Chinook parents set to appeal to Europe

The parents of the two Chinook helicopter pilots labelled guilty of gross negligence over the Mull of Kintyre disaster are...

The parents of the two Chinook helicopter pilots labelled guilty of gross negligence over the Mull of Kintyre disaster are considering appealing to the European Court of Human Rights to clear their sons' names.

The move follows last week's defeat in the House of Lords of a bid to order the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to expunge its finding against flight lieutenants Rick Cook and Jonathan Tapper, who died with 27 others onboard their Chinook helicopter when it crashed in 1994.

Computer Weekly has campaigned for the pilots and their families by producing evidence that the Fadec computer navigation systems were faulty.

The Government won the late-night vote by 65 to 43 despite a passionate plea from former Labour minister Lord Chalfont for peers to support the finding of their own special select committee, chaired by a former senior Scottish judge and law lord, that found no reasons to blame the pilots.

John Cook, father of one of the pilots, vowed to fight on. "I am deeply disappointed, but we will continue. I am sure there is further action that we can take and we will decide later what to do.

"We are considering going to the European Court," he said.

Cook said supporters of the MoD, including a retired air marshal and former chief of defence staff, "outflanked us" by staging the five-hour debate late at night.

Chalfont urged peers to call on the Government to set aside the RAF inquiry finding that there had been "gross negligence".

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