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Martin Baker faces prosecution re Red Arrows ejection death.

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  • paul1867
    Registered User

    Martin Baker faces prosecution re Red Arrows ejection death.

    And yes I know not strictly historic but thought it would interest many on here.


    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/ejec...d-pilot-death/
  • trumper
    Rank 5 Registered User

    #2
    Just wondering what would happen if the company decided the blame culture and losses would be too much and pulled out the market and dropped their support ,there would be alot of airframes grounded.

    Comment

    • paul1867
      Registered User

      #3
      It should be born in mind that the prosecution is "in the public interest" and important cases are often brought to get rulings on issues arising.

      Do not forget that somebody tragically lost their life here and the family needs to know what happened and deserve compensation. The question is, compensation from whom? The insurance companies of the various parties involved will all be doing their best to deny liability and will look towards a court decision for resolution.

      Comment

      • pimpernel
        Warbirds, keep em flying

        #4
        I can understand the prosecution of MB if they maintain the seats on a day to day basis and provide the backup needed. But, does the RAF take ownership of the seats while in their aircraft and maintain these seats themselves?

        The parachute failed to open but is this the seat manufacturers fault or the persons/company who last packed/maintained it?

        My understanding of health and safety in the workplace is good and the legislation that goes with it and I believe in aircraft this is different.

        Provisional and use of work equipment regulations covers anything mechanical in the workplace. The supplier must comply that their equipment is fit for purpose in the first place and the workplace must maintain it within the manufacturers specifications while in their ownership.

        Just wondered if it would be the same in this case?
        Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.

        Comment

        • bazv
          olde rigger

          #5
          As far as I am aware - the family settled compensation with MOD a couple of years ago - unless they have changed their mind about the settlement !
          It was a very sad accident - the pilot had an ultra unlucky day.
          Seems a little late in the day for an HSE prosecution of MB,one would have thought it would have happened fairly quickly after the official report was published!will be interesting to see what has prompted this action !

          Comment

          • hampden98
            Rank 5 Registered User

            #6
            Does this mean that all failed ejections are prosecutable?
            Presumably seats have a failure rate?

            Comment

            • smirky
              Rank 5 Registered User

              #7
              I think some of you are on the wrong track here, this is not a case of H&S gone mad nor blame culture.

              As far as I remember there were some pretty shocking failures, including some by MB, revealed at the inquest and there is the needless loss of a pilot's life to account for.

              Comment

              • Tangmere1940
                Andy Saunders

                #8
                I don't know the detail, Pimpernel, but I'd imagine the prosecution would be brought under Section 3(1) of the 1974 Act which places duties on companies such as MB (or individuals) to conduct their business or undertaking in such a way that the health and safety of persons not in their employment is not affected. Ergo: there must be some evidence of failure on the part of MB that gave rise to this accident and thus breached Section 3. Equally, and I don't know, but I suspect the prosecution of Merlin Entertainment today for the Smiler ride accident was brought under exactly the same statutory provision. But its been a long long time since I was professionally involved in such things!
                Last edited by Tangmere1940; 27th September 2016, 19:25.
                Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

                A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

                Comment

                • bazv
                  olde rigger

                  #9
                  Not worth speculating too much until we know any details of any prosecution,as I posted above - it seems to have taken an overlong time for HSE to decide to prosecute MB.
                  The technical investigation after the accident was very thorough and the cause of death was very quickly established (although obviously the cause of ejection took longer to establish).

                  Comment

                  • David Burke
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    #10
                    I think there will always be a degree of speculation as to why the sequence of events happened like it did that day.

                    Comment

                    • Tangmere1940
                      Andy Saunders

                      #11
                      Originally posted by bazv View Post
                      Not worth speculating too much until we know any details of any prosecution,as I posted above - it seems to have taken an overlong time for HSE to decide to prosecute MB.
                      The technical investigation after the accident was very thorough and the cause of death was very quickly established (although obviously the cause of ejection took longer to establish).
                      No, I wasn't speculating. Simply stating the fact that the only part of the HASAW Act 1974 that MB could be prosecuted under would be Section 3.

                      Indeed, a little simple internet ferreting has since shown that this is indeed so.
                      Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

                      A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

                      Comment

                      • TonyT
                        Rank 5 Registered User

                        #12
                        One problem was over the drogue shackle and the possibility it could be over tightened which meant the main chute didn't deploy after the drogue chute, a shouldered bolt could possibly have prevented that, also over the design of the handle that allowed the seat pin to appear to be in but it wasn't locked.

                        Good thread re this on pprune.

                        Comment

                        • J Boyle
                          With malice towards none

                          #13
                          If that's the case it sounds more like maintenance error.
                          If we sue every manufacturer not building foolproof items....
                          There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                          Comment

                          • bazv
                            olde rigger

                            #14
                            Simply stating the fact that the only part of the HASAW Act 1974 that MB could be prosecuted under would be Section 3.
                            Indeed Andy... as stated in the link in Post#1 ; )

                            Yes there is a good thread on PPrune as Tony T posted,I always viewed the Mark 10 seat as a 'fairly' safe seat to work around,I went on to Hawks after 5 years working on Canberras...the Hawk seat was a quantum leap in capability compared to the Mk 2 fitted to the old canberras.
                            But any component which uses explosives and depends on everything working perfectly is occasionally going to be dangerous and one always had to guard against complacency.
                            It will be interesting to see what (if any ) skeletons are in MB's cupboards,but considering how many lives MB seats have saved over the years - a prosecution seems very harsh.

                            Comment

                            • TonyT
                              Rank 5 Registered User

                              #15
                              Originally posted by bazv View Post
                              Indeed Andy... as stated in the link in Post#1 ; )

                              Yes there is a good thread on PPrune as Tony T posted,I always viewed the Mark 10 seat as a 'fairly' safe seat to work around,I went on to Hawks after 5 years working on Canberras...the Hawk seat was a quantum leap in capability compared to the Mk 2 fitted to the old canberras.
                              But any component which uses explosives and depends on everything working perfectly is occasionally going to be dangerous and one always had to guard against complacency.
                              It will be interesting to see what (if any ) skeletons are in MB's cupboards,but considering how many lives MB seats have saved over the years - a prosecution seems very harsh.


                              Totally agree, its a bit like the compensation culture that existed in the US over Aviation, in the end it drove the likes of Cessna to stop producing singles as it was crippling their business, it was only of late when the compensation was capped that the US manufacturers came back to the market, start charging and fining companies that make safety equipment, and they will simply move out of the business, in MB's case, they have saved thousands that wouldn't be here today, for accidental deaths you could probably count on your hands.

                              Comment

                              • WZ862
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                #16
                                Prosecution.

                                It is also possible to prosecute under section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It requires any designer, manufacturer, supplier etc to ensure the product is as safe as reasonably practicable when it is being set, used, cleaned or maintained. The customer should have adequate information about the tests applied and conditions necessary to ensure it will be safe when set, used et al. Any revisions of information should be supplied. This is a summary of section 6.1. The Act applies to aircraft. I suspect that the HSE will be looking at the risks of seat malfunction to any person who might be in the proximity of a seat that bangs unexpectedly, not just aircrew.

                                I recognise that people have opinions and can air them but we will not know the facts until they are in the public domain. The Alton Towers case this week must have been an eye opener to some of us when the full story came out.

                                Comment

                                • WZ862
                                  Rank 5 Registered User

                                  #17
                                  #16 update

                                  I have discovered the information laid by the prosecutor is under section 3. It is possible to include the detail listed in #16 in the case stated presented to the magistrates under a section 3 charge, and later if it is sent up to the Crown Court by the Magistrates, in the Crown Court Indictment. (All cases start in the Magistrates Courts in England and Wales). It has become practice of recent years to combine like facts under one charge to save court time. There is also an parallel thread developing on this topic on pprune.

                                  Comment

                                  • bazv
                                    olde rigger

                                    #18
                                    Just in case anyone else reads this thread - the link that Paul1867 posted in post#1 had the details about the prosecution so nobody else needs to 'discover' that - please read threads and links before posting ; )

                                    Comment

                                    • trumper
                                      Rank 5 Registered User

                                      #19
                                      Keeping it sort on the historic side ,will this impact any current historic airframes currently flying?

                                      Comment

                                      • Mick F
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by trumper View Post
                                        Keeping it sort on the historic side ,will this impact any current historic airframes currently flying?
                                        The RAAF Museum's Ca-27 Avon Sabre has been grounded since March '15. Cartridges life expired, MB had notified of withdrawal of support a few months prior. Operated by Temora Aviation Museum on the RAAF Museum's behalf, the two museums and MB Australia recently trialled three models of current seats for retro fitment. A decision on whether to proceed is pending.

                                        Comment

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