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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 3rd Mar 2017, 17:34
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Authorised by the CAA to display two very different jets at low level. Confused and thought he was in a JP when he was actually in a Hunter? Not trained in the "escape manoeuvre" used to curtail a loop (i.e. an aileron roll).
That's pretty much what I heard on Radio 4 about 25 minutes ago.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:14
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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At the moment I will merely limit myself to saying the machine will happily loop at sea level at 300 kts and ISA, and gain height at the display weight. 350 kts is not required, and indeed may not be desirable if keeping the display tight is a priority.
Therefore you could enter your loop below 500ft knowing you'll gain height so you're still going to bottom out above it! But surely that's not the point. You could potentially fly from the apex of the loop through to S&L on the light buffet to fly minimum radius, but again not the point. A minimum entry speed/height at entry and more importantly at the apex are essential. (Also max speed for apex gate).

You say you were a Hunter pilot; AH was a pilot flying the Hunter - not quite the same!
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:25
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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So the primary cause of this dreadful, and avoidable, accident was pilot error; no great surprise as the AAIB Interim Reports had inferred as much. Whilst it can never be a comfort to those relatives and friends who lost so much so quickly, at least the reason why they died is now known.

Should the CAA now consider rescinding their knee-jerk restriction on "vintage jets"? The media pressure on the Government (i.e. the CAA) to "do something" about these old jets endangering people on the ground should have been resisted at the time. After all, there was never any suggestion that the Hunter had suffered any form of structural or control problem. Whilst certainly not advocating any more restrictions on display aircraft, it would seem that the low-level manouvres of the Red Bull air racers, or indeed any other piston engined display aircraft were considered a much safer form of entertainment than "vintage" jets (err, how old are the Red Arrow's Hawks....?).

The AAIB recommendations include stricter licencing of air display pilots and will, no doubt, look closely at the maintenance regimes of all display aircraft. These, along with revised CAA guidelines for air-displays will now hopefully allow us to see these beautiful aircraft back in their natural environment. After all, air displays are second only to football in terms of popular support.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:25
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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A reminder to all posters that the British press will undoubtedly monitor social media (yes, also this PPRuNe forum!) for quotes and the like.
If they do, could they note the following trivial, but annoying mistakes in terminology.

1. The last time anyone in aviation referred to "looping the loop" was c 1925.

2. "Stunt" is reminiscent of barnstorming displays from the same period. "Manouevre" is one of several possible alternatives.

3. The word is "aerobatic" not "acrobatic".

All above from BBC news today.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:33
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed HP. I merely point out that the entry speed and height was sufficient for the manoeuvre, and thankfully, yes I am not AH.

What I didn't say is that it will still happily go around at 280 kts, BUT you need full power to achieve the gates. I'm still reading, but it appears there were thrust variations in the climb, which is interesting. Why? is a good question here I think.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:34
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And use the word "Aircraft" or "Aeroplane" , not "Plane".
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:40
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The BBC also elected to refer to "pilot error" in their sensation-grabbing headline.

Last edited by 2 sheds; 3rd Mar 2017 at 20:20.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:41
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It might help the debate if someone was able to list the aircraft flown by AH during his RAF career and a rough idea of hours on type. I believe he was more experienced in flying the Jet Provost and given his age would not have thought he flew the Hunter during his years in the RAF.

Under pressure, it is possible a pilot might revert to type. Example, your hand goes to where the drag chute lever was for a type you flew years ago...
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:42
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Should the CAA now consider rescinding their knee-jerk restriction on "vintage jets"? The media pressure on the Government (i.e. the CAA) to "do something" about these old jets endangering people on the ground should have been resisted at the time. After all, there was never any suggestion that the Hunter had suffered any form of structural or control problem.
Did you miss the 40 pages or so about maintenance/permits/airworthiness/ejection seats?
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:44
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The BBC also elected to refer to "pilot error" is their sensation-grabbing headline.
Well at least they got that spot on!
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:47
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Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Got "caught in the moment" - Maybe, "playing to the crowd" Maybe.
Has anyone here never, even once operated outside sop's in normal operations, just "to make it work"? 999.9% of the time it will work out fine!
Actions attributable to Human factors have, and will continue to kill significant numbers of people in aviation.
That said, it appears severe negligence has been proven and will very likely end in a significant jail term. I expect civil cases against bith the pilot and airshow committee are now in place. Can you blame them? No
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 18:48
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Most of the posts above rightly focus on the circumstances of the accident. But step back for a moment and let the numbers speak about risk. Most of the people attending air displays will have flown only as airline pax where the fatal accident rate (2002-2011) is about 0.04 fatal accidents per 100,000 flying hours. Some will have knowledge of general aviation where the AAIB report that the rate is 1.3 fatal accidents per 100,000 flying hours.


This AAIB Report suggests that there was one fatal accident per 2960 air display items in the period 2008-2015, but hasn't the courage to calculate the accident rate. Assuming each display item was 15 minutes (change the numbers if you like) that translates to 135 fatal accidents per 100,000 hours flown.


I doubt very much that Joe Public and his wife and children attending a display have any inkling of these relative levels of risk i.e. 3375 times higher than experienced on a commercial flight. Perhaps they should be told.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:07
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TBH I don't believe for a moment that this accident was anything to do with "reversion to type" or inadequate training in escape manoeuvres. I believe that this individual was well know for performing low aerobatics and in my experience leopards don't change their spots. This is a simple case of gross negligence on the part of the pilot and I hope justice is served.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:08
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I as a licenced engineer and ex RAF airframe technician, am certainly concerned by the aspects of the cartridge life issues and maintenance holes that have been dragged up in this investigation. No doubts others in my field will retort that they have the right to do such extensions as they see fit in the BCAR world, I wonder if the insurance companies would agree. I doubt it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:18
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sidestick bob...

Well said, it's nonsence 'reversion to type' do we know who was advising the AAIB on Human Factors because it is utter nonsense, yet I understand why it was flagged up, but you should always know the numbers for the type your flying. Also as someone has mentioned, this pilot had a track record of violating regulations in respect of Lancing College and Southport, although that rests with the regulators who took no action.

Last edited by Homsap; 3rd Mar 2017 at 19:28.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:18
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Quote:
Should the CAA now consider rescinding their knee-jerk restriction on "vintage jets"? The media pressure on the Government (i.e. the CAA) to "do something" about these old jets endangering people on the ground should have been resisted at the time. After all, there was never any suggestion that the Hunter had suffered any form of structural or control problem.

Did you miss the 40 pages or so about maintenance/permits/airworthiness/ejection seats?
The CAA, the most liberal aviation regulator in Europe, set generous limits to operate within, some people chose to operate right up at the threshold of the limits and failed. Then there were the aforementioned airworthiness issues. Hence, the CAA could not have responded differently, and there will most definitely be more, namely that the limits will certainly be drawn tighter in an obligatory attempt to prevent something like this from happening again.

Whilst certainly not advocating any more restrictions on display aircraft, it would seem that the low-level manouvres of the Red Bull air racers, or indeed any other piston engined display aircraft were considered a much safer form of entertainment than "vintage" jets (err, how old are the Red Arrow's Hawks....?).
Lighter and slower, i.e. low energy aircraft of the Extra and Pitts type, need less space, and a misjudged rolling/looping maneuver is more likely to "only" kill the pilot.

To some extent with the benefit of hindsight, I'm wondering why rolling/looping maneuvers with high-energy aircraft were not taken off the airshow programs many years ago. At least Rolls-Royce's Spitfire and the Firefly crash at Duxford spring to mind...
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:28
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Bigpants:
It might help the debate if someone was able to list the aircraft flown by AH during his RAF career and a rough idea of hours on type. I believe he was more experienced in flying the Jet Provost and given his age would not have thought he flew the Hunter during his years in the RAF.
It's in the report. On page 12, so not very far in at all!

The pilot joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1985 and flew Jet Provost, Hawk and Harrier jet aircraft. He was a Qualifed Flying Instructor (QFI) on the Jet Provost between 1988 and 1990.
In his RAF Pilot’s Log Book, he had recorded his total flying time in military jet aircraft as:

Jet Provost MK 3A/5A - 934 hours
Hawk MK1/1A - 188 hours
Harrier T4/GR3, GR5/7 -517 hours
People should read the report really before cluttering up the bandwidth!
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:36
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I haven't read the whole report however on page 37 is a very brief report on the weather.
I spent the same day at Bournemouth and remember that what started as a very light wind became a southerly wind bringing in air from the continent with temperatures up to about 28 degrees. I do wonder whether the reduction in RPM could have been brought about by an inversion associated with the sea breeze. This is very frequent at Palma airport where in the summer the EPR and RPM both drop at around 700ft with a large increase in TAT.

I am very surprised that the weather in the report received so little attention; little more than 1/3 of a page, it was worthy of a greater depth of investigation.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:38
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Pilot porked it, whilst others that could have stopped it, also porked it...

That is all...
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 19:55
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…. and total hours on the Hunter? In the last 6 months before the incident?
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