What puzzles me most about this so-called dilemma is that it is being wrestled with fifteen years after 911. Heather Penney and her CO reached their conclusion quite quickly.Apologies in advance if this is seen as a slight derailing, but it concerns fighter pilots and could be a problem for RAF pilots in the future.
Last week on German TV there was a controversial film and consequently a TV talk show concerning the shooting down of a Lufthansa jet by a Luftwaffe Typhoon. I didn't see all of the film but the bones of it are a story concerning a hi-jacking of a Lufthansa jet with 147 (?) people on board and the terrorists threatening to fly into a football stadium with approx 70,000 people inside. Now the German Supreme Court has already decreed that shooting down civvy jets is not on, the interceptor is supposed to somehow force the airliner off course (WTF?) or put a burst of cannon fire across the airliners nose (even bigger WTF?) The pilot, a maj. Koch had already been ordered not to shoot down the airliner but faced with what was in essence a lose/lose situation he did shoot down the airliner. At the subsequent murder trial the public prosecutor was determined to have Kochs guts for garters and did her best to drive him into a corner. The not guilty verdict came as something of a surprise as the facts were quite clear, but the judge explained at length his decision and that of the lay judges. Even more interesting was the view of the public, 80% of the viewers who were asked said not guilty, this was echoed by results in Austria and Switzerland.
In the TV talk show a theologist hit the nail right on the head when she said that the pilot was not faced with a decision between right and wrong, it was a decision between bad and worse. If killing 147 crew, passengers and terrorists was bad, then letting the airliner crash into the full football stadium was arguably a lot worse.
That's the situation in Germany, but how different would it be in GB if at all?
When people join the RAF to fly, in particular to fly fast jets I doubt that any of them have such things in mind at the time. That comes later.