Kintyre Chinook Pilots may yet be cleared

#1
Couldn't see this anywhere else on arrse and - having 2 mates among the 2 dozen soldiers who went in - I thought that wasn't right.

With a bit of luck, the 2 up-themselves Air-Marshals who declared (without ever explaining proper reasons for doing so) that the pilots were at fault - will now be made officially to look like tw*ts.

Hopes over Chinook crash dossier
Mull of Kintyre crash Campaigners claim the crash was caused by mechanical faults

Campaigners have said they are "cautiously optimistic" two RAF pilots killed in the 1994 Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash will be cleared of blame.

Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook, who died along with 27 others, were accused of gross negligence.

The Mull of Kintyre parliamentary group has met Defence Secretary Des Browne, who has agreed to review the case, to hand over a dossier of new evidence.

They believe the results of the review should take about six weeks.

Lord O'Neill, who chairs the Mull of Kintyre campaign group at Westminster, said he believed the defence secretary would be left with no option but to clear the pilots.

The helicopter crash happened in thick fog en route from Northern Ireland to Inverness.

An RAF inquiry blamed "gross negligence" by the pilots.

Mr Tapper and Mr Cook were initially cleared of blame.

But the decision was overturned two years after a fatal accident inquiry by two senior RAF officers, who claimed they had been flying too fast and too low in thick fog.

However, campaigners have always disputed the claim, insisting that it was unfair and unfounded.

Amongst those killed were special forces crew and 25 senior members of Northern Ireland's intelligence community.

Campaigners have previously claimed there were serious flaws in the Chinook helicopter, which were more likely to have been responsible for the crash.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Hopes over Chinook crash dossier
Edited to add:

From the House of Commons Select Committee report on RAF Chinook SD76 (31 Jan 2002)

9. It is not our role to determine the likely cause of this accident, and indeed on the evidence which we have heard and read it would be impossible to do so. We are nevertheless satisfied, on the evidence before us and against the standard of "absolutely no doubt whatsoever", that the Air Marshals were not justified in finding that negligence on the part of the pilots of ZD 576 caused the crash.

House of Lords - Chinook ZD 576 - Report
In Memoriam, Johnny Barr, Tony Hornby et al.
 
#2
Whatever our differences Stonks, i agree with the sentiments You voice. This was a disgrace of the highest order, even in an environment that blames pilots far too quickly anyway.
 
#3
Interestingly Stonks, I understand that the President of the original BoI who had his findings overturned is now AOC 2Gp. You know me, I rarely sing the praises of senior officers, but I suspect he may have had a hand in this.

At least I hope so, respect where it is due. I also hope that one particular AVM is called to account, even if he is retired.

Fingers crossed.
 
#4
nigegilb said:
Interestingly Stonks, I understand that the President of the original BoI who had his findings overturned is now AOC 2Gp. You know me, I rarely sing the praises of senior officers, but I suspect he may have had a hand in this.

At least I hope so, respect where it is due. I also hope that one particular AVM is called to account, even if he is retired.

Fingers crossed.
If there is no justice, the fabric of discipline and morale are undermined.

I dunno if the 'overturning' decision marked the absolute beginning of the rot many of us have detected inside the MoD, or was simply an early indicator of it.

Perhaps we might be looking out for indications now of an upturn in collective integrity in the near future.[hr]Stonkernote Forgive me, but the name, Stonker - bestowed on me decades ago, by my soldiers, and never truncated by them - has an 'er', not an 's' at the end.

Only that tw*t Sphen is too idle to type 2 letters instead of one. :wink:
 
#5
A bad Business.
Disgraceful to blame the dead in the manner in which it was done.
To much high level politics.
john
I was on duty at Bellykelly the night it happened. I was ordered to prepare all our nightsun equipped cabs for deployment that night, if the order came though to support.
 
#6
At the time of the accident Chinooks were falling out of the sky every week. Misassembled gearboxes I heard. I saw one crash in the Falklands during take off after a gearbox was fitted. A couple of blokes were injured.
Of course if we blame the dead pilots we avoid any unpleasantness with the wealthy manufacturers. Tail wags dog, its the British way!
 
#7
Agreed. I have mentioned this on arrse before and was trashed as usual. The treatment of the pilots was a disgrace designed to protect the manufacturers.
 
#8
Hopes over Chinook crash dossier
Mull of Kintyre crash Campaigners claim the crash was caused by mechanical faults

Campaigners have said they are "cautiously optimistic" two RAF pilots killed in the 1994 Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash will be cleared of blame...

An RAF inquiry blamed "gross negligence" by the pilots.

Mr Tapper and Mr Cook were initially cleared of blame.
Any particular reason why the BBC (apart from being pisspoor) has chosen to drop the ranks of the two dead pilots?
 
#9
I always thought that the "Crash" was a present from the British Secret Services to Gerry and Martin, taking the heat off them so the "Peace Talks" could continue.
 
#10
I really do hope that they are cleared. The evidence that they were negligent just doesn't stack up. I also hope that the Air Marshalls are called to make a public apology and address their own cowardice.
 
#11
A terrible tragedy and to blame the pilots in the way they did was insulting. It's about time somebody grew a pair and righted this wrong.

Theres a sad story I remember from the incident. I was stationed at Portadown where one of the int guys who was killed was also posted. My wife worked in the NAAFI on camp. I think it was a day after the crash, she came home and told me that a young boy of about 5 or 6 came into the shop asking for a box of chocolates so she helped him find some. He handed her some small change from his piggy bank which wasn't enough, then said 'it's to cheer my mummy up as she is sad because my daddy died'. Even now writing it it really chokes me up. Needless to say the young lad got his chocolates. I hope life has treated him well since then, he'll be around 19 now.
 
#12
Stonker said:
Lord O'Neill, who chairs the Mull of Kintyre campaign group at Westminster, said he believed the defence secretary would be left with no option but to clear the pilots.
You would think, so wouldn't you, but my money, being the old cynic that I am, is on teflon Swiss Des weaseling his way out of doing what is right somehow, if only to say cash from future civil claim against MOD!
 
#13
duffdike said:
Agreed. I have mentioned this on arrse before and was trashed as usual. The treatment of the pilots was a disgrace designed to protect the manufacturers.
The same thing with the Yanks.An F16? pilots widow fought to clear her husbands name,then the can of worms opened up that the Government had signed a contract that all accidents would be down to the users and not the manufacturers,apparently they lost over 100 pilots due to ´accidents´that were mostly design/engineering faults!

I´ll look for a link!

Hope they clear the pilots names,it stank of a stitch-up from start to finish.
 
#14
duffdike said:
Agreed. I have mentioned this on arrse before and was trashed as usual. The treatment of the pilots was a disgrace designed to protect the manufacturers.
Really?

I'd be surprised if anyone on ARRSE would trash a thread / post defending servicemen, particularly those that died on duty.
 
#15
Bravo_Bravo said:
duffdike said:
Agreed. I have mentioned this on arrse before and was trashed as usual. The treatment of the pilots was a disgrace designed to protect the manufacturers.
Really?

I'd be surprised if anyone on ARRSE would trash a thread / post defending servicemen, particularly those that died on duty.
You might be surprised. I could not possibly comment. Plenty of folk on arrse represent (informally) all sorts of interests. If the pilots are cleared it will then reopen the very interesting question as to what did cause the crash in fact. It might seem unwise to be flying at full speed at low level in fog into rising ground. But if the nav sys was out the pilots wouldn't have known that. One of the pilots told his father (Ex RAF Concorde Captain) that the entire avionics systems were unsafe and unreliable just a few days before he died. And that - he said - was the considered and professional opinion of the (SF support qualified) pilots on his squadron.
 
#16
To add credibility to your post Duffdike could you inform us of your source for the above statement? Was it open source if so could you post a link? I am not trying to be harsh, however, you have previously passed off duff-gen as inside knowledge.
 
#17
OpsO said:
To add credibility to your post Duffdike could you inform us of your source for the above statement? Was it open source if so could you post a link? I am not trying to be harsh, however, you have previously passed off duff-gen as inside knowledge.
I would like to help. But I do not recall having previously passed off duff gen as inside knowledge.:) The information to which I have alluded was published in newspapers who interviewed the father at the time. It was that fact which fuelled the families' sense of injustice and their determination to clear the pilot's names. On a point of protocol: The RAF traditionally never finds *pilot error* unless the pilot is still alive to give evidence. It is not only discourteous, it causes problems with compensation / pensions, it creates huge ill feeling and it leads to very poor evidentiary decision making by the board. The way our two guys were treated was unprecedented.
 
#18
It's all in here if you want to read it.

http://www.chinook-justice.org/

There is an interesting quote on the front page.
“ONLY IN CASES IN WHICH THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER SHOULD DECEASED AIRCREW BE FOUND NEGLIGENT”AP3207 – RAF Manual of Flight Safety, Chapter 8, Appendix G, page 9.

Lets hope justice is done for the aircrew and then maybe the families of the deceased can finaly put their loved ones to rest.
 
#19
jonwilly said:
A bad Business.
Disgraceful to blame the dead in the manner in which it was done.
To much high level politics.
john
I was on duty at Bellykelly the night it happened. I was ordered to prepare all our nightsun equipped cabs for deployment that night, if the order came though to support.
I too was working in NI at the time and new a number of those killed well, both Army and RUC. The bottom line is that nobody knows how/why the accident happened and to lay the blame on the aircrew under these circumstances is like blaming the cook for the crew's disappearance on the Marie Celeste.
 
#20
Looking up RAF Chinook losses in the internet,the loss rate does not to seem to be that high.

Details of the losses reported on www.ukserials.com

ZA672 destroyed when heilcopter struck airbridge while taxying at Hannover airport on 06 May 1988.2 crew killed.

ZA676 accident 14 Nov 1984,airframe to instructional use.No fatalities.

ZA678 destroyed 27 April 1989.

ZA706 destroyed 25 May 1982 while deck cargo on the Atlantic Conveyer en route to the Falklands when ship struck by an Exocet.

ZA715 destroyed 13 May 1986.

ZA716 destroyed 25 May 1982,see details for ZA706 above,the same applies to ZA719 also.

ZA721 destroyed in crash on 27 Febuary 1987 in the Falklands,resulting in the loss of around 7 occupants.

ZD576 destroyed in crash on 02 June 1994 with the loss of all 27 occupants.The first HC.2 loss.At the time of the crash,the Chinook HC.2 had not been fully cleared for operations.

That makes 9 airframe losses,3 of which were when the Altantic Conveyer went down.

The RAF lost 4 Puma HC.1 last year alone.

The Puma and Chinook forces are of roughly the same numbers.

One of the RAF senior officers involved in the "gross negligence" ,a certain John Day(not sure of his rank) went far as a result of this.Our previous fuhrer,one Tony B*liar of JP Morgan fame personally intervened to ensure when the by then Sir John retired from the RAF,the 3 month rule about going to work in the defence industry was waived so Sir John went from the RAF striaght into British Aerospace as a consultant.

Corruption,dontcha just love it.........
 

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