Belfast Telegraph

Fresh probe into RAF Chinook crash

The Government has ordered an independent review of an RAF Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre, Nick Clegg has confirmed.

The Deputy Prime Minister said a "respected lawyer" would lead the inquiry into the 1994 accident which killed all 29 people on board.

There has been continuing concern after the RAF found the two pilots guilty of "gross negligence".

During Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Clegg told Tory MP for North East Hampshire, James Arbuthnot: "I am pleased to be able to confirm that we will be holding an independent review of the evidence on the Mull of Kintyre disaster and I hope the review will be welcomed by the families of those who died in this tragic accident.

"To ensure its complete independence, the review will be conducted by a respected lawyer who is independent of the Government and who has not previously expressed a view on the disaster. The reviewer and the precise terms of reference will be announced soon."

Mr Arbuthnot had asked how the independence of the review would be assured.

He told MPs: "Every inquiry that has been held which has been independent of the Ministry of Defence has found it impossible to attribute negligence to the pilots who died in the crash."

Senior police, Army and MI5 officers were among the dead when the Chinook crashed in thick fog on a remote hillside in June 1994 during a flight from Belfast to Inverness.

An initial RAF inquiry ruled that the pilots, Flight Lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook, were guilty of "gross negligence" for flying too low and too fast.

But campaigners have called for the pilots to be cleared after leaked documents suggested the helicopter was brought down by computer software failures.


From Belfast Telegraph