Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Safety fears reignited on anniversary of RAF crash tragedy

The wreckage of the two crashed RAF Tornados being brought to shore
The wreckage of the two crashed RAF Tornados being brought to shore

Safety fears have been reignited on the anniversary of an RAF Tornado crash over the Moray Firth which killed three airmen.

Campaigner say little has been done to address the issues raised by the mid-air collision on July 3, 2012.

RAF Lossiemouth Squadron Leader Sam Bailey, Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole and Flight Lieutenant Adam Sanders were all killed when the two GR4 jets crashed into one another seven nautical miles south-east of Helmsdale.

Squadron Leader Paul Evans suffered serious injuries.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, an official reports indicated that it could have been avoided if the aircraft involved had been fitted with collision-warning systems (CWS).

However, no such additions have been made to the UK’s fleet of Typhoon fighter jets – many of which perform training exercises over the north and north-east of Scotland.

Campaigners argue that, five years on, little has changed to protect airmen from a similar catastrophe taking place.

Retired RAF officer Jimmy Jones yesterday voiced fears that pilots are still being left at risk of harm.

Mr Jones worries that it may take another fatal accident to spur the Ministry of Defence (MoD) into making the desired improvements.

Last night, the MoD insisted that upgrading Typhoon jets with CWS “remains a priority”.

However, Mr Jones said military chiefs should have taken steps to improve safety years ago.

He said: “The MoD says that safety is a priority but there remains no programme in place for equipping Tornado jets with collision warning technology.

“A report published by the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) three years ago indicated these systems would benefit Typhoons, and there still isn’t a plan there.

“I doubt anything will be done unless there is another accident.

“This is a matter of public safety as well, there could be terrible consequences were a crash to take place over a residential area.”

Mr Jones pointed to a string of “near-misses” as further reason to make changes.

Last December, it emerged that a Typhoon fighter jet from RAF Lossiemouth narrowly avoided colliding with a light aircraft while flying low over Loch Ness.

The UK Airprox board, which investigates near misses, highlighted the lack of CWS in the Moray-based Typhoon fleet.

The issue was also raised in 2015 following reports that a Typhoon “unwittingly” flew just 300ft above a Hawk jet, and that two RAF Tornado jets almost crashed over Lossiemouth as they were coming in to land.

An MAA Air Safety Report carried out between 2013 and 2014 also backed Mr Jones’s campaign.

Air Marshal Sir Richard Garwood wrote: “In my view, not fitting collision warning systems to the Typhoon is an unsustainable position and I recommend that this be pursued with full haste.”

Moray MP, Douglas Ross, pledged to take up the matter with Defence Minister Michael Fallon.

Mr Ross said: “I believe that any measures that can be taken to reduce the risk to aircrew on training and operations must be considered, and I will be questioning Defence Ministers on this.

“Five years on from the tragic incident, it’s important that lessons are learned.”

An MoD spokesman said: “Safety is a paramount concern, and we remain committed to embodying a collision warning system on Typhoon as a priority.”

Family of the personnel killed in the 2012 crash will observe the anniversary by laying wreaths at a monument on Forres’s Califer Hill, overlooking the Moray Firth.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]