Tornado crash inquiry report could soon be made public

Three airmen died in July 2012 crash.

The results of an official probe into the tragic accident that killed three RAF Lossiemouth airmen may be set for release.

It is almost two years since two Tornado jets from the Moray base collided in thick fog over the Moray Firth as they returned home from a training mission.

In the days following the crash the bodies of Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole, Squadron Leader Samuel Bailey and Flight Lieutenant Adam Saunders were recovered from the sea while a fourth airman who has never been named survived the accident.

The official report into the accident is thought to have concluded in December – but is yet to be made public, with the procurator fiscal understood to be considering the Military Aviation Authority’s findings.

Since the report was concluded local MP Angus Robertson has been pressing hard in the House of Commons for it to be made public.

Mr Robertson has posed a series of parliamentary questions to defence ministers – including why no collision warning system had been fitted to the aircraft despite it being recommended as far back as 1998.

The MP said: “It is high time for the service inquiry to be published – and I’m led to believe that publication could take place soon.

“But nearly two years have passed since the tragic collision of the two Tornado aircraft over the Moray Firth – and there is a public interest in the findings being released before any announcement about a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI).”

Mr Robertson added that he “strongly supported” the need for a FAI, insisting that in his view the collision could have been avoided had the aircraft had the collision warning system in place.

The Ministry of Defence would not confirm that the report’s findings were about to be made public, while a Crown Office spokesman said: “The procurator fiscal has received a report in connection with the deaths of three men, one aged 27, one aged 28 and one aged 36, over the Moray Firth on July 3, 2012.

“The investigation into these deaths, under the direction of the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, is ongoing and the families will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

Leave a comment