Nimrod MR2

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Airman 1st Class
May 9, 2007
Not entirely sure this shouldn't be in the 'vietnam' section but this is on BBC 1 at 8.30 PM tonight and you overseas chaps can possibly watch it via the weblink or hunting around the BBC website.

Mon 4 Jun, 8:30 pm - 9:00 pm 30mins

On a Wing and a Prayer

Shelley Jofre investigates whether Britain's single biggest loss of military life in over two decades could have been avoided, and reveals a series of potentially-catastrophic faults with the RAF's ageing fleet of spyplanes.

Website: BBC NEWS | Programmes | Panorama

Basically 14 died due to RAF being forced to fly a very, very old aircraft - essentially the DeHavilland Comet. Panorama is blowing the lid on the whys and the consequences.
It's an old plane, a great plane but an old plane. As such they should have been taken out of use (bear in mind I haven't watched the programme) years ago. If new ones had been built to replace them it would be okay because there isn't much better than a Nimrod in it's role but there's no chance of that happening.
Yeah but 'new Nimrod' is years away still.

I guess it wasn't available on-line overseas (sometimes the BBC restricts streaming to UK-only, but I'm sure that's 'getaroundable')

From memory:

It looked grim.

Current availability of a/c is 6 from 15 (and that's 'good' - it was 5). These available a/c's are being tasked with many more missions of much greater duration than before.

Plus they're being diverted from their main role - UK maritime patrol / ASW to do recon over the ME, this involves lots of AAR and the design never envisaged this - hence fuel leaks happening 'quite often'.

There's also concern about metal fatigue due the buffeting experienced in AAR with 2 large a/c's. Slightly concerning words to hear when you're flying a Comet!!

It was suggested the RAF know the issues but are patching up old a/c's and not saying 'no' to taking jobs that they know will lead to serious issues for the safety of crews. They mentioned pilots are aware of the issues and are leaving.

'Panorama' was the BBC's flagship investigative programme but in Blair's Britain it's been cut to 30 mins (from 50) so it never quite got far enough into the story to really expose what was going on.

A scary picture of involvement in big wars on slender resources.

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