Collision Avoidance Equipment Introduced To Fleet
Aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who act for the families of two cadets killed in a midair collision involving two Grob Tutor light aircraft have welcomed news that a safety upgrade has been completed ahead of schedule.
The RAF has confirmed that collision avoidance equipment has been introduced to its entire fleet of Grob Tutor aircraft around nine months before the work was expected to be completed.
It has been revealed that the move was a key recommendation made in an inquiry following a crash at the Kenfig nature reserve in Wales in February 2009, when cadets Nikkita Marie Walters and Katie-Jo Davies were killed alongside pilots Hylton Price and Flt Lt Andrew Marsh in the crash.
According to the inquiry panel, the addition of the warning systems would make a huge contribution towards preventing collisions involving the aircraft.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team act for the families of the two cadets, who have battled to gain answers in relation to how the collision came to occur.
Andrew Buckham, an ex-army officer and military air accident specialist highlighted that: “The aim of the inquiry was to ensure flight safety can be improved for the future.
“Young persons who have ambitions to become military aviators are provided with great opportunities to experience military life and air operations, but these air experience training flights do carry risk. We hope that the introduction of this collision avoidance system is a positive step towards ensuring every effort is made to keep those involved in training flights safe from any harm.”
Andrew’s colleague, Jim Morris, former RAF Pilot and Partner in the team, said: “News that the safety upgrade has been completed well ahead of schedule is excellent and gives a strong indication that the RAF and MoD want to learn lessons from the terrible crash which claimed four lives.
“Air experience training flights often operate and manoeuvre in airspace where only the pilots are able to ensure appropriate separation from other aircraft by using effective lookout techniques. In these circumstances mistakes can happen, especially in certain weather conditions that make it harder to spot other aircraft.
“While nothing will ever bring the victims of the crash in 2009 back, the introduction of the collision warning systems onto the Grob Tutor aircraft should go some way to preventing the same tragic problems from ever happening again.”