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Old 20th Dec 2011, 15:02   #21 (permalink)
 
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Yes, the aircraft type did matter.

ExSp33db1rd:
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The accident had nothing to do with the 'type' of aircraft, in that era both DC-10's and 747's used INS as their primary navigation aid, tho' in this accident the Mark 1 eyeball was supposed
Arriving to the scene of the accident would have been the same, regardless of airframe, as they were depending on Lat/long entries in the 3 inertials. The difference was in the aftermath.

The ANZ DC-10 fleet had the Collins AINS-70, Area Inertial Navigation System that was 20 years in advance of the competition. Its dual NCU, Navigation Computer Units, were fed by 3 Litton ISU, Inertial Sensor Units, and mixed/averaged their outputs for navigation. One of the NCUs was recovered from the wreckage, and its two 8K(!) magnetic core modules were read out at Collins in Iowa, USA. They revealed the waypoints entered by the crew, and the aircraft's track for its last half hour.

That data exonerated the Litton ISU, the Collins AINS-70, and the DC-10 in its tragic year of the AAL crash in Chicago and a WAL crash in Mexico City. Without that data, the DC-10 would have no doubt been relegated to cargo service much sooner.

INUs of that era had only last position in their memory. They would have had to recover all 3 INUs to exonerate the INUs in the 747, and still, they would have had no evidence the wrong lat/long had been entered for the intended McMurdo reporting point over the Ross ice shelf. ANZ staff would have got away with blaming the airplane, or maybe even the pilots, while shirking their own responsibility.

GB
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 06:48   #22 (permalink)
 
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Thank you, interesting.
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Old 14th Mar 2012, 03:20   #23 (permalink)
 
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Paul Holmes book has been rubbished by a professional pilot

The man who's written an article criticising Paul Holmes' book on the Erebus disaster says he's been inundated with support.
Airline commentator and former pilot advocate Derek Ellis says the book was extremely biased.
He says Paul Holmes' admits in his prologue he'd only talked to people he knew would agree with his preconceived intention to exonerate Captain Collins.
Mr Ellis says he's had a mass of phone calls and online responses to the article, all of which support his article.
"Such things as, 'a breath of fresh air, at last the true story is being told'."


Support flows for Erebus book critic - Yahoo! New Zealand News

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Old 15th Mar 2012, 07:10   #24 (permalink)
 
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Mr Ellis says he's had a mass of phone calls and online responses to the article,
try ......

New Zealand Herald

if this link doesn't work, do the www bit for the NZHerald with the .co and .nz after it, and when you get into the site type Erebus into the search box at the top.

When I tried to type it as a regular URL it all went weird here !!
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 21:42   #25 (permalink)
 
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The call by Paul Holmes and Peter Dunne for exoneration of the pilots of the Air New Zealand DC10 aircraft which crashed into Mt Erebus is not appropriate.


It is the prime duty of an airline captain to deliver his passengers safely to their destination. Captain Jim Collins failed in this duty.

I say this as a professional airline pilot with no connection to any person affected by the accident, which probably makes mine unique among the opinions expressed on this tragedy.

We all have absolute sympathy for the relatives of those tragically killed in the Erebus accident. There is no similar sympathy on the part of Peter Dunne and Paul Holmes for those Air New Zealand personnel, and their families, unfairly and incorrectly blamed by the late Peter Mahon for the DC10 accident on Mt Erebus. Peter Mahon's allegation that they had lied under oath when giving evidence was successfully appealed by Judicial Review to the New Zealand Court of Appeal. This caused the resignation of Peter Mahon as a judge. His subsequent appeal to the Privy Council supported the finding of the New Zealand Court of Appeal.

Responsibility for the Erebus tragedy must remain with Captain Collins, as found by the official accident investigation. This finding is still valid.

These extracts are from the recent New Zealand Herald article by Derek Ellis, a retired British Airways captain living in New Zealand.
It strikes me that despite Ellis's undoubted competency and experience as an airline pilot, he is another to join the band waggon of those many who have prejudged the causes of this accident. Perhaps, behind the scenes, the media saw an opportunity to hit back at Paul Holmes, consequently calling upon a man such as Ellis to wade in with the
old claymore, delivering blow after blow to Collins at the same time.

Whether or not this theory holds water, the fact remains that Ellis has out of hand condemned Collins, most regrettably receiving in this attack, wide media coverage under the banner of his expert status. Hence the public yet again are inflamed to believe not only that there were, and possibly still are, maverick airline pilots on the loose, but moreover that Collins, in the case of the Erebus tragedy, must bear the entire blame. This is manifestly absurd. To get to the causal truths is no simple task. It requires much study of the huge file that has amassed since the first enquiry. Yet the partial, inadequate, biased and uninformed execration of Collins and Mahon goes on and on.
(Madame Defarge knitting by the guillotine is not a totally unapposite image.)


Where Ellis gratuitously states that . .. . .
"it is the prime duty of an airline captain to deliver his passengers safely to their destination. Captain Jim Collins failed in this duty" . . .. many will be those who themselves, through their professional lives, know the truth of this injunction, in their water, but who will wince to hear this absolute given trotted out by Ellis with the glib rider that Jim Collins in effect stuffed up. Forgot the creed he held in full trust all his working life. Not good enough Captain Ellis. Please look at every aspect of this very complex accident before you again pass summary judgement.

Last edited by Fantome; 15th Apr 2012 at 22:27.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 23:24   #26 (permalink)
 
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.........you again pass summary judgement.
Capt. Ellis had articles published in "New Zealand Wings" in the mid 1980's
and the magazine, now renamed Pacific Wings, has seen fit to publish his rebuttal of Holmes' book in their April edition now on the bookshelves.

I suggest that you read it, which ends with a brief C.V. of Capt Ellis's background, he certainly hasn't passed "summary judgment". Whether you agree or not is, of course, your privilege.

Capt. Ellis has been passionately interested in this affair almost from day one, as have I, my having been asked by a lawyer acting for the aviation interests of Lloyds of London, on the morning after the news broke in the UK, what was meant by " Grid Navigation in the Polar regions" which had been mentioned at that time, albeit somewhat irrelevant in view of the fact that that navigational procedure had been superceded by the adoption of INS procedures by then, procedures which Capt. Ellis maintains would have prevented the accident had they been followed as prescribed, i.e. the Lat and Long of the next, and each subsequent, waypoint being checked against a chart as they were overflown.

This would have shown the crew that they were now proceeding over, or near to, Erebus to the - now correct - waypoint, not the previously promulgated incorrect one, which they may well have previously "fixed" in their consciousness, thereby giving them the assurance that they "knew" where they were going, so didn't bother to re-check. Maybe. If so then 'trouble was, it was the wrong one. We'll never know.

Whether or not you agree with Capt. Ellis, or indeed any of the many pronouncements that have appeared attempting to explain this tragedy, the fact remains that a pilot flew a perfectly serviceable aeroplane into a mountain, whatever information, correct or otherwise, persuaded him to do so.

Very early on in my airline career I was told that each and every action that a Captain makes has to be prefaced, albeit subconsciously, with the question - "At the subsequent Court of Enquiry, can I justify what I am doing ?" Capt Collins obviously thought that he could, sadly he was wrong.

You may say that There But For The Grace of God have gone many others that is no defence - The Buck Stops Here.

I agree that exoneration is not appropriate.

Last edited by ExSp33db1rd; 25th Apr 2012 at 01:21.
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 10:46   #27 (permalink)
 
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Following my comments yesterday - above - I re-read the article in the magazine that I had referred to, and after that another article outlining conditions for being accepted as a pilot by Air New Zealand, which at the very beginning states :~

"The Captain is legally responsible for the conduct of the flight, and for the safety of the aircraft and all its crew and passengers" and goes on " First Officers contribute actively to the decision making PROCESS in flight, but the Captain always has the final decision making AUTHORITY".

QED.

Regrettably, Capt. Collins didn't fulfill that responsibility - for whatever reason or circumstances that others might think had some bearing on his actions; even if you think he was influenced in some way, or ways, by others, ultimately his decisions, and his alone, dictated the eventual conduct of the flight.

No way should exoneration be considered. Sadly.

"The Buck Stops Here "
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Old 27th Apr 2012, 19:00   #28 (permalink)
 
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It was written at the time that the pilots did not have a chart even as good as a National Geographic map in their possession. Whose fault would that be, if true?

Overconfidence in the Collins AINS-70 was certainly a factor.

GB
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Old 4th Feb 2018, 14:14   #29 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
It was written at the time that the pilots did not have a chart even as good as a National Geographic map in their possession. Whose fault would that be, if true?

Overconfidence in the Collins AINS-70 was certainly a factor.

GB
"Overconfidence?"

Nah.

Criminal negligence sounds about right, though.

Descent below Minimum Enroute Altitude make mass murder of Erebus.

Fact is, a 50Hr PPL taking his Mum and Dad in an aero club's C172 would never have been as criminally lackadaisical as was ANZ's much-vaunted "meticulous" aircraft commander: Mr Collins. And were his crew.
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 19:00   #30 (permalink)
 
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The ANZ DC-10 fleet had the Collins AINS-70, Area Inertial Navigation System that was 20 years in advance of the competition.
Was a KSSU configuration DC-10... somewhat better than the average ship, believe only National were similarly equipped.

Likely the best navigation systems of any aircraft flying at the time regardless (exception being as always the L-1011, 411A I hear you...).
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 19:55   #31 (permalink)
 
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KSSU polar nav

SR were one of the launch customers..nav system best available at the time.
In the late 80s we started ZRH - ANC - NRT but the only “map” we had was a National Geographic handout. We also had a radio facility and comm chart with Lat and Long. Computer printout nav log which was used to check initial track after passing waypoint.
12 minutes to erect INS and load flight plan cassette.
Above 65 degrees we HAD to stay in Nav mode and nav displays were in dual..ie split. Compasses changed mode as well.
I flew the first ever SR flight over the pole ..possibly the first DC10.
On passing the pole we had 30 degree track difference which wasn’t very nice as we didn’t have a lot of juice..sometimes we planned Fairbanks with diversion to ANC.
I tried direct to next waypoint (300+ nm) which still left a split so I did the verboten and took out the NAV...
We had a moon so we could see if we were doing silly things and I intercepted the correct meridian manually over the next 100 no which was quite simple although the other two just nodded when I explained what I was doing.
At the next waypoint everything went back to normal and I wrote out a detailed report.
My answer was a bollxcking including pages from our procedure manual.
Took it up on my next sim with the chief trainer who was brighter than my managers ..normal.
A couple of months later he got back to me and said that there had been a software problem which had been rectified.
In six years it was the only fault I experienced or ever heard of. I will add that we always flew with charts open..KSSU ones.
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