Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

An Inconvenient Truth

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

An Inconvenient Truth

Old 31st May 2021, 10:53
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 80
Posts: 4,555
An Inconvenient Truth

26 Years ago, on 2nd June 1994, Chinook Mk2 ZD576 crashed on the Mull of Kintyre killing all 29 on board. I can do no better than to quote this from Amazon :-

Mull of Kintyre, Scotland, 2 June 1994. 29 dead.

RAF Air Marshals blamed the two pilots. Their position was that the onus of disproving negligence was on the deceased.
When the pilots were eventually cleared in 2011, Ministers and the Crown Office decided that was the end of the matter – true cause and culpability was now irrelevant. Why? Who benefitted?
The clues lay in what MoD had concealed. The families, Fatal Accident Inquiry and Parliament were lied to. For example, all were told that evidence removed from the crash scene before investigators arrived had been examined and could not have caused any harm. This outright lie was later exposed when documents MoD had denied the existence of were uncovered. This and other fresh evidence is examined here for the first time.
The ends of justice have been defeated by those charged with administering it. Once again it is left to the public to publish the facts.

ALL PROCEEDS TO CHARITY
A new Kindle book has just been published. I believe it will be followed by a paper back edition in due course. Long time members will recall the bitter fight fought here to restore the pilots' reputations. That was only the start. It led to a campaign that revealed a scandal involving certain senior RAF Air Officers subverting UK Military Air Safety and of the cover up of that by their successors that exists to this day.

The Inconvenient Truth : Chinook ZD576 - Cause & Culpability 3.99


The Inconvenient Truth : Chinook ZD576 - Cause & Culpability eBook: Hill, David, Blakeley, John: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store The Inconvenient Truth : Chinook ZD576 - Cause & Culpability eBook: Hill, David, Blakeley, John: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 31st May 2021, 19:26
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 908
Who Speaks for the Dead ?

Bravo Mr Hill and Mr Blakeley !

It's a complicated subject, but even if, like me, you're a 'Bear of Very Little Brain' or if you believe in 'My Masters Right or Wrong' (Not me any longer) you will be able to see why they thought they could get away with it, and why current management are still looking the other way and bending the system, for all sorts of similar events.

Who Speaks for the Dead ?

Not anyone responsible for these past and current travesties of safety and justice and the persistent management lies.

Who would want to work for these people ?

LFH

...

Last edited by Lordflasheart; 1st Jun 2021 at 06:52. Reason: 'but' replaced 'so'
Lordflasheart is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2021, 18:25
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 799
Chug,

Thank you for the link - just bought it as a Kindle book - and a riveting read it is. It makes one of the most cogent arguments I've seen regarding the scale of the failures and gross failures of duty by the relevant RAF senior officers. There are many, but the book correctly (in my view) homes in on the illegal decision to clear the aircraft for service. It also makes clear that the original RAF Board of Inquiry was wholly deficient in completely ignoring the airworthiness (or not) of the aircraft. Yes, people should be prosecuted.

What makes things even worse, to my mind, is the RAF's long standing failure to learn the lessons. I can confirm that the Chinook 'Servicing Instruction' to have the crewman check the security of the DECU connectors in flight (to me, a totally astonishing piece of paper) was STILL issued around 2016. For all I know it's still in place. The Hawk ejection seat accident at Scampton was (again, my view) mainly caused by the issue of an illegal and inadequate Technical Instruction by the RAF - who afterwards claimed that they couldn't find any records of any of the meetings that were held to decide to do it. That's admitting to a massive failure of basic record keeping and documenting airworthiness related decisions. And the MAA didn't even blink over that. As I've said before - having a nice shiny set of regulations in place doesn't help if the people on the ground don't comply with them - and if their superiors don't care (or don't know) that they're not being followed. And if their QA systems don't work.

I know that the RAF is chock full of totally excellent engineers and technicians - I've had the honour to work with more than a few. But it seems that the higher leadership of the RAF had (and probably still has) created a culture where getting aircraft in the air (especially to carry out a high profile VIP mission) is more important than crossing the i's and dotting the t's. Those i's and t's always come home to roost. I urge all RAF engineers to read this book, inwardly digest, and get ready to say 'NO' the next time they get told to do something like this. And maintain a 'work book' so that any time you 're told to do something plain wrong, you record it.

Best Regards as ever to all those excellent RAF engineers and technicians doing their very considerable best,

Engines
Engines is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2021, 19:54
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 908
DECU Connectors ..........

...
DECU connectors ........


I remember wondering how one could safely re-make this sort of connector if it was found to be disconnected in flight (That is what the 'every 15 minutes' check is for - Right ?) - bearing in mind it would probably be live at the time.

Looking back to the last couple of pages of this aged thread - Haddon-Cave, Airworthiness, Sea King et al (merged) - I see you experts were discussing this subject in 2012, and the NAO referrred to it in critical terms in their report of September 2000.

Somebody in the know must be able to confirm that this problem has been properly sorted by now ?

LFH
...

Lordflasheart is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2021, 20:13
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,029
I am in the process of reading the book and am taken aback by what I am reading.

As I am an American and not very familiar with the RAF/MOD, Scottish Law, and other aspects of the investigations, inquiries, boards, and other legal processes....I am reluctant to get into the details.

As a former Special Agent Investigator for the US Navy and a former US Army Chinook Pilot, I understand the value of a thorough and complete investigation of all evidence, obtaining detailed accurate testimonial evidence and the penalties that can accrue for intentional withholding or tampering with evidence or tampering with a witness or potential witness or Jury along with the concept of Perjury.

My questions go to how have all of those accused of those kinds of misconduct escaped prosecution?
SASless is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 08:26
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 80
Posts: 4,555
LFH, Engines, SASless, thank you all for endorsing this book, and hopefully encouraging others to download and read it too. I think we all share a feeling of its importance, the culmination of years of research, of gathering evidence otherwise withheld from Coroners, FAI's, BoI's, and SI's. Military Air Safety is no longer safe in the hands of the MOD/RAF. Air Regulation and Air Accident Investigation must be made truly independent of the MOD/RAF, and of each other.

In the meantime it is incumbent on all aviators, be they aircrew, engineers, or indeed neither, to make themselves familiar with what airworthiness is and how it must be sustained from start to finish of an aircraft's life. Too many of us are content to leave that to others. When those others are ordered to subvert the regulations and suborn them, then the result is often yet another fatal air accident and/or the loss of entire fleets, often causing the loss of entire capabilities. That will continue until the RAF leadership bites the bullet and faces up to the illegal acts of certain RAF Air Officers and of the continuing cover up of that since.

That we have far to travel along the road of reform is made clear by the DECU connectors issue mentioned above. That the MOD's baleful influence extends to many other national institutions is obvious from the follow up action resulting from the tragic death of Red Arrow Sean Cunningham. An illegal RTI led directly to this fatal accident yet it was not the RAF that was brought to book, but rather Martin Baker which was prosecuted by the HSE and convicted. When Air Safety is treated so arbitrarily we are on a slippery slope that will not end well for any of us. It has to change!

One final word. Engines, you call for RAF engineers to do their job and say NO when given an illegal order (the "something like this" you mention). I can only but endorse your call, but in fairness I should caution them that it is still MOD ministerial policy that such illegal orders are allowable and that it is an offence not to obey them! The rot is at the very top of the RAF and it is up to the RAF leadership to resolve it rather than just leaving those at the workface to try to do so. Unlike your RN experience where you have rightly celebrated the top cover extended to you by your superiors, those you urge to resist, rather than having such protection, are instead answerable to those issuing those same illegal orders. We urgently need an independent Regulator to enforce the Regulations and expose those seeking to subvert them.

SASless you ask why such illegality has not been prosecuted. It is because operator, regulator, and investigator are to all intents and purposes one and the same; the MOD and its various subsidiaries. That will continue until the MOD is made subject to the authority of an independent Military Air Regulator and Air Accident Investigator who are in turn independent of each other. Until then UK Military Airworthiness will remain compromised and avoidable fatal air accidents will continue.
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 12:23
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,483
The rightful efforts to 'right the wrongs', evident in this incident seem to carry a feeling of puzzlement that such a travesty of 'justice' should occur - Why?
You are dealing with the 'principles' of high office in a large 'corporate' organisation - for parallels, consider the Post Office Postmasters disgraceful saga - which, apparently, still continues. Lives ruined , unnecessary deaths - it is not a novel situation.
We still live in a society which shields the powerful from the consequences of their intentional, or inadvertent, ineptitude and there is nothing to suggest an appetite for change.
Cornish Jack is online now  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 14:26
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: W. Scotland
Posts: 539
As Engines says, fascinating and utterly riveting. Superbly written. As the book says, how sad that the employers of the deceased, and the legal authorities, show no interest in establishing true cause and culpability. Cornish Jack, you got it in one.
I finished it this morning and had a wee walk out to look over to Kintyre. RIP on this the 27th anniversary.
BZ
dervish is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 14:41
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: by the seaside
Age: 72
Posts: 1,036
So far up to the FADEC bit, utterly enthralling and appreciate the depth and legal stuff. Sadly a lot of parallels with the Lane Inquiry especially protecting those at fault and ignoring Cat’s eyes Cunninghams’ testimony..the test pilot.
Had late mate from across the border who knew most of the victims from the security services.
blind pew is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 17:27
  #10 (permalink)  

Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: 03 ACE
Age: 70
Posts: 929
Downloaded !!
Thanks for the heads-up !
El G.
El Grifo is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 19:19
  #11 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 13,442
Im glad all this extra information is finally coming into the public domain. Very soon after the accident a lot of evidence was hidden, or at least ignored. I had left the service not long before but already knew of some of the stuff that was going on. It was astounding that the Mk2 was ordered into squadron service at all without a formal Release, even more so for such a flight as this tragic one - which took place almost immediately after those responsible for test flying it had pronounced they had no confidence in it.

The RAF was short of SH airframes, the Mk2 was late due to ongoing issues and this flight could and should have been passed to a fixed wing asset. However, I suspect that the SH hierarchy were so keen to save face that all common sense and sense of legality was lost.
ShyTorque is online now  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 21:20
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 46
At the risk of upsetting a lot of folk here goes.

Ultimately a company or an organisation, in this case the RAF, is responsible and liable for the actions (good or bad) of its employees and must take responsibility.

In this case the RAF placed the responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight on the crew.

The crew accepted that responsibility.

Leaving aside for a moment the shenanigans that the RAF got up to after the accident which were nothing short of disgraceful, but also remember the old adage 'If you lie you had better be good at it' and the RAF were not.

The rules and regulations covering RAF flying operations of its aircraft had stood the test of time.

Those regulations would have covered IFR - Instrument Flight Rules and VFR - Visual Flight Rules when a crew can dispense with IFR rules and fly the aircraft under VFR when they take sole responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight. VFR rules state the required weather minima that must be observed to fly the aircraft visually. In other words the crew need to be able to see where they are going and not find a cloud with a hard centre. If an aircraft is in cloud and cannot see the ground or the direction of flight then it should not proceed on its track below the safety height.

It is just common sense that even if you think you know where you are and trust your navigation systems you just do not press on, while in cloud, below the safety height and not being able to see the ground or terrain ahead, unless the aircraft is able to use the assistance of positive radar control. There was no positive radar control available to help the crew in this accident.

In this accident the RAF tried to cover up many of the issues and absolve themselves of any responsibility.

However, had the crew followed the rules the aircraft would not have pressed on below safety height and either back tracked or climbed. Something they should have done regardless of the NI security situation at that time or the issues the aircraft was suffering from.

There are a huge number of other aspects to this accident such as the standard of training given to the crews involved in flights carrying VIPs. The culture within the RAF. The pressure on the pilots to get to their destination with their important passengers and many other facets. In my view nobody comes out of it well, but had the pilots obeyed the rules with regard to the weather they encountered then the accident would not have happened.

Obviously, had the weather been good then the accident would not have occurred.

All accidents are the result of the 'holes in a Swiss cheese lining up' and never the result of a single error. At some point a hole needs to be covered or a link in the chain broken to prevent an accident.

The rules, regulations and operational procedures are designed to prevent just such an event. They normally work until humans get involved.
101917 is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 21:43
  #13 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 13,442
Obviously, had the weather been good then the accident would not have occurred.
How do you know that? Do you know the cause? No-one else does.
ShyTorque is online now  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 22:12
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wherever it is this month
Posts: 1,654
I suggest ignoring the contribution by 101917 on this thread, they are presumably able to restart that particular hamster wheel on the main Mull threads should they really wish.

On Chug's perennial point about the baleful influence of senior RAF officers and the compliments to Engines on the much better influence of senior RN officers, I should point out that the current 3* air engineer at DE&S is an admiral. An opportunity for those who know of what they speak to write in and get the relevant policies changed?
Easy Street is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2021, 22:36
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Liverpool based Geordie, so calm down, calm down kidda!!
Age: 58
Posts: 2,029
Please don’t get into a discussion with 101917. It’s the anniversary and I’ve just finished my drink in the memory of the crew.
we went over this over and over again, the only person I will discuss this with is someone who actually knows what happened. Seeing as they are no longer with us, anyone else who says they know what happened is lying. The result is fact, the reason isn’t.
RIP guys
jayteeto is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2021, 00:52
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,029
A lot of good people died that day....and have not been done well by the System......Condolences to those who lost friends, family, and comrades-in-arms that sad day!


SASless is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2021, 11:44
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: W. Scotland
Posts: 539
Major piece in our Herald today. Not sure if it's paywalled.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/...inook-tragedy/

Some interesting quotes from a former RAF pilot who lost his father in the crash. Having to put chains under his seat? Reminiscent of no explosion suppressant foam. Who makes these decisions? Beyond a joke. I suppose it's hard getting all the history across in one article, but the effect on the families is clear. And a call out for solicitors to help.
dervish is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2021, 03:50
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,193
A very sobering read and impossible to comprehend how something such as this occurred, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were reading the plot line for a novel, there's definitely something rotten in the state of Denmark.
megan is online now  
Old 7th Jun 2021, 11:45
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Balmullo,Scotland
Posts: 929
Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
LFH, Engines, SASless, thank you all for endorsing this book, and hopefully encouraging others to download and read it too. I think we all share a feeling of its importance, the culmination of years of research, of gathering evidence otherwise withheld from Coroners, FAI's, BoI's, and SI's. Military Air Safety is no longer safe in the hands of the MOD/RAF. Air Regulation and Air Accident Investigation must be made truly independent of the MOD/RAF, and of each other.

In the meantime it is incumbent on all aviators, be they aircrew, engineers, or indeed neither, to make themselves familiar with what airworthiness is and how it must be sustained from start to finish of an aircraft's life. Too many of us are content to leave that to others. When those others are ordered to subvert the regulations and suborn them, then the result is often yet another fatal air accident and/or the loss of entire fleets, often causing the loss of entire capabilities. That will continue until the RAF leadership bites the bullet and faces up to the illegal acts of certain RAF Air Officers and of the continuing cover up of that since.

That we have far to travel along the road of reform is made clear by the DECU connectors issue mentioned above. That the MOD's baleful influence extends to many other national institutions is obvious from the follow up action resulting from the tragic death of Red Arrow Sean Cunningham. An illegal RTI led directly to this fatal accident yet it was not the RAF that was brought to book, but rather Martin Baker which was prosecuted by the HSE and convicted. When Air Safety is treated so arbitrarily we are on a slippery slope that will not end well for any of us. It has to change!

One final word. Engines, you call for RAF engineers to do their job and say NO when given an illegal order (the "something like this" you mention). I can only but endorse your call, but in fairness I should caution them that it is still MOD ministerial policy that such illegal orders are allowable and that it is an offence not to obey them! The rot is at the very top of the RAF and it is up to the RAF leadership to resolve it rather than just leaving those at the workface to try to do so. Unlike your RN experience where you have rightly celebrated the top cover extended to you by your superiors, those you urge to resist, rather than having such protection, are instead answerable to those issuing those same illegal orders. We urgently need an independent Regulator to enforce the Regulations and expose those seeking to subvert them.

SASless you ask why such illegality has not been prosecuted. It is because operator, regulator, and investigator are to all intents and purposes one and the same; the MOD and its various subsidiaries. That will continue until the MOD is made subject to the authority of an independent Military Air Regulator and Air Accident Investigator who are in turn independent of each other. Until then UK Military Airworthiness will remain compromised and avoidable fatal air accidents will continue.
Chug, as long as the MAA is controlled by retired senior officer they will never be impartial. At the inception of the MAA I applied fora job and was bluntly told as I had not been an officer I was never going to get in says it all really. As for the DECUs I do remember when I worked on the chinook fleet at Gutersloh watching the actuators moving themselves with no-one in the cockpit.
matkat is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2021, 11:54
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Balmullo,Scotland
Posts: 929
Originally Posted by jayteeto View Post
Please don’t get into a discussion with 101917. It’s the anniversary and I’ve just finished my drink in the memory of the crew.
we went over this over and over again, the only person I will discuss this with is someone who actually knows what happened. Seeing as they are no longer with us, anyone else who says they know what happened is lying. The result is fact, the reason isn’t.
RIP guys
Jayteeto, totally agree with you very conveniently 101917 does not mention how the aircraft went into IFR because simply no-one knows.
matkat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.