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UK aircraft time into full service..

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UK aircraft time into full service..

Old 19th Nov 2022, 13:50
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UK aircraft time into full service..

In the front , ‘brief article’ part of ‘Aviation news’ this month , there are 2 blurbs about RAF / UK aircraft capabilities.
The 1st is about the F35b & its delay until 2025 for full operational capability.
The 2nd mentions that the A400m has been undergoing paratroop trials recently.
Why such a length of time?
We’ve had both aircraft for some time now & we’ve got allies flying both , we could use their experience to speed things up.
Before reading , I was unaware such stuff went on- could someone in the know tell me why it takes so long?
Could we please NOT get into the ‘A400’s rubbish , keep the C130 ‘ debate in any replies??
Thanks all.
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Old 19th Nov 2022, 14:42
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For the A400, my understanding is an insistence from the MAA that French parachute drops are not enough to clear UK airframes to do the same.
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Old 19th Nov 2022, 14:51
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It has always been thus. I remember Boscombe Down refusing to accept US data on their certification of a US made FADEC and insisting on doing a complete UK certification process, including a very time consuming (and costly) static code walkthrough before they would certify the engines as being fit to fly, even for flight test. Absolutely barking mad, as the engines in question had been in service int eh US for a couple of years.
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Old 19th Nov 2022, 16:28
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"Why such a length of time?"

because those who supervise the testing etc will have nothing to do when they finish on these two types?

IIRC we've had this discussion a number of times
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Old 19th Nov 2022, 17:43
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Why such a length of time? = £££££££
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Old 19th Nov 2022, 18:16
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great View Post
For the A400, my understanding is an insistence from the MAA that French parachute drops are not enough to clear UK airframes to do the same.
Interesting, wonder what the requirement is?

The bods in our local Regiment de Chasseur Parachutists have been regularly doing their training jumps from A400s onto the local DZ for quite some time now...maybe once a month for a year plus, give or take....last session was early last week.

We're probably lucky to still have tiles on the roof given we were seemingly on the route chosen for the low level transit from a top secret airbase where the paras had boarded to the DZ..... good to see and hear...no complaints ..........


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Old 19th Nov 2022, 18:33
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Anyone remember the "Multi-role Combat Aircraft" delay? MRCA "Must Refurbish Canberras Again"
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 18:44
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Originally Posted by Old_Slartibartfast View Post
It has always been thus. I remember Boscombe Down refusing to accept US data on their certification of a US made FADEC and insisting on doing a complete UK certification process, including a very time consuming (and costly) static code walkthrough before they would certify the engines as being fit to fly, even for flight test. Absolutely barking mad, as the engines in question had been in service int eh US for a couple of years.
Not sure which FADEC or a/c type you might be referring to, SB. The only notable example that I can think of was the Chinook Mk2 FADEC code, but that was a UK item I believe. BD had that code analysed (as they are mandated to do in all cases) and found it so bad as to be positively dangerous and stopped all further flight testing as a result. They also formally advised the RAF to ground in service Mk2's (amazingly already in squadron service despite the lack of a legal RTS) but it was too late for the crew and pax of ZD576 who perished in the infamous Mull tragedy the following day.
Perhaps if the Chinook Mk2 had entered service IAW the Regs then those 29 avoidable deaths would indeed have been avoided. As to the case you refer to, would you be kind enough to identify the a/c type involved? BD would have tested it IAW the mandated regs, including the FADEC code, just as they did with the Chinook Mk2. The difference might be that the MOD followed the regs in this case before releasing the a/c into service. A lesson learned from Mull perhaps.
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 19:01
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Not sure which FADEC or a/c type you might be referring to, SB. The only notable example that I can think of was the Chinook Mk2 FADEC code, but that was a UK item I believe. BD had that code analysed (as they are mandated to do in all cases) and found it so bad as to be positively dangerous and stopped all further flight testing as a result. They also formally advised the RAF to ground in service Mk2's (amazingly already in squadron service despite the lack of a legal RTS) but it was too late for the crew and pax of ZD576 who perished in the infamous Mull tragedy the following day.
Perhaps if the Chinook Mk2 had entered service IAW the Regs then those 29 avoidable deaths would indeed have been avoided. As to the case you refer to, would you be kind enough to identify the a/c type involved? BD would have tested it IAW the mandated regs, including the FADEC code, just as they did with the Chinook Mk2. The difference might be that the MOD followed the regs in this case before releasing the a/c into service. A lesson learned from Mull perhaps.

LHTEC T800 for Future Lynx (as it was at the time). The principle objection from QQ was that the C compiler that had been used wasn't on their list of certified compilers, therefore it wasn't safe for the UK. The fact that other governments, like Malaysia, were OK with it on the Super Lynx 300, the US were OK with it for the (ultimately cancelled) Comanche and the FAA were happy with it for the civil variant of that engine (same FADEC) wasn't considered safe enough by the QQ BDN bods.
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 19:54
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Thanks for the replies all.
I now understand , but it seems daft to me.
Given that the UK’s skint & that with a limited budget , new kit’s minimal , I would have thought that getting everything fully capable ASAP would be a priority.
Anyroad , as a UK taxpayer , I demand full value for my tax money - something must be done , heads must roll...
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Old 21st Nov 2022, 17:42
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Originally Posted by Old_Slartibartfast View Post
LHTEC T800 for Future Lynx (as it was at the time). The principle objection from QQ was that the C compiler that had been used wasn't on their list of certified compilers, therefore it wasn't safe for the UK. The fact that other governments, like Malaysia, were OK with it on the Super Lynx 300, the US were OK with it for the (ultimately cancelled) Comanche and the FAA were happy with it for the civil variant of that engine (same FADEC) wasn't considered safe enough by the QQ BDN bods.
Thanks for the reply SB. I've no knowledge of the FADEC in question but assume that what QQ said of the code was correct. They don't arbitrarily decide what they will accept or not, they simply follow the rules. Mull was a terrible example of what happens when the rules (mandated ones, ie the law!) aren't followed, along with all the other needless deaths that occurred in the many airworthiness related fatal accident threads that pepper this forum.

Other countries have different systems, often wedding themselves to US certification for example. If that is the formal arrangement, all well and good, as long as the rules are followed. The UK though has a tradition of adapting foreign aircraft and systems to its own requirements. The Model K Hercules for example had all UK avionics, as well as other modifications, that meant that half their cost was in Sterling (though at £1M a pop they were a bargain anyway). Other UK specific fits included our own floor roller conveyor system for cargo para extraction drops.

Why the A400 and the F35B are both still not in full operational service as originally planned I don't know, but in the case of paratroops it's not just a case of chucking them out of the doors. They can hit parts of the aircraft structure and they can hit one another (especially if despatched simultaneously from port and starboard doors). Aircraft and/or procedures may need modifying to ensure their safe exit. Whether any such problems occur with the A400, again I have no idea. It is worth noting though that the 2015 A400 fatal accident at Seville was due to multiple FADEC failures following the accidental data wipe of three of them.

I suspect that a lot of the apparent go slow for the F35B UK entry into service is to do with money. The beancounters will happily incur the extra costs involved as long as they are spread over more years. Whether that makes for happy taxpayers is of course another matter...
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Old 21st Nov 2022, 18:45
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Thanks for the reply SB. I've no knowledge of the FADEC in question but assume that what QQ said of the code was correct. They don't arbitrarily decide what they will accept or not, they simply follow the rules. Mull was a terrible example of what happens when the rules (mandated ones, ie the law!) aren't followed, along with all the other needless deaths that occurred in the many airworthiness related fatal accident threads that pepper this forum.

Other countries have different systems, often wedding themselves to US certification for example. If that is the formal arrangement, all well and good, as long as the rules are followed. The UK though has a tradition of adapting foreign aircraft and systems to its own requirements. The Model K Hercules for example had all UK avionics, as well as other modifications, that meant that half their cost was in Sterling (though at £1M a pop they were a bargain anyway). Other UK specific fits included our own floor roller conveyor system for cargo para extraction drops.

Why the A400 and the F35B are both still not in full operational service as originally planned I don't know, but in the case of paratroops it's not just a case of chucking them out of the doors. They can hit parts of the aircraft structure and they can hit one another (especially if despatched simultaneously from port and starboard doors). Aircraft and/or procedures may need modifying to ensure their safe exit. Whether any such problems occur with the A400, again I have no idea. It is worth noting though that the 2015 A400 fatal accident at Seville was due to multiple FADEC failures following the accidental data wipe of three of them.

I suspect that a lot of the apparent go slow for the F35B UK entry into service is to do with money. The beancounters will happily incur the extra costs involved as long as they are spread over more years. Whether that makes for happy taxpayers is of course another matter...
My concern at the time, which I felt was quite reasonable, was that the engine and FADEC in question was already certified by the FAA, and was flying (had been for a couple of years by then). It was also part way through EASA certification (which it achieved) and QQs insistence that they ignore all the existing certification work and delay the programme for a year (and charge taxpayers a great deal more money) was not reasonable. All I wanted them to do was look at the evidence that had been used by the US DoD and the FAA, and consider taking that into account during their certification recommendation process - they point blank refused to do this.

There was no parallel with the HC.2 FADEC at all, different airframe, different engine, different companies involved, different software compiler. To the best of my limited knowledge the HC.2 FADEC had never had its code independently looked at until around the time of the ZD576 accident in 1994, so there was no link or comparison between the two at all.
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Old 21st Nov 2022, 20:36
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Originally Posted by Old_Slartibartfast View Post
My concern at the time, which I felt was quite reasonable, was that the engine and FADEC in question was already certified by the FAA, and was flying (had been for a couple of years by then). It was also part way through EASA certification (which it achieved) and QQs insistence that they ignore all the existing certification work and delay the programme for a year (and charge taxpayers a great deal more money) was not reasonable. All I wanted them to do was look at the evidence that had been used by the US DoD and the FAA, and consider taking that into account during their certification recommendation process - they point blank refused to do this.

There was no parallel with the HC.2 FADEC at all, different airframe, different engine, different companies involved, different software compiler. To the best of my limited knowledge the HC.2 FADEC had never had its code independently looked at until around the time of the ZD576 accident in 1994, so there was no link or comparison between the two at all.
I thought the issue was the software rather than the engine and/or FADEC? The software is key to a FADEC operation and must be fully tested in each revision it goes through. With respect, this has everything to do with the Chinook HC2 FADEC because again it was the code that made it 'positively dangerous' (BD's words after an independent audit of it produced so much bad code that it was stopped, as there was no point in continuing). Little wonder that BD/QQ insisted thereafter of having your FADEC code similarly checked! The Achilles Heel of a FADEC is its code. Anything other than fully tested intact software and you have an accident looking for a place to happen. As I mentioned previously, the A400 Seville fatal accident didn't have to look far as it happened right after becoming airborne.

Point blank? Sounds like a good response to you if you wanted them to forgo their mandated obligations. You got your FADEC, albeit a year late. Pity the same thing didn't happen to the HC2. 29 people would have stayed alive.
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Old 21st Nov 2022, 21:41
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
I thought the issue was the software rather than the engine and/or FADEC? The software is key to a FADEC operation and must be fully tested in each revision it goes through. With respect, this has everything to do with the Chinook HC2 FADEC because again it was the code that made it 'positively dangerous' (BD's words after an independent audit of it produced so much bad code that it was stopped, as there was no point in continuing). Little wonder that BD/QQ insisted thereafter of having your FADEC code similarly checked! The Achilles Heel of a FADEC is its code. Anything other than fully tested intact software and you have an accident looking for a place to happen. As I mentioned previously, the A400 Seville fatal accident didn't have to look far as it happened right after becoming airborne.

Point blank? Sounds like a good response to you if you wanted them to forgo their mandated obligations. You got your FADEC, albeit a year late. Pity the same thing didn't happen to the HC2. 29 people would have stayed alive.

What on earth is this obsession with the bloody Chinook here - I just do not get it, and am being bombarded with wholly irrelevant PMs about the Chinook HC.2 as well. I've never been near a Chinook, let alone be associated with anything related to it.

The Chinook FADEC software issue was more than a decade earlier, and nothing at all to do with the T800 FADEC or its software. The Chinook was Boeing and Textron, the T800 was Rolls Royce and Honeywell. I doubt that the people involved in writing the code for the T800 FADEC, who were located at the other end of the USA, and were ten years later, even knew any of the people that had written the Chinook software.

The T800 (as the CTS800) had FAA certification (and the FAA had done a full analysis of the FADEC code before certifying it). It also had US DoD certification, based on the FAA work I believe, and was ready to slot into the cancelled Comanche (for which it had been designed). It was also flying in the Super Lynx 300, with the Malaysian Navy, and there were a bunch of other customers lined up for either variants of the Super Lynx or re-engining older Gem powered models with the T800/CTS800. I'm not aware of there ever having been any issues with that FADEC software.

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Old 21st Nov 2022, 22:46
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Originally Posted by Old_Slartibartfast View Post
What on earth is this obsession with the bloody Chinook here - I just do not get it, and am being bombarded with wholly irrelevant PMs about the Chinook HC.2 as well. I've never been near a Chinook, let alone be associated with anything related to it.

The Chinook FADEC software issue was more than a decade earlier, and nothing at all to do with the T800 FADEC or its software. The Chinook was Boeing and Textron, the T800 was Rolls Royce and Honeywell. I doubt that the people involved in writing the code for the T800 FADEC, who were located at the other end of the USA, and were ten years later, even knew any of the people that had written the Chinook software.

The T800 (as the CTS800) had FAA certification (and the FAA had done a full analysis of the FADEC code before certifying it). It also had US DoD certification, based on the FAA work I believe, and was ready to slot into the cancelled Comanche (for which it had been designed). It was also flying in the Super Lynx 300, with the Malaysian Navy, and there were a bunch of other customers lined up for either variants of the Super Lynx or re-engining older Gem powered models with the T800/CTS800. I'm not aware of there ever having been any issues with that FADEC software.
This isn't about the Chinook, T800, Comanche, Super Lynx, or any other a/c. It isn't even about FADECs as such. It is about writing and verifying utterly reliable and resilient FADEC code. We will never know if the lack of that caused the Mull tragedy because the BoI came to no certain conclusion and was anyway overruled by the RAF VSO Reviewing Officers who were in turn overruled by a later SoS. The aircraft was grossly unairworthy, was 'positively dangerous', and had been granted an illegal RTS by RAF VSOs. The only way that Flight Safety can advance is by learning from previous accidents and doing one's best to avoid repeating them in the future. BD could do nothing about RAF VSOs granting illegal RTS's, but it could do something about the 'positively dangerous' FADEC code by ensuring that it was never allowed to happen again on its watch. I imagine that is why they refused you Point Blank, OS. It had nothing to do with you personally, BD was just doing the job it is mandated to do. Such determination to stick to the Regulations is heart-warming. It might just herald a long and slow return of UK Military Airworthiness that was dealt such a near fatal blow by RAF VSOs prior to Mull and has yet to recover from it.
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Old 21st Nov 2022, 23:02
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
This isn't about the Chinook, T800, Comanche, Super Lynx, or any other a/c. It isn't even about FADECs as such. It is about writing and verifying utterly reliable and resilient FADEC code. We will never know if the lack of that caused the Mull tragedy because the BoI came to no certain conclusion and was anyway overruled by the RAF VSO Reviewing Officers who were in turn overruled by a later SoS. The aircraft was grossly unairworthy, was 'positively dangerous', and had been granted an illegal RTS by RAF VSOs. The only way that Flight Safety can advance is by learning from previous accidents and doing one's best to avoid repeating them in the future. BD could do nothing about RAF VSOs granting illegal RTS's, but it could do something about the 'positively dangerous' FADEC code by ensuring that it was never allowed to happen again on its watch. I imagine that is why they refused you Point Blank, OS. It had nothing to do with you personally, BD was just doing the job it is mandated to do. Such determination to stick to the Regulations is heart-warming. It might just herald a long and slow return of UK Military Airworthiness that was dealt such a near fatal blow by RAF VSOs prior to Mull and has yet to recover from it.

I know, which is why I keep pointing out that the FADEC code in question had been examined by the FAA and certified as being safe. It was absolutely no different to the process for certifying the FADEC code for the engines of all the thousands of aircraft flying around at this moment, carrying tens of thousands of passengers, as the FAA, EASA or whoever will have certified that software in the exact same way. It has nothing to do with the Chinook from more than a decade earlier, or any other aircraft come to that. The problem was that one person within one defence contractor, QQ, didn't like the idea of using certification from outside the UK. If it were the case that all US certification was unsafe then we would see dozens of aircraft falling out of the sky (and I accept that Boeing have continued to take short cuts with the 737 MAX). It was very much a "little Englander" view of the world, one I found pretty offensive, TBH.

QQ didn't even exist as a defence contractor at the time of the ZD576 accident, anyway. IIRC, QQ came into existence as a defence contractor around 2001. My understanding at the time (2004) was that there was no compulsion to use the services of QQ as a company, as long as airworthiness requirements could be certified by a recognised competent body. I left before that happened, but I believe the options being looked at were to either just use the FAA certification people, with an envelope extension over the civil use case, or get EASA to do it. Not sure which prevailed in the end.
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Old 22nd Nov 2022, 12:37
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Not sure which FADEC or a/c type you might be referring to, SB. The only notable example that I can think of was the Chinook Mk2 FADEC code, but that was a UK item I believe. BD had that code analysed (as they are mandated to do in all cases) and found it so bad as to be positively dangerous and stopped all further flight testing as a result. They also formally advised the RAF to ground in service Mk2's (amazingly already in squadron service despite the lack of a legal RTS) but it was too late for the crew and pax of ZD576 who perished in the infamous Mull tragedy the following day.
Perhaps if the Chinook Mk2 had entered service IAW the Regs then those 29 avoidable deaths would indeed have been avoided. As to the case you refer to, would you be kind enough to identify the a/c type involved? BD would have tested it IAW the mandated regs, including the FADEC code, just as they did with the Chinook Mk2. The difference might be that the MOD followed the regs in this case before releasing the a/c into service. A lesson learned from Mull perhaps.
I remember attempting to saw parts off an armoured Pig to get the weight down as the Chinook Mk1 had not been cleared to lift that weight level, the ability came in slowly as they were cleared by Boscombe at different weights....
There were issues with the MK1, the Hydraulic starter / pump on the APU had a tendency to explode, one time soaking the crewman in hydraulic fluid, if I remember correctly it was found to be the wrong dash version, and the later dashes had been bench tested for a period of time prior, they only failed during an initial short use timeframe. Indeed when they arrived all the maintenance manuals were printed on yellow paper, as we worked on them and the procedures were validated, then the yellow pages were amended as required or once verified issued on white paper until the whole manual was white.
Other problems we encountered were corrosion under the floor, it was finally traced If memory serves me correctly to the delivery flight to the docks, in winter the crew carried a car to drive back in and snow and rock salt on the underside melted in flight, it then sat and festered in and under the floor on the long sea voyage to the UK.
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Old 22nd Nov 2022, 13:24
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Was it not the Mk 6 Chinook that had been given the complete work through by the US that then came to the UK for BD trials where the TPs found a potentially dangerous handling tendency when manoeuvring hard at low level?

Perhaps they are wary of other countries claiming to have tested properly.........
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Old 22nd Nov 2022, 14:10
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Was it not the Mk 6 Chinook that had been given the complete work through by the US that then came to the UK for BD trials where the TPs found a potentially dangerous handling tendency when manoeuvring hard at low level?

Perhaps they are wary of other countries claiming to have tested properly.........

I can understand that, but tens of thousands of people fly every day in aircraft that have been certified by the FAA, and this engine and all associated controls had been certified by the FAA to the same standards. There was zero difference between the way this engine had been certified to the way that any other FAA certified aircraft engine and associated controls had been certified. Other countries had already accepted the FAA certification and had the engine in service, too.

The point made to me was that the FAA certification couldn't be trusted by the UK. IIRC, the original objection was that the software inside the FADEC (really firmware, rather than software) had been written in a variant of the C language (as is the firmware in many thousands of other safety critical bits of kit) and QQ wanted it re-written in Ada. They backed off from that demand, but then insisted that they just didn't trust the FAA to have done a good enough job, despite being offered all the FAA evidence (which they refused to even look at).

FWIW this had absolutely nothing at all to do with the blatant disregard for basic safety surrounding the RTS of the Chinook. The Chinook's many safety issues were fairly and squarely the fault of Boeing and Textron, and not in any way related to either Rolls Royce or Honeywell at the other end of the USA.
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Old 22nd Nov 2022, 20:09
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Originally Posted by Old_Slartibartfast View Post
I know, which is why I keep pointing out that the FADEC code in question had been examined by the FAA and certified as being safe. It was absolutely no different to the process for certifying the FADEC code for the engines of all the thousands of aircraft flying around at this moment, carrying tens of thousands of passengers, as the FAA, EASA or whoever will have certified that software in the exact same way. It has nothing to do with the Chinook from more than a decade earlier, or any other aircraft come to that. The problem was that one person within one defence contractor, QQ, didn't like the idea of using certification from outside the UK. If it were the case that all US certification was unsafe then we would see dozens of aircraft falling out of the sky (and I accept that Boeing have continued to take short cuts with the 737 MAX). It was very much a "little Englander" view of the world, one I found pretty offensive, TBH.

QQ didn't even exist as a defence contractor at the time of the ZD576 accident, anyway. IIRC, QQ came into existence as a defence contractor around 2001. My understanding at the time (2004) was that there was no compulsion to use the services of QQ as a company, as long as airworthiness requirements could be certified by a recognised competent body. I left before that happened, but I believe the options being looked at were to either just use the FAA certification people, with an envelope extension over the civil use case, or get EASA to do it. Not sure which prevailed in the end.
Let's just take those one at a time. I suspect that the code for your project would have had to be updated for your engine/aircraft response and performance. If so, it required checking anyway no matter whose code it was and who had certified it previously. The fact that the engine was already in service in other aircraft in other countries would not alter that. You say yourself that EASA was in the process of certifying it for the EU. Why didn't they simply read across the FAA certification? They would have done whatever their Regulations required, so ditto the MAA. It was BD/QQ's duty to abide by the UK Military Airworthiness Regulations (ie the MAA's). In this case that meant a full audit of the FADEC code. If you (IPT?) had an issue with that then there would have been the means to challenge it, indeed the Project Director could have simply said that BD were wrong in their interpretation of the Regs and then seek top cover. All formally in writing of course, what Sir Humphrey would characterise as a 'Brave Decision!".

The Regs aren't there to be ignored or played with by irritated and impatient RAF VSOs. They are there to save lives (and aircraft) so that UK Air Power isn't frittered away in needless self-destruction by flying into hillsides, spontaneously blowing up following AAR, being shot down due blue on blue following IFF unflagged failure or simply due to an AK47 round, or suffering a mid-air due illegally fitted HISLs. The enemy was present in only one of those tragedies! Just about all of those fatal accidents can be traced to illegal orders by RAF VSOs. None of them can be traced back to the actions of one man at BD! You may interpret QQs actions in any way you wish. I interpret them as carrying out their contractual and legal obligations to observe the mandated regulations.

As to thousands of flights by tens of thousands of pax in hundreds of FAA certified aircraft using your engine and your FADEC (which I think is the point you are making), it is not up to BD to use their discretion. If they can "read across" they will, if not they won't. I worked for a UK airline that uniquely operated the B727 on the CAA register. Dai Jones (he of the 'Handling the Big Jets') insisted that a Stick Push be fitted due to the high tail plane (like the 1-11) even though it was certified by the FAA without one. The airline had to cough up before it was CAA certified. BD has always been a favourite RAF VSO Aunt Sally because it is mandated to do what the Regs say, not what the VSOs say. As to,

FWIW this had absolutely nothing at all to do with the blatant disregard for basic safety surrounding the RTS of the Chinook. The Chinook's many safety issues were fairly and squarely the fault of Boeing and Textron, and not in any way related to either Rolls Royce or Honeywell at the other end of the USA.
Again, where do we start? Both companies were involved in the pig's ear that was the Chinook HC2 it is true, but the bottom line is that what started out as a Mk1 mid-life upgrade became an unrealistic and undeliverable project at a time when the aircraft were needed airworthy and fit to fly operationally in NI. That the RAF got neither was the direct result of RAF VSO illegal orders and actions. It was ACAS who issued the illegal RTS, not Boeing, not Textron. It was AMSO who had set the ball rolling by implementing a policy of such monumental incompetence that spare parts that he disposed of had to be bought back at eye watering cost! Where to recover the lost money from? Why, the Air Safety budget of course, hitherto ring fenced and inviolate. Get rid of the turbulent engineers who insisted on observing the airworthiness regs as they were mandated to do. Replace them with blanket stackers and blunties who knew nothing of the regs which they would obligingly suborn as ordered. The results can be read in the many Airworthiness Related Fatal Accident threads that litter this forum. What has been the RAF Star Chamber's reaction to this scandal? Two-fold; pin the blame on anyone up to and including 1*, and keep the coverup protecting the RAF VSOs involved going (thus obstructing the urgent need to reform UK Military Airworthiness and Air Accident Investigation (both remaining as MOD subsidiaries, ie of the operator!).

Could I end by simply recommending to those who might consider the Mull tragedy to be just history to read David Hill's book Their Greatest Disgrace. Sure, it's about 1994, even the years leading up to it, but it is also about 2022 and the years ahead. The unairworthiness that infects our military airfleets still was made manifest then in that terrible day in June. The death toll was terrible, 29. The effect on UK security was terrible, for the 25 pax were the cream of the crop. The effect on the NoK was terrible, especially when RAF VSOs blamed the deceased pilots for the tragedy. The BoI was unsatisfactory having been 'groomed' and so showing little interest in the notorious operating issues that beset the HC2. The Reviewing Officers finding was mere vindictiveness and yet is still quoted by some RAF VSOs to this day as the 'truth' of the matter. Thankfully there was one man of honour at least, SoS Liam Fox, who overturned their finding and thus immediately raised the question, "If it wasn't pilot gross negligence that was the cause, then what was?". We shall never know, for a new BoI/SI would compromise the coverup and hence the reputations of the VSOs involved (of far more importance than those of mere JOs).
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Oh, as to the OP, the above is what happens when RAF a/c are rushed into service contrary to the Regulations!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 22nd Nov 2022 at 20:22.
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