Moray Firth crash: Sea gives up bodies of RAF aircrew after Tornado crash
THE remains of two airmen killed when two Tornado fighter jets plunged into the Moray Firth have been recovered from the wreckage.
The discovery was confirmed as the funeral was being held yesterday for their comrade, Flight Lieutenant Hwyel Poole, 28, in his home town of Bangor, Wales.
The remains of Flt Lt Adam Sanders, 27, and Squadron
Leader Samuel Bailey, 36, were found during a salvage operation of the two £40 million GR4 aircraft, 25 miles south of Wick, Caithness.
The sole survivor of the tragedy, which happened during a training exercise in the north of Scotland on 3 July, is still in hospital, having undergone major spinal surgery. He has not been named.
The Ministry of Defence yesterday confirmed that recovery teams had found the remains of two bodies.
An MoD spokesman said: “Our thoughts and prayers
remain with the next of kin
of the aircrew involved in the
accident at this very difficult time.
“The next of kin of the aircrew involved in this tragic incident and all at RAF Lossiemouth are very grateful for the tremendous show of public support that has been evident since.”
The Military Aviation Authority, which is investigating the cause of the mid-air collision, added: “The recovery of wreckage has now been completed and the Service Inquiry Panel, assisted by the Military Air
Accident Investigation Branch, will continue to work quickly and thoroughly to investigate the circumstances of the
The planes were from XV (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray.
The funeral of Flt Lt Poole, who died at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after being airlifted from the scene, was held yesterday afternoon.
His coffin was draped with a Union flag for the ceremony at Bangor Cathedral.
Members of the public lined the streets to pay their respects as the funeral of the “exceptionally talented” RAF airman took place.
Gp Capt Ian Gale, station commander at RAF Lossiemouth, said the deaths of Flt Lt Poole and his colleagues were a “dreadful loss”.
Speaking before the funeral, he said: “The loss of these men has been felt very, very deeply by the military family, but our grief is second obviously to that of the families.”
He said Flt Lt Poole was a “kind and compassionate man”.
He was a student pilot with the squadron, born in Bangor in 1984 and educated locally. He had been training on the GR4 since November.
Wing Commander Jonathon Moreton praised Flt Lt Poole as a “capable and confident pilot” with an “infectious personality”.
Ft Lt Sanders was also a
student with the squadron. He was educated at Scarisbrick Hall School in Lancashire before joining the RAF.
Sqn Ldr Bailey was a senior instructor with XV Squadron. Originally from Nottingham, he joined the Tornado force in 2001, serving in operations over Iraq.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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