Friday, July 11, 2014

Collision Warning System for RAF fighters.

No electronic counter measures, no ejection seats,  but collision warning is seen as the needed safety improvement on RAF Tornado fighters.  The safety people (Military Aviation Authority) are bashing the Ministry of Defense for stalling the installation of collision warning systems on the aging Tornado fleet.  RAF kicked this off with a dreadful mid air collision between two Tornadoes in 2011.  Three of the four air crew were killed, the one survivor cannot remember the accident.  The accident occurred at 900 feet altitude over the Moray Firth. 
   Surprising statistic comes out.  RAF has lost 42 aircraft to mid air collisions between 1979 and 2001.  That's like two a year.  In six years in USAF I don't remember a single mid air collision.  We lost aircraft, landing accidents, enemy action, mechanical failure, head up and locked, and others.  I don't remember a single mid air collision story. 
   The collision warning system being pushed is a "co operative" system.  It only works if both aircraft have the equipment.  If the other guy doesn't have the gear, your warning system won't warn against him.  RAF is planning to equip all the Tornado fighters, even though they are scheduled for retirement in five years.  Which seems odd.  I would think a Tornado's chances of hitting a civilian aircraft as much higher than it's odds of hitting another RAF aircraft, on the thinking that there are more civilian aircraft in the air than jet fighters.

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