Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

Total Pageviews

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Chinnok crash on Mull of Kintyre

Today, it is hoped that the Defence Minister, Liam Fox, will absolve pilots Flight Lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook - from the charge of "gross negligence", when a chinook helicopter crashed in appalling weather on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994, killing all those on board. Good!

Two independent boards, Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry and House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report could find no evidence that the very experienced pilots were responsible.
A House of Lords Select Committee was appointed to consider all the circumstances surrounding the crash and unanimously concluded "that the reviewing officers were not justified in finding that negligence on the part of the pilots caused the aircraft to crash".

The Air Chief Marshall in charge of the RAF enquiry, William Wratten, later an adviser to Rolls Royce Military Aero Engines, however, found the two officers guilty rather than accept the alternative reason of craft malfunction and thereby risking the grounding of the Chinook helicopters. Several Labour Defence Ministers have resisted repeated calls for a review of the case despite fresh evidence in support of a technical fault, fuelling speculation of a 'cover-up'. Jeremy Paxton in an interview with Wratten suggested that his refusal to accept the decision of the other inquiries was tantamount to arrogance.

I am all for the defence of the realm, but the castigation of two military officers for political convenience, is in this instance, reprehensible. They were sacrificed to cover up past mistakes by senior officers and the Ministry of Defence in claiming the aircraft were airworthy.

It has been suggested that the craft, carrying ten senior RUC intelligence officers, nine army intelligence officers and six MI5 officers on the eve of the 1994 IRA cessation was deliberatedly brought down. It couldn't happen; could it?

No comments:

Post a Comment