Saturday, May 24, 2008

Can we ban the RAF Nimrod from British Airspace?

The Press and Journal has the following to say after the verdict of the Coroner into the the crash of the RAF Nimrod XV230 yesterday.

The Government’s record of looking after its own forces in Afghanistan and Iraq has been called into question repeatedly, but the deaths of 14 Nimrod crew was its darkest moment.

Ministers last night refused to bow to pressure from bereaved families and the coroner who called for the entire Nimrod fleet of aircraft to be grounded.

The Government claimed that modifications to operational procedures now made the aircraft safe to fly. This might well carry a hollow ring to it given the Ministry of Defence’s previous record of looking after Nimrods, which was condemned by both the inquest and an RAF board of inquiry. Had new corporate manslaughter laws been retrospective in nature the Government could easily be facing extremely damaging and expensive legal action.

Critics will suspect that the Government is taking a huge gamble that its new procedures will work.

If there is any further loss of life by Nimrod crews for similar reasons, there will be a clamour for manslaughter charges to be brought.

I can only agree and perhaps go further and ask if we can ban this plane from British Airspace?

If the Coroner's verdict is that it should be grounded surely the Civil authorities can ban it from our airspace and particularly from landing and taking off from such airports as Aberdeen.

I realise that the Nimrod is of great use in Afghanistan but surely other countries could fill this position temporarily whilst the Nimrod if properly checke and updated to ensure it is safe to take to the skies again.

Is Government taking a gamble? - Press & Journal

Friday, May 23, 2008

Families react to Nimrod verdict - Bob Ainsworth a Disgrace

I'll let the families of those killed on-board Nimrod XV230 do the talking.

Follow the link to see what they think of the Coroners verdict and also the disgrace of a statement by Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth.

BBC NEWS | UK | Families react to Nimrod verdict

Coroner for XV230 says Nimrod fleet was 'not airworthy'

According to the Coroner

The RAF's entire Nimrod fleet has "never been airworthy",

For more information on Nimrod XV230 see here

BBC NEWS | UK | Nimrod fleet was 'not airworthy'

Appalling admission about doomed plane - Nimrod XV230

According to the "Press and Journal"

IT WOULD be wrong to attempt to prejudge the outcome of an inquest into the deaths of 14 RAF Kinloss crew in a Nimrod crash in Afghanistan, but the evidence which is unfolding will take a lot of explaining.

Statements by experts are becoming more incredible by the day. Yesterday, aircraft manufacturer BAE Systems’ chief engineer admitted, under intense questioning, that the doomed plane, the 37-year-old Nimrod XV230, was not airworthy when it went on active operations against the Taliban.

It is little wonder that this appalling admission brought gasps of horror at the inquest from bereaved relatives of the crew.

There have long been doubts about whether or not this illustrious, but ageing, fleet of aircraft was fit to perform at the required standard.

A previous RAF board of inquiry into the tragedy delivered a damning condemnation of maintenance and safety procedures. The inquest might easily follow suit, with the coroner having a number of possible recommendations at his disposal.

If we sidestep the legal niceties for the moment, the average member of the public will be left wondering how on earth the system running one of the most revered military organisations in the world was allowed to send this crew on what amounted to a suicide mission. One wonders whether or not they knew when they took off that they were in more danger from their own equipment than the enemy.

Whatever the coroner’s recommendations might be, the public must be reassured that current and future aircrew are never placed in the same position.

All I can say is my father would have been deeply distressed to hear what is happening to his beloved RAF.

Appalling admission about doomed plane - Press & Journal

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Colours of the Rainbow

Last night the reds beat the blues to win, tonight the reds beat the blues again but the greens won, and early tomorrow the blues will do, what they haven't done for over 25 years, and will not only beat but humiliate the reds , humble the yellows and, hopefully, help to bring about the downfall of the Brown one.