MoD must guarantee Chinook lessons learned

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SNP Westminster leader and Defence Spokesman Angus Robertson MP has said that Ministry of Defence papers revealed in the Sunday Times detailing safety fears over Chinook Mark 2 helicopters could hold the answers to the tragic crash of a Chinook at the Mull of Kintyre in 1994.

After the pilots were finally cleared of responsibility for the crash last year there are still no clear answers as to what caused the crash.   

Mr Robertson said the Ministry of Defence must guarantee that lessons had been learnt from the Chinook incident as the paper – a “special instruction” to pilots warning of potential problems with control of the engines – revealed fears were known before the helicopters were put into service.

“It is shocking that Chinook helicopters were operational despite the Ministry of Defence knowing that that their engines systems could be unsafe. This is a serious dereliction of duty by the MOD and the UK Government must ensure that it never happens again.

“It is equally concerning is that the pilot of the Chinook that crashed warned before taking off that he had concerns over the engine control system.

“There has been no clear answer as to what tragically brought down the Chinook Mark II at the Mull of Kintyre and the families of those who died are still owed that explanation.

“It is a relief for the families of the pilots that they have finally been cleared of responsibility for the crash and the Ministry of Defence should be thoroughly investigating if this engine fault could be responsible.”

In July last year the then Defence Minister Liam Fox made an official apology on behalf of the Ministry of Defence for wrongly blaming the pilots of the Chinook helicopter which crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994, killing all 29 on board.