations go back to earlier incidents, and that work is in hand to address the equipment deficiency. However, 18 months later in February 2012, and after several other incidents, another near miss took place, this time in the Moray Firth area, between a Tornado GR4 and a S92 helicopter. On this occasion the Airprox report states;

“Fitment of TCAS to the Tornado fleet is still under consideration but it is not yet funded, and it is very likely it would have increased the Tornado crew’s Situation Awareness on the S92”

In fact TCAS had been “under consideration” since 1999, when in January of that year a Tornado GR1 (prior to GR4 upgrade) collided with a civilian Cessna. All four people involved in the accident were killed. The MoD accident summary stated;

“The TCSI [Tornado Combined Safety Investigation] recommended that a Collision Warning System (CWS) for all military and civilian aircraft operating below 2000 feet be pursued with all possible haste.”

But, despite the Haddon-Cave report and the formation of the new MAA very little has changed with regards to aircraft safety and airworthiness. In the Tornado’s case we have gone backwards in two years from “Work in progress” to “under consideration but not yet funded”. Even if and when funding is approved how long will it take to modify the fleet? If we take the URGENT modification of the IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system, following the Patriot incident in 2004, it could take six years. How many more lives will be lost in that time? In fact the ideal time to install TCAS into the Tornado would have been during the IFF modification programme, as the two systems are inter-linked, or better still during the GR1 upgrade in the early 2000s. The latter being the option outlined in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review;

“The Tornado GR4 squadrons will be given more logistic support to improve their deployability, as well as a new collision warning system early in the next century”

It seems ironic that the Chairman of the newly formed MAA Safety Advisory Committee, Air Marshal (Retired) Sir Colin Terry was Chief Engineer (RAF) from 1997 to 99 and must have been aware of the need for CWS to be installed in Tornado aircraft. And, considering that CWS needs were first addressed in 1990, following the collision two Tornado GR1s and three fatalities, it has to be assumed that his predecessor Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Alcock was also in the picture on the CWS issue. (Both officers are linked with the accidents and fatalities associated with Nimrod and Chinook). On this occasion (1990) the MoD accident summary stated;

“Technologies which provide electronic collision warning systems are being investigated”

In the end it appears to boil down to costs, but what are the costs associated with several lost lives, and lost aircraft. Cut backs on aircraft numbers and pilots are one thing, but cut backs on flight safety when there is a known problem is criminal. It is interesting to note that the following statement heads the first MAA Defence Air Safety Annual Report;

“If you think safety is expensive, try a crash”

In a 2010 provisional assessment of strategic risks to Air Safety, DG MAA reported;

"Mid-air Collision - a risk during both routine flying operations and on OP HERRICK. Incremental mitigation of this chronic risk, which has a high 'societal concern' factor, has suffered protracted delays over successive PRs since the 1998 SDR. A 'Delete Tornado Collision Warning System' Option is being run in PR11 which would prejudice the Dept's ability to declare this risk ALARP".(PR11 being MoD’s Planning Round for 2011 - the annual budget review)

However, in the DG MAA Annual Report, dated 10 Aug 11, he reported;

"The reprieve of the Delete Tornado CWS PR11 Option is welcome, but there is likely to be more that could be done"

But is the "reprieve" just a paper exercise to give the impression that CWS for Tornado is still under consideration, and therefore the risk can be regarded as ALARP? From experience gained with Nimrod, as long as it can be demonstrated that progress was being made towards ALARP MOD regards everything to be OK. The bottom line is that 15 years have passed since the 1998 SDR, and nothing has been done.

The risk associated with the two Tornados involved in the Moray Firth accident in July was not ALARP. The risk associated with the whole Tornado fleet is not ALARP, and has never been ALARP since the mid-1990.

Last edited by Distant Voice; 1st Aug 2013 at 11:24.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 10:02
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Ooooh! Distant LOUD Voice, methinks!


PS. Would a Moderator please change the title and give the event a 2012 date or summat like that! It's rather too alarming in its present form!

Last edited by Fg Off Bloggs; 31st Jul 2013 at 10:04.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 12:01
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It's never as simple as just fit GR4 with TCAS though. As GR4's fly around mostly in pairs, or more, sometimes in close formation, sometimes a couple of miles apart, the TCAS could be giving RA's so often on each other that the crews might become complacent and start to ignore them.

Is there a system whereby you could inhibit a specific response from a specific ac to prevent this? RA's from #2 could be inhibited to prevent nuisance alerts caused by formation manoeuvring.

Trouble is, that wouldn't have prevented the Moray accident, would it?

TCAS & fast-jets seem to be fairly incompatible to me, unless someone could explain how it would be used on a daily basis.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 12:07
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Who said TCAS wouldn't have prevented the accident?
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 13:28
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Just another jockey

You could select TA only for pairs / multiple work and TA/RA for singleton if necessary. TCAS logic is becoming exceptionally clever - google 7.1.
The TCAS trg instills the bottom line that RAs MUST be followed and within specific timeframe (5s initial 2.5s follow on).

It's not a cure all but increases SA exponentially, and if its installation prevents one midair then its money well spent.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 13:47
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BOI into the 2012 Tornado collision... Seemed very obvious to me that the thread titled referred to a previous accident: 2012 being the clue.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 14:06
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Avtur, that's a recent edit to the title mate.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 14:11
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Thread title.

Avtur, you have come late to the party and not read/understood the original post.
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