Co-Pilot Sentenced Over Catterick Garrison Helicopter Crash

Three Killed Following Incident In 2007


The co-pilot of an RAF helicopter which crashed at Catterick Garrison in 2007 has been given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to neglect in relation to the incident.

Former Flt Lt Robert Hamilton, who was left paraplegic in the incident which led to the deaths of the pilot and two others on board, was given a 16 months’ sentence suspended for two years at a hearing last week.

Three RAF servicemen and nine soldiers were on the flight when the helicopter came down in August 2007. At the hearing, Hamilton was told that the board were “shocked at the lack of professional standards” shown by the crew on board the helicopter.

Cockpit voice recordings were heard during the course of the investigation, while it was also revealed those on board agreed to not report an earlier incident in which the aircraft almost hit the ground.

Zoe Sutton, a solicitor and expert in military air accidents at the firm who acted for a passenger injured in this crash, said: “The investigation into this terrible incident has spanned several years now, with the inquests into the deaths of Flt Lt David Sale, Sgt Philip Burfoot and Pte Sean Tait only being held last year.

 “We hope that this final stage of criminal action in relation to the incident will mark the point when both those injured in the incident and the families of the deceased are able to move on.

“It is also vital that lessons are learned from this terrible case which will lead to overall military flight safety improvements.”