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The aircraft was on a training exercise hovering or manoeuvring over rocky terrain (it was in the Pyrenees) when the tail rotor clipped an outcrop of rock. The loss of control resulted in the aircraft falling near-vertically for a considerable distance down a mountain gulley/re-entrant before being destroyed in a post-crash fire. The crash was non-survivable for all 3 on board.
Surprisingly the accident was witnessed by a Britsh Forces mountain climber (RAF engineer?) who provided eye-witness accounts which allowed the BOI team to locate the blade strike marks on the rock caused by the tail strike and reconstruct the accident events.
To answer your questions, they were conducting Mountain Flying training and the direct cause of the accident was the tail rotor strike. If you want to know any more, then contact the Aviation Standards team at Middle Wallop and if you have the appropriate credentials, they may answer any other questions you have.
Thank you for that information it is most helpful. You see the pilot was my dad and I only have a very vague story of what happened. .... over 25years of wondering. Does anyone happen to know the name of the eye witness...???
Thank you all so much for your help... any amount of information is very much appreciated.
If I gave the impression of being sarcastic I apologise. I posted what I know about the incident. I know nothing else relevant, other than the names of the persons who were on board the aircraft, and that there is a memorial to those persons.
Are you aware that, in addition to the memorial referred to above, the crew will be commemorated at the Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas, Staffordshire and within the 'on line' Roll of Honour. This latter will show details of his age, service number etc.
It might prove a little difficult to contact the RAF witness directly. This will be for a variety of reasons such as the person is no longer serving and there is always a reluctance to give out such information.
You could try contacting the Joint Services mountaineering association (don't not what its real title is) as they will probably have a magazine and may have an archivist who could help. Another approach might be to write an open letter to this unknown person and then ask the Army Air Corps if they would forward it to the RAF Personnel Disclosures Branch at Cranwell with a covering letter explaining that the letter should be sent to the RAF engineer, whose name the Army Air Corps will know from the Board fo Enquiry proceedings (GOSH that reads as very long winded).