Red Arrows Ejection death

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9 years 5 months

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Our local TV news has reported last night, on the inquest of a half informed review on the death at Scampton last year due to the seat firing unexpectedly. This report states that the Arrows were twenty maintenance crew short and that untrained staff were being used!!!!!! The seat fired for no reason????????????? Having fired and put the Pilot to where the parachute could deploy it failed to deploy, the crew member did not seperate from the seat and impacted the ground, with fatal results. Questions need not be asked because those in authority know why this incident happened. Money saved life lost! What does this say about our current state of the armed forces in general??? This man died because of a lax attitude at all levels at Scampton. I have no doubt this post will be gone by breakfast today
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7 years 10 months

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Our local TV news has reported last night, on the inquest of a half informed review on the death at Scampton last year due to the seat firing unexpectedly. This report states that the Arrows were twenty maintenance crew short and that untrained staff were being used!!!!!! The seat fired for no reason????????????? Having fired and put the Pilot to where the parachute could deploy it failed to deploy, the crew member did not seperate from the seat and impacted the ground, with fatal results. Questions need not be asked because those in authority know why this incident happened. Money saved life lost! What does this say about our current state of the armed forces in general??? This man died because of a lax attitude at all levels at Scampton. I have no doubt this post will be gone by breakfast today
Sadly, we are like the Maya civilization: we are pushing the wrong ones down the cliff.
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8 years 4 months

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Just remember, it's not always the Groundcrew's fault. It's just as likely to be an aircrew error as any other explanation. It seems to me , although I may be wrong, that there usually seems to be an attempt to blame the groundcrew, regardless of any other circumstances. Before any body has a go at me, I have experience of working with ejection seats, whilst serving in the RAF between 1977 and 1994, and have seen instances where both AIRCREW and GROUNDCREW errors have caused problems. Cabbage

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Just remember, it's not always the Groundcrew's fault. It's just as likely to be an aircrew error as any other explanation. It seems to me , although I may be wrong, that there usually seems to be an attempt to blame the groundcrew, regardless of any other circumstances. Before any body has a go at me, I have experience of working with ejection seats, whilst serving in the RAF between 1977 and 1994, and have seen instances where both AIRCREW and GROUNDCREW errors have caused problems. Cabbage
I second this with 20 years working on a lot of air-frames from Spitfires to Canberra TT18's Mig's Gnats and Hunters

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14 years 1 month

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It seems to me , although I may be wrong, that there usually seems to be an attempt to blame the groundcrew, regardless of any other circumstances. Before any body has a go at me, I have experience of working with ejection seats, whilst serving in the RAF between 1977 and 1994, and have seen instances where both AIRCREW and GROUNDCREW errors have caused problems.
Ditto, except for the RAF part. I've yet to see an ejection seat fired by itself for no reason, so here goes the aircrew contribution. Other than that, the fact that the parachute didn't deploy points to groundcrew error(s).

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11 years 11 months

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This post is purely to ask a question, so as to understand various pieces of speculation I have heard. I intend no blame or accusation to anyone. How many safe pins does a seat like the one in a hawk have? Is there separate pins for the ejection rocket, seat separation and chute unbundling

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6 years 11 months

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Does anyone know which body is responsible for the investigation into this tragic incident and for preparing a report to assist the Coroner? It's not exactly an air accident is it because it happened on the ground. Or is it?

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14 years 1 month

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How many safe pins does a seat like the one in a hawk have? Is there separate pins for the ejection rocket, seat separation and chute unbundling
AFAIK there's only one safety pin that secure the ejection handle.

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9 years 5 months

Posts: 252

More haste less speed
AFAIK there's only one safety pin that secure the ejection handle.
Scene 1 (Aircrew) Could you imagine, a rapid dash to the flight line, into the cockpit to strap up. Pin removed stowed. No thanks I will do my own harness up, neg g strap/QRF through lower firing handle, harness secured. Checks completed harness pulled tight, lower handle pulled far enough to fire seat!! Scene 2 (Ground crew) New boy in the seat bay, not done much yet but he is OK. Para pack/harness repacked ready to go onto the seat, packed by another newish boy, was the scissors shackle u bolt torqued up OK?? Too tight the shackle will not release, drogue cant be withdrawn, parachute not deployed seat/man are not seperated. This is all supposition as I do not know anyone involved. BUT when cuts are made the economies have consequences!!!!!!!!
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Sadly, we are like the Maya civilization: we are pushing the wrong ones down the cliff.
Very well put. Nic
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14 years 4 months

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Just remember, it's not always the Groundcrew's fault. It's just as likely to be an aircrew error as any other explanation. It seems to me , although I may be wrong, that there usually seems to be an attempt to blame the groundcrew, regardless of any other circumstances. Before any body has a go at me, I have experience of working with ejection seats, whilst serving in the RAF between 1977 and 1994, and have seen instances where both AIRCREW and GROUNDCREW errors have caused problems. Cabbage
Well I don't think that bravo was actually "blaming" the accident on ground crew error, but rather, as was pointed out, to the lax attitude and economies of running the team without the required ressources. Nic

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14 years 1 month

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@bravo24 I won't go that route. There are many things that may have gone wrong for many reasons, that's all we can say so far. But you're right when you say that cuts don't come for free.

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10 years 1 month

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It is possible for the pilot to fire the seat accidentally. It happened to a Harrier Display Pilot in the 80's. Seat was fired on the ground and pilot unfortunately killed. Was the Hawk seat meant to deploy a chute, was it a Zero Zero ejection seat?

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If I'm not mistaken the Hawk is fitted with a Martin Baker Mk10 ejection seat, which is "zero-zero". That's why something obviously went wrong during the ejection sequence.
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Not necessarily, just because the seat is zero zero does not mean there is significant or even fatal risk firing it whilst stationary on the ground. Anybody who works with ejection seats will tell you there is significant risk in their use, zero speed and zero altitude ejections are very marginal in respect of how these seats work for safety. If the pilot is not seated properly with their head head and back firmly back against the seat their is significant risk of injury or death. Also there is little time for the chute to deploy or the seat to clear the pilot, the pilot might survive the ejection but die due to the seat landing on him. There maybe hazards around the aircraft that are fatal for the pilot to land on, their spine might of snapped if they were leant over when the seat fired. It is a horrible subject but just because the seat is zero zero does not ensure the survivability of the pilot it just enhances it in certain circumstances.

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Anybody who works with ejection seats (...)
I did, thank you.
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What I heard on the news (I can't remember which one now was) The Pilot could not remember the pin code and something else in the aircraft) The post mortem also said he had traces of "Night Nurse" in his blood stream. I rather got the impression that that article was trying to blame him. Several more in the same vein here is one from one of the Daily comics. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sean-cunningham-red-arrows-pilot-3006401 Whatever happened we lost a fine pilot RIP Sean Cunningham.
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I did, thank you.
So you understand my point then, we can't just assume there was a problem with the seat. Zero Zero does not mean 100% survivable, it means a chance at survival. As you are apparently an expert having worked on them I would of thought you understand this.

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14 years 1 month

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So you understand my point then, we can't just assume there was a problem with the seat. Zero Zero does not mean 100% survivable, it means a chance at survival.
No I don't get most of your point because parts of it are just wrong. When an aircrew eject within the ejection domain then come back on Earth strapped on his Martin Baker ejection seat, then there must be something wrong with that seat. No more, no less.
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13 years 10 months

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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I have spoken to many people who maintain those seats, I have spoken to people from MB. I have spoken to people from other manufacturers. Just because you are strapped in the seat does not mean there isn't a risk of injury or even death when they are fired, that is why these seats are treated so carefully. If an RAF pilot bangs out three times they are no longer allowed to fly in so equipped aircraft. Even the weight of the person sitting in the seat has a direct infuence on the risk involved, just saying if they are strapped in, the seat must be at fault is absurd.

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9 years 5 months

Posts: 252

xxxxxxxxxxxx I find your comments offensive and they are not aimed at me. I have talked to many people in many trades, I have gained an insight into their occupations which is what it is, an insight.You obviously know more from your chats with a few people about seats than the man you deride who has "Done a bit" If the seat is maintained correctly and operated correctly it will put the occupant under a fully developed parachute from ground level whilst stationary. The seat at Scampton didnt!! Return to post 9 read it, try to understand