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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 7th Nov 2017, 23:13
  #941 (permalink)  
 
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I agree absolutely. However do you just put the deaths of eleven innocent people down to a statement something like: Accidents happen it was just their bad luck to be there when it happened. Somehow I cannot believe that that will be the verdict of the Coroner.

I for one accept that there may be many causes and contributory causes of this "accident" and it will be the duty of the Coroner to establish exactly what happened, how and when. The AAIB report has already identified a number of key factors and no doubt the Coroner will want to explore these fully.

In the mean time I guess the CPS will be liaising with the Police in order to establish if there is a valid criminal case to answer.
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Old 7th Nov 2017, 23:28
  #942 (permalink)  
 
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Well, actually, yes, it was indeed their tragic bad luck that the aircraft hit the A27 as it did. If it had either undershot or overshot the road at that point, probably only the pilot would have been killed: still a tragedy, but (sadly) like many other air show crashes. Perhaps there was only about a couple of hundred metres in it, between one potential outcome and the other. If the pilot had been the only casualty, the AAIB would have investigated just the same, and hopefully lessons would have been learned just the same, but there wouldn't have been anything like the same ongoing ballyhoo, and probably not a 48-page thread here.
Somehow I cannot believe that that will be the verdict of the Coroner.
No, nor can I. Some things cannot be said.

Last edited by OldLurker; 7th Nov 2017 at 23:52. Reason: typo
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 07:59
  #943 (permalink)  
 
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It was BALPA that coordinated the best legal minds and financial power of its members to defend the core principles & data in the accident investigation process. The alternative would be Pilots & their families, etc. providing a 'no comment' interview to the AAiB - it was a landmark ruling with international impact

The legal and practical assistance provided by BALPA to its full members is unparalleled anywhere else in Aviation. This extends to Pilot injuries & accidents, etc. around the world whilst on duty. In terms of experience and legal fire power in a world that wants to find the nearest 'guilty party' its second to none.

Shoreham IMO was a complete failure of the CAAs & UK obsession with light touch regulation. People & organisations don't do what you don't check.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 09:00
  #944 (permalink)  
 
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Folks,
Dogma is correct, and the intent of Annex 13 is clear.

The BALPA intervention as an interested part was entirely proper, I would have expected no less.

The Hunter pilot on the day had no criminal intent, no "mens rea", the guilty mind, effectively a prerequisite for criminal charges. If he made a mistake, it certainly would not have been intentional, who hasn't made a mistake flying, at some time or other.

Whether we like it or not, the "default" position of police is "crime and punishment", not aviation accident prevention, the intent of Annex 13 and complimentary British and EC law in aviation.

I can think of only one loss of an aircraft at an airshow in the UK where I would agree that there were strong suggestions of reckless and negligent behavior, that was the A-26 at Biggin Hill in the 1960s.

There was one epic case in NZ, included in the precedents in this UK High Court case, the NZ police were hell bent on locking up the tec. crew and throwing away the key, after the accident that occurred during the handling of a gear problem.

Even a member of Qantas senior management appeared as a witness for the defence, such was the Qantas view of the importance of keeping accident investigation data away from criminal or civil actions.

Had the NZ police won their court action, it would have had a chilling result for any aviation accident investigation in NZ, who is going to give evidence that is going to find them in the pokey.

In Australia, despite lip service to Annex 13, and a piece of legislation that apparently enacts Annex 13 data protection as Australian law, ATSB and CASA are all too cosy, pilots are very reluctant to say anything other than the absolute "name, rank and serial number" minimum to investigators, because of the propensity for such information to "leak" and "inform" CASA parallel investigations.

I would point out that at least some of those killed or injured were parked in an area with temporary parking restrictions, erected just for the duration of the airshow. Hindsight is always 20/20 perfect vision, pity the parking restrictions were not thoroughly enforced.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 09:01
  #945 (permalink)  
 
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When the AAIB, using their expertise, discover that a pilot was at fault, or indeed, was not at fault, why should that be hidden from the police officers investigating an incident?
It is not the AAIB's task to apportion blame. Their remit from Annex 13 is to discover why an accident occurred and make recommendations to prevent one happening again.

The Police have a completely different brief. As far as they are concerned, if there's a death, there's a crime to be investigated. For example, they no longer use the tern 'road traffic accident', preferring instead 'road traffic collision' as the word accident infers that no-one is to blame.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 13:34
  #946 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LeadSled
I can think of only one loss of an aircraft at an airshow in the UK where I would agree that there were strong suggestions of reckless and negligent behavior, that was the A-26 at Biggin Hill in the 1960s.
It was a Douglas B-26 Invader N3710G, 21 September 1980.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 14:14
  #947 (permalink)  
 
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I think that the organisers of the display may be considered to be low hanging fruit.

But the 17-month-long AAIB inquiry also blamed organisers, and stressed the toll of the crash was only so devastating because of a lack of safety preparations to protect bystanders.
Shoreham Airshow crash: Pilot may have thought he was flying a different aircraft, investigators suggest
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 15:37
  #948 (permalink)  
 
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"The Hunter pilot on the day had no criminal intent, no "mens rea", the guilty mind, effectively a prerequisite for criminal charges. If he made a mistake, it certainly would not have been intentional, who hasn't made a mistake flying, at some time or other. "

Criminal Intent is not necessary for a charge of manslaughter - it's the "reasonable care " that is important.... as in cases when Companies are charged due to deaths and injuries in the workplace
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 16:29
  #949 (permalink)  
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stressed the toll of the crash was only so devastating because of a lack of safety preparations to protect bystanders.
Would un interested passers by on a nearby motorway be considered "bystanders"?

Are "bystanders" airshow enthusiasts, who attended the airshow? Or, more broadly, anyone on the ground?
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 18:48
  #950 (permalink)  
 
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For those thinking about the role of the West Sussex Police, the AAIB and the local Coroner, it is worth reading what the judges actually said. The first quote relates to AAIB witness statements, the second to Coroners.
“In my view it is almost inconceivable that statements made to the AAIB could properly be the subject of an order for disclosure when the appropriate balancing exercise is done by this Court. This is for two main reasons.
First, there would be a serious and obvious "chilling effect" which would tend to deter people from answering questions by the AAIB with the candour which is necessary when accidents of this sort have to be investigated by it. This would seriously hamper future accident investigations and the protection of public safety by the learning of lessons which may help to prevent similar accidents. As is clear from the text cited earlier from Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention, the EU Regulation and the 1996 Regulations, this would be contrary to one of the fundamental purposes of the regime in this area, which is carefully designed to encourage candour in the investigation of air accidents in order to learn lessons and prevent accidents in the future.
Secondly, it would be unfair to require such disclosure. This is because the powers of the AAIB, unlike the ordinary police, are such as to permit the compulsion of answers to questions: see Regulation 9 of the 1996 Regulations. Further, so far as I could discern from the hearing before this Court, there is no clear practice, to say the least, of giving a caution to the person interviewed. This is hardly surprising, since the purpose of such an interview is to obtain the fullest possible information in an accident investigation. This contrasts markedly with the purpose of a police interview, which is to elicit evidence which may be capable of being used at a subsequent criminal trial.

And:

“In the absence of credible evidence that the investigation into an accident is incomplete, flawed or deficient, a Coroner conducting an inquest into a death which occurred in an aircraft accident, should not consider it necessary to investigate again the matters covered or to be covered by the independent investigation of the AAIB. […] [T]he findings and conclusions should not be reopened.”



If you want to read the judgments in full you can find them here: Sussex Police v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2016] EWHC 2280 (QB) (28 September 2016)
The Secretary of State, R (on the application of) v HM Senior Coroner for Norfolk & Anor [2016] EWHC 2279 (Admin) (28 September 2016)
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 21:05
  #951 (permalink)  
 
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I notice in the full judgement test the Judge hurriedly skipped over the Scottish case where disclosure WAS ordered of the CVFDR.....mmmm too awkward to discuss I guess.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 02:31
  #952 (permalink)  
 
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Scottish Law is not English Law. Legal decisions made in Scotland do not set a precedent in English Law, although the reverse does not always apply.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 12:00
  #953 (permalink)  
 
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FWIW, the Air, Rail and Marine AIBs recently agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chief Coroner of England and Wales:
Memorandum of Understanding between the AIBs and the Chief Coroner
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 21:07
  #954 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LeadSled
..I would point out that at least some of those killed or injured were parked in an area with temporary parking restrictions, erected just for the duration of the airshow. Hindsight is always 20/20 perfect vision, pity the parking restrictions were not thoroughly enforced.

They got killed because they parked in the wrong place? Thank you for pointing that out.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 21:38
  #955 (permalink)  
 
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The parking restrictions were to do with ROAD traffic of course - not the idea that they were likely to be hit by an aircraft.................

No way round this one - pilot error - not deliberate but still a grim tale................
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 22:03
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Not to be cynical, but if people were killed inside their cars while parked illegally next to an airshow, then it sounds like they were not unsuspecting and just passing by, if you do want to make that distinction.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 22:29
  #957 (permalink)  
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I think that you will find that some (if not all) of the fatalities of people in vehicles (including a motorcyclist) were simply driving along the highway or pausing at traffic light signals.
There were 'pedestrians' (including photographers - who might have included a motorcyclist and a cyclist) who were hanging around the road junction (where they knew they would have a view of the aerial activity).

Who were the victims?
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 07:52
  #958 (permalink)  
 
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G-CPTN
That was certainly true of several fatalities on the way to a football match, but the videos clearly show parked vehicles, contrary to the airshow restrictions.
I haven't read what the accident report says on that aspect.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 08:25
  #959 (permalink)  
 
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During Clacton’s air show a lot of the side roads have traffic cones to prevent parking.
Jo public just picks them up and moves them out of the way and parks their vehicle. It would seem that paying for the designated parking is against their psyche. Trouble is the reasons for the cones is to allow access for fire trucks etc.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 09:13
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Originally Posted by LeadSled
That was certainly true of several fatalities on the way to a football match, but the videos clearly show parked vehicles, contrary to the airshow restrictions.
True, but irrelevant.

If parked vehicles were judged to be at risk, then the same would have applied to passing traffic and the road should (given 20:20 hindsight) have been completely closed.
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