01. Purpose

The purpose of this endeavour is to present evidence that;

  • MoD's systemic failure to implement mandated airworthiness regulations dates to the mid 1980s, not 1998 as claimed by Mr Haddon-Cave QC in his Nimrod Review (2009).  (A claim he knew to be wrong).
  • Senior MoD staffs and Ministers were regularly advised of these failings in the period 1987 - 2005 (i.e. before Nimrod XV230 crashed) yet;

a.       Denied the problems existed, thus misleading Parliament

b.      Refused to take corrective action

Both amounting to Misconduct in a Public Office

 

  • Ministers and the RAF’s Directorate of Air Staff continued to deny the problems existed, even after the XV230 crash
  • By failing to take corrective action, aircrew and passengers' lives were lost to avoidable accidents.
  • Ministers and Inquiries were systematically misled by MoD, by omission and commission, thus perverting the course of justice and in breach of the Civil Service Code and Military Law.
  • The failure of senior MoD staffs, Ministers and the Nimrod Review to take action when notified of these facts not only denied the opportunity to prevent recurrence but wrongly, and knowingly, blamed named individuals while protecting the guilty. 

The evidence presented herein clearly shows MoD's financial "black hole" and systemic airworthiness failings are;

  • Directly linked, and,
  • Came as no surprise to anyone in MoD, Ministers or PUS (the Chief Accounting Officer)

To demonstrate this, detailed historical evidence is required.  This is presented in the form of documents submitted to both the Nimrod and Mull of Kintyre Reviews.  Also, a comprehensive report into the loss of two RN Sea Kings, prepared on behalf of the family of a deceased airman who remain concerned at being lied to by MoD. 


Any reader will quickly ask the question "So why did both Haddon-Cave omit this evidence?"  He will not say, but the inescapable facts are that doing so;

  • Allowed him to blame the wrong people without contradicting himself, and,
  • Served to protect senior staffs who, demonstrably, knew of the failings since 1987 and took no corrective action

This failure to report the verifiable facts ultimately misled Ministers and Parliament and led to the avoidable deaths of aircrew.

 

Basic Principles

In presenting and commenting upon this evidence, certain basic principles are recognised which are enshrined in, for example, the Civil Service Code, which demands Honesty, Integrity, Impartiality and Objectivity.  The Services have equivalent rules, for example the Air Force Act and Queen's Regulations.  Similarly, Parliament has the Ministerial Code, although there is no mechanism whereby a member of the public may complain about MPs/Ministers misleading Parliament, or Civil Servants lying to Ministers.   

  • A practice is misleading by commission if it gives false information or deceives or is likely to deceive the average person, even though the information may be correct.
  • Actions or practices may be misleading by omission, for instance by leaving out important information, giving unclear or ambiguous information.
  • Regarding the requirement to exercise a Duty of Care, if a person asks a reasonable question and is lied to, the fault lies with the liar, not the Duty Holder. 
  • However, if the Duty Holder could be reasonably expected to know he was being misled or had been lied to, and did not, then he is incompetent and negligent.
  • If the Duty Holder is provided with evidence that he was misled or lied to, and takes no action to reconcile conflicting advice, then he is negligent and liable. 
  • "Professional diligence" means the standard of special skill and care that one may reasonably be expected to exercise toward (in this case) aircrew, passengers and those whom the aircraft overflies. 

The evidence presented here clearly demonstrates a systemic breakdown in the application of Professional Diligence and Duty of Care.

The reader is invited to read the attached short paper “It is always wise to start at the beginning” which outlines a few basic principles that apply in MoD.  They are simple and help one understand the root of the systemic failures described herein.


The Author

An overview is important, but to truly understand one must view the problems from different vantage points.  To this end, the author has held positions in all phases of Military procurement, from Concept to Disposal, across multiple technology disciplines on Air, Land and Sea projects.  He has also designed, built and fitted equipment to Military aircraft, and maintained said aircraft.  Latterly, he has given evidence to the Nimrod and Mull of Kintyre Reviews, being the author of the primary airworthiness reports to each body (included here).  He acted as an airworthiness adviser to bereaved families during the Nimrod XV230 and Hercules XV179 inquests, and aftermath. 

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