Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1671123
I’m also with many on here in that I won’t be jumping on the outrage bus to sign this petition. Flt Lts Tapper and Cook were peers of mine as a fellow Aircrew Junior Officer. I too agree that the call of ‘negilence’ was wrong as it could not be proven that something went wrong with the helo - however, in all likelihood they got caught out below Safety Altitude and collected the Mull.
Just why we need to keep all of the original evidence at great expense to the taxpayer is quite beyond me. We lost many good people that day, no-one did it deliberately and we will never prove whether they made the wrong decisions or whether the mighty Wokka went wrong. I believe that the records should be digitised and kept - that is all. Otherwise, we will end up keeping stuff for every tragedy and we’ll soon need a bigger island! (The last bit said in jest, but there are plenty of other tragic events where all of the evidence is not kept anymore - Lockerbie anyone?)
kanga liked this
#1671142
gaznav wrote: at great expense to the taxpayer


It's what National Archives do, I don't see that being at great expense. NA have digitised many of its records but sill hold the originals.

I think there is sufficient doubt at MoD's conduct to warrant ensuring the records are kept. Their Greatest Disgrace by David Hall is worth a read (Kindle £2.99) but perhaps not the most unbias book you will ever read.

Lockerbie anyone?)


Wreckage still in a secure compound in Lincolnshire, paid for by insurance companies. I am sure the paperwork is extant too.
#1671155
Stu B wrote:Have there been any suggestions that all the available records already are, or would be, digitised, and will be kept long-term in that format?

Once records are digitised they are no longer long term because as storage methods change the records have to be transferred to the new medium, if they aren't they are lost as the readers go. I've heard that NASA has a load of data from the 60s and 70s on mag tape for which a reader no longer exists.

Oak Gall ink and parchment is remarkably good, there are records that are hundreds of years old and still perfectly readable.
kanga liked this
#1671179
I’ve signed on the basis that I believe it was a massive case of “abuse of power in public office”, and thus the records should be retained.

In my working life I have developed many many records and archiving systems. In almost all cases
(a) data was culled because the original planners didn’t allow enough money, then some accountant decided that the cost of digitising everything was just too high - and ordered that we could only do what the (insuficient) budget would allow.
(b) the archiving technology soon becomes obsolete, and (hey presto) there is no budget to convert them.
#1671362
@vintage ATCO

Wreckage still in a secure compound in Lincolnshire, paid for by insurance companies. I am sure the paperwork is extant too.


Not that secure. I seem to recall that bits and pieces have also been flogged off in the past - there was a newspaper article about it if I recall correctly where an undercover reporter was buying bits. Also, the fuselage section that was at the AAIB for years has also been taken down. There is still an appeal from the Libyan family and so I guess they still have to keep bits of it? So not the best example - but there are countless fatal accidents where everything is no longer kept.

I have read David Hall’s book, who is also very vocal about things on the Mil Aviation WWrinkLeyFruit forum. Whilst he raises some really excellent points, I am not quite so sure there isn’t such a huge conspiracy that is alleged. People can and do make mistakes and errors of judgement, it is very rare that there is a conspiracy behind them.

Going back to the Mull accident. There are plenty of fatal military aircraft accidents as well as civil aircraft accidents where the causes could not be fully determined - is everyone really proposing we can keep every scrap of evidence just in case there is an unlikely uncovering of new evidence? That is going to be very expensive indeed for very little gain, in my humble opinion. It will never bring back the 29 people that perished on the Mull in what was described as ‘thick foggy conditions’ and we will never know if it was an error of judgement, an issue with the aircraft or something else that caused the accident. I do think it was right to quash the ‘gross negligence’ charges, but I still believe on balance that the task-focus of the mission may have led the crew to feel the need to press on and get the job done. Something many have done before or since but this day something went horribly wrong for the crew of ZD576. I think that the crippling loss of the 25 high-value passengers was a huge embarassment and loss of capability to the military that initially they felt the need to find someone to blame. That has thankfully been proven wrong.
#1671368
Gaz, there are two arguments surrounding the Mull:

1. Were the crew grossly negligent? Can't be proven either way and 17 years of effort overturned the erroneous gross negligence assertion.

2. Was the aircraft illegally put into service? Probably. There's enough evidence to suggest that specified VSOs knowingly did not comply with the airworthiness regulations at the time. That is unfinished business as crimes (may) have been committed.
#1671385
Dave Phillips wrote:Gaz, there are two arguments surrounding the Mull:

1. Were the crew grossly negligent? Can't be proven either way and 17 years of effort overturned the erroneous gross negligence assertion.

2. Was the aircraft illegally put into service? Probably. There's enough evidence to suggest that specified VSOs knowingly did not comply with the airworthiness regulations at the time. That is unfinished business as crimes (may) have been committed.

Do the military abide by what we civilians understand as airworthiness regulations? Not sure they do but if there were technical failures which were a direct cause of the crash, with the wreckage on dry land I'm fairly sure those technical failures would have been uncovered.

But what I have never understood about the event is why any aircrew would continue at low level towards known high ground obscured by fog! Is there anyone here who would do that? It wasn't a tactical flight, just transportation so why not climb to MSA and continue en route? All the more so if there were technical issues to deal with. Not immediately, granted, but up ahead is the highest terrain in Great Britain!

I have long suspected that some senior officer leant on the flight crew that day to give the VIPs down the back a thrill, a low level run up the Great Glen to Inverness and Fort George, 'show 'em what we can do' sort of thing, 'there's a good chap'.