Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alan Reid welcomes exoneration of Mull of Kintyre pilots

Liam Fox, the defence secretary, apologised in the Commons today to the families of two RAF pilots originally blamed for the 1994 Chinook helicopter crash.

Two RAF air marshals had accused Flight Lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook of gross negligence over the crash on the Mull of Kintyre in which they died  along with 27 other people. Many of the passengers were among Britain's leading anti-terrorism experts.

The apology came after a fresh review found that Tapper and Cook should not have been blamed and the earlier ruling has now been set aside.

Alan Reid, Lib Dem MP for Argyll and Bute, has welcomed the setting aside of the original verdict:
"So many people – friends and family of the pilots, my predecessor Ray Michie, and others – campaigned for many years to overturn the original verdict which found the two young pilots, who died doing their duty, guilty of gross negligence.

"This review is long overdue. Where the previous Labour government stalled and obstructed, the Coalition Government has ensured that justice has been done.

"I hope that today’s report and conclusions will help many people to put this horrible accident behind them and I join them in remembering and paying tribute to all those who passed away on that disastrous day.”
The setting up of the new inquiry was announced by Nick Clegg when he took prime minister's questions on 8 September 2010.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

The brother of one of the pilots put it clearly in a radio interview when he said that we do not know why the Chinook crashed. Contrast that with an Air Marshall who said that the pilots broke the rules by flying fast and low in bad weather. Chinooks did not carry black box recorders in those days... RIP at last.