NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
HAWK JET ACCIDENT MAY LEAD TO CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
It has been reported that the Crown Prosecution Service are considering whether to bring criminal charges over the death of a RAF pilot killed when the ejector seat of his Hawk jet fired as the plane sat on the tarmac at RAF Scampton. The accident happened in November 2011 and involved an aircraft from the Red Arrows aerobatic team.
The incident was one of a series of accidents involving the Hawk T1 jet which operates extensively from bases in Wales over the Celtic countries.
It is almost thirty years since the Celtic League (as part of its military monitoring campaign) started following the chequered history of the Hawk trainer. Our attention was drawn to possible problems with the plane when one was involved in an accident at Clagh Ouyr on the Isle of Man in 1983 (24th June) in which two experienced airman died.
Since then there have been numerous accidents and incidents and several fatalities although the Ministry of Defence say the Hawk, with an attrition rate of over 20 per cent, is a safe aircraft. Following another fatal accident in Cumbria in 1999 the MOD admitted, following persistent queries from the League, that they were not prepared to introduce safety modifications recommended by a Board of Inquiry.
Defence Minister, Bob Ainsworth, told the League the proposed safety measures were `not cost effective’.
Since that time several more aircrew have died and it seems that with possible criminal action pending someone has finally woken up to the indifferent attitude the MOD has shown towards the safe operation of this aircraft.
Related articles on Celtic New here:
UK newspaper report on Red Arrows crash and possible CPS action here:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
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