*** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster ***

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*** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster ***

#1

Post by happyskipper » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:09 pm

On 27 November 1987, a Boeing 747-244 (Combi) aircraft of South African Airways departed from Taipei bound for Mauritius and then to Johannesburg South Africa.
The Captain was Dawie Uys, an ex Air Force pilot who was more than competent to command the flight in question.

Approximately 2AM (South African time) on Saturday, 28th November 1987, the massive Boeing 747 plunged into the Indian Ocean North East of the Island paradise of Mauritius.  All 159 Crew and passengers on board perished.

What caused the aircraft to go down?

Why have rumours of a cover-up persisted for over 25 years?

Did the Margo Enquiry cover all the bases, or was there deliberate interference from Government?

There are hundreds of questions that still remain unanswered, such as the truth surrounding the "missing" tapes from ZUR (SAA Ops Room), the rumours that the Captain was told to continue the flight to Mauritius, despite having a potentially fatal fire on board.  There are many stories about the cargo that was loaded the previous afternoon - was there "dangerous goods" on board.  Perhaps a highly flammable rocket fuel, destined for the South African war effort in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola?


This is the place to discuss the Helderberg Disaster, in an open forum, where everyone will be asked for their opinion, and any theories are welcome.  However, no personal attacks on posters will be allowed.  Everyone has a right to air their views, no matter how bizarre some may consider these to be.

Consider the implications of finding out the truth behind this tragic event - both for the family and loved ones of the victims, as well as those who have sought the truth, over the years.

I have included some links to a couple of sources, and these should be reviewed, to avoid asking questions that are easily answered by reading up on the facts that are known....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Airways_Flight_295
http://www.withmaliceandforethought.com/html/helderberg.html
http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/media/1998/9810/s1029d.htm
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/New-claims-on-infamous-Helderberg-crash-20110720

I have included a poll, simply to get an idea of the opinions of those who view the site, but may not want to post comments.... please be honest and vote as you truly feel.

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Re: *** SA 295 The helderberg Disaster***

#2

Post by Raffles » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:23 pm

If you read "From Fledgling to Eagle" you will see that one of the problems the SADF faced, particularly the SAAF, was the fact that the Angolans had superior fire power thanks to the Russians. An example was that our Mirages couldn't match the Mig 23s and because of sanctions we couldn't get anything better. I guess things like rocket fuel/missiles etc were in short supply. So obviously they were being brought in via clandestine routes. It wouldn't surprise me in the least although I don't have any proof other than what has already been stated, that weapons and ordinance were on the flight.


Hindsight is what you see from the tail gunner's position. :D

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Re: *** SA 295 The helderberg Disaster***

#3

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:45 pm

From what I have read and seen as "evidence", this whole thing is a cover up. I've read the "South African Airways Flight Engineers Association's report"and have I to concur with that report.

I have personally heard from ex SAA F/E's (3 of them) that dinner was usually served NOT LATER than 1 hour after take off. The same F/E's also all confirmed it was "SAA Standard Practice" to pull the CVR Circuit Breakers after an emergency was dealt with, in order to preserve data (I personally think that is a very good practice). If the "original" tape has a discussion about dinner on it, it means that the CVR CB was pulled previously and had been pushed in again once the second Fire Warning went off. The tape would loop every 30 minutes and a dinner discussion would have been hours before the end of the tape.

Nobody would or could silence a Fire Warning as fast (especially taking into account that this was an actual flight and not a simulator exercise) as the CVR suggests. I would think the Fire Warning went off, the CB pushed back in, and than cancelled. Again, a Fire Waning does not get reset that quickly, it needs confirmation and one would have to overcome unbelief first.

Then we have the "checklist" and opening up the doors. Nowhere on the CVR can I hear that the checklist tells the crew (nor that the crew is) cracking open up the doors (smoke evacuation). Doing so, without confirming the fire is out, would fuel the fire.....

For those who know where to find these files, can I ask to post a link to the following:

CVR/Transcript (including the one with the whole emergency checklist on it) NO ATC transcript please.


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#4

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:14 pm

BTW, where ever has one heard of a Judge calling in people for a meeting into his own house during an investigation????


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#5

Post by happyskipper » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:54 pm

[quote="Moertoe Pilut"]
BTW, where ever has one heard of a Judge calling in people for a meeting into his own house during an investigation????
[/quote]
Yup - I believe that that sort of thing only happens in movies about Mafia Dons and Godfathers - the one's who own the Judges, who then call witnesses in to be "briefed" about what they did (or did not) witness.........



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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#6

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:35 pm

This document clearly shows how professional meetings with Margo must have been...  :nono:


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#7

Post by Propnut » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:17 pm

I have followed this case in the other forum for years.  My own interpretation of this event is the manner in which the whole issue is cloaked in secrecy with only snippets of information released.  Why would people that knew and were willing to talk, not allowed into the commission?  I have a family member who missed that fated flight, due only to a late connecting flight from Yokohama.


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#8

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:24 pm

Even if someone was now to come forward and spill the beans, would he be believed......?


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#9

Post by happyskipper » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:30 pm

Exactly, Moertoe - those who don't want the truth to come out are always willing to jump all over those who come out of the woodpile, so to speak.....

I've seen it time and time again, on other threads, that only when a person gets close to the truth do those who are opposed to it, start their belittling and scornful posts that deride other people's opinions..... what do they have to hide???



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Re: *** SA 295 The helderberg Disaster***

#10

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:21 pm

[quote="Moertoe Pilut"]If the "original" tape has a discussion about dinner on it, it means that the CVR CB was pulled previously and had been pushed in again once the second Fire Warning went off. The tape would loop every 30 minutes and a dinner discussion would have been hours before the end of the tape.[/quote]From the CAA Report page 13:

On the tape of the 30 minute cycle CVR (see paragraph 1.11 p37 below), which had no time injection, much of the first 28 minutes was unintelligible. Sufficient data was, however, recovered to indicate that the conversation was on purely personal topics and did not relate to the flight in anyway.The board acceded to a request by the representative of IFALPA not to publish details of this purely personal conversation.


The Jansen transcript from Meckanic's website does however mention dinner:

11:36 Hierdie ou word nou honger
Ek wens ons kry nou dinner
12:00 Joe's got exactly the same
12:06 This is bloody junk food as well


At 28:31 Fire Alarm bell ( cancelled almost immediately)

28:36 Joe: What's going on now?
28:42 Joe: It came on now afterwards


The dinner part COULD NOT have been on the CVR if the CB was never pulled. It would have been erased 30 minutes later after that conversation, provided of course dinner was served, as everyone I spoke to confirmed to be the norm, at the latest 1 hour into the flight.

The wording used after the "Fire Alarm bell" is now, and that to me seems this or something similar has had happened earlier on in the flight....


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#11

Post by Meckanic » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:05 pm

Just a quick hi, since I am in the middle of programming some new firmware.... A lot of you have probably seen my website and I have gathered a lot of information from some very good and more than credible sources. Feel free to examine all the data and come to your own conclusions. Mine are coloured by direct interaction with military contractors, Armscor, the SADF and of course MI/CI.

One thing on recorded tapes, it is possible to recover the previous (unhearable) 30 minutes on a loop tape and it is possible to even recover the 30 minutes prior to that with some difficulty. The way this is done is you filter the 30 minutes you hear and clean it up as much as possible, then invert and time match the original and the inverted copy, this negates what you can normally hear and leaves the ghost track from the previous recording. Then you amplify the hell out of the ghost track and do the same thing again, sometimes it works on the second iteration, sometimes it doesn't. It all depends on how viable the recording surface is, the efficiency of the erasure during over-recording and if the surface has limited amounts of damage.

When I perform this kind of analysis I have to guess at all of the parameters that might bring the ghost track(s) "forward" so they can be heard. The usual process (when possible) is to take a similar device, in this case a similar CVR and record on it for 90 minutes. You know what you have recorded and what to expect during the analysis, so you can define your parameters to bring as much information forward as possible. Once you that tweaked, then you can attack the original copy for information recovery. Unfortunately, (I)we have none of that original CVR or recording available.

From standard bit level analysis, the CVR copies I have analyzed to date are junk. They have more-than-obvious "splicing marks" that can be seen easily when one performs graphical sample-by-sample analysis. There is also noise deliberately layered on top of the recording to try and hide the splicing. I don't know who did it or which agency, but the splices are there without a doubt.

I still have problems with the "first" fire scenario. I think evey pilot knows that if there is a fire, you try to get it under control and you land as soon as possible. Keeping passengers alive is lot more important than the embarassement of finding military contraband. Of course threats concerning your family's health from up the political food-chain do tend to complicate matters which cou;d lead to a pilot making a bad choice.

I also have a problem with the shoot-down scenario (even though this was originally stated to me by a UN op). Unless SA planned well in advance to take the plane down and positioned refueling planes in the area, a Mirage would not have had the range to make it 200nm east of Mauritius and back. However, the US had aircraft carriers in the area and acting as the "world police" could have taken the Helderberg down. But that being said, I still discount what the UN op told me even though it appears possible, I can't see a pilot killing 159 innocent people and missing one of the most important targets (who was still in Taiwan).  Btw, the 200nm range I base on the toy car and what appears to be an engine component that were photographed by the Sonne SRO team and as well the information provided by a CSIS forensic crash investigator that was lent to me by a former intel op.

Finally, there wasn't enough of the plane recovered from the ocean floor to determine the exact sequence of events. However, based on the debris field locations and location from the known flight path, it does appear the plane made a hard starboard turn NNW at about 90 degrees. That would normally be caused by one of two things, loss of control due to severed electronics/hydraulics or aerodynamic drag. Personally I would go with drag, since it appears Uys recovered somewhat and made a port turn WSW to try and correct his heading. So, drag would probably be caused by one of two things, starboard fuselage or wing damage/engine loss. PR1 containing the questionable materials (which were loaded with US [out of the PRC] and SA military attaches present) was on the starboard side of the plane above/behind the starboard wing. There is also the question of the missing engine which goes back to that 200nm NE of Mauritius?

In addition, evidence of microscopic iron and other particles that appear to be ejecta from "something" like an accelerated fire are embedded in the bulkhead door. What burns and sputters at over 2000 degrees centigarde? Themite and thermate come to mind and mix that with some ammonium perchlorate and you get something that could burn a very large hole in the starboard side of the plane.

It's all speculation based on circumstantial evidence since most of the plane is still on the ocean floor. I would know just as little as anyone else if I wasn't involved with the weapons development programs, or my CO wasn't supposed to be on the plane or the materials for my project with CI weren't on the plane (the project to take down the Migs), etc.

There are too many questions, none of which have been adequately answered or even answered at all. Margo's inquiry and the TRC were both circuses, meaning fluff, slight of hand, smoke and mirrors type entertainment only. Some of the forums out there have literally rabid deniers that maintain the government party line, I don't discuss this catastrophe much anymore because of that but as I get new information it does go up on my website. I will answer questions but play nicely and if anyone has seen Mike S. (retired pilot in Port Elizabeth that was with the South Rhodesian Airforce, pilot/director for Sinesonics/Eclair, his son is a pilot as well for SAA I think) let him know I am looking for him, he's was not well the last time I spoke to him and I am a bit worried about him and his proximity to the former Chief of CI.

That took a little longer to type than I planned, any spelling mistakes, sorry, got to get back to work LOL

Cheers - Meckanic


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#12

Post by Raffles » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:52 pm

Thanks for the input Meckanic!


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#13

Post by Propnut » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:27 am

Good to read some feedback from Meckanic again. 

When I got to the part "There are too many questions, none of which have been adequately answered or even answered at all. Margo's inquiry and the TRC were both circuses, meaning fluff, slight of hand, smoke and mirrors type entertainment only", this was the same impression I have built up over the years when reflecting on this tragic disaster.

Moertoe (reply #7) has also raised a valid point, who would believe them now?  Well the skeptics sure will not, but there are enough of us out there who have the savvy to join the dots and see reason.  As time passes natural attrition will take those who know and should have told to the grave, but I still pray for a breakthrough in plausible evidence coming to light, still in my lifetime.


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#14

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:58 pm

[quote="Meckanic"]I still have problems with the "first" fire scenario. I think evey pilot knows that if there is a fire, you try to get it under control and you land as soon as possible. Keeping passengers alive is lot more important than the embarassement of finding military contraband. Of course threats concerning your family's health from up the political food-chain do tend to complicate matters which cou;d lead to a pilot making a bad choice.
[/quote]

Welcome onboard Meckanic :thumbs:

I do agree with you on that one, one would land asap. However, something isn't right about the tape, as I explained in my post above. I'm not saying that they had an "actual" previous fire, however they could have had a previous fire warning. If this would have been the case, I personally would still land ASAP, even if the situation was dealt with. What would the implications have been if they had decided to land at let say Diego Garcia.....??

I just wonder why the CVR first had to go to SAA.....why not send it straight off to Washington??


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#15

Post by Meckanic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:20 am

[quote="Moertoe Pilut"]

Welcome onboard Meckanic :thumbs:

I do agree with you on that one, one would land asap. However, something isn't right about the tape, as I explained in my post above. I'm not saying that they had an "actual" previous fire, however they could have had a previous fire warning. If this would have been the case, I personally would still land ASAP, even if the situation was dealt with. What would the implications have been if they had decided to land at let say Diego Garcia.....??

I just wonder why the CVR first had to go to SAA.....why not send it straight off to Washington??
[/quote]

Cheers Moertoe! They could not land at Diego Garcia for the same reason they could not land at Mauritius. The one important thing the UN op told me was that if they had of tried to land at Mauritius (if they got there fast enough ahead of the timer), as soon as the cabin "altitude" dropped below around 2000 feet, the chain reaction of fire and subsequent meltdown would have occured. I think his words were (and I am paraphrasing), "If the Helderberg had of approached the airport for landing, that island would be unihabitable for 10,000 years." It struck a chord with me since not a lot of people knew for sure that CI was bringing in highly enriched plutonium from NK for the Atlas (Angola Mig takedown project) and 18kgs would have made quite a mess. Which is because just over 16kgs is enough for critical mass. CI's transport had the rods separated, but a fire would have surely melted all of the lead, lead impregnated foam carriers and the casing shielding allowing the material to combine. The UN op also told me the plane was shot down primarily because of the cargo and what it would do to Mauritius, but as I said, I do have some trouble with that scenario, however there is the missing engine? A heat seaking missle would make short work of an aircraft engine.

But again, all speculation at this point as to whom actually did what (except what I know from direct contact and experience with these clowns), I am quite sure the former Chief of CI will never spill the beans and of course Magnus is dead, there's still Oppenheimer however, but he's part of the problem and the IMF associations. I offered affidavits of everything I know including names and dates concerning the Helderberg plus names, dates, account numbers and kickbacks in trade or cash concerning government, military and utilities personnel to Torie Pretorius (former Scorpions) and we were supposed to meet early June 2007. It was all blocked by the ANC on their end and by CSIS on my end. What do the ANC know about Canada's dirty business I wonder that would have the Canadian government protect the ANC? Or is it just that the ANC and the Canadian government, like most other scumbag politicians have to protect their masters in the IMF and/or higher control circles?

Cheers - Meckanic


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#16

Post by Propnut » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:20 am

This input only strengthens my own suspicions that the implications of whatever was carried as cargo on that flight, was known to individuals in really high circles, way above SAA and the local guys.


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#17

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:39 am

You've lost me there Meckanic, are you talking about that the fire would intensify if the Cabin Alt was to reach 2000' or lower?


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#18

Post by Meckanic » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:24 am

[quote="Moertoe Pilut"]
You've lost me there Meckanic, are you talking about that the fire would intensify if the Cabin Alt was to reach 2000' or lower?
[/quote]

No, the fire would start after a predetermined period of time or during descent towards an airport.

Jorrie said, when he came back to Johannesburg, that there was a bomb on the plane and "they" (he elaborated on "they" as well) had tried to kill him. Later, after Christmas, in early 1988, he had gotten more information the hard way, before water-boarding was fashionable. The bomb was defined as a TDAD, Time Delayed Altimeter Detonator. The way it apparently works, is when the cabin pressure drops to a certain point, the timer starts counting down towards a trigger point. If the cabin pressure rises during descent, a failsafe trigger kicks in to perform the triggering. Say you have a 13 hour flight starting from sea level, the timer would start when the cabin pressure dropped to the equivalent altitude of about 5000 feet and run for say 11 hours. If the plane tries to descend to make an emergency landing in that 11 hour period, when the plane descends an altimeter detector kicks in based on the rise in cabin pressure and forces the trigger. So according to what I was told (after the fact), once the plane took off, it would never come down in one piece. It's a rather devious and nasty way of doing things.

Couple this information with ammonium perchlorate from possibly the PRC plus iron oxide and aluminum oxide (maybe some sulphur), lithium batteries and magnesium tape and one has a rather nasty device for the production of an accelerated fire with of course its own oxygen source that can't be put out by any conventional means. If there was a "first fire" and this stuff was the source, there could have never been a second fire because it would have been literally impossible to put this out in a confined space like an aircraft hold. You'd have trouble putting it out on a field or even under water.

During the fire Uys requested a drop to 14000 feet and was going to slow the plane down and open the doors in a "checklist" bid to evacuate the smoke from the passenger cabin/main level cargo hold. Even though in a normal case this would possibly have been the right thing to do, if the fire was put out and it was just smoke, in this case it was disastrous. It would have flooded the plane with fresh oxygen which would have mixed in the crown of the main level cargo area with all of the possibly flammable gases and caused a flash explosion rupturing the crown and weakening the entire frame while causing additional drag, the plane would have been torn apart. In commercial simulator runs using my speculated scenario for this event, the plane broke up at 8800 feet.

Another thing to consider is that the skin of the plane at 30,000 plus feet moving at 450 knots or so acted like a giant heat-sink. Much of the heat in the crown from the fire would have been dissipated. It is very possible that reducing the speed and reducing the altitude created an additional problem in that, the "heat-sink" wasn't operating as effectively, which allowed the fire to burn through the crown or weaken it enough that during a fresh oxygen (doors open) aided explosion/gas expansion, the crown could have been breached. Drag would have done the rest and again, it would have torn the plane apart.

Cheers - Meckanic


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#19

Post by Meckanic » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:55 am

I just received an email today. I have been a bit worried about a friend of mine in South Africa since I had not heard from him since December 2012. We had been discussing the Helderberg, he was doing a bit of research on his end as well and was making some progress. He knew parts of the story since we worked together and he was trying to get his hands on additional hard evidence in the form of documents and affidavits. He knew many of the “playersâ€


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Re: *** SA 295 The Helderberg Disaster***

#20

Post by Raffles » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:47 am

R.I.P.

:RIP:


Hindsight is what you see from the tail gunner's position. :D

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