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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, 20:03
  #61 (permalink)  

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Records indicated that the pilot had flown a total of 19 hours and 25 minutes in the Hunter during flying displays, including transit time.
but you really should read this yourself in the report...

A total of 40hrs on type if I've read it correctly
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 20:08
  #62 (permalink)  
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5:25 between May and Aug 15 as recorded on p19 as dispalays and practice. There may have been other flights as the full log book is not shown. 19:25 looks like total display and practice, 40+ on type.

Last edited by Capt Scribble; 3rd Mar 2017 at 20:20.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 20:09
  #63 (permalink)  
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How about we start by getting DAs issued/renewed by CFS rather than the Duxford/Goodwood mates network?
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 20:24
  #64 (permalink)  
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All very depressing reading. Some depressingly familiar.

Like Arfur Dent, one point stood out for me.

That a pilot of his experience and background was prepared to fly displays in the Hunter without EVER having practiced the escape or ‘bail out’ maneouvre - rolling out of the loop and recovering from the ensuing dive – astonished me. I would have wanted to try that out a few times and ensured I knew the minima and limits on that.

OK, partly because many years ago I scared myself by continuing a pullthrough to eye-wateringly low level instead of rolling out (in a much simper aircraft of course!), because I wasn’t adequately competent at what I was doing, but also because I’d view it as a ‘get-out-of-jail’ card for the day when I’m not flying as accurately as I’d like. (Which of course never happens...)

That lack seems very surprising; I'd have thought normal personal survival thinking as well as very basic flying safety would have ensured that the escape option was at least practiced and its limits known. Over confidence, or blinkered thinking perhaps? After all, practice in that sort of machine must have been expensive.

Or am I being too simplistic? Any thoughts folks?
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 20:26
  #65 (permalink)  
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Thanks Davef
Originally Posted by Onceapilot View Post

I will give you the benefit of the doubt if you read what I wrote and confirm you understand. The report identifies vapour, aparently from the wing tank area. The trail I refer to is from the fuselage/jetpipe and is visible in video online.

I know the one you mean, there is a short trail immediately after he comes over the top of the loop.

There is a vapour trail from the jet pipe area at a couple of points during the flight (e.g. at about 4 seconds in this compilation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr4POEBz81s)

From memory, does the Hunter not have a fuel vent pipe in that genreal area?
The vid clearly shows vapour streaming from the fuselage/jetpipe area in two separate occasions at the start of that recording. This is NOT the trail that was commented upon in the report and, IMO, is an important event that should be addressed.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 20:34
  #66 (permalink)  
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Annex 13 vs Criminal Justice System

It's rather worrying so see discussion in the media about the contents of the AAIB report being used as the basis for criminal proceedings.
People support Annex 13 investigations in the absolute understanding that the sole objective is to prevent future accidents. On this basis people don't avail of their 'right to remain silent' and the process of 'physical evidence chain of custody' does not meet the standards needed for a criminal investigation.
The process of criminalization of 'human error' undermines (future) Annex 13 investigations, as people will get 'lawyered up' before talking to investigators, and the standard advice is 'no comment'.
BALPA and other interested parties need to be robust on defending this point.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 20:35
  #67 (permalink)  
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I do not know Andy Hill or have any "inside" information to add. All I can assume is that he had every intention of when he took of at North Weald to complete his display, RTB and land safely and get home to his wife that evening.

He had no intention to screw up in any way or risk the lives of innocent people. This was as tragic accident and that is all there really is to say. Yes it is very sad for the victims but nothing will bring them back and so censoring the hapless pilot, who put himself in serious danger and could himself have easily been killed won't achieve very much. He will still be feeling a strong sense of survivor's guilt and being sent to jail is not going to help him "learn from his mistake".

My own thoughts on how to prevent a recurrence of this tragic accident would concentrate more on the suitability for Shoreham as a venue for any kind of high energy air display. The location of housing, schools and generally high-density habitation in close and un-regulated crowds (outside the jurisdiction of the display organisers) and their proximity to the display axis makes this an unsuitable venue IMHO.

Air display flying can never be considered a zero-risk activity and the CAA and the public need to accept that. For my part, individuals need to be aware that standing or just being under or close to ANY aircraft taking part in a display is potentially dangerous. The fact that this was a former "vintage" military jet is not relevant. The only considerations are whether the aircraft was airworthy, being flown within its limits and properly maintained/operated. Hanging the unfortunate pilot out to "dry" won't do much to prevent a recurrance.......he certainly didn't mean events to turn out the way they did and he has my deepest sympathy; just as the families of the victims have my condolences.....

Last edited by Madbob; 3rd Mar 2017 at 20:36. Reason: correct spelling typo
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 21:05
  #68 (permalink)  
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Shoreham an unsuitable venue..? as in all that blue stuff south of the field.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 21:11
  #69 (permalink)  
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Yes, the display pilot did screw up, why to we need to debate this?
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 21:13
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Re AH having a "track record" with infringements : a bit meaningless without a context - anyone know how his violations compare with the norm for a similar period.

What strikes me about all this is that under pinning everything is that like madbob I very strongly suspect AH intended to go home that evening.

I really don't think anyone, and I mean anyone, would blow off knowingly being 700 feet low ( and low on energy generally) on a fast jet display at low level and continue looping through..a couple of hundred feet maybe if you are brave or daft, I don't know, but 700 feet low? I do wonder if the possibility of distraction/confusion for whatever reason is being underplayed?

Yes, the display pilot did screw up, why to we need to debate this?
Because it might prevent future accidents?

Last edited by wiggy; 3rd Mar 2017 at 23:48.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 21:56
  #71 (permalink)  
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No one comes out of this with any credit. A complacent regulator who can't decide what his own rules mean, and permits what at best could be described as a Laissez-faire approach to compliance and record keeping. Maintenance organisations that seemingly Rationalise their practices after the event and sign stuff of against core documentation they don't have. Defects in primary instruments not recorded. No follow up to engine over speeds. Engine out of hours, preservation not done, ejector seats maintained at home and fitted with life expired components. Pilots approved to maintain certification for solo jet display based on flying a piston engine plane and follow my leader in a jet. The obvious conclusion (which Martin Baker seem to have reached) is that there isn't the money or competence out there to keep old fast jets flying to an acceptable level of safety. Sad, but seems to be inescapable.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 21:59
  #72 (permalink)  
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If Shoreham is to be classed as an unsuitable venue what about Farnborough with things the size of an A 380 displaying -the airport literally is in a town centre at one end and the other end (Laffans Plain) is way off the end of the runway and viewing areas. Flying manouvres away from the crowd line though heads them right towards housing estates and the town centre

I am not saying it should be stopped because I love the show but like may locals watch it from a point outside the airfield boundary so am now wondering if that will be stopped because while it is very clear from this report that more needs to be done on the safety front the normal regulatory reaction is a gross over reaction
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 22:23
  #73 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pittsextra
...can you expand this element? i.e. which instrument, which malfunction and how do you see it as a potential causal factor.
Sorry old chap, but I am not about to read and précis the entire report for you. You read it and you will see. If you are as interested in the factors as you have continually claimed to be, I'm surprised you are not already studying it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 22:57
  #74 (permalink)  
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Speaking as someone who is currently studying ATPL groundschool but has flown for many years (700+ hours, ppl(a),(h),mep,ir(r)) for fun it strike me that the main difference being private and professional pilots is attitude. Put simply it strikes me that for the professional pilots the key thing is not to f**k about,
TBH I'm struggling to get your point because of the time of day and the format.

I may be misunderstanding you, apologises if I am, but if you are trying to pigeon hole AH into a pilot "type" and therefore saying he was a particular "sort" of pilot and that in turn led to the accident I would be a bit wary.

AH was a RAF creamie Instructor initially ( so by definition very well regarded in terms of flying skills right from the get go) then a fast Jet pilot with the RAF on what was at the time regarded as the most difficult single seat aircraft in the RAF, frankly you can't F'around or ignore procedures/gates in either job, especially in the Harrier. He then did and passed all the ATPL stuff you are currently studying and since then has several thousand hours as a commercial pilot on the Airbus in both seats, passing all the regular civilian sim and line checks. It just so happened he was also display flying the JP and a piston type., but he certainly wasn't a private pilot who had simply bought himself a jet to display.

I really really don't think AH would suddenly simply lose his professional "don't F**k about" attitude just because he was in a Hunter on a day off....but I do agree there may be issues with display authorisation, recency and exposure to the aircraft type

Last edited by wiggy; 3rd Mar 2017 at 23:13.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 23:30
  #75 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pittsextra
...can you expand this element? i.e. which instrument, which malfunction and how do you see it as a potential causal factor.
Sorry old chap, but I am not about to read and précis the entire report for you. You read it and you will see. If you are as interested in the factors as you have continually claimed to be, I'm surprised you are not already studying it.
CM - Weak. I'm not asking you to give me chapter/verse on the whole report I was asking you to flesh out your own comment and what instrument YOU were talking about and why YOU think it is a causal factor when the AAIB have not.

Forget me and my opinion I'm just reading the AAIB final report which was something you had been waiting for, then when it comes suggest it's not a complete work.

Do the AAIB call things correctly that the start of the figure flown was too low or is that element still something of debate?
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 23:52
  #76 (permalink)  
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Wiggy observed that: "there may be issues with display authorisation, recency and exposure to the aircraft type."

That seems to me to hit the nail pretty accurately on the head.

It's always easy to blame the guy at the controls, and it is by no means my intention to do that. In my (perhaps over simplistic) view it seems fairly plain that the accident resulted from entering the manoeuvre too low, too slow, from failing to maintain thrust during the manoeuvre, and finally from failing to abort the manoeuvre when insufficient height was achieved at the apex.

But I would not agree with those who conclude that the pilot was wilfully or recklessly negligent, and would ask whether inexperience and lack of currency are not better explanations than a 'gung ho' 'cowboy' disregard for the consequences?

I hope that this does not cause offence, but I can't imagine that this pilot would be authorised by the Royal Air Force to display a swept wing fast jet in 2017. Why should the requirements for displaying such an aircraft on the civil register be so very different?

His Harrier experience seems to have been relatively modest (one tour?) and a long time ago - the GR3 had left frontline service by 1990 (That's 27 years ago). Do we think that he was so experienced (and current) on this category of aircraft that he should have been publicly displaying the Hunter with so few hours on type?

It's not as though he was a former service display pilot, a TP, or someone with bags of experience on swept wing fast jets, nor even someone who had lots of operational experience gained within the last decade - or even this century.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 23:58
  #77 (permalink)  
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Pittsextra, when you and I have finished reading the entire 452 page report and had time to digest it and understand it, I suggest we shall both be better placed to discuss it.

BTW, my willingness to debate does not include CA regulations, CAP or commercial risk analysis. But I am happy to discus hunter performance, display dynamics and pilot performance. I'm happy with primary engineering and regulations.

If, as you and I have discussed before, you should understand that I am not going to comment on CAA regulations nor their application of regulations, apart from those I have been involved with.

So discuss with me the technicalities of this accident, but don't bother trying to involve me in the issues that you and I have discussed a year and a half ago.

Last edited by Courtney Mil; 4th Mar 2017 at 00:14.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 00:00
  #78 (permalink)  
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nor even someone who had lots of operational experience gained within.....or even this century.
...Gee thanks, now I feel really really old...and it is way past my bed time.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 01:41
  #79 (permalink)  
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The reasons for this accident and the reasons why it had such tragic consequences are not the same thing. Anyone still trying to blame one person for what happened is missing the whole point of that 400+ page report.

To those whose loved ones died that day and are trying to find some closure I would say this:

The accident happened because the pilot made a mistake. The final mistake which ultimately sealed their fate was made in a split second, under pressure and whilst flying upside down; hardly an ideal situation for decision making. To err is human; pilots are human and it is inevitable that they will sometimes make mistakes.

The reason why so many lost their lives was because a large number of people across a range of organisations failed to adequately assess and mitigate against the entirely foreseeable risk that a pilot might make a mistake. If those people had properly discharged their responsibilities, it is very likely that noone apart from the pilot would have been injured or killed. Unlike the pilot, their mistakes were made from the comfort of a safe seat on the ground, with many months or even years in which to find the right answers.

Continuing to hound the unfortunate pilot will achieve nothing beyond compromising future accident investigations. He may have made a poor split-second decision, but IMO not a negligent one; he will doubtless live with the consequences of that decision for the rest of his life and whatever his shortcomings may have been, I'd say he has already paid a fair price for his poor decision.

To those who think a prosecution of the pilot may serve as a warning to others I will say only this; I can conceive of no penalty which would act as a greater deterrent to a future airshow display pilot than the obvious consequences of flying a fast jet into the ground.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 03:25
  #80 (permalink)  
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To err is human; pilots are human and it is inevitable that they will sometimes make mistakes.
Let he without sin cast the first stone. Agree Sillert, and no one has invented a new way of having an accident.

The well trained and highly experienced have come, or nearly come, to grief performing the same maneuver. British test pilot demonstrating the Hunter to the Swiss just made it, forgot about the impact on performance of the high altitude airfield, four T-38 (Thunderbirds) in formation impacted the ground, and of course the Thunderbirds F-16 more recently, as a result of a simple, simple error. In Australia we had a RAAF aerobatic team flying two seat Vampires impact while performing a roll, four aircraft and six people.

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