This document contains the following information: The Mull of Kintyre Review.
The Review team were appointed to examine all available evidence relating to the findings of the RAF Board of Inquiry in the fatal accident on 2 June 1994 in which RAF Chinook helicopter ZD576 crashed on the Mull of Kintyre, killing all 29 on board.
The accident resulted in one of the worst peacetime accident and dealt a severe blow to the services and agencies of which the passengers were important members. The investigating Board were unable to determine a definite cause of the accident despite detailed analysis. They, however, concluded that the most probable cause was the selection by the pilots of an inappropriate rate of climb which was insufficient to enable them to safely overfly the high ground of the Mull of Kintyre.
The finding has been and remains controversial. The unfairness to deceased aircrew in disciplinary procedures was recognised and the Air Force Board has accepted the introduction of a provision which created a very high standard of proof in relation to findings of negligence.
Because of the absence of a cockpit recorder and flight data recorder it cannot be known what was going on in the cockpit in the moments before the crash. The Reviewing Officers’ approach to this gap in the evidence was to apply to both pilots what amounted to a presumption of negligence which was inconsistent with the standard of proof.
In conclusion this Review recommends that the findings of pilot negligence be set aside; that the Ministry of Defence should consider offering an apology the pilots’ families; and that the Ministry of Defence should reconsider its policy and procedures for the transport of personnel.
This paper was laid before Parliament in response to a legislative requirement or as a Return to an Address and was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons.