Chinook crash

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Recent incidental comments about the 1994 crash of an RAF Chinook helicopter into the Mull of Kintyre require a response.

(Rev Dr) John Cameron (Letters, 27 May) referred to the RAF’s “blame the pilot” mindset and David K Allan (Letters, 28 May) thought the accident due to failure to provide available technology to the pilots. Both appear to believe that the pilots were blameless.

In fact, the RAF inquiry justifiably blamed the pilots for ignoring safety rules (they flew too fast and too low in almost zero visibility). This conclusion was not reached hastily, nor I guess with pleasure. Later inquiries found nothing wrong with the aircraft, but many failures by the crew.

Anyone who wants to see the full account of the incident and its aftermath, including the actual probable cause, should read the only book about the incident, my Chinook Crash (2004).

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan

Edinburgh

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