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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Old 31st Mar 2019, 14:54
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Originally Posted by beardy
Only when you run out of airspeed.
True, but to the best of my knowledge nothing else has ever been taught. The concept of a rigid gate height protocol for medium level aerobatics in training has never, as far as I am aware, been taught in the RAF. So saying, I am not advocating that this should be taught in flying training because altitude loss during pull through is a function of TAS and so will vary markedly with altitude.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 15:05
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Lomcevak,

For me you nail the whole argument in your paragraph about it being reckless to enter a manoeuvre without a plan for the eventuality of being unable to continue safely.

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Old 31st Mar 2019, 15:08
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KenV,
I would humbly suggest that a total of 43 hours on type in 4 years was the "part of the Shoreham tragedy (that) was caused by a lack of time/experience in type by the pilot?". Less than half what a pilot would get on a far more intensive 6-month OCU course, and a fraction of the legal mandated flying (let alone Display) currency for a military Fast Jet pilot. It opens up all sorts of question marks about cognitive failure, recency and currency in my book. I would suggest that flying an airliner for 1000s of hours and displaying light piston aerobatic aircraft is no comparison, and his JP background both in the Service and as a civilian could perhaps muddy the waters further. I don't consider it "handwringing" to question such low currency and overall experience when displaying a powerful jet aircraft at low level in front of the public, a lot like the Carfest accident. I'd shared a coffee with AH a few weeks before the accident - in no way did he come across as a slipshod or cowboy aviator; a little quirky, perhaps, but manifestly not a rip-sh1t. This is why I remain convinced that his lack of familiarity on type, lack of swept wing FJ hours (in recent decades), lack of recency and multiple aircraft types he flew all conspired (perhaps with some transient medical issue) to make him see normality when there was deviation…...
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 16:52
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Low speed light aircraft do not use a gate height during low level looping manoeuvres because it is not appropriate with the high pitch rate at the apex and the small radius.
I have some limited light aircraft display experience and I have always used a gate height for what I hope would be obvious reasons. I donít fly a high performance type such as an Extra so the margins available to me are less, although undeniably greater than in a FJ.

While I havenít flown FJ, Iím aware that in that case the gate height is also often connected to gate speed - something which does not apply to light aircraft aerobatics. That said, I donít believe that to say a gate height is not used in low level light aircraft aerobatics is accurate.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 19:48
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK
True, but to the best of my knowledge nothing else has ever been taught. The concept of a rigid gate height protocol for medium level aerobatics in training has never, as far as I am aware, been taught in the RAF. So saying, I am not advocating that this should be taught in flying training because altitude loss during pull through is a function of TAS and so will vary markedly with altitude.
Iím sure we are all familiar with the recovery from an ĎUnusual Positioní, an expeditious recovery from somewhere you did not want to be, to a position of safety. Not only taught to all RAF pilots but examined in the annual IRT. Useful in all situations from disorientation to aerobatics.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 00:35
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Originally Posted by Ridger
Well, this is exactly why I asked the question really - I'm interested in seeing any aviation research which has tested the role of confidence in skill based tasks
I'll take that as a "no, Fitts and Posner had nothing to do with aviation." If you want to see the research, I'll offer you a search term that you may pursue if you like.
NATOPS. That program was the result of some research that was mostly written in blood.
As to observations, I'll support Lomcevak's point. I'll also point out that it was institutional knowledge before I entered into flight training about four decades ago.
If you want to delve into Instructional systems Design, you will find various schools of thought on that constitutes "mastery" and I'll go no further as that takes us well off topic.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 08:40
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK
The RAF teaching for what to do when a vertical manoeuvre goes wrong is to close the throttle and centralise the stick and rudder pedals. That is not an appropriate recovery when a gate height is not achieved during a looping manoeuvre in a display.

Low speed light aircraft do not use a gate height during low level looping manoeuvres because it is not appropriate with the high pitch rate at the apex and the small radius. Therefore, rigid application of a gate height protocol will not be a familiar procedure for a display pilot whose experience is mainly light aircraft, however experienced he is.

I most certainly agree that a pilot who pulls up for a looping manoeuvre at a display and does not have a robust plan of what to do at any stage around the manoeuvre when the airspeed and height are insufficient to continue the manoeuvre safely is indeed being reckless.

Ridger,

The errors in the pull-up point are because there are many variables (airspeed, wind, angle off the display line, unfamiliar display site etc) and the pilot has to make a purely visual judgement, often with a very shallow sightline angle and, therefore, little plan view perspective. Therefore, it is easy to make a misjudgement. During the pull up more plan view is available aiding judgement and allowing for corrections to be planned. If the roll angle is not varied on the way up then a 'bend' can be used on the vertical down line to help regain positioning.

The pitch oscillations following a rapid change in angle of attack are (and you did ask!) caused by a low frequency and only moderately damped short period pitch oscillation, resulting from high pitch inertia and low angle of attack stability.

The '70% confidence' comment comes from something that I was told many years ago but I am afraid that I cannot remember the source. However, it is consistent with what I have observed in pilots over many years. The other ~30% is motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination etc. I will admit that this is not a real area of expertise for me and there are others far more knowledgeable than I am on this.
Thankyou Lomcevak; that's very interesting stuff!
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 08:42
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
I'll take that as a "no, Fitts and Posner had nothing to do with aviation." If you want to see the research, I'll offer you a search term that you may pursue if you like.
NATOPS. That program was the result of some research that was mostly written in blood.
As to observations, I'll support Lomcevak's point. I'll also point out that it was institutional knowledge before I entered into flight training about four decades ago.
If you want to delve into Instructional systems Design, you will find various schools of thought on that constitutes "mastery" and I'll go no further as that takes us well off topic.
Awesome - thankyou sir! Exactly what I was after https://www.public.navy.mil/airfor/s...l%20NATOPS.pdf

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Old 1st Apr 2019, 09:33
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FWIW I believe you may find that the originator of the concept of what is termed the Hierarchy of Competence was the celebrated psychologist Abraham Maslow. He identified four stages of Competence, Stage 1 Unconscious Competence, Stage 2 Conscious Incompetence, Stage 3 Conscious Competence, Stage 4 Unconscious Competence.

Maslow's work was then adapted by just about every training situation you can imagine from business through to medicine and beyond. So aviation must have picked it up somewhere along the way!

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Old 1st Apr 2019, 09:48
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I think Stage 1 is "Unconscious Incompetence,"
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 10:25
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Originally Posted by Haraka
I think Stage 1 is "Unconscious Incompetence,"
So it would seem ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence

Last edited by MPN11; 1st Apr 2019 at 10:37. Reason: typo
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 10:52
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This is a fascinating thread but I take issue with one comment:
Low speed light aircraft do not use a gate height during low level looping manoeuvres because it is not appropriate with the high pitch rate at the apex and the small radius. Therefore, rigid application of a gate height protocol will not be a familiar procedure for a display pilot whose experience is mainly light aircraft, however experienced he is.
. I taught aerobatics in light aircraft (such as Bulldog, Cap10, Stearman) for many years and introduced gates from almost the first trip, exits from cock-ups were taught fairly soon after. The teaching was reinforced by introducing gates that could not be achieved and therefore forcing an escape manoeuvre. AFAIK this is fairly standard and reinforced by the aerobatic syllabus.
As others have said, it is almost inconceivable that someone with AH's experience would not know how to escape from a whole range of errors.

HFD (not ex-mil)
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 10:58
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK
True, but to the best of my knowledge nothing else has ever been taught. The concept of a rigid gate height protocol for medium level aerobatics in training has never, as far as I am aware, been taught in the RAF. So saying, I am not advocating that this should be taught in flying training because altitude loss during pull through is a function of TAS and so will vary markedly with altitude.
That is my experience too and agree with your reasoning.


For interest, we do currently teach EFT trainee pilots to check for a minimum IAS once inverted before pitching through the vertical on a 1/2 Cuban 8 and if that minimum speed is exceeded, they should roll out of the manoeuvre and re-commence. We do not teach gate heights, though a nominal height requirement for looping manoeuvres should be known to prevent minimum height busts by pitching through too low.

I also displayed a Hunter T7 for about a year and we (the team pilots) deliberately chose not to attempt any looping manoeuvres due to our perception of the risk levels in a low level aerobatic display. Interestingly, as a current RAF pilot with 20+ years on FJ and now current QFI'ing, it took me less than 8 hours on the Hunter, an ac I had never flown before nor had I any experience of low level aerobatics, to get cleared down to 200ft for any manoeuvre (and also formation on any ac and any number of ac) at Public Events.

In hindsight, this seems inadequate, though at the time I felt I knew what I was doing and indeed performed safely throughout the season.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 12:16
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Thanks for the correction Haraka. Either a touch of the Advanced Fuddyitus or perhaps my bl**dy spell checker again!
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 14:10
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hugh flung_dung and Tay Cough,

Many thanks for your comments about gate heights in low speed aircraft. I have little experience in this end of the performance range but no-one else has ever said to me that they do use them and I certainly have asked many people. For the small amount of low level aerobatics that I have done in light aircraft, for straight loops I have always just used a minimum pull-up speed and pull-up height, and I certainly would never pull-up from flypast minima as I do in more powerful aircraft. However, for planned control inputs for spins etc I most certainly do use minimum heights. This is becoming serious thread drift but I am interested in your thoughts about the time for making a decision to fly an escape manoeuvre at the apex with respect to the high pitch rate, resulting low nose attitude when you start to roll and, in some aircraft, poor roll performance. Happy to go onto PMs if you wish.

Capt Scribble,

Re your comment
Iím sure we are all familiar with the recovery from an ĎUnusual Positioní, an expeditious recovery from somewhere you did not want to be, to a position of safety. Not only taught to all RAF pilots but examined in the annual IRT. Useful in all situations from disorientation to aerobatics.
In the context of the Shoreham accident manoeuvre, at 105 KIAS at the apex of a loop the standard UP recovery for the Hunter would have been to close the throttle, centralise the stick and rudder pedals, wait until the IAS reached 200 KIAS, roll wings level and recover back to level flight. This is certainly not an appropriate escape manoeuvre at the apex of a low level loop.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 15:09
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Originally Posted by Homelover
Err, probably the crashing part?
This thread is about the trial. Nothing in the trial pointed to lack of time/experience in type. The jury concluded that the accident was caused by cognitive impairment, which is totally independent of time/experience in type.

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Old 1st Apr 2019, 15:43
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Originally Posted by Evalu8ter
KenV,
I would humbly suggest that a total of 43 hours on type in 4 years was the "part of the Shoreham tragedy (that) was caused by a lack of time/experience in type by the pilot?". Less than half what a pilot would get on a far more intensive 6-month OCU course, and a fraction of the legal mandated flying (let alone Display) currency for a military Fast Jet pilot. It opens up all sorts of question marks about cognitive failure,
May I politely point out that in this case the cognitive failure was judged not to be due to inexperience in type, but due to some kind physical impairment. The physical impairment was independent of time/experience in type. The incident pilot failed to recognize he was both low and slow when entering the maneuver and then exacerbated the problem by reducing power during the upward portion of the vertical maneuver. These cognitive failures were not due to lack of time/experience in type. Clinically, cognitive failures are due to the following factors: overload of short-term memory capacity, reduced attention and vigilance level, incidental learning, and divided attention. LINK Experience in type would not have changed any of these cognitive failure factors. Further, the jury clearly and unanimously decided that a physiological event triggered the cognitive failures in this incident. Again, no amount of experience in type would have altered that.

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Old 1st Apr 2019, 16:05
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Juryís Findings

Hi Ken,

You post with authority.

Did the jury really unanimously agree that a CI had occurred and could clearly be attributed to environmental factors - or did they decide (unanimously or by majority) that, given the evidence proposed, a Guilty verdict for 11 counts of Gross Negligence Manslaughter could not be arrived at?

A genuine question as I canít find any transcript of proceedings that would let me know; and I wasnít there; and as I understand it the open source accounts are not to be relied upon.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 16:12
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Originally Posted by KenV
The jury concluded that the accident was caused by cognitive impairment, which is totally independent of time/experience in type.
Further, the jury clearly and unanimously decided that a physiological event triggered the cognitive failures in this incident
KenV, I think that the your emphasis is not quite correct. I think that it would be more accurate to say that the jury decided that it was not beyond reasonable doubt that cognitive impairment could have occurred. The judge, in his direction to the jury, said that it was the prosecution's task to demonstrate that cognitive impairment did not occur which is not an easy task! Therefore, it is not as black and white as you have stated; it is the 'beyond reasonable doubt' requirement for this charge which has a great impact on the verdict.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 16:30
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The CI issue was simple. There are no medical tests to prove whether it occurred or not. Therefore it might have. Hence a not guilty verdict because the prosecution couldn't prove it hadn't happened.

Whether you think thats a lot of holes in a lot of cheese lining up at a very inopportune time in tragic circumstances, as some may, well thats by the by.

It seems like based on the opinion of a lot of experienced aviators here that the lack of time in the jet was certainly an aggrivating factor.

Whether or not you consider its reckless and negligent to perform an aerobatic display in an aircraft without the requisite training and knowledge as to do if things go a bit t*ts up, is of course, a seperate matter, which maybe wasn't fully considered.
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