Afghan crash Nimrod should never have flown, RAF chief admit

#1
Afghan crash Nimrod should never have flown, RAF chief admits
May 14 2008

A SPY plane which blew up in Afghanistan killing 14 men should not have been cleared to fly, an RAF chief admitted yesterday.

Air Commodore George Baber told the inquest into the deaths of the servicemen on the Nimrod plane that the hazard which caused the explosion should have been tackled earlier.

He revealed it had been identified by the RAF and BAE in 2004, two years before the disaster.
More on the link
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/s...r-have-flown-raf-chief-admits-86908-20416945/
 
#2
Who if any will fall on their swords for this.....no one I suspect
 
#3
I suppose that when Broon and Govt ministers go to war zones for their photo opportunities, they travel by RAF aircraft.
 
#5
box-of-frogs said:
Hindsights a wonderful thing.
You are right. It is quite reasonable to identify a serious fault in anything mechanised and not repair it for two years.
 
#6
rockpile said:
box-of-frogs said:
Hindsights a wonderful thing.
You are right. It is quite reasonable to identify a serious fault in anything mechanised and not repair it for two years.
And the chances of it happening were assessed as 'improbable'.
 
#7
box-of-frogs said:
rockpile said:
box-of-frogs said:
Hindsights a wonderful thing.
You are right. It is quite reasonable to identify a serious fault in anything mechanised and not repair it for two years.
And the chances of it happening were assessed as 'improbable'

.
Would you drive your car with a fuel leak?
 
#9
rockpile said:
box-of-frogs said:
rockpile said:
box-of-frogs said:
Hindsights a wonderful thing.
You are right. It is quite reasonable to identify a serious fault in anything mechanised and not repair it for two years.
And the chances of it happening were assessed as 'improbable'

.
Would you drive your car with a fuel leak?
Probably not, but then again i don't fly in planes that do, nor fix them. Maybe planes leak fuel all the time? I don't know. People far more knowledgeable in plane fixing decided it was improbable that it was a risk. Hence hindsight.
 
#10
box-of-frogs said:
Hindsights a wonderful thing.
...and so is ragging the frame so much you have no time to do deep maintenance whilst reducing the amount of crews that fly it whilst reducing the number of ground engineers to maintain them whilst taking on more responsbilities whilst operating in 2 of the friendliest areas of the world with a limited number of frames that are nearly 50 years old.

It could have happened many times.
 
#11
My original point was that if the people who hold the purse strings and controlled maintenance had to fly in them, then perhaps maintenance would be improved.
 
#12
box-of-frogs said:
rockpile said:
box-of-frogs said:
rockpile said:
box-of-frogs said:
Hindsights a wonderful thing.
You are right. It is quite reasonable to identify a serious fault in anything mechanised and not repair it for two years.
And the chances of it happening were assessed as 'improbable'

.
Would you drive your car with a fuel leak?
Probably not, but then again i don't fly in planes that do, nor fix them. Maybe planes leak fuel all the time? I don't know. People far more knowledgeable in plane fixing decided it was improbable that it was a risk. Hence hindsight.

The PPruNe thread is well woth going through. Couple of examples:

"The testimony (as reported) makes it clear they DID know, in that the hazard was identified and probability of occurrence graded “improbable”. That grading may in hindsight be an error of judgement (although not necessarily so, despite the Air Cdre’s admission) but that doesn’t detract from the inescapable fact that every Risk Matrix in various MoD publications says that “improbable” coupled with a Severity of Harm of “catastrophic” or “critical” equals a safety risk which MUST be reduced to ALARP.

If the Severity of Harm wasn’t classified “catastrophic” or “critical”, but “marginal”, this would produce a Class D and “broadly acceptable” risk. Given the outcome of the hazard was fire and/or explosion, who on earth would classify a fire and/or explosion as “marginal” severity? That’s insane. (Just as CDP’s ruling that airworthiness and safety were optional was insane). "




"The MoD’s attitude towards people with such delegated authority was bizarre. I recall our Director ranting at a Directorate meeting (my only experience of an entire Directorate being gathered together) and shouting at us that we were the “rump end of MoD(PE)” and good riddance, we were being transferred to the RAF. Then the new boss, an Air Cdre, visited us and made it clear he would not tolerate our insubordination and henceforth all technical grades would be subservient to admin grades. That would sort us out. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (as Pete would say). But we weren’t fooled again and when we didn’t comply, he bitched to the AVM who promptly threatened the “worst” offenders with the sack. Note – “Worst” in the sense that these were the people prepared to fight for airworthiness and safety. "
 
#13
I'm sure the admission that the aircraft should never have flown will come as great comfort to those who lost friends or loved ones in the accident.

Another victory to the MOD bean-counters?
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#14
And should never have been passed as airworthy in 1968!

A Nimrod spy plane which crashed in Afghanistan, killing 14 British servicemen, had a serious design flaw, an inquest heard yesterday.

A senior engineer from BAE Systems, the British defence and aerospace firm, said his predecessors, who made the Nimrod some 40 years ago, also failed to fit a fire protection system on a key area of risk on the aircraft.

Nimrod XV230, a 37-year-old aircraft, exploded in mid-air near Kandahar on September 2, 2006, shortly after undergoing air-to-air refuelling.

The tragedy is believed to have been caused by fuel leaking in one of the plane's dry bays, then igniting on contact with a hot air pipe, the inquest into the deaths has heard.

The hearing in Oxford was told yesterday that a section of hot air pipe in XV230's dry bay seven was not lagged to protect it from igniting fuel in the event of a leak from a fuel pipe below it.

Although the hot air pipe is insulated in most parts of the aircraft, it remains uncovered in dry bay seven.

Andrew Walker, the coroner, said: "What we have here amounts to a serious design flaw, because we could have a single point failure (where just one fault could cause a serious problem)."

Martin Breakell, BAE's chief Nimrod engineer, agreed, although he stressed that this scenario would be unlikely.

Mr Breakell, casting his mind back 40 years to the engineer's decision not to lag this section of pipe, added: "Why did he leave it off? What was going through his mind at the time?"

Michael Rawlinson, for 13 of the 14 families, asked why, as a potential fire zone, dry bay seven did not have any fire suppressant system fitted.

Mr Breakell, asked by the coroner if he considered this to be a serious failure, said: "It is a serious failure."

Tom McMichael, head of airworthiness at BAE's Military Air Solutions, said that if the evidence was correct, the Nimrods had, at the time of the tragedy, been flying in an unairworthy state for 37 years.

Mr McMichael said because dry bay seven was potentially a single-point failure area, it should have been fitted with a fire-suppressant system. The fact that it was not meant the aircraft should never have been passed fit to fly, he said.

Mr Walker, pondering on the decisions of those who passed the Nimrod airworthy four decades ago, asked: "Was it not a serious possibility that no-one recognised the risks associated with this aircraft?"

"It is a possibility," replied Mr McMichael.

An "acceptance conference", to decide the Nimrod's airworthiness, took place in August 1968 and it was declared fit to fly.

The coroner said: "So, at the end of the acceptance conference, on the evidence as it stands, this aircraft was not airworthy."

The inquest continues.
The Herald
 
#15
Blogg said:
The PPruNe thread is well woth going through. Couple of examples:

"The testimony (as reported) makes it clear they DID know, in that the hazard was identified and probability of occurrence graded “improbable”. That grading may in hindsight be an error of judgement (although not necessarily so, despite the Air Cdre’s admission) but that doesn’t detract from the inescapable fact that every Risk Matrix in various MoD publications says that “improbable” coupled with a Severity of Harm of “catastrophic” or “critical” equals a safety risk which MUST be reduced to ALARP.

If the Severity of Harm wasn’t classified “catastrophic” or “critical”, but “marginal”, this would produce a Class D and “broadly acceptable” risk. Given the outcome of the hazard was fire and/or explosion, who on earth would classify a fire and/or explosion as “marginal” severity? That’s insane. (Just as CDP’s ruling that airworthiness and safety were optional was insane). "


"The MoD’s attitude towards people with such delegated authority was bizarre. I recall our Director ranting at a Directorate meeting (my only experience of an entire Directorate being gathered together) and shouting at us that we were the “rump end of MoD(PE)” and good riddance, we were being transferred to the RAF. Then the new boss, an Air Cdre, visited us and made it clear he would not tolerate our insubordination and henceforth all technical grades would be subservient to admin grades. That would sort us out. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (as Pete would say). But we weren’t fooled again and when we didn’t comply, he bitched to the AVM who promptly threatened the “worst” offenders with the sack. Note – “Worst” in the sense that these were the people prepared to fight for airworthiness and safety. "
Let's not forget that RAF senior officers quite improperly overruled a BoI conclusion, and blamed pilot error for the Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash, before retiring - and becoming effectively untouchable.

That (taken with this latest news) says something deeply disturbing about the underlying culture of leadership in the RAF, and in the MoD.
 
#16
The MOD has blood on it's hands, simple. Bad enough the dangers of IED's and snipers etc without some bean MOD counter making a calculation and deciding that our lives aren't worth the cost of maintenence.

Don't expect a public inquiry though, they are reserved only for the deaths of those we are fighting.
 
#17
The_Cad said:
The MOD has blood on it's hands, simple. Bad enough the dangers of IED's and snipers etc without some bean MOD counter making a calculation and deciding that our lives aren't worth the cost of maintenence.

Don't expect a public inquiry though, they are reserved only for the deaths of those we are fighting.
Don't make the mistake of thinking bean counters are all civvies - the Chinook verdict, and (unless I'm wildly mistaken) the key decisions around the Nimrod (could be renamed Ronson, in my view) have been taken by uniformed officers, with the sanction of Chief of the Air Staff.

If - like me - you thought Crab Air might have cleaned up its act, after the Crab CDS was compelled to resign, when his Spanish fuck-buddy put their sex-life on the front page of NOTW (to the very public delight of the then Comd 1 (BR) Corps), back in the 90s, then - like me - you are no doubt doubly disillusioned by this latest betrayal.
 
#18
This extract from Prune...

"The MoD’s attitude towards people with such delegated authority was bizarre. I recall our Director ranting at a Directorate meeting (my only experience of an entire Directorate being gathered together) and shouting at us that we were the “rump end of MoD(PE)” and good riddance, we were being transferred to the RAF. Then the new boss, an Air Cdre, visited us and made it clear he would not tolerate our insubordination and henceforth all technical grades would be subservient to admin grades. That would sort us out. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (as Pete would say). But we weren’t fooled again and when we didn’t comply, he bitched to the AVM who promptly threatened the “worst” offenders with the sack. Note – “Worst” in the sense that these were the people prepared to fight for airworthiness and safety. "

...would indicate to me that the people doing the penny-pinching in this case are clearly members of the uniform-wearing component of MOD, I don't recall "AVM" being a civil service grade. Indeed, it would seem that the civvies were the ones who were raising a stink about the unairworthiness issue... 8O
 
#19
MOD bean counters can indeed wear uniform, when I mention blood on their hands, I include all those career servicemen who put their own selfish ambition before the lives of their subordinates, at all levels.

Yes men, get people killed.

These people are politicians in uniform and have no place in a professional organisation.
 
#20
The_Cad said:
These people are politicians in uniform and have no place in a professional organisation.
Exactly so. However, the all pervasive culture of political responses to practical matters (of life and death) will not be eradicated by this Coroner's Court and its findings. MoD will seek to dissimulate and, as is its wont, will do very little except issue a few more cosmetic 'guidances'.

It is high time that the armed services regained what was once a justifiable pride in the quality and standards of their work. Deliberately placing others' lives at risk by one's own actions is morally repugnant. I am simply appalled by the amoral 'management' approach of so many senior ranks.

It's also time for the bean-counters and 'decision-makers' to be held directly and personally liable for their failures to support the fighting man. Sacking a dozen or so at senior level might focus the attention of those remaining. At the very least their names and their decisions should be published.
 

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