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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

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Chinook - Still Hitting Back 3 (Merged)

Old 13th Jul 2011, 10:23
  #7981 (permalink)  
 
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Private Jet, I'd have to disagree with you that the 2 are linked in the way you describe. If the cause of the crash isn't positively determined then the crew can't be blamed. Thankfully, safety management has moved on since the accident and finding the guilty party has given way to understanding everything you can about an accident or incident and fixing all the problems you can and managing the risks of the ones that you can't. A structured application of Just Culture is a huge step forward. For a bit of light reading I can whole-heartedly recommend "Whack a Mole" by David Marx. The hard part of course is that "To Err is Human, to blame is even more human".
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 10:34
  #7982 (permalink)  
 
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PJ,

In accordance with MoD rules for Boards of Inquiry (BoI) into aircraft accidents, in order to pronounce negligence on the part of a crew, there must be absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to the cause. This was the original finding of the BoI concerned, which was subsequently overturned by the two Air Marshals who convened the BoI: from the outset, there was a very significent majority of those knowledgeable in these matters which asserted that they were very wrong to do so. The MoD Independent Review has upheld this view, which once and for all concludes the issue.

Hope that, in a nutshell, helps. The Government's statements later today should provide more substance.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 12:30
  #7983 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
Unfortunately i dont have time to read thru the thousands of posts on this topic, so i hope someone can please provide an answer to this question. If the pilots have been cleared of blame for the crash, then why EXACTLY did it crash? It just seems common sense to me that you cant do the former without knowing the latter. I dont know much about it and that question just popped into my mind. Thnx.
Perhaps what should have also popped into your head as its really not that hard a concept to grasp is that if its not actually known why the aircraft crashed how could the pilots have been blamed in the very first place
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:01
  #7984 (permalink)  
 
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At long last!!

BBC News - Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash report clears pilots


.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:04
  #7985 (permalink)  
 
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I just heard the announcement; well done to all of you who worked so hard.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:05
  #7986 (permalink)  
 
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About bloody time!!

Well done to all those who have campaigned - job well done!

Ivor
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:10
  #7987 (permalink)  
 
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I have mixed feelings on this .....

Pleased that the crew have been cleared of the utterly unethical blame placed upon them.

Angry that Day and Wratten are somehow absolved of their part in this injustice. That is a load of cock! These two were complicit in sullying the names of the Chinook crew, by completely disregarding the very clear rules required for the findings of a BOI. That is disgraceful, as well as dishonest!
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:11
  #7988 (permalink)  
 
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I hope some people in power hoist aboard the following three paragraphs and look more deeply into the report:-

Prof Watson said: "The initial Board of Inquiry findings were ordered to be altered by senior officers who had not taken part in the inquiry. Many will find this extraordinary."

He added: "The version of the Chinook which crashed had been newly introduced to service and had suffered many technical problems. Indeed, the RAF themselves pursued claims for compensation arising from faults.

"Those who ordered a finding of gross negligence have now been shown to have acted wrongly. They need to explain their conduct which has caused such hurt to the families and damaged the reputation of two fine pilots."
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:19
  #7989 (permalink)  
 
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The campaign website has been updated, including a link to the report.

The Campaign for Justice for the Pilots of ZD576
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:20
  #7990 (permalink)  

 
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Our very own Brian Dixon has just been congratulated in the House of Commons, by James Arbuthnot, I believe.

I'd like to add my own very best wishes. He has been an absolute tower of strength.

airsound
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:32
  #7991 (permalink)  
 
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Because of the limited amount of evidence available, the investigating Board were unable to determine the cause of the accident, and so concluded that it was impossible to find that the pilots had been negligent to any degree. The Reviewing Officers, on the other hand, concluded on the same evidence that both pilots had been negligent to a gross degree.
I still cannot accept that it was just the 'inadequate legal advice' provided to the Reviewing Officers which caused them to fail to apply the standard of proof correctly.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:34
  #7992 (permalink)  
 
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From the Exectuve Summary of the Report Review Report | Mull of Kintyre Review:

1.4.28 In fairness to them [Day and Wratten] we do not consider that the application of the unfamiliar standard of proof was an easy task for professional aviators with no legal training. Legal advice was sought but the advice provided did not assist the Reviewing Officers. Instead it provided them with comfort when it should have emphasised the restriction on their power.
Unfamilar standard of proof? Had these two never seen a BoI before? Never had to consider the outcome of a BoI before? They sought advice such that they could circumvent the RAF's own rules - talk about 'power corrupting, absolutely'!

1.4.30 Since 1995 the Ministry of Defence has continued resolutely to defend the finding of gross negligence and to rebuff all public and private representations that the finding should be reconsidered even when the representations included cogent arguments based on a sound understanding of the effect of the relevant Regulations. We find it extremely regrettable that the Department should have taken such an intransigent stance on the basis of an inadequate understanding of the RAF’s own Regulations in a matter which involved the reputation of men who died on active service.
The MoD's consistent position has been one of 'I hope nobody finds out we f****d up!
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:37
  #7993 (permalink)  
 
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Great news

Full report here: http://www.mullofkintyrereview.org.u...w%20Report.pdf

Executive summary:

1.4 Executive Summary and Conclusions

1.4.1 We were appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, to examine all available evidence relating to the findings of the RAF Board of Inquiry into the fatal accident on 2 June 1994 in which RAF Chinook helicopter ZD576 crashed on the Mull of Kintyre, killing all those on board. The accident resulted in one of the worst losses of life sustained by the RAF in a peacetime accident and dealt a severe blow to the services and agencies of which the passengers were important members.

1.4.2 The investigating Board found that there were several potential causes of the accident but, despite detailed analysis, were unable to determine a definite cause. They however, concluded that the most probable cause was the selection by the pilots of an inappropriate rate of climb which was insufficient to enable them safely to overfly the high ground of the Mull of Kintyre.

1.4.3 Detailed provisions for the conduct of aircraft accident inquiries were contained in the RAF Manual of Flight Safety. The Board were required by the Regulations in force at the time to obtain evidence to show whether or not the aircrew who died in the accident were negligent. The Board concluded that pilot error was the probable cause of the accident, but made no findings of negligence in relation to any of the aircrew of ZD576.

1.4.4 The Board of Inquiry procedure was not complete until the Board’s report had been reviewed by the RAF Chain of Command. The report was accordingly reviewed by the Air Officer Commanding No1 Group, Air Vice Marshal Sir John Day, who found that the evidence could only lead him to the conclusion that both pilots had been “negligent to a gross degree”. The
Air Officer Commander-in-Chief Strike Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir William Wratten agreed with this finding.

1.4.5 The finding has been and remains controversial and the controversy has led to the examination of the Board of Inquiry by a number of subsequent inquiries. The continuing debate is understandably distressing to the families of those who died and we hope that this review can bring the controversy to an end.

1.4.6 Our review took the form of a non-statutory independent inquiry and was not held under the Inquiries Act 2005. We did not therefore have the power to compel witnesses to attend and to give evidence. We did, however, write to the families of those who died in the accident and to a number of other individuals inviting them to meet with us or to provide written submissions. We are most grateful to those who accepted our invitation and to those who provided us with submissions.

1.4.7 We held meetings with representatives of the families of the deceased pilots, the Board’s president Air Marshal Pulford and Mr AN Cable the Air Accident Investigation Branch Inspector who carried out the detailed examination of the wreckage and provided the Board with a statement of his findings. We also met with the Reviewing Officers Sir John Day and Sir William Wratten and a number of pilots and aircrew who were colleagues of the deceased pilots at the time of the accident. In addition, at his own request, we met Sir Malcolm Rifkind who was Secretary of State for Defence at the time of the accident and the subsequent publication of the Board of Inquiry report.

1.4.8 The Regulations made detailed provision for the protection of the rights of officers or airmen whose character or professional reputation might be affected by an inquiry. These were designed to ensure that the officer or airman had adequate notice of any matter which might affect his character or reputation and that he fully understood his rights. He was entitled to be made aware of the evidence against him, to be present and represented at sittings of the Board, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to give evidence in his own defence. An officer or airman who was considered by a Board to have been negligent had to be shown the evidence on which that opinion was based and be given the right to ask for further evidence to be taken and any new points to be fully investigated. If negligence was finally attributed to him he was entitled to make a further statement giving reasons why he should not be held to blame. A similar right applied when the Higher Authority attributed negligence to him when a Board had not done so, or altered the reason for the finding of negligence. Disciplinary proceedings would be likely to follow a finding of negligence, and the outcome would be based on a complete re-hearing of the evidence. In such proceedings the officer or airman would be entitled to a fair trial with all the rights that would entail. In contrast, in the case of deceased aircrew there was no opportunity before the Board for representation or for defence of the deceased’s reputation and the Board’s decision on negligence constituted the final judgment on the deceased’s character or reputation, against which there was no appeal.

1.4.9 The unfairness to deceased aircrew inherent in this procedure was recognised by an RAF working party set up in 1983 to examine the Board of Inquiry regulations. Their recommendation that accident investigation should be separated from the chain of command was rejected, but the Air Force Board accepted the introduction of a provision which created a very high standard of proof in relation to findings of negligence against deceased aircrew,

“Only in cases where there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever should deceased aircrew be found negligent”.

1.4.10 Despite the introduction of this high standard of proof we consider that the Board of Inquiry procedure into the ZD576 crash was conducted under a system which was, by generally accepted standards of justice and fairness, unfair to deceased aircrew, and which had previously been characterised as flawed by two authoritative reports commissioned by the
Ministry of Defence and RAF.

1.4.11 No steps, apart from the introduction of the standard of proof, were taken to address any of the defects in the Board of Inquiry system so far as they related to deceased aircrew, until 1997. In that year, partly due to the controversy surrounding the ZD576 accident, Defence Ministers directed that Boards of Inquiry should not be permitted to attribute blame or
negligence in cases of unnatural death or serious injury. Subsequently, in 2008, Boards of Inquiry were replaced by Service Inquiries under the Armed Forces Act 2006 separating accident investigation from the operational chain of command, and as recently as 2011 when an autonomous professional Military Air Accident Investigation Branch was created.

1.4.12 The standard of proof of “absolutely no doubt whatsoever” was as unfamiliar to lawyers as it was to military officers, and it is not surprising that its interpretation has given rise to differences of opinion. It was however, vital that its effect should have been properly understood and applied.

1.4.13 In our view, the provision was intended to create the highest possible standard of proof in order to offset, so far as possible, the unfairness of the Board procedure to which we have already referred. Negligence had to be proved by evidence. It could not be presumed and there could be no onus on deceased aircrew to disprove it. Missing evidence could not be assumed to
support a finding of negligence. The standard of proof was higher than the standard of beyond reasonable doubt which applied in criminal cases. The words “absolutely” and “whatsoever” emphasised that the doubt was unqualified and unrestricted and could be of any kind. It was not limited to reasonable doubt. A speculative doubt could be sufficient to prevent a finding of negligence. The test was an objective one, so the subjective certainty of the decision maker was not enough to entitle him to make a finding of negligence. A hypothesis for which there was no evidence, if it created doubt as to what had happened, would also be sufficient to exclude
a finding of negligence. In our unanimous opinion this case was precisely the kind of case for which the standard of proof was designed to preclude findings of negligence against deceased aircrew.

1.4.14 When the Board report came before him for review Air Chief Marshal Day sought legal advice from the RAF Directorate of Legal Services. We were told that this was the first time that someone in his position had done so. We have considered the legal advice he received and
found it to be unclear and inaccurate. It failed to recognise the objective nature of the test, and placed no restriction on the power of the Reviewing Officers to make a finding different from that made by the Investigating Board. It introduced a reference to RAF policy which could be interpreted as an assertion that the standard of proof meant what the RAF wanted it to mean. The consequence was that the Reviewing Officers were given inadequate legal assistance in their interpretation of the standard of proof.

1.4.15 We are left with the impression that prior to 1994 there was no appreciation in the RAF or the Ministry of Defence of the need to examine carefully the effect of the introduction of the high standard of proof in relation to findings of negligence in cases involving deceased aircrew. It seems to us that the Ministry and the RAF simply failed to apply their minds to the restrictions which the standard of proof placed on the power of Boards and Reviewing Officers to make findings of negligence in such cases. This impression is reinforced by the fact that the Department sought counsel’s advice on the interpretation of the standard of proof only when the House of Lords Select Committee had been established, several years after the requirement to consider negligence on the part of deceased aircrew had been removed.

1.4.16 For the investigating Board, the absence of a cockpit voice or flight data recorder, coupled with the multiple impact of the crash and the ground fire which damaged a major proportion of the wreckage, greatly reduced the quantity and quality of the available evidence. In his statement to the Board Mr Cable said that the pre-impact serviceability of ZD576 could not be positively verified, but that there was no evidence of malfunction that could have contributed to the accident. He told us that his investigation would probably have uncovered evidence of a preimpact malfunction, had there been one, but that this could not be certain. That did not mean that the absence of such evidence conclusively proved that there had been no malfunction.

1.4.17 In that situation the Board found that there was insufficient factual evidence to enable them to determine how and why the accident happened. Although they were reasonably certain that ZD576 was flying fast at low level in proximity to the southern end of the Mull of Kintyre, in the absence of a cockpit voice recorder, a flight data recorder and the evidence of the crew or any other witness, they could not know how or why the crew got into that situation or what they were intending to do. All they were able to do was to postulate three possible scenarios as to the cause of the accident and to choose the one they considered the most probable.

1.4.18 Applying the high standard of proof, the Board unanimously concluded that they were unable to make any finding of negligence or make any assessment of human failings because of the lack of evidence. After they had briefed Air Vice Marshal Day and his staff they reconsidered
the question of human failings and concluded that, although it was likely that Flt Lt Tapper had made an error of judgment in the conduct of the attempted climb over the Mull of Kintyre, it would be incorrect to criticise him for human failings based on the available evidence.

1.4.19 Criticism that insufficient attention was paid by the Board to the maintenance, engineering and airworthiness aspects of the Chinook, was not in our view, justified. They investigated the problems with the engines’ Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system and other technical malfunctions in the Chinook fleet, and the history of ZD576. They took these matters seriously, but did not expand on them in their report because there was no positive evidence that a malfunction had occurred before or during the accident. Their job was to determine the cause of this accident and make recommendations, not to investigate all aspects of Chinook operations. Moreover, these problems were well known and were being addressed
by the Ministry of Defence.

1.4.20 Having considered the Board report along with Mr Cable’s statement, and had the benefit of discussions with Air Marshal Pulford and Mr Cable, we are of the clear opinion that the Board was correct, in the light of the available evidence or the lack of it, to refrain from making a positive finding as to the cause of the accident.

1.4.21 As part of our review, we discussed with the Reviewing Officers the reasoning by which they came to their decision and raised with them a number of factors which could be said to create doubt as to the way in which the accident came about. We list a number of these factors.

1.4.22 While there was ample evidence that low cloud was present over the Mull of Kintyre at the time of the accident there could be no certainty as to its configuration or as to the visibility available to the pilots as they approached the coast.

1.4.23 Mr Cable told the Board that the serviceability of the aircraft could not be verified and he was concerned that that statement had been ignored or misrepresented. Our discussions with Sir John Day indicated to us that he had in fact disregarded Mr Cable’s statement and had instead applied his own judgment to the assessment of the serviceability of the aircraft.

1.4.24 Both Reviewing Officers told us that they did not consider why the pilots had apparently acted in a way which was contrary to their instinct and training. They argued that this would have involved inappropriate speculation. We consider that it was wrong to exclude that consideration since it was capable of giving rise to doubt.

1.4.25 Sir John Day rejected a number of scenarios postulated by the Board which involved a chain of events different from that preferred by him. The existence of those scenarios in the minds of the Board indicated that there was doubt as to how the accident came about.

1.4.26 Because of the absence of a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder we cannot know what was going on in the cockpit in the moments before the crash. The Reviewing Officers’ approach to this gap in the evidence was to apply to both pilots what in our view amounted to a presumption of negligence based upon their shared responsibility for the safety of the aircraft. That approach was inconsistent with the standard of proof.

1.4.27 For all these reasons we consider that the Reviewing Officers failed to apply correctly the standard of proof of “absolutely no doubt whatsoever” in deciding the question of negligence.

1.4.28 In fairness to them we do not consider that the application of the unfamiliar standard of proof was an easy task for professional aviators with no legal training. Legal advice was sought but the advice provided did not assist the Reviewing Officers. Instead it provided them with comfort when it should have emphasised the restriction on their power.

1.4.29 When the Board of Inquiry Report was presented to the Ministry of Defence the Department’s principal concerns were the public presentation of the Board’s findings, and the question of compensation for the relatives of the deceased. When the matter was first put before the Secretary of State he was not told that there had been a difference of view between the Board and the Reviewing Officers nor was he informed of the standard of proof
which applied. The consequence was that Ministers were deprived of the ability to reach a properly informed view on a matter which has given rise to so much disquiet inside and outside the Service.

1.4.30 Since 1995 the Ministry of Defence has continued resolutely to defend the finding of gross negligence and to rebuff all public and private representations that the finding should be reconsidered even when the representations included cogent arguments based on a sound understanding of the effect of the relevant Regulations. We find it extremely regrettable that the Department should have taken such an intransigent stance on the basis of an inadequate understanding of the RAF’s own Regulations in a matter which involved the reputation of men who died on active service.

1.4.31 After receiving the Board of Inquiry report the Ministry of Defence reviewed its policy and procedures for carrying key personnel. They concluded that the decision to carry the passengers on ZD576 was not necessarily unsound and that in future a similar decision was ikely to be made. We remain concerned that that conclusion leaves open the possibility of a similar accident involving groups of personnel vital to national security happening in the future.

1.4.32 Having completed our review we are led to make the following recommendations:

(i) We recommend that the finding that Flt Lt Tapper and Flt Lt Cook were negligent to a gross degree should be set aside.
(ii) We recommend that the Ministry of Defence should consider offering an apology to the families of Flt Lt Tapper and Flt Lt Cook.
(iii) We recommend that the Ministry of Defence should reconsider its policy and procedures for the transport of personnel whose responsibilities are vital to national security.

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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:37
  #7994 (permalink)  
 
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What Now from Officers Wratten & Day?

Will either of them have the decency to apologise to the families for digging in for so many years in their mis-application of an unambiguous rule?

Some would say their lack of knowledge of their own rules amounts to gross negligence. It was certainly pi$$-poor leadership and judgement.

In 1996, I am pleased I took the opportunity to tell J Day to his face that he had been abysmally advised and that he was plain wrong. Do the decent thing chaps.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:38
  #7995 (permalink)  
 
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May I first say that I am pleased for the parents of Flt Lts Jonathan Tapper and Flt Lts Richard Cookthet their sons have at last been exonerated. Secondly those involved in this long campaign must be applauded for the work , time and effort they have put in

I was however disappointed but not surprised not to hear Dr Liam Fox mention airworthiness, I note that the Rt Hon Lord Philip says in his report:

Views have been expressed that insufficient attention was paid by the Board to maintenance,engineering and airworthiness aspects, including the problems with engines’ Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system which were recognised at Boscombe Down during the ongoing trials and experienced by flight crews in 7 and 18 Squadrons after the HC-2 had been released for operational duties. We do not consider that this criticism is justified.
He went on to say that:
In any event, their job was not to investigate all aspects of Chinook operations but to determine the cause of the accident and to make recommendations.

Surely it was their job to investigate all aspects of Chinook operations.

A victory yes but covered in MOD whitewash I fancy.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:48
  #7996 (permalink)  
 
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Congratulations to all involved in seeing that justice was eventually done.

TACCOHell
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 13:51
  #7997 (permalink)  

 
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Extract of MoD Press release

094/2011 13 July 2011

MOD PUBLISHES INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF CHINOOK ACCIDENT

The Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has today published the conclusions of an Independent Review into the Mull of Kintyre Chinook accident of 1994.

The Review, led by Lord Philip and assisted by three Privy Counsellors, examined the evidence relating to the findings of the Board of Inquiry into the accident.

The Review makes three key recommendations:
the finding that the pilots were negligent to a gross degree should be set aside;
the MOD should consider offering an apology to the families of the pilots;
the MOD should reconsider its policy and procedures for the transport of personnel whose responsibilities are vital to national security.

At the request of the Defence Secretary, the Defence Council was convened and has set aside the findings that the pilots were negligent to a gross degree and has ordered that this action be noted on the pilots’ records. On behalf of the MOD, the Defence Secretary has also apologised to the families of the pilots.

Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

“I set up this Review in the face of continued criticism of the official conclusion that the accident was caused by negligence to a gross degree and my own fear that an injustice had been done. The Review concludes that this finding should be set aside. I hope that this will bring some comfort to the families of the pilots and I would like to apologise on behalf of the MODfor the sorrow which was caused to them by this finding.

“I pay tribute to the 29 people who died in the accident. Their deaths were a huge blow to the country and a tragedy for their families.

“I am grateful to Lord Philip and his fellow Privy Counsellors for their thorough and painstaking work which has resulted in clear and unanimous recommendations.

“I hope that the conclusion of this Review and the action I have taken in response to it will bring an end to this chapter by removing this stain on the reputations of the two pilots.”

The Review does not lay blame as to the cause of the accident and does not give support to any suggestions of technical failure. It concludes the cause of the accident is likely never to be known. Since the accident the Chinook aircraft has had an excellent safety record and continues to be a mainstay of Operations, having the full confidence of those who fly it.

The Defence Secretary also stated that he would personally satisfy himself that the three Services had properly considered its policy and procedures for transporting personnel who are vital to national security.

Head of the Independent Review, The Rt Hon Lord Philip, said:

“Last September I was asked, along with my fellow Privy Councillors, Lord Forsyth, Baroness Liddell and Malcolm Bruce MP, to conduct an independent review of the findings of the Board of Inquiry into the RAF helicopter ZD576 accident on the Mull of Kintyre.

“Because of the limited amount of evidence available, the investigating Board of Inquiry were unable to determine the cause of the accident, and so concluded that it was impossible to find that the pilots had been negligent to any degree. The Reviewing Officers, on the other hand, concluded on the same evidence that both pilots had been negligent to a gross degree.

“We have recommended to the Secretary of State that the finding that the pilots were negligent to a gross degree should be set aside. We have also recommended that theMinistry of Defence should reconsider its policy and procedures for the transport of personnel whose responsibilities are vital to national security.”

Note to Editors:

1. A copy of the Independent Review can be found at the following link:

Review Report | Mull of Kintyre Review
airsound
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 14:20
  #7998 (permalink)  
 
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T.D. I agree. Paras 2.2.7 to 2.2.10 and the whole of Chapter 7 relate to the failing airworthiness culture.

Interesting to hear how Liam Fox brushed aside Angus Robertson's question on the Chinook Airworthiness Review Teams (CHART) report; "It relates to the Mk1 not the Mk2". (That's the line that MoD has pushed from the time the report was discovered earlier this year). Wrong Liam, the report relates to the airworthiness regime and culture in place at the time.

DV
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 14:37
  #7999 (permalink)  
 
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To Brain and all ppruners, a justified dedicated and powerful campaign has brought justice to the crew of ZD 576. I will tonight raise a glass in memory of all who died that day and no doubt in many places around the world tonight others will be doing likewise, even if its just in a cup of tea whilst on operations.

I now sincerly hope that the service I love, has learnt the lessons of this Inquirey and never again besmirch the good names of aircrew without grounds or by bending its own rules or Queens Regulations.

To the two reviewing officers, maybe it is good time to say sorry to the relatives of all the crew and all the other people on that aircraft, that day. The excuse of 'we were badly advised' is just not good enough.

To the DIOT staff, please use this as an example for the future officers of the RAF, that all things are not black and white but are sometimes shades of grey without an explanation.

To Brian, is it now time to move forward, with the knowledge that should that another sad episode occur that such a campaign starts all over again in the search for justice and truth.

Thank you for everything you have done.

Regards

Air pig
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 14:52
  #8000 (permalink)  
 
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Having had the privilege and honour to have worked with Brian for many years whilst contributing my own small part in this campaign I know he is far too modest to claim any credit for today's outcome, however there is no doubt that credit is due. While many well known names in Parliament have taken up this issue, and will rightly be publicly applauded for doing so, I am certain that we all - those serving, those who have served, and those who rely on the armed forces to do what they do - owe Brian a huge debt of gratitude for his selfless and unceasing work on behalf of the families of all who died that day.
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