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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Old 4th Dec 2020, 09:27
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At the risk of sounding cynical, is asking the CAA to look for the evidence not a bit like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop?
Given their responsibilities before and after the incident, it would have been more than a tad embarassing to discover evidence corroborating the existence of CI which they had hitherto failed to discover, Ditto the RAF, so with all due respect, I am reading the report with a very large pinch of salt.
If there is a real desire to find out the state of scientific / medical knowledge on the topic, there needs to be an independent person / body conducting the search, ie one which can express an opinion without the risk of incriminating itself or its own past inaction.

Last edited by falcon900; 4th Dec 2020 at 09:28. Reason: spelling
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 09:40
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I guess we can continue to bat the ball back and forth on the subject of G induced CI for ever but I wonder what conclusion the Coroner will come to when the Inquest is resumed? For sure a conclusion needs to be reached for the sake of the casualties and their relatives and that is part of the Coroners remit.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 09:55
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Originally Posted by just another jocky
Does that make the report confusing and/or contradictory then?
I don't think so. My interpretation is that they were unable to find any evidence for G-induced cognitive impairment, but can't prove that it doesn't exist.

It's very hard to prove that something doesn't exist.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 10:07
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Originally Posted by just another jocky
The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine informed the review that following consultation with international colleagues and experts ‘no consulted expert or organization recognises the existence of a low-G impairment syndrome’ and that ‘the total unanimity and unambiguous nature of expert opinion and long-term international experience offers significant reassurance
With all due respect to RAFCAM, that statement absolutely does not offer reassurance, let alone at a significant level! They might as well say that because no-one has ever seen a blue chicken, then blue chickens don't exist!

If there is a real desire to find out the state of scientific / medical knowledge on the topic, there needs to be an independent person / body conducting the search, ie one which can express an opinion without the risk of incriminating itself or its own past inaction

Completely agree - the report has attempted to draw a conclusion from a review of opinions and research examples which either didn't assess cognitive performance by intent, or were not able to assess cognitive performance to the level that the report required. If the regulator wants to take this seriously, then they should motivate some actual research in a centrifuge, not a lit review.

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Old 4th Dec 2020, 10:09
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Originally Posted by falcon900
At the risk of sounding cynical, is asking the CAA to look for the evidence not a bit like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop?
Given their responsibilities before and after the incident, it would have been more than a tad embarassing to discover evidence corroborating the existence of CI which they had hitherto failed to discover, Ditto the RAF, so with all due respect, I am reading the report with a very large pinch of salt.
If there is a real desire to find out the state of scientific / medical knowledge on the topic, there needs to be an independent person / body conducting the search, ie one which can express an opinion without the risk of incriminating itself or its own past inaction.
Agreed. I wonder if this will now become the focus of the Inquest, in an attempt to divert from awkward questions. Such as, a Permit to Fly predicated on the RAF (not MoD) being the Aircraft Design Authority. Step forward Hunter PT Leader, and tell us all about your safety case.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 10:20
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Originally Posted by falcon900
At the risk of sounding cynical, is asking the CAA to look for the evidence not a bit like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop?
Given their responsibilities before and after the incident, it would have been more than a tad embarassing to discover evidence corroborating the existence of CI which they had hitherto failed to discover, Ditto the RAF, so with all due respect, I am reading the report with a very large pinch of salt.
If there is a real desire to find out the state of scientific / medical knowledge on the topic, there needs to be an independent person / body conducting the search, ie one which can express an opinion without the risk of incriminating itself or its own past inaction.
Who would you suggest (or perhaps who would be acceptable)?
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 13:34
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I agree that the aircraft needs to be demonstrably safe to operate, just as everyone else probably (hopefully) agrees it needs to be operated safely.
I fear that the families’ search for definitive answers will never end - but I know where I fall on the ‘camel curve’ mentioned above.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 14:36
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Originally Posted by just another jocky
Who would you suggest (or perhaps who would be acceptable)?
More or less anyone apart from the CAA.......
There will be others better placed than me to suggest specific names, but for me the key issues are independence and objectivity.
For the record, I am not saying the CAA are wrong, it is just that they have a lack of independence, indeed to the point where they might even have a conflict of interest.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 16:30
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Originally Posted by falcon900
More or less anyone apart from the CAA.......
There will be others better placed than me to suggest specific names, but for me the key issues are independence and objectivity.
For the record, I am not saying the CAA are wrong, it is just that they have a lack of independence, indeed to the point where they might even have a conflict of interest.
You may be right, doesn't mean their report is incorrect, and the quote from RAFCAM and other, "international aviation organisations" is fairly damning. Are they not independent and objective enough? If not, I'm beginning to wonder who would satisfy.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 07:46
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Originally Posted by falcon900
More or less anyone apart from the CAA.......
There will be others better placed than me to suggest specific names, but for me the key issues are independence and objectivity.
For the record, I am not saying the CAA are wrong, it is just that they have a lack of independence, indeed to the point where they might even have a conflict of interest.
Let’s remember, as disclosed during a Pre Inquest Review, it was Andy Hill that initiated the request for the CAA and AAIB to investigate the phenomena in the first place. On the basis of these requests, the Coroner elected to delay the inquest until the reports were delivered.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 09:20
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Originally Posted by TC_LTN
Let’s remember, as disclosed during a Pre Inquest Review, it was Andy Hill that initiated the request for the CAA and AAIB to investigate the phenomena in the first place.
Presumably Bob Massingbird will be representing Andy Hill again.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 11:31
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The point I am trying to make is simply that the CAA (and to a lesser extent the RAF) are not objective or independent. In so far as the CAA has a general regulatory role, it has in my view a meaningful conflict of interest.
Were its investigations to unearth a body of credible evidence in support of CI, the obvious and immediate question becomes why had they not carried out these investigations before, leading to questions as to whether they were properly and proactively discharging their duties. It is a short journey from there to the question of whether the accident could have been avoided if the CAA had discharged its responsibilities diligently. Given that the evidence would have been unearthed by the CAA themselves, it would be pretty difficult for them to escape the conclusion that they had not.
On the other hand, a perfunctory cast around in places where they knew there was no evidence, and a factually correct statement that they had found no evidence........
Independence and the avoidance of actual or apparent conflicts of interest are basic and obvious requirements, and in their absence, I'm afraid the outcomes of the investigation are seriously compromised. IMHO
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 12:37
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falcon900 :-
Independence and the avoidance of actual or apparent conflicts of interest are basic and obvious requirements, and in their absence, I'm afraid the outcomes of the investigation are seriously compromised. IMHO
Absolutely right, falcon! Whatever the rights and wrongs of this terrible tragedy, your statement should be nailed above the entrance of every Regulator and Investigator, whether civil or military. Partiality doesn't work in aviation, it just leads to more accidents, more deaths. It is far too prevalent these days!
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 16:46
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CAA Indepenence !!!

The CAA are NOT an independent input into this whole scenario, simply because 'they' were the controlling authority for most of the issues that conspired in one way or another to 'enable' this accident.
There is no doubt it was an accident, but more to the point 'was it preventable'.
One thing for sure is the least culpable part was the aircraft itself which demonstrated up to impact its ability to maintain control as far as was possible.
The requirements of both display pilot authority, and actual display location 'oversight' are both CAA regulated to the point that designated persons have a responsibility in both cases.There is no doubt that the CI input clouded the issue to the point that that relatives are still left to wonder 'who/what was responsible', and what could have been done to prevent it.The day in question was hot and that itself is always a factor in reducing performance of both aircraft and engine, however display limits are designed to allow a margin for error and the CAA require a display director to oversee operations and call a stop to proceedings if required.Whilst the original charges should never had been implemented equally the decision to proceed with the intended vertical display manoeuvre from a lower than authorised height should have prompted a reaction from the display director, and this was before any possible G factors.
So !, have any lessons been learnt that contribute towards this happening again !!, of course they have, but in the main they did so because of forums like this, not because of a trial that failed to highlight the root cause of the situation.
Whether the Coroner will be influenced in all of this rather depends on anyone who is able to offer evidence that 'de clouds' the questionable CI input, and looks at how the systems in place at the time were followed.

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Old 5th Dec 2020, 17:20
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Originally Posted by POBJOY
One thing for sure is the least culpable part was the aircraft itself which demonstrated up to impact its ability to maintain control as far as was possible..
Yet the aircraft was not airworthy or serviceable, and operating under a fundamentally flawed permit to fly. And the pilot was not told this.
However, I agree with the general points you make.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 17:35
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Originally Posted by falcon900
......I'm afraid the outcomes of the investigation are may be seriously compromised. IMHO
My edit, otherwise I agree.

Doesn't mean they're wrong, especially when they include the opinions of overseas expertise.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 18:16
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POBJOY - That is a great post and says just about says all that needs to be said.

I am not an aviation professional, but I have been reading aviation accident reports since 1968; I was 11 years old, RAF crew room used by my Dad, AEF VR pilot. The human factors are the most interesting and I missed my vocation in life. Sadly the one thing I have learnt over the years, is that lessons are still not learnt.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 08:57
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Aircraft did not fail

Originally Posted by tucumseh
Yet the aircraft was not airworthy or serviceable, and operating under a fundamentally flawed permit to fly. And the pilot was not told this.
However, I agree with the general points you make.
TUC My comment was referring to the point that the 'aircraft itself' did not cause or was part responsible for the incident notwithstanding any issues re its permit. In fact it only proved what a fine machine it was and how sound the design was even when pushed beyond what was reasonable for the conditions. However it 'was grounded', and one has to assume this action was taken in order to 'create the impression' that the stable door has been closed even though that particular horse had never 'bolted'. One has to remember that safety rules regarding airshows were originally drawn up to protect crowds attending such events, and the Pilots briefings were always quite clear on such basic items as not flying over the crowd or turning 'towards' the crowd line. These rules were very much airfield related, but could include the wider scope of areas to avoid whilst positioning. However these rules did not replace the overall conditions as per the ANO which applied to aircraft operations in general,and include many public safety issues as the norm. What Shoreham highlighted (if it needed highlighting) was that some display locations were unsuitable for some aircraft that required a larger positioning space to cope with a short crowd line and nearby built up areas. The other factor is the 'off airfield' areas that attract collections of people watching the display but are not part of the 'display safety regulations', and although on paper covered by the ANO in fact should be part of the overall display organisation 'planning' to mitigate any potential issues that this may cause. As to the actual Shoreham incident itself we are left with a public that have not really been given an honest appraisal of all the facts, and the effective loss of a hugely popular display scene overall.

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Old 6th Dec 2020, 10:33
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Originally Posted by just another jocky
My edit, otherwise I agree.

Doesn't mean they're wrong, especially when they include the opinions of overseas expertise.
The problem is, when you dont know whether the investigation is compromised or not, then it absolutely IS compromised.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 11:38
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Can someone explain to me what motivation the CAA might have for wanting to influence the findings of further investigation into CI? There does not seem to be an obvious equivalent to the “protect the retired Air Marshals” allegation associated with Mull, etc. The CAA’s regulation of display supervision has already been discredited; what else could it be hoping to protect? A finding of CI would surely take attention *away from* airworthiness matters, if indeed there is anything to be diverted from.

As for the RAF, a finding of CI’s existence would actually be quite convenient to very senior leadership in implementing its vision for uncrewed platforms. So not sure what institutional motivation is being implied there either.

Last edited by Easy Street; 6th Dec 2020 at 11:48.
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