Independent inquiry into Chinook crash



Tony Collins

An independent inquiry into the Chinook helicopter crash in 1994 is likely to be launched by the House of Lords. It will...



Tony Collins

An independent inquiry into the Chinook helicopter crash in 1994 is likely to be launched by the House of Lords. It will be the first Lords Select Committee in recent years.

Led by Lord Chalfont, senior parliamentarians are expected to ask peers in the next session of Parliament to approve the formation of the select committee to question specialists over the crash.

The move comes amid growing parliamentary interest in the circumstances of the tragedy. Last week defence secretary Geoffrey Hoon met Chalfont and MPs James Arbuthnot, Menzies Campbell and Martin Bell, who are among those campaigning against the MoD's decision to blame the helicopter's two dead pilots for the crash.

Menzies Campbell, defence spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said, "I think Hoon would perhaps like to find a way out of this because it must have become obvious that this issue is not going to go away. In the House of Commons there are a plethora of people putting down questions. It is a growth industry."

The crash on the Mull of Kintyre killed four crew and 25 senior police and intelligence officers.

It was blamed on the two pilots, although the report of an RAF Board of Inquiry did not rule out a major technical malfunction. Evidence was given to the inquiry of "flight-critical" problems with the helicopter's safety-critical Full Authority Digital Engine Control system.

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