Nimrod review reveals failures

#1
From the BBC webpage and no doubt of interest here:

An independent review into a fatal 2006 Nimrod crash has blamed a "failure of culture, leadership and priorities", the defence secretary has told MPs.

The report found the MoD and RAF had allowed safety to suffer in pursuit of financial savings, Bob Ainsworth said.

Fourteen crewmen died when the aircraft blew up after air-to-air refuelling over Afghanistan when leaking fuel made contact with a hot air pipe.

Report author Charles Haddon-Cave QC also criticised two RAF officers.

'Genuinely shocking'

Mr Ainsworth told the Commons they had been moved to staff posts which held no responsibility for safety and the RAF would now consider if any "further action" would be taken against them.

He also said Mr Haddon-Cave, one of Britain's leading aviation law barristers, had been critical of both the Ministry of Defence and its industrial partners at both organisational and individual levels.

Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said the report was a "formidable indictment" and "genuinely shocking", containing information that previous incidents and warning signs had been ignored.

The Ministry of Defence has grounded all Nimrods whose engine-bay hot air ducts had not been replaced.

However, Mr Haddon-Cave found no reason to recommend the grounding of the entire Nimrod MR2 fleet.

Other shortcomings found in the report included:


A military airworthiness system not fit for purpose

A safety case regime which is ineffective and wasteful

A safety culture that has allowed "business" to eclipse airworthiness
A military safety review of the Nimrod fleet, a year before the crash, was a "lamentable job" which missed key dangers
Design flaws introduced at three stages, between 1969 and 1989, played a "crucial part" in the crash
Mr Haddon-Cave has written to the families of the servicemen who died.

Mr Ainsworth said the "rigorous" report would make distressing reading for the relatives of those who died.

"On behalf of the MoD and the Royal Air Force, I would like again to say sorry to all the families who lost loved ones," he said.

"I am sorry for the mistakes that have been made and the lives that have been lost as a result of our failure. Nothing I can say or do will bring these men back."

At the inquest last year into the men's deaths on 2 September 2006, the coroner Andrew Walker called for the entire fleet to be grounded.

Mr Walker said the aircraft had "never been airworthy," but the then Defence Secretary Des Browne, who ordered the review, insisted they were safe to fly.

The MoD has since admitted negligence in relation to the explosion.

Mike Bell, whose brother Gerard died in the crash, told the BBC he wanted senior staff to be named and held to account.

"Certain people caused that aircraft to crash because of their incompetence in not recognising faults and areas of concern with the airworthiness of the Nimrod," he said.

"Had they been doing their jobs properly, or had they handed the task onto people who knew how to do those jobs, the aircraft would not have been at risk and would not have crashed."

Lessons to learn

BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said the review, which began in January, had a broad remit.

It has looked at the airworthiness of the Nimrod MR2 fleet since its introduction into service in 1979.

The 14 men killed on the Nimrod, based at RAF Kinloss, Moray, were:

Flt Lt Steven Johnson, 38, from Collingham, Nottinghamshire, Flt Lt Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, 28, from Bournemouth, Dorset, Flt Lt Gareth Rodney Nicholas, 40, from Redruth, Cornwall, Flt Lt Allan James Squires, 39, from Clatterbridge, Merseyside and Flt Lt Steven Swarbrick, 28, from Liverpool.

Flt Sgt Gary Wayne Andrews, 48, from Tankerton, Kent, Flt Sgt Stephen Beattie, 42, from Dundee, Flt Sgt Gerard Martin Bell, 48, from Newport, Shropshire, and Flt Sgt Adrian Davies, 49, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Sgt Benjamin James Knight, 25, from Bridgwater, Sgt John Joseph Langton, 29,from Liverpool and Sgt Gary Paul Quilliam, 42, from Manchester.

L/Cpl Oliver Simon Dicketts, of the Parachute Regiment, from Wadhurst and Royal Marine Joseph David Windall, 22, from Hazlemere.
 
#2
Just listening to the conference being given by the investigating QC on the radio; boy is he sticking it to MOD,RAF,BAE and Qinetiq, I think every other word is 'failure' :( Even Hawker Siddeley decisions from the 1960's got a mention

.......and the RAF have moved those responsible to other duties according to Aintworth. :x
 
#3
Just saw a bit of that on the news,seems to be very strongly worded in its condemnation....which is very unusual for a government initiated review.

More to the point it identifies 10 individuals as being respsonsible to a greater or lesser degree with incompetence through to misconduct......be bloody nice to see some actual heads roll from this.
 
#5
"Failures"?? That is a very generous term to cover a total cluster fcuk that seems to have come about came about primarily because:

"The MOD suffered a sustained period of deep organisational trauma between 1998 and 2006, beginning with the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. Financial pressures and cuts drove a cascade of multifarious organisational changes, which led to a dilution of the airworthiness regime and culture within the MOD, and distraction from safety and airworthiness issues as the top priority.

There was a shift in culture and priorities in the MOD towards ‘business’ and financial targets, at the expense of functional values such as safety and airworthiness. The Defence Logistics Organisation, in particular, came under huge pressure. Its primary focus became delivering ‘change’ and the ‘change programme’ and achieving the ‘Strategic Goal’ of a 20% reduction in output costs in five years and other financial savings. Airworthiness was a victim of the process started by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review."


Result?


"the Nimrod Safety Case was a lamentable job from start to finish. It was riddled with errors. It missed the key dangers. Its production is a story of incompetence, complacency, and cynicism."


"The Nimrod Safety Case process was fatally undermined by a general malaise: a widespread assumption by those involved that the Nimrod was ‘safe anyway’ (because it had successfully flown for 30 years) and the task of drawing up the Safety Case became essentially a paperwork and ‘tickbox’ exercise."

"The shortcomings in the current airworthiness system in the MOD are manifold and include

(1) a failure to adhere to basic Principles;
(2) a Military Airworthiness System that is not fit for purpose;
(3) a Safety Case regime which is ineffective and wasteful;
(4) an inadequate appreciation of the needs of Aged Aircraft;
(5) a series of weaknesses in the area of Personnel;
(6) an unsatisfactory relationship between the MOD and Industry;
(7) an unacceptable Procurement process leading to serial delays and cost-overruns; and
(8) a Safety Culture that has allowed ‘business’ to eclipse Airworthiness"



"In this Report, I specifically name, and criticise, key organisations and individuals who bear a share of responsibility for the loss of XV230.

I name individuals whose conduct, in my view, fell well below the standards which might reasonably have been expected of them at the time, given their rank, roles and responsibilities, such that, in my view, they should be held personally to account."


We shall see if that gets to be a witch hunt to produce some headlines that distract from the real problem

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/28_10_09_nimrod.pdf
 
#6
bobthedog said:
The biggest failure is that of the Chancellor at the time, who forced cuts on the MOD which were the initiator for the lax maintenance regime.
Quite. Brown ranted at PMQ's earlier that Defence was being adequately funded and minutes later at the QC's press conference he clearly states the issue is penny pinching and underfunding!

The man lies like a cheap Turkish watch and this should hopefully make for some interesting articles tomorrow. "Selling" Defence cuts is looking more and more difficult for Labour.

Ainsworth did look genuinely humble when he apologised in the House. He might be thick as mince but I'm starting to think he's not fundamentally a bad bloke.
 
#7
:roll: 500+ pages. I'm flicking through it, impression so far is that the document strikes me as thorough and fearless. See how far up the CoC the mud sticks...

Edited to add...

The MOD suffered a sustained period of deep organisational trauma between 1998 and 2006 due to the imposition of unending cuts and change, which led to a dilution of its safety and airworthiness
regime and culture and distraction from airworthiness as the top priority

Responsibility
17. Two very senior figures bear particular responsibility for the episode of cuts, change, dilution and distraction and its consequences outlined above, and are the subject of significant criticism in their roles as Chief of Defence Logistics (CDL) during the key periods:
􀁳 General Sir Sam Cowan (CDL from 1 April 1999 to 31 August 2002)
􀁳 Air Chief Marshal Sir Malcolm Pledger (CDL from 2 September 2002 to 31 December 2004)

Conclusion
18. Airworthiness in the MOD became a casualty of the process of cuts, change, dilution and distraction commenced by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review.
Ouch! 8O Kick in the b@lls of the government downwards.

But it can never hurt anywhere near as much as the pain endured by the Nimrod families and all those who have suffered bereavement or injury through cutbacks and inadequacies.

This is a long overdue wake up call, and a terminal blow to the government's argument that defence is adequatley supported.
 
#8
If it wasn't for cost saving measures - do we really think that we'd be flying a fleet that is over 50 years old

The Nimrod is based on the Comet airframe that the commercial airlines stopped using in the 1960's ffs
 
#9
I remember when I was first posted to Kinloss around 85,the's a small panel at head height in front of the Port wing which houses the controls for the bomb bay doors.
This panel is about the size of a video tape.Anyway,when one of the jets was about to take off & spooling up the engines,thundering down the runway,the panel came off & went down the intake,wrecking the engine.The pilot declared a State 1 energency & flew round & landed again.
It turned out that one of the Dzues fastners that holds the panel closed had failed.
 
#10
Straight jacket, have a little look at this and it may explain why Bob was looking "umble"
"....“Bob Ainsworth, the new defence secretary, told MPs and the families of 14 men killed in an RAF Nimrod spy plane that the aircraft had been made safe despite being warned it was impossible to be sure this was true.

Ainsworth repeatedly said defence consultants QinetiQ agreed the aircraft was safe to fly, despite the company warning that “no statement can, or has been made” to this effect.......”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6545684.ece
 
#11
bobthedog said:
The biggest failure is that of the Chancellor at the time, who forced cuts on the MOD which were the initiator for the lax maintenance regime.

That dates back decades…

The Comet, and that's what the Nimrod really is, is a museum piece, the fact we're still flying these antiques from the very dawn of the jet age sixty years after they first flew is symptomatic of a deep malaise at the very heart of Britain's defence.

It's as bad as if we'd still had Sopwith Camels in service during the Falklands War
 
#12
Ainsworth has just "acknowledged a catalogue of catastrophic failure" on BBC News and announced that he was not "surprised" by the report's findings.

On the issue of Labour's management of the whole subject of defence, he said: "The defence budget has grown and we are currently putting £3bn - what the report exposes in not just an issue of money - the pursuit of efficiency, which everyone needs to do - has managed to overtake the need for airworthiness. That is clearly wrong and unaccepatble"

When asked if people would vote Labour after considering their record on this, he said:

"Our record is a steady growth in funds - but management processes at the MOD are far, far from ideal" adding that "we knew there were substantial issues regarding procurement".

I suppose we should applaud his 'honesty' but I can't remember a bigger admission of utter, disastrous failure ever.

It's beyond disastrous for the government, who were responsible for the funding cuts that led to this.

Ainsworth looked like a defeated man, longing to get away from the limelight on this. This report will help him on his way, Inshallah.
 
#13
Oil_Slick said:
bobthedog said:
The biggest failure is that of the Chancellor at the time, who forced cuts on the MOD which were the initiator for the lax maintenance regime.

That dates back decades…

The Comet, and that's what the Nimrod really is, is a museum piece, the fact we're still flying these antiques from the very dawn of the jet age sixty years after they first flew is symptomatic of a deep malaise at the very heart of Britain's defence.

It's as bad as if we'd still had Sopwith Camels in service during the Falklands War
So why does the report specifically quote the date of 1998 as the onset of the financial constraints which led to the crash?
 
#14
old_n_fat said:
Straight jacket, have a little look at this and it may explain why Bob was looking "umble"
"....“Bob Ainsworth, the new defence secretary, told MPs and the families of 14 men killed in an RAF Nimrod spy plane that the aircraft had been made safe despite being warned it was impossible to be sure this was true.

Ainsworth repeatedly said defence consultants QinetiQ agreed the aircraft was safe to fly, despite the company warning that “no statement can, or has been made” to this effect.......”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6545684.ece
Thanks for that O 'n F, I withdraw my previous comment.

If the press have got anything at all about them then tomorrow should be a good day for the cause of Defence.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#15
Back to the two RAF Officers named in the report, and subsequenlty "moved on" according to Mr Ainsworth.

Yes - both were moved - one on promotion! He is now a 1* Air Commodore.

You couldn't make it up, you really couldn't.
 
#16
Oil Slick its in the report, dates back to the SDR of 1998, when cutbacks were implemented by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

The muck is being spread high and wide, and they are trying to keep the governmental blame out of the news, but it firmly states the comment above, and the man at the top of the financial tree was then a certain Gordon Brown MP. Defence spending was cut when it didnt need to be (remember in those days we were just booming, no bust cos Gordon had abolished it).
 
#17
OldSnowy said:
Back to the two RAF Officers named in the report, and subsequenlty "moved on" according to Mr Ainsworth.

Yes - both were moved - one on promotion! He is now a 1* Air Commodore.

You couldn't make it up, you really couldn't.
Quite incredible. I also hope the press will look into Dame Pauline Neville-Jones's role at QinetiQ.
 
#18
I hope that the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this can find some kind of closure and can start grieving.

I hope that people aren't hung out to dry as scapegoats whilst others who are guilty in this shocking and disgraceful episode try to worm their way out of this. Every single person involved from Des Browne (who said the fleet was ok to fly) as the Defence Secretary to the most junior admin staff who were complicit in these events should be held accountable.
 
#19
BAE get it in the neck.

Criticisms of BAE Systems
12. BAE Systems bears substantial responsibility for the failure of the Nimrod Safety Case. Phases 1
and 2 were poorly planned, poorly managed and poorly executed, work was rushed and
corners were cut. The end product was seriously defective.
There was a big hole in its analysis: BAE
Systems had left 40% of the hazards “Open” and 30% “Unclassified”. The work was, in any event,
riddled with errors of fact, analysis and risk categorisation. The critical catastrophic fire hazard
relating to the Cross-Feed/SCP duct (Hazard H73) had not been properly assessed and, in fact, was
one of those left “Open” and “Unclassified”. Further, at handover meetings in 2004, BAE Systems
gave the misleading impression to the Nimrod IPT and QinetiQ that the task had been properly
completed and could be signed off and deliberately did not disclose to its customer the scale of
the hazards it had left “Open” and “Unclassified” (many with only vague recommendations that
‘further work’ was required). The Nimrod IPT and QinetiQ representatives were lulled into a false
sense of security. These matters raised question marks about the prevailing ethical culture at BAE
Systems
 
#20
bobthedog said:
Oil Slick its in the report, dates back to the SDR of 1998, when cutbacks were implemented by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

The muck is being spread high and wide, and they are trying to keep the governmental blame out of the news, but it firmly states the comment above, and the man at the top of the financial tree was then a certain Gordon Brown MP. Defence spending was cut when it didnt need to be (remember in those days we were just booming, no bust cos Gordon had abolished it).

The refueling probes were jury rigged on the Nimrods back in 1982…


There were a wartime 'quick fix' that was never turned into a proper fix.


ETA: I hate Broon as much as the next man, but this is a design problem that way predates him.
He's still a worthless cvnt though.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
JoeCivvie Current Affairs, News and Analysis 0
AndyPipkin The Intelligence Cell 16
Ralf Aviation 23

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads