Chinook crash could have been caused by software problems

#2
The MOD telling the truth, ha,ha,ha,ha get real
 
#3
Damn right! Not sure what happened? Blame the driver! :evil:
Yes, I am mad at them and yes, I do have personal experience!
 
#4
It was sad enough as an event, without the pitiful concerted CYA at the MoD/DPA which resulted in the defamation of the aircrew.
 
#5
Yep. Rifkind was pretty scathing on TV this morning. Nice that he pointed the finger at MoD and 'Air-marshalls'. Who did he have in mind, I wonder?
 
#6
The Chinooks regulary used to fly over my house on the way out to the mainland,the Aircrew were used as scapegoats by gutless politico's & officers to afraid to admit the truth.A work collegues brother was killed in that crash.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
My understanding is that the original BoI did NOT blame the pilots but was overruled at a higher level. I have been led to believe that that higher level was the same one that originally insisted the a/c was flyable. I have also been led to understand that in fact it was against RAF regulations to blame the dead pilots in this case.

I would be grateful for correction from any knowledgable person closer to the case.
 
#8
Blame for the crash aside, whoever let 25 top intelligence experts travel on the same Chinook, in bad weather, needs a good kicking.
 
#10
Considering the time that has passed, I would have expected a more definitive outcome. Expressions such as "may have" or "could have" shouldn't now be in any sentence when describing this awfull tragedy.
God, 29 lives sacrificed to protect a commercial relationship. The best that the RAF can come up with is to blame the crew. I hope the ones who sat on that board of decision making can look at themselves in the shaving mirror.
 
#11
Alec_Lomas said:
Considering the time that has passed, I would have expected a more definitive outcome. Expressions such as "may have" or "could have" shouldn't now be in any sentence when describing this awfull tragedy.
God, 29 lives sacrificed to protect a commercial relationship. The best that the RAF can come up with is to blame the crew. I hope the ones who sat on that board of decision making can look at themselves in the shaving mirror.
Do they actually shave?
 
#12
Computer Weekly have followed this for the last 15 years, and have authored several detailed reports. Below is an excerpt from their latest comment. There is also a link at the bottom of this post, to the report published by CW back in 1999.

webpage

IT experts at Boscombe Down were tasked with checking the Chinook's Mk2's Fadec software as part of the tests to see whether the helicopter was airworthy. After an assessment of the Fadec software the Superintendent of Engineering Systems said that the density of deficiencies was so high that the software was unintelligible.

He said of the anomalies in both the software code and documentation: "One of these, the reliance on an undocumented and unproved feature of the processor, is considered positively dangerous".

He added that the software "falls significantly short of the standard required and expected for a safety-critical system No assurance can be given concerning the fidelity of the software and hence the pilot's control of the engine (s) through Fadec cannot be assured".

The Superintendent's memo also said that a hazard analysis by Boeing, the Chinook's manufacturer, had categorised the Fadec software as "safety-critical" because "any malfunctions or design errors could have catastrophic effects".

The Fadec controlled the flow of fuel to the Chinook's two jet engines - and it could not be overridden by pilots.

The Superintendent said: "The standard of engineering is demonstrably not that to be expected of software intended for the purpose of controlling a safety critical function in an aircraft".

The Superintendent's memo was given extra weight when, on 12 October 1993, Boscombe Down formally reported on the memo's contents to the Ministry of Defence in London.

That October letter, which was addressed to the MoD's Director Helicopters Projects, said that Boscombe Down had been unable to recommend Controller Aircraft Release [CAR].

Without the CAR, the Chinook Mk2 could not be released into operational service. Boscombe Down wanted the rewriting of the Fadec software "with some urgency".

It was "impractical" to revert to the helicopter's manual hydro-mechanical system used in the Mk1 helicopter, said the letter.

But the RAF discounted the concerns of Boscombe Down and decided anyway to give the Chinook Mk2 a Controller Aircraft Release. The Chinook went into operational service in early 1994, without a rewriting of the software or corrections to anomalies in the code.

Boscombe Down's concerns proved prophetic. In the months before the crash on the Mull of Kintyre pilots of the Chinook Mk2 reported a series of faults, including engine failure, which were later traced back to Fadec problems.

But Fadec faults were corrected after the crash on the Mull.

Campaigners for the families of the dead pilots say that the Chinook was rushed into service, safety concerns were ignored, and the systemic flaws in airworthiness procedures hidden by the blaming of the pilots.
For anyone who wants to read the CW report published in 1999 - click here.
 
#13
There was strong suspicion, after the crash, that many of those on board were making calls with their mobiles at one time, sending out a stream of signals that could have interfered with the on-board avionics....was this view ever investigated?
 
#14
This is an extremely unfortunate event to have occured and whilst I'm sure its not particularly relevant, why does it take 15 years for something like this to come to light?
 
#15
RedCoat2009 said:
There was strong suspicion, after the crash, that many of those on board were making calls with their mobiles at one time, sending out a stream of signals that could have interfered with the on-board avionics....was this view ever investigated?
They must have had fecking good ears to listen to someone on a mobile in the back of a chinook.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Some years ago the an RAF dropped a GR7 Harrier into the Med as he came into land on a carrier (one of the first such deployments). Speaking to one of the other pilots the day after the event he confidently predicted that the BOI would find "pilot error" as accidents were always blamed on the pilot (in this case a quite senior officer with lots of flying hours). Subsequently it turned out that the GR7 didn't have sufficient water to squirt into the engine intakes on landing in hot weather and the a/c had lost power and ditched. nevertheless, the pilot was found to be at fault because he should have known that and took to long to move over the flight deck.

No surprises that the pilots in the Mull disaster took the blame - its easier to blame the dead than the living.
 
#19
box-of-frogs said:
RedCoat2009 said:
There was strong suspicion, after the crash, that many of those on board were making calls with their mobiles at one time, sending out a stream of signals that could have interfered with the on-board avionics....was this view ever investigated?
They must have had fecking good ears to listen to someone on a mobile in the back of a chinook.
Did you not know you can send a text with a mobile telephone? Amazing what these things can do. My neighbour has one that sends email messages. Incredible! You should check these machines out.
 
#20
RedCoat2009 said:
box-of-frogs said:
RedCoat2009 said:
There was strong suspicion, after the crash, that many of those on board were making calls with their mobiles at one time, sending out a stream of signals that could have interfered with the on-board avionics....was this view ever investigated?
They must have had fecking good ears to listen to someone on a mobile in the back of a chinook.
Did you not know you can send a text with a mobile telephone? Amazing what these things can do. My neighbour has one that sends email messages. Incredible! You should check these machines out.
How many phones had SMS in 1994, Lofty?
 

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