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MoD refuses to concede error in Chinook verdict

Tony Collins
The Ministry of Defence (MoD), citing a new series of simulations by Boeing, has refused to clear the names of two pilots blamed for the crash of a Chinook helicopter on the Mull of Kintyre in June 1994.

The latest developments in the campaign by Computer Weekly, former Labour minister Lord Chalfont and Channel 4 News to clear the names of the pilots of Chinook ZD576, flight lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Rick Cook, came when the Government made statements about the crash in both the House of Commons and the Lords this week.

In the Commons, defence secretary Geoff Hoon said that in order to leave no question unanswered the MoD had asked Chinook manufacturer Boeing to undertake further work to review its original analysis, including a full simulation of the Chinook's safety-critical Fadec engine control computer system.

"It has been argued," said Hoon, "that the failure of this system was a cause of the accident." But he rejected every theory on the possible cause of the accident except that of pilot negligence, although Boeing's simulations were inconclusive.

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