MoD slated for unresolved Chinook testing issues

BCS member Andrew Rivers has raised a series of questions with his local MP about the computer systems on board the Chinook helicopter which crashed over the Mull of Kintyre in 1994, killing 29 security officers and four crew

A senior member of the British Computer Society has attacked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for leaving unanswered key issues around the 1994 Chinook helicopter crash.

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the helicopter crash over the Mull of Kintyre, where 29 security officers and four crew died.

BCS member Andrew Rivers, who is an associate lecturer with the Open University and tutor in various IT courses, raised a series of questions with his local MP Lindsay Hoyle about the Chinook's Fadec and other computer systems.

Rivers said that, although the MoD gave a "detailed" response, it did not answer questions raised.

Among the unresolved issues, according to Rivers, are whetherthe Chinook's systems, although receiving power, were working at the time of the crash.

"The fact that computers are powered does not mean the systems are working correctly - for example the operating system may have crashed or data for memory maps may be invalid." he said.

Rivers gave backing to Computer Weekly's campaign for an independent inquiry into the crash. He said the argument that because air crash investigators did not find a technical malfunction then the two pilots must have been at fault, is "preposterous".

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