Monday, March 07, 2005

Rapid Update: Hercules

The RAF Board of Inquiry has completed its interim report on the RAF C-130K loss in Iraq, a previous subject of Ranter coverage. So far all we have to go on is the content of a statement to Parliament by Geoff Hoon, which is here. The meat is as follows:
"Based on the evidence currently available, the BOI has ruled out a number of possibilities. These are bird strike, lightning strike, mid-air collision, controlled flight into the ground,[none of which were realistic] wire/obstacle strike, restriction in the aircraft’s flying controls,[not really either] cargo explosion, engine fire, sabotage (including the use of an improvised explosive device)[very interesting] and aircraft fatigue."
So - a fatigue failure was utterly ruled out? Most interesting. That list doesn't really leave any other possibility but hostile action - I wonder if the SA-4 is a runner again? In a way, this is both good and bad news - the C130K fleet isn't about to fall apart in flight, but it also suggests the Iraqi insurgents have developed a more serious threat to aircraft than before.

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