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  #1  
Old 05-06-2006, 05:39 AM
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Default RAF pilots 'asked for tank foam'

RAF pilots 'asked for tank foam'

The deaths of 10 UK personnel in Iraq in 2005 could have been avoided if a safety device had been fitted to their Hercules plane, the BBC has learned.
RAF pilots requested that explosive- suppressant foam devices be fitted to fuel tanks two years before the attack in which the men died, RAF papers show.
The Ministry of Defence said none of its planes in Iraq or Afghanistan had foam, but some would be fitted soon.
The foam has been in use in US Hercules aircraft since the Vietnam war.
The attack happened on 30 January, 2005, when a Hercules travelling from Baghdad to Balad was hit by ground-to-air fire which caused an explosion in the right hand wing fuel tank.
A board of inquiry which published its findings in December said the crash was not survivable but did admit that the lack of a fuel tank safety system was one of the factors which could have contributed to the crash.
The crash was the single largest loss of British life in Iraq since military action began in 2003. The explosive-suppressant foam stops fuel tanks from exploding when pierced by bullets. One US plane shot 19 times in Iraq still managed to land safely.
With the continued lack of foam on Hercules planes, campaigners say they will sue ministers for corporate manslaughter if any more lives are lost because of a lack of protective equipment.
An internal RAF document obtained by BBC Radio 4's Today programme suggested requests were made for the explosive-suppressant foam at least as early as 2002.
The document read: "Urgent operational requests for all Hercules aircraft should continue to be actively pursued. Specifically, all aircraft should be fitted with fire suppressants in fuel tanks."
The programme was told one US pilot refused to fly in a British plane because of concerns he had about safety.
Former RAF Hercules pilot Nigel Gilbert, who trained with the pilot killed in the attack, said: "I believe the probability is that the crew would have survived the attack if the aircraft had explosive suppressant foam in the fuel tanks.
"The crew was so good they could have even put it down in a road or put their landing gear up and landed it straight ahead in the desert. It was as flat as a pancake."
A statement from the MoD said the planes facing the highest risk of attack would be fitted with the foam.
Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said: "The board of inquiry into the very sad loss of the Hercules did make a number of recommendations and the MoD are implementing those recommendations."
Michael Moore, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said it was "scandalous" that only some of the planes were to be fitted with the foam, as dangerous deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq went on.
Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said the cost would only be about 275,000 plus 50,000 per aircraft.
"If the American and Australian governments are fully protecting their servicemen and women, it's a disgrace we can't," he said.
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Old 05-06-2006, 06:25 AM
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How many more acts of total stupidity are our decision makers going to display . Oh but I forgot its not them risking their lives is it . Bloody incompetant morons !

It's a simple equation
1. How much does the aircraft cost ?
2. How much does the pilots training cost ?
3. How much grief are the families of the pilots going to endure ,if it isn't fitted ?
4. How much is the safety equipment ?

You don't need to be Einstein to work this out .........
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Old 05-06-2006, 08:37 AM
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i believe in that attack there was an Australian serviceman working on contract with the RAF, so i know the story well.

on the safety questions, i can neither confirm nor deny the presence of foam lining in fuel tanks of Australian aircraft, simply because i do not know. However. my presumtion is to the lack of tank foam, probably because its seen as an unnecessary expense when our aircraft hardly see combat theatres
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzi-solja
i believe in that attack there was an Australian serviceman working on contract with the RAF, so i know the story well.

on the safety questions, i can neither confirm nor deny the presence of foam lining in fuel tanks of Australian aircraft, simply because i do not know. However. my presumtion is to the lack of tank foam, probably because its seen as an unnecessary expense when our aircraft hardly see combat theatres
But when they are called on .Its not alot to ask that they equip our boys with the best and in a proper manner . They cut too many corners . Its not their lives that are at risk ,but they expect others to risk theirs without simple things like body armour or this Hercules foam extinguisher . Bloody typical British incompetance .Nobody is ever to blame are they . The spenders of our taxes are a set of grade A Wankers . They should do a proper job or ***** off !



Thats my rant over with
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Old 05-11-2006, 11:28 PM
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i hear that, although thats only in the UK... not that im in a position to comment of course. Hey, isn't the Blair government losing support lately? I hear in Australian news that theres a good chance he'll be voted out in the next election.

But hey, back to the taxes. Australia just passed its first $1 Trillion budget, which included a 15% boost to the Defence Budget. I'm thinking if they dont have that tank foam yet, they can bloody well afford it now.
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzi-solja
i hear that, although thats only in the UK... not that im in a position to comment of course.
.I'm sure it happens in other countries .The bit that really annoys me about our lot is that they know the plane and crew would have stood a better chance with the tank foam and yet they announce that only some of our Hercules fleet will be fitted with the tank foam .EH?

Quote:
Hey, isn't the Blair government losing support lately? I hear in Australian news that theres a good chance he'll be voted out in the next election
He'll possibly move to oneside before we have chance to kick him out . There is talk of Brown (chancelor) filling his shoes at some point before the next election .

Quote:
But hey, back to the taxes. Australia just passed its first $1 Trillion budget, which included a 15% boost to the Defence Budget. I'm thinking if they dont have that tank foam yet, they can bloody well afford it now.
There seems to be a definate focus in Australian defence spending . They are upgrading alot of equipment at present .
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:27 PM
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Stupidity is universal !
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2006, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Stupidity is universal !
That about knocks the nail on the head... yup, agreed.

You wanna hope theres a focus on defence spending... it was just released to the public last week the 45%-50% of Australian armament are obselete, and therefore... well they wont explode will they.

So i plead to the US, send us some bombs (preferable not delivered by a B-52 from 50,000 feet), because there may be a time when we have to use them against Indonesia.

I smell a war a comin', and it's gonna be over quick if we ain't got no bombs
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