Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole, Flight Lieutenant Adam Saunders and Squadron Leader Sam Bailey lost their lives when two Tornado jets crashed into the Moray Firth in thick fog. A fourth airman survived the accident and is still recovering from his injuries.
Aviation authorities are continuing their investigation into what happened that day, with a Ministry of Defence spokesman saying this week that there was no timescale for a report to be published, adding that investigations of this nature can take over a year to complete.
July 3, 2012 was the day that left Lossiemouth in shock as the community came to terms with the news of the crash over the sea around 25 miles south of Wick.
Coastguard and military helicopters as well as RNLI lifeboats were involved in a rescue mission and recovery operation that took several days to complete.
In a simple post to his social media account this morning, RAF Lossiemouth Station Commander, Group Captain Ian Gale, said: “We will be paying tribute to our friends and colleagues who were lost a year ago.”
At the time of the accident, Group Captain Gale spoke of the often overlooked dangers facing airmen at the Moray base. He said: “I am confident that the Tornado aircraft on this station are operated as safely as they possibly can be — however, today’s incident is a stark reminder that the military operations and training we conduct are not without risk.”
Moray’s MP Angus Robertson said: “The effects of this tragic accident were felt throughout Moray and it is right that we all take a few moments today to remember the three airmen we lost that day, as well as their family and friends.”