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Helicopter crash Scotland: Pilot prosecuted. VERDICT

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Helicopter crash Scotland: Pilot prosecuted. VERDICT

Old 2nd Feb 2005, 17:59
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Huggy bear himself.......
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 21:40
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Interesting how pilots' interpretation of danger differs. If I found that my wife had been subject to a 20ft ride over open water in a single engine helicopter I would not be pleased

I think the pilot allegedly summed it up rather well.

"If you tell them I was p***ing about, I will lose my license and insurance."

2S
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 22:06
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Nothing to do with the case, which is their business.

However I thought capt Gwilt was a bit older myself. Maybe he had an uphill paper round.

Regardless he is a without question an excellent pilot, who is a realist and (from personal experience and once again not related to the case) has a sense of humour. He must do to have put up with me !(sarky and sarky fly again perhaps AL !)

Cheers Capt G.

V.
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 22:11
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Al had better be sure about this character reference. Because if it backfires, he's going to look a right chump!

I agree 2 strops - if anyone told me they had just been in a helo flying at speed over the sea at 20 feet!!! for christs sake, just for the fun of it I'd immediately suspect a dodgy cowboy pilot.

One of these witnesses to the crash is lying, thats for sure...I know where my money lies.
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 22:24
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VeeAny

Ooops! My comment was meant as a joke, because he's a friend and I know he's a Rotorheads man.
I agree he's an excellent and very experienced pilot (mil and commercial. I did my Gazelle conversion with him, and do the renewals. He's a talented instructor.


kissmysquirrel

Passed your PPL on your first attempt, eh?
I thought everyone passed first time because instructors don't put students up for test until they're more than ready for it.
Does anyone actually fail a PPL test?

TC
Why would Al look a chump if the pilot is convicted?
If, and I emphasise IF, the pilot did something out of character (as Al knows his character) on the day, then it doesn't reflect on Al who's only spoken as he's found.
As for flying low over water, he's given his opinion. Some will agree with him, and some won't - as we've seen countless times in discussions about arguably risky/dangerous flying on this forum.
I suspect the Defence were forced to deal with that allegation because the Prosecution put it in evidence - even though the accident appears to have been a wire-strike. (I say 'appears' only because it looks that way from the very little I've read - I haven't read the AAIB report.)

Know where your money lies?
You haven't 'gone native' with the Heddlu have you?

Tudor

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 2nd Feb 2005 at 22:39.
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 22:32
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FL

So was mine, Al has my total respect, he has only ever helped me and for that I can only thank him. I wish there were a few more like him in the UK industry, instead of some of the idiots we have.

Anyway FL how are you , last time I met you in person we enjoyed a beer ( or at least I did in your presence) after you had just done a 206 LPC.

Maybe next time I'll check you .

V.

Last edited by VeeAny; 3rd Feb 2005 at 06:39.
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 22:46
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Al instructed me on the mountain flying course many years ago. He must have been a mere slip of a lad then. Must admit he looked a lot older by the time we had finished. Perhaps this is the explanation?

And another thing...

2Strops

Quote
“Interesting how pilots\' interpretation of danger differs. If I found that my wife had been subject to a 20ft ride over open water in a single engine helicopter I would not be pleased”

Yes, it is interesting, my ex-husband, on the other hand, would have been delighted!
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 23:07
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry to hear that Anne

I cherish my wife and would be horrified to hear that some "pilot" had but her in a position where one cough or a seconds distraction would have ended her life.

I will be interested to hear the outcome of this case. I know which way my vote would go.

2S
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Old 2nd Feb 2005, 23:44
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Quite right!
Why let a little thing like not hearing all the evidence get in the way. I mean, if he was flying low over water earlier in the day he must have been doing something wrong when he had a wire-strike later on. Stands to reason.
And if that wasn't bad enough, a pax said he was "almost horizontal to the ground" at one point. Damn fool! Everyone knows you shouldn't fly horizontal to the ground.
And "the hills were above the aircraft."! What do they call valleys in Scotland?

And, the witness added, "the gentle turns evolved into dramatic and frequent turns and the helicopter began to sway violently. It was obvious we were going to crash." That must have been the pilot p***ing about. It couldn't possibly have been anything to do with the wire strike.

Stop the trial now, I say!
Tear his licence up, and never let him work again!
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Old 3rd Feb 2005, 00:14
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Er… not wishing to split hairs with Heliport… but….on re-reading Roundwego’s post, what the witness is reported as saying could be interpreted as HE was almost horizontal to the ground. I think the pax supposed to stay perpendicular to the ground, surely?
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Old 3rd Feb 2005, 06:34
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Dear People.
47 it is soon 48. (21 at heart). For those that gave the vote of confidence thanks. The out come is today, fingers crossed. The independant witness was asked about element of risk. No more to be said on this till after the conclusion, unless the FL has more to say.
The support of the industry and of course safety is paramount.
We have one man trying to save his career. A man with an unblemished record in flying. The case was a package of alleged breaking various articles of the Air Navigation Order. All disproven. The only straw left is 63/64 (ie the element of risk).

The case is not as straight forward as it seems, the big picture would have all of us waking up with cold sweats at the cost to this individual.
On a final note each grey hair represents the training stress you bu**ers put me through.
Respect!
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Old 3rd Feb 2005, 16:13
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kissmysquirrel

I didn't berate you, I tried to get across that we had only limited information and it was wrong to jump to conclusions. No, I hadn't noticed you'd later deleted the post.
Then, when the trial started and the press carried the prosecution's version, you had another go and I gently suggested it would be wise to wait until the outcome of the trial before talking so freely about about taking someone's licence and livelihood away.

My post?
And to think some people think it's Americans who don't understand irony.


Heliport
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 09:47
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Heliport: have a read of your previous comments..it did sound as if you were in the courtroom yourself!!!
I shall reserve further judgement until the results are out.

In mitigation though I have based my previous comments on the views of the passengers (in this case)...you know...those people who pay our salaries, make the industry work, sing praise for what we stand for...I was under the assumption that the pilot is there to make their 'experience' a satsfying one...but above all, a safe one......no?
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 11:14
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Just using the same reports as everybody else. What the passenger said might not be accurate.

If he's convicted, the hangers and floggers can have a field day.

If he isn't, it's a bit rough on him to have fellow professionals baying for his blood based on half a story reported in the press - only IMHO of course.


Whatever the verdict, I hope Al Gwilt posts the full story.

Heliport
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 11:17
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Heliport as to wire strikes..........Many here should refrain from posting as, with helicopters and wires its "There but for fortune......"
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 15:01
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STOP PRESS

Captain Iain Grindley was ACQUITTED of Reckless Endangering a few minutes ago.

Charge 1: Recklessly Endangering
(a) re flying low level over the North Sea: Not Guilty (Unanimous)
(b) re flying low level over the disused railway line: Not Guilty (Unanimous)
(c) re colliding with the wires: Not Proven (Unanimous)
(Charge 1 originally had 5 parts, but the Prosecutor withdrew 2 during the trial.)

Note: Not Proven is a verdict available in Scottish Courts. It means the prosecution have not provided enough proof to convict a Defendant but the jury wasn't prepared to go as far as Not Guilty. In England & Wales, the verdict in those circumstances would be Not Guilty. Anyone given a verdict of Not Proven has nonetheless been acquitted.

Charge 2: Breaches of ANO
(a) Failing to keep proper records: Not Guilty (Unanimous)
(b) Failing to ensure pax were familiar with Safety Procedures, as required by the company Ops Manual: Guilty (Majority)


Well done, Al Gwilt.
Your expert evidence was obviously important - and clearly stood up to cross-examination by the prosecutor.


Tudor Owen
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 15:16
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well, that'll end the speculation then.

I'm sure Capt Grindley will be a far more cautious pilot from now on.

who will be the next pilot to get mud thrown in his direction on pprune???
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 16:20
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You heard it here first!

Nothing in the Press or on the web yet.


Heliport
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 17:12
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Now on BBC news. Link here
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 17:56
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Cool

The result will now allow Captain Iain Gridlay chance to regain some sleep and hopefully the Head of the Glass house will return his licence after holding onto it for the past 22 months.

There has been a situation where the Authority have acted upon the evidence of one person who due to the present culture of compensation claims they not only ran with the case but even coached the potential claiment on how to conduct himself and answer questions in court.(and briefed the press)

Each of the potential points of charge put up by the Authority were, by reading and exploring the meaning of the ANO discharged, this was done by getting them to admit the written word as taken from the ANO and by agreeing that the issues were weak.(Clutching at Straws!!).

By having an expert witness to not only listen when allowed (in Scotland the expert cannot be in court when the prosecution expert is giving evidence) but to enable the defence to have a person who can counter the evidence quickly by finding the correct Article or Rule as written in the ANO and or Company Operations Manual. Along with being able as in this case to look at the evidence and statements taken by the prosecution and find points of issue. Such as the failure of the Met office to forecast CB and TS activity (Which by producing radar pictures they agreed the TAF's were lacking), By proving through lecturing the jury of the build up of CB/TS that these present a hazard to flying and that by the decision to carryout a precautionary landing to wait for weather clearance was right and proper(Again as indicated in a recent GASIL).But then to be crossed examined that this action contravened Rule 5 (Give me ammunition and I shall fight).

The final verdict vindicates the Pilot but makes you wonder why the case was brought, as there was no corroboration of evidence and the final charges having to be broken down in such away that the only point of charge being failure to correctly brief the passengers (£500 fine!). A charge that if brought against a pilot under normal circumstances would result in a letter or ticking off by phone from your ops inspector.

How much has this cost!.

Long live the truth and the help of a good teacher ( Thanks Flying Lawyer. Respect!
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