Mull of Kintyre crash Chinook should have been grounded

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. I wonder if the Crabs will stop scapegoating the dead crew now?

    Chinook that crashed into Mull of Kintyre 'should have been grounded'
    A Chinook helicopter crashed killing 29 servicemen on the very day that RAF safety experts requested it should be grounded because of serious mechanical flaws, new evidence has shown.

    By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
    Last Updated: 3:00PM BST 06 Apr 2009
    Previous1 of 2 ImagesNext

    The wreckage of the Chinook Helicopter which crashed on the Mull of Kintyre Photo: PA

    The loss of the aircraft, which was carrying 25 of the top MI5, Army and RUC Special Branch officers combating terrorism in Northern Ireland, has been blamed on the "gross negligence" of the pilots.
    But a document obtained by The Daily Telegraph indicates that those in charge of RAF helicopter safety gave warning that the upgraded HC2 model of the Chinook was not fit for service and that flying operations should "cease immediately".

    The Chinook crashed into the Mull of Kintyre on June 2 1994 after it hit a hillside in thick fog while flown by Flt Lts Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook.
    In the hitherto unseen document, coincidentally written on the same day as the crash, the commanding officer of the Rotary Wing Test Squadron (RWTS) recommended in the "strongest possible terms" that the Air Force should "cease Chinook HC2 operations" until mechanical problems over digital flight systems had been addressed.
    Campaigners, who have fought for years to clear the names of the pilots following a questionable RAF board of inquiry, have now demanded that John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, should annul the inquiry findings of two senior officers.
    While the report said it appreciated that delays in an overhaul would have an impact upon operations the RWTS would be "failing in its primary role of providing the front line with equipment which can not only efficiently carry out the task but to do this safely".
    However, suggested improvements had been "ignored" and until there was "clear, unequivocal and realistic explanation of the faults" further Chinook HC2 flying "shall not be authorized".

    The document, uncovered by the Mull of Kintyre Group, was made public at a time when the RAF has grounded its Nimrod reconnaissance fleet because of safety fears following a crash over Afghanistan that killed 14 servicemen.
    Despite the new evidence the Mr Hutton has refused to either open a new inquiry or even annul the "gross negligence" findings because there are "no arguments advanced to warrant overturning" the original findings he wrote in the letter to the group.
    Dr Michael Powers, QC, spokesman for the Mull of Kintyre group, said the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) position was "unsustainable" because there was "stacks of evidence" which showed mechanical failure could not be ruled out.
    "This Chinook was so unreliable that the very people charged with its safety had reached the conclusion that it was so unsafe that they would not let their test pilots fly it. That is a critical piece of evidence."
    He said the families and the group would be "perfectly happy" with an annulment of the "gross negligence" findings in a move that would avoid the cost of another inquiry.
    The former RAF pilot Omar Malik, representing the group, said it was astonishing that "even this damning document" was not considered as new evidence.
    "The MoD is well aware that the families of the pilots have been well nigh destroyed by their fight for justice for their sons."
    Mr Malik, author of The Grown-Ups' Book of Risk, added that there were "serious questions" over Air Force boards of inquiry where senior officers could "influence findings".
    He said the original verdict was the "equivalent to manslaughter" and if the pilots were living "they would have the right of representation" that would have "rapidly demolished as risible" the reviewing officers' verdict.
    In the original investigation evidence was remarkably scarce because 80 per cent of the aircraft was destroyed. There was no flight data recorder and no cockpit voice recorder.
    The cause of the accident can never be ascertained but at least six technical failures have been identified. In the weeks before the accident the Chinook suffered three mechanical failures.
  2. isnt there lots of conspiracy theories on this anyway? :?
  3. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    As an ex-'crab',I for one have always been of the opinion that the Crew were not a fault.The MOD/Gov at the time passed the buck & a work mates brother,DI Gwilliam,was killed in the crash.
  4. Genuine question.

    Were the crew accused of "gross negligence" or was it put down to "Pilot error" and is this new evidence new?
  5. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Bit of both Jinxy.
    The was experts who said the software on the Wokka was wrong & it was the upgrade was the main cause.
  6. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Didn't a senior test pilot at Odiham speak out in defence of the crew stating pretty much what this is saying the aircraft should have been grounded
  7. Le_addeur_noir

    Le_addeur_noir On ROPs

    Some high-up crab who dished the dirt on the dead pilots,someone called John Day( I can't remember his rank) was knighted and when he left the service that spiv Bliar personally intervened so Sir John could take up his consultancy at British Aerospace immediatly,in contradiction of the rules on such matters.

    IIRC,at the time,the HC.2 Chinook was not officially released for service.
  8. I believe 'Eye Spy' magazine claimed it had evidence that the Chinook was hit by a UAV being tested by the Americans, who promptly showed up and removed what UAV wreckage they could. They further stated that there were bits of UAV at the Chinook crash site.
    The cover-up was to protect the 'special-relationship' as the UAV was and is highly classified.
    Of course it could be a load of sensationalist bollox by a magazine written for tin-foil hat wearing paranoid wierdos.
  9. I only asked, as I read a very long and indepth thing about this, oooom, let me see, must have been at least 2 years ago.

    A first to slate a dead driver though.Go the RAF.

    Pilot error..........hapens alot................."gross negligence"? That is very rare. Or is it?
  10. That would be my best guess. However, I would rather believe that the RAF CoC fecked up. Let's face it, who would want to be responcible for killing the cream of intelegance ops?
  11. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    That's the bugger! Jinxy,it was on a Ch4 Dispatches programme,the same one I found out an Ex Tornado pilot who I also knew (Sqn Ldr Simon 'Budgie' Burgess )was killed when his Hawk T1 crashed due to poor maintainance.
  12. Reading the long running thread on pprune, it seems Hutton is able to claim "no new evidence" because - this is nothing new. The evidence mentioned in the Telegraph relates to the new Mk2 being unfit to fly at that time, which was known by those responsible for the decision to fly, following a series of recommendations from Boscombe Down which were ignored.

    Regarding the UAV theory, I've never heard that one before. But there is a sub-plot in the pprune thread which also mentions US forces being in the vicinity at the time conducting a trial with some new fangled kit.

    Facts are sometimes stranger than fiction. On the face of it, you'd never believe the crab headshed would send their pilots out in an aircraft it knew to be unsafe, when it was merely a VIP jolly to Inverness and alternative transport was available, but they did. But US forces doing some trials on Mull? What's so strange about that?

    One way or another, I'd say Jinxy called it correctly. Someone higher up is having his aarrrsse protected, so the reputation of two pilots means nothing. What's so strange about that?
  13. I never believed the findings, the Chinook is a death trap. there is enough evidence. One crashed right next to me (20 meters) on the VAS (visiting aircraft servicing) apron at Mount pleasant. There was another crash at Odiham just the day before. One wayward rota blade went through the side of the TriStar hanger just above my head and I found myself with fuel swilling over my boots, this with one jet engine running away in the debris nearby and the other a glowing crushed mess. As you can imagine my sphincter was going half a crown a dustbin. Fortunately noone was killed in this crash, two were injured, the previous crash at MP killed three blokes. The aircraft had just been serviced but a new bush in the gearbox was cracked.

    What was I doing there with all those RAF scum? you might ask, I was trying to drum up support for a tri service games night and pi'ss up complete with a Gurka curry. You actually had to persuade the pale blue Wendies to attend.

    I have never seen so many people flap, raise umbrellas and point fingers, as on that day. The only RAF backbone I saw was in the aircrew who crawled out of the wreckage. I was just happy to be alive, I mean, I didn't want to waste that curry.

    Timmy Hangar Chinook crash
  14. I was ar RAF Unpleasant when the Chinook ploughed in in 1987. And what you said about the Chinaman - Wis Nae Mee.