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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 4th Mar 2017, 07:04
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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To some extent, I agree with SILLERT. BUT... If I make a split second bad decision in my car and and kill 11 pedestrians at a bus queue, then I am afraid that the full force of the Law would come down on me. Killing 11 people with a bad decision in an aeroplane can be no different. I would not like to see him penalised by the Law, but I am afraid that you cannot have one law for cars, and another one for aircraft, where, technically, the offence is exactly the same.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 07:28
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Sillert:"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".
This is not accurate, a planned aerobatic schedule should not leave room for ad hoc decision-making.
Do you imagine the Red Arrows have to think about their next manoeuvre during a display?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 07:32
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of cluttering up bandwidth does anyone know of another pilot in 2015 who was flying a commercial airliner, a Jet Provost, A Hawker Hunter and lastly a tailwheel light aircraft? It is a big ask to remain current and competent on 4 very different types given that some airliner groups like the Airbus can include three variants.

For example, in 2015 how many RAF Test Pilots were current on four types? A handful perhaps but, I doubt if any were also display qualified on two types which begs the question of why AH or the people regulating him thought this was an acceptable situation?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 07:40
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Not operating at Red Arrow standards seems to have been identified as part of the prevailing air display culture. That isn't the fault of any individual pilot. Culture evolves overtime. Hindsight is very good at illustrating how that cultural journey has occurred, it it rather less good at rectifying mistakes made during it. Mistakes that are not the fault of ANY individual pilot, let alone this one flying at a Charity event in an old plane at sleepy old Shoreham.

Consecutive errors, pilot goes into the loop too low being the final piece of the jigsaw. The likelihood & expectation of him rolling out at the top of the loop is being exaggerated in my opinion.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 07:57
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of cluttering up bandwidth does anyone know of another pilot in 2015 who was flying a commercial airliner, a Jet Provost, A Hawker Hunter and lastly a tailwheel light aircraft? It is a big ask to remain current and competent on 4 very different types given that some airliner groups like the Airbus can include three variants.
Paul Bonhomme? Throw-in a helicopter as well.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 08:11
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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And does he display two types? I remember an exceptional RAF pilot joining BA in 1996 and within a short time he was exceptionally dead because he chose to display a WW2 warbird and departed it at low level.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 08:12
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The main point also not raised in the summary is that this jet has been flying since December 2010 without a valid Permit to Fly. It has been renewed by the current maintenance organisation and the one before several times despite having issues such as out of date seat cartridges, engine RPM limits exceeded (during Flight Test in June 2011), no AMOC with either company being valid.


If these had been more honest and not 'stretched' their abilities and permissions this aircraft would not have been flying. Had the CAA checked more thoroughly during audits on these companies the aircraft wouldn't have been flying and the companies maintenance licence revoked. However, what occurs in a CAA audit is it carried out by a team with sufficient knowledge and a proper examination of the aircraft undertaken or is it just a paper exercise?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 08:20
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Megan on post 80 has posted a video of a US event during a display at Mountain Home in Idaho of a Thunderbird making the same mistake. A miscalculation of the altitude available for the maneuver to be safely completed. Well worth listening to for the comment is extremely relevant to the Hawker tragedy.

In Idaho, nobody at all was injured, neither the pilot nor the 85,000 spectators.
Clearly, Mountain Home is more appropriate for an air display than Shoreham where it proved impossible to keep spectators clear of danger. Even the beach would have been better than the unrestricted airfield location.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 08:23
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Homsap

Way back you said " this pilot had a track record of violating regulations in respect of Lancing College....."

Do you have a reference or source for that claim, e.g. some AAIB number?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 08:25
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At long last people are catching on to what I've been saying all along. Low level display aerobatics in Fast Jets should be carried out by current, well funded professional aircrew. Would a serving RAF pilot be authorised to display with virtually no recent practice time? If you can't do it properly, don't do it at all or this happens and Gnats happen and Vampires happen etc etc.
The pilot was doing his best and the CAA should not have allowed him to continue with this "accident waiting to happen". AH was not superman. Neither are any of the others who jump from one type to the other. Test pilots do that and take a very long course to make sure they do it safely. They do not jump into an unfamiliar Fast Jet and do aerobatics based at 200' (or even 500') in front of thousands of people ( including me and my grandkids) without putting themselves and the rest of us at significant risk.
Stop this if you can't do it properly.
This, surely, must be the basic conclusion after such an appalling disaster
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 08:35
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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Effect of pilot survival

I am not a pilot, but am pondering the report, not the incident.
What effect has the pilot's miraculous survival had on the report, with various species of lawyer circling? Has it helped?
He has 'no commented' on the events of the day. What would have been said about escape planning, for example, had he died?
In the past I've read many negative comments about ex military pilots in passenger jets. What about the opposite?
In a strange way, human factors seem to be everywhere. Even in the investigation process.
So how different would this report have been if the pilot had died? I need to read it again, ignoring pilot contributions.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:04
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arfur Dent View Post
At long last people are catching on to what I've been saying all along. Low level display aerobatics in Fast Jets should be carried out by current, well funded professional aircrew. Would a serving RAF pilot be authorised to display with virtually no recent practice time? If you can't do it properly, don't do it at all or this happens and Gnats happen and Vampires happen etc etc.
The pilot was doing his best and the CAA should not have allowed him to continue with this "accident waiting to happen". AH was not superman. Neither are any of the others who jump from one type to the other. Test pilots do that and take a very long course to make sure they do it safely. They do not jump into an unfamiliar Fast Jet and do aerobatics based at 200' (or even 500') in front of thousands of people ( including me and my grandkids) without putting themselves and the rest of us at significant risk.
Stop this if you can't do it properly.
This, surely, must be the basic conclusion after such an appalling disaster
Currency on type very quickly became the 'elephant in the room' during this investigation. CAP403 has been significantly amended in this regard. IMHO there needs to be a balance between the extremely robust procedures put in place by the RAF and the currency and ISP rules regarding civilian flying displays however.

If for example the civilian world was to adopt the RAF currency/ISP rules it would almost certainly result in the end of flying warbirds/classic jets due to the sheer costs involved?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:07
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of cluttering up bandwidth does anyone know of another pilot in 2015 who was flying a commercial airliner, a Jet Provost, A Hawker Hunter and lastly a tailwheel light aircraft? It is a big ask to remain current and competent on 4 very different types given that some airliner groups like the Airbus can include three variants.

For example, in 2015 how many RAF Test Pilots were current on four types? A handful perhaps but, I doubt if any were also display qualified on two types which begs the question of why AH or the people regulating him thought this was an acceptable situation?
I'm not sure I buy that, apart from possibly confusing some limits/numbers etc. Some of the BBMF Bomber pilots have been current on 3, displaying 2 of them. Even current on 4 if you include the Chippie. Absolutely not an issue providing you put the correct 'cassette' in before you fly. Forgetting to put the gear down on the Dak 'cos you don't need to on the Chippie is a remote possibility, but the appropriate checks will always save the day.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:10
  #94 (permalink)  
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It seems like an obvious point, but if the investigators say they do not know whether the altimeter was serviceable and/or accurate, but they do know that maintenance was demonstrably sub-optimal and that broken safety critical stuff was just not getting fixed, it's at least possible that he entered the loop at a height consistent with his experience of displaying in the Jet Provost (after all he wouldn't have been looking at the altimeter at 200 feet would he), but that everything thereafter was the result of cascading technical issues. If the engine RPM drop was a result of a technical or environmental issue, but then when he checked the altimeter at the top of the loop to see if he had enough height, it told him that he did, then the first time he realised it had all gone wrong was when he was heading for the ground.

Quick question about the focus on his not knowing about the minimum speed for rolling out at the top of the loop... I'm not a pilot, but I've flown as many arcade flight simulators as anybody... I assume that if you arrive at the top of a loop and realise in that moment that if you finish the manoeuvre you are going to end it in a crater, and you further realise that you don't know whether you can roll upright at your current speed without falling out the sky, do you not still have the option of just levelling off and flying away inverted until you can gain some air speed, and wouldn't that be the safe way out if you were a former fighter pilot comfortable with flying inverted all day long?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:13
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Thanks 111.
I just re-read something in the report where it states that the Display Authorisation to carry out low level aerobatics in a Hunter (AND a JP!!) was awarded by a CAA representative watching a display in an RV-8 piston engined home build!!!
There is the second elephant for goodness sake.
By the way, I am ex RAF and 3 tours on FJ.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:18
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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do you not still have the option of just levelling off and flying away inverted until you can gain some air speed, and wouldn't that be the safe way out if you were a former fighter pilot comfortable with flying inverted all day long?
Not a display pilot but IMHO you'd almost always be better off spot rolling ( unloaded) and then pulling out, certainly once you've gone past the horizontal. AFAIK most older military types have a relatively low negative g limit and I suspect those limits and ultimately the structure itself really might not like a hard "push out" from an inverted descent ....but others with more experience might think differently.

Last edited by wiggy; 4th Mar 2017 at 09:36.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:35
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Quick question about the focus on his not knowing about the minimum speed for rolling out at the top of the loop... I'm not a pilot, but I've flown as many arcade flight simulators as anybody... I assume that if you arrive at the top of a loop and realise in that moment that if you finish the manoeuvre you are going to end it in a crater, and you further realise that you don't know whether you can roll upright at your current speed without falling out the sky, do you not still have the option of just levelling off and flying away inverted until you can gain some air speed, and wouldn't that be the safe way out if you were a former fighter pilot comfortable with flying inverted all day long?
As you approach the apex of the loop you should be including a bit more altimeter (bit less accelerometer) in your scan. You should therefore have a very good idea about the gate height call before you actually go over the top. You even have some ability to vary the pull in the 1st/2nd quarter to possibly back-off the pull - you'll get a bit more height at the expense of a lower IAS. If you see you'll not achieve the gate parameters then it is rarely the best course of action to spot roll to S&L at the apex; you'll be very slow and so could well depart. Instead, keep the pull on until the nose is now below the horizon - IAS building - unload the g then roll. Provided you do this all comfortably within the 3rd quarter all will be well.

The basics of the 'escape' is common sense. If not you shouldn't be in the cockpit doing LL aeros!
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:39
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Exactly as "H" said and it becomes a "Cuban 8" and nobody would ever know that wasn't the plan all the time (spectators I mean). Google it.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:45
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The report seems to emphasise the he was not trained in the escape manoeuvre. I would suggest that anyone with experience of turning aircraft upside down or having been in military flying knows what to do when things do not work out. As has been said before in these posts, a UP recovery is all that is needed. AH will have taught those as a JP QFI as part of instrument flying and they are tested, or were in my day, as part of the IRT. So, Wiggy, you are about correct. Roll to the nearest horizon when speed is over a certain value, and if the nose is low, apply full power.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 09:46
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Exactly as "H" said and it becomes a "Cuban 8" and nobody would ever know that wasn't the plan all the time (spectators I mean).
I'm RAF taught, so my Cuban 8 has the half-roll on the way up. We call the one described above as a 1/2 Horizontal (8). I've never known why!
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