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AAIB investigation to Hawker Hunter T7 G-BXFI 22 August 2015

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AAIB investigation to Hawker Hunter T7 G-BXFI 22 August 2015

Old 11th Mar 2017, 07:53
  #421 (permalink)  
 
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Add to that G-LOC, A-LOC and a TIA have no diagnosable symptoms after the event and we have to wonder if one, or all, of these may have been the reason for an uncharacteristic event.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 08:25
  #422 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris2303
Add to that G-LOC, A-LOC and a TIA have no diagnosable symptoms after the event and we have to wonder if one, or all, of these may have been the reason for an uncharacteristic event.
Which he presumably also suffered at the Southport display?

At least this series of (sometimes extraordinary) posts is providing a remarkable "beauty parade" of experts to spring to his defence and confuse the jury at the inevitable manslaughter trial!

What no one is addressing on this thread is why a complex (the armchair experts will say its not complex notwithstanding the complexity of its engineering - which evidence has shown was not being properly maintained!) ex military jet was on the civil register in the first place. Nobody has also questioned why a vertical manoeuvre was being flown in the display. I hired the same aeroplane (different pilot) for a display at at Cambridge and as Air Display organiser/Director I specifically dictated that there should not be any loops. A very smooth and safe display was flown which was seen and enjoyed by the crowd which wanted to see the aeroplane at close quarters. What's the point in displaying an aeroplane a mile away from the crowd at the top of a loop? Whose benefit or ego is that for?
Also echoing in my mind are the "mutterings" of the "flying officers union" on the Hunter Wing at RAF West Raynham in the mid 60s, who often expressed the view that "the aging station commander" (who was in his 40s) was "past it". (for flying Hunters) !!

Last edited by terry holloway; 11th Mar 2017 at 08:26. Reason: Predictive text. Pah!
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 08:31
  #423 (permalink)  
 
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RetiredBA -- No worries. I'm pretty pedantic myself about such things but tried to use terms a non-pilot would understand best. I thought he was seeking some kind of plausible explanation for this tragedy. Indeed, everyone here is.

The LOC possibility sounds plausible. I was looking at it from an instruments pov because that's my specialist field. I still think the static could have been a factor in disorienting the pilot if it was in the wing section. Would probably need a wind tunnel test and that isn't going to happen. Could make a good final-year undergrad study in aeronautical department. Lots of meat in there and historical interest.

Coming back to LOC, it is plausible. For me the least plausible explanation is that this particular pilot just screwed-up. It's possible, but less likely than other things. We can't turn the clock back. We can try to learn from any deficiencies. We can help all those involved to get closure and move on with their lives.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 09:11
  #424 (permalink)  
 
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terry holloway --
I hired the same aeroplane (different pilot) for a display at at Cambridge and as Air Display organiser/Director I specifically dictated that there should not be any loops. A very smooth and safe display was flown which was seen and enjoyed by the crowd which wanted to see the aeroplane at close quarters. What's the point in displaying an aeroplane a mile away from the crowd at the top of a loop? Whose benefit or ego is that for?
Just asking. For whose benefit and ego did you write that?
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 09:30
  #425 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lemain
terry holloway --

Just asking. For whose benefit and ego did you write that?
It's a statement that ex military jets can be flown in displays in ways which please the crowd whilst at the same time minimising risk.
Two asides about aerobatics:
1.Whilst exercising my DA I have never wished to display my machine upside down! I didn't!!
2. I have always been mildly surprised that RAF AEF pilots have found it necessary to subject cadets to aerobatics on their first (or early) trips. Whose benefit is that for!

OK you don't like the word ego so I won't mention it and I apologise if you disliked it in my earlier post. My post was not about ego! Sorry.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 09:45
  #426 (permalink)  
 
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For Heaven's sake! All these pages and pages unlikely, unfeasible and fanciful speculation proposed as going wrong with the pilot, just like all the unlikely, unfeasible and fanciful failures that were predicted in the aeroplane before it was (surprise surprise) found serviceable! (pedants, a slightly lagging altimeter and timexed fuel seals or whatever don't make it u/s enough to cause a crash)

Surely the most likely scenario by far is that the poor beggar just made a mistake, screwed up, misjudged, cocked up as humans so often do. Who suggests psychological events, confusion with a different machine (the daftest excuse of all, imo) or an automotive equivalent of g-loc when there's a car crash? Never! Driver error, that's it. Is this really likely to be much different?
edit. Experience and recency on type is very possibly a causal factor.

Last edited by noflynomore; 11th Mar 2017 at 10:07.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 09:58
  #427 (permalink)  
 
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terry holloway -- The AAIB report is inconclusive. Loads of very experienced fast jet pilots have put forward suggestions as to what caused the incident. If there was just one cause? Usually accidents (road, rail, air, sea) are a combination; a sequence of events. But not always. Accident investigators don't necessarily find all the sequential causes. For example, hiring the wrong pilot might be the first 'error' or contributory factor. Putting the wrong oil in a gear train might be the next...and often more factors like an alarm clock failing to wake early enough, leaving the pilot stressed.

Totting up the views expressed here on this thread we seem to have 2/3 majority who think this was pilot error. The majority is very possibly right. But it's by no means "beyond all reasonable doubt".

To blacken the name of the pilot - to himself, his friends and family - after an inconclusive report (medicals seem to have been under-investigated or at least under-reported) by implying the pilot did this for his own benefit and ego seems to me like a judgement based on fancy rather than fact.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 10:06
  #428 (permalink)  
 
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Surely the most likely scenario by far is that the poor beggar just made a mistake, screwed up, misjudged, cocked up as humans so often do. Who suggests psychological events, confusion with a different machine (the daftest excuse of all, imo) or an automotive equivalent of g-loc when there's a car crash? Never! Driver error, that's it. Is this really likely to be much different?
Indeed, which to be fair was also the conclusion of almost all of those more familiar with air display game. The problem now with Internet forums is that anybody can come up with a 'whacky' hypothesis. As for the 'he was too good to make a mistake', I recall the same being said after poor old Mark H crashed his Buchon in Spain.

Accidents when air displaying will never be eradicated, and the vast majority will be down to an error by the pilot.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 10:18
  #429 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lemain
terry holloway -- The AAIB report is inconclusive. Loads of very experienced fast jet pilots have put forward suggestions as to what caused the incident. If there was just one cause? Usually accidents (road, rail, air, sea) are a combination; a sequence of events. But not always. Accident investigators don't necessarily find all the sequential causes. For example, hiring the wrong pilot might be the first 'error' or contributory factor. Putting the wrong oil in a gear train might be the next...and often more factors like an alarm clock failing to wake early enough, leaving the pilot stressed.

Totting up the views expressed here on this thread we seem to have 2/3 majority who think this was pilot error. The majority is very possibly right. But it's by no means "beyond all reasonable doubt".

To blacken the name of the pilot - to himself, his friends and family - after an inconclusive report (medicals seem to have been under-investigated or at least under-reported) by implying the pilot did this for his own benefit and ego seems to me like a judgement based on fancy rather than fact.
At the end of the day, the various musings on this thread, which have seemingly already sadly caused disagreements between old friends/colleagues are largely irrelevant, and will probably not influence a decision to prosecute him. As to his reputation, the AAIB and media reports about "too low and too slow" have already damned him in the public eye.
I would be very surprised if there there is anyone on this thread who does not feel a great deal of sympathy for the predicament AH finds himself in. I certainly "feel very sorry for him".

Last edited by terry holloway; 11th Mar 2017 at 13:05. Reason: spelling!
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 10:50
  #430 (permalink)  
 
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With respect to the comments on here regarding G-LOC/A-LOC/P-LOC, in paragraph 1.18.10.1 of the AAIB report, the Consultant in Aviation Medicine (RAF) is quoted as stating " Therefore, I can find no evidence of G related impairment in the material available for review."

Flying multiple types requires a specific, methodical approach with respect to preparation and currency. Many pilots do so very successfully, including at an air display, having learned the required philosophical approach and skill sets. From my own experience and from watching others, the greatest potential for errors due to transference of skills from one type to another comes when the differences are small or subtle. For example, flying both a JP3 and a JP5 could, in my opinion, result in errors, as could flying an airframe that has an ASI in knots when the pilot normally flies that type with airspeed displayed in mph. However, large differences, such as when flying two types like the JP and the Hunter with significantly different take-off and transit speeds and totally different roll rate and normal acceleration responses for a given stick deflection and applied force, do not normally lead to transference after a significant period of time airborne.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 10:58
  #431 (permalink)  
 
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Thank You for the altimeter responses. So we will like the AAIB presume AH did follow procedure and reset the altimeter and do all the necessary fiddly bits which I take would allow for the different altitude at Shoreham than North Weald.


Just like to point out that AH does state that he did have emergency training on the Hunter, it is in his notes from his log book about what was covered.


Still can't locate information that BXFI undertook a flight test on Sunday 26th June 2011. No record of it flying as far as I can tell except for the completed flight test submitted to the CAA and mentioned in the report.


Can the experienced Hunter pilots on here confirm if you would notice the drop in thrust when flying this manoeuvre.


Also, re the height/altitude bit - why then does the AAIB switch between AGL and AMSL. Surely they should stick to AMSL for the entry height/altitude and is the pilots DA limits AMSL or AGL?
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 11:02
  #432 (permalink)  
 
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Machin bird....

My opinion is that micro sleeps usually occur either at times of low psychological arousal such as the cruise or the long drive home, or when seriously tired. Flying an air display you would expect the pilot to be in a high state of psychological arousal and having had a good nights sleep. I pressume the AAIB checked that AH had had sufficient sleep during the previous seven days.

Neither of these senarios fit with regards to microsleep, unless AH was seriously fatigued, which the police and CPS regard these days as a similar offence to driving under the influence.

I hope this puts to rest the microsleep theory.

As for the theories regarding G-LOC, A-LOC, TIA they do not fit either.

Last edited by Homsap; 11th Mar 2017 at 11:32.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 11:02
  #433 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hebog
Still can't locate information that BXFI undertook a flight test on Sunday 26th June 2011. No record of it flying as far as I can tell except for the completed flight test submitted to the CAA and mentioned in the report.
Where are you looking ?

I can't think of any comprehensive source that would document every single flight by a specific aircraft (apart from its own technical records, obviously).
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 11:10
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Hebog,

The thrust variations resulting from the RPM changes during the upward half of the accident manoeuvre would probably not be noticeable. The Hunter T7 has quite a quiet cockpit and you would be decelerating. The change in noise would probably not be noticeable and no significant extra deceleration would be felt. If a major (total) loss of thrust occurred, you probably would notice the reduction in noise and probably the best (but not necessarily obvious cue) would be the increased aft stick force and displacement required to maintain flying on the buffet (as was the case here) as the airspeed reduced more than normal.

DA minima are AGL heights. AGL will be used in a report such as this because that is what is important for safety. However, AMSL is also important because that affects the performance of the aircraft and the IAS/TAS relationship. So saying, it is actually density altitude that is really important for aircraft performance.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 11:37
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Hebog --

Thank You for the altimeter responses. So we will like the AAIB presume AH did follow procedure and reset the altimeter and do all the necessary fiddly bits which I take would allow for the different altitude at Shoreham than North Weald.
The pilot had "retrograde amnesia" which is common after trauma. I had it after a car crash in 1976 and I only have one very short recollection of the events from a couple of hours before. I suspect that even my one recollection might be inaccurate. Our brains fill in gaps with - frankly - fiction. It isn't a lie, i.e. it isn't an attempt to deceive, it's just the way our brains work after trauma. If you're interested you could google for "confabulation" which will take you to some learned papers etc.

As for the "fiddly bits" I think we can safely assume the pilot did these and would have done them in his sleep. Unless he was seriously mentally incapacitated for some reason in which case if he was feeling out of sorts why didn't he divert?

Few pilots have a death wish.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 12:14
  #436 (permalink)  
 
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The AAIB report is inconclusive.
Too low and too slow, I wouldn't call that inconclusive.
You can try and muddy the waters as much as you like..that's what it says.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 13:27
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Originally Posted by Homsap
As for the theories regarding G-LOC, A-LOC, TIA they do not fit either.
Care to provide your reasoning here, or is this just an opinion?

I hope this puts to rest the microsleep theory.
Homsap, I suggest you go back and re-read. The point was not that AH experienced a microsleep, but that a similar brief interruption in consciousness, such as by A-LOC or G-LOC could probably cause disorientation of a specific type during a maneuver. The specific effect is "Loss of Plan from memory."
Imagine approaching an intersection in your car and forgetting which way you intended to turn when you were already too close to the intersection to stop. What would you do? Right? Left? Straight?
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 13:43
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK
The thrust variations resulting from the RPM changes during the upward half of the accident manoeuvre would probably not be noticeable.
Different airplane, different engine, but when doing post-maintenance check flights, a 1 to 2% rpm change caused by cycling bleed valves was very noticeable on the backside.

Would it be noticed during a high g pull up? That probably depends on the pilot's workload.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 14:56
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I am curious to know about the preflight briefing procedure for fast jets and aerobatic display flying.

I imagine that in the RAF, at least two pilots - the lead and their wingman - will brief a sortie together. If two-seat fast jets are involved, there will be two Navs as well, and of course there will be operations and maintenance departments to assist.

I imagine that the Red Arrows for example will all brief as a full team, and discuss every aspect of the display together.

In the airline world, both pilots (or three if heavy crew) will brief together, both in the flight planning room and also on the aircraft

So what happens with the single pilot fast veteran-jet display? I imagine a G/A airfield with a clubhouse and a briefing/MET office* Other pilots are Cessna 172 or Warrior pilots*
So is there anybody to discuss with and check the flight plan, the aerobatic plan; the display content: the gates, altitudes and speeds to be used; how success will be defined and measured; and what the escape manouvers will be if a problem occurs?

What I am driving at is that in the RAF, the Red Arrows, (and commercial airline flying), there is more than one pilot with the same licence involved in the brief, and the sortie/flight is discussed between them. The weather conditions, the flight route, the flight time, the mission, the fuel load, the contingencies etc. Each pilot will be involved and usually each pilot will point things out to the other, leading to descisions being agreed between more than one pilot. Additionally, the process of briefing display entry altitudes and speeds etc to another pilot must mean they have to be thought about carefully because any mistakes, errors or omissions will be called out by the other pilot(s).



I am very happy to be educated on the process of single pilot display briefing.



*(absolutely no offence intended)
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 15:08
  #440 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B2N2
Too low and too slow, I wouldn't call that inconclusive.
You can try and muddy the waters as much as you like..that's what it says.
Too low and too slow is the "what". With the greatest respect, no-one really needed the AAIB to tell them that.

We still need a "why", which the AAIB are normally pretty good at but seem to be lacking a bit in this case.
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