The Panorama Nimrod report
The Nimrod scandal continues (see many previous blogs, eg here). 14 guys have died and everyone outside the MOD seems to think they're unsafe. Yet Des Browne reckons it's OK to keep them flying.
How can he possibly say that? Apparently, he's reassured by the conclusions and recommendations from the Board of Inquiry. But frankly, despite their bland coded wording, the BOI's conclusions are scary. Their number one conclusion is:
"Age: While the Board considered that the Ministry of Defence had done all that was required of it to cater for the increasing age of the Nimrod, the Board was unable to discount the age of the seals as a possible cause of the increase in leaks from fuel couplings and of the condition of the hot air pipes’ insulation. The Board acknowledged, however, that other factors might have been responsible for their condition."
Translation: while we can't 100% prove that age was the main cause of the crash, we certainly think it was; we're only putting in all the other stuff because you've pressured us into doing so.
Browne's weasely response? Sorry for the deaths, and I'll appoint a QC to run an enquiry. Meanwhile, keep flying.
Not in our name mate. We feel ashamed we're still asking our servicemen to risk their lives in these things. The Nimrods should be grounded and we should buy a bunch of American spy drones soonest. Longer term ee should scrap the disastrous MRA4 and buy another off the shelf American job (see this blog).
And if that means we have to pull back from some operations, then so be it.