RAF Nimrod XV230 suffered a catastrophic mid-air fire whilst on a routine mission over Helmand Province in Afghanistan on 2 September 2006. This led to the total loss of the aircraft and the death of all 14 service personnel on board. It was the biggest single loss of life of British service personnel in one incident since the Falklands War. The cause was not enemy fire, but leaking fuel being ignited by an exposed hot cross-feed pipe. It was a pure technical failure. It was an accident waiting to happen. The underlying causes were organisational and managerial. There are deep lessons to be learned by all organisations from this incident.
Sir Charles Haddon-Cave was appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence to conduct The Nimrod Review into this loss in 2007; and this Review was the theme for his talk at the Air Law Group's Beaumont Named Lecture on 19 November 2014.
Sir Charles addressed the fully booked lecture theatre about the deep lessons to be learned by all organisations from this incident:
• A Failure of Leadership, Culture and Priorities
• Seven Steps to the Loss of Nimrod (over 30 years)
• Seven Themes of Nimrod
• Seven Pillars of Nimrod
• The Four LIPS Principles (Leadership, Independence, People and Simplicity)
• The Four Classic Cultures (Flexible, Just, Learning and Reporting Cultures)
• The Vital Fifth Culture (A Questioning Culture)
• The Four States of Man (Risk Ignorant, Cavalier, Averse and Sensible)
• Inconvenient Truths
• The Importance of Simplicity
View Sir Charles' presentation slides here.
This Named Lecture honours Major Kenneth Beaumont CBE, DSO, MA (Oxon), AFRAeS. Beaumont was the UK’s most prominent name in air law in his age.
About the speaker:
The Hon. Sir Charles Haddon-Cave FRAeS, High Court Judge, Judiciary of England and Wales
The Hon. Sir Charles Haddon-Cave was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 1978 and the Hong Kong Bar in 1980. He practised at the Commercial Bar from 1980-2011, being appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1999 and Bencher of Gray’s Inn in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence to conduct The Nimrod Review into the loss of RAF Nimrod MR2 aircraft XV230 in Afghanistan.
Sir Charles is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is a past Chairman of the Society’s Air Law Group as well as a past Chairman of Advocacy Training Council of the Bar. He is a trustee of Access to Justice Foundation, Master of Education at The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn and Chairman of the International Committee of the Judicial College. In 2011 Sir Charles was appointed one of Her Majesty’s Justices and assigned to Queen’s Bench Division. He is Presiding Judge on the Midland Circuit. Whilst at the Bar, Sir Charles appeared in major aviation and marine disaster cases such as Manchester Air Disaster, Herald of Free Enterprise, Braer Disaster, Kegworth Aircrash, Knight Air Crash, BP Trent and Marchioness Disaster.