Concerns Raised About Link With Previous Possible Ejector Seat Malfunction
Investigators have been urged by specialist aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to work quickly to determine the cause of an incident at RAF Scampton in which a Red Arrows crewman died.
Emergency services were called to the Lincolnshire base on Tuesday afternoon (November 8th) following reports that a member of the renowned team was hurt in an incident on the ground related to a Hawk T1 aircraft.
The RAF has confirmed an independent inquiry has been launched into the incident, with some reports suggesting that an ejector seat may have been involved. Media reports have also referred to the Red Arrows Hawk fleet being previously grounded due to concerns about the safety of their ejector seats.
Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team act for people who have suffered serious injuries in military and civilian air accidents both in the UK and abroad, as well as the families of victims killed in such cases.
Jim Morris, a London-based Partner in the specialist aviation team and a former RAF pilot who has flown the Hawk T1 during his military service, said there was a clear and urgent need for answers following the incident.
He said: “Only a handful of details have so far been released regarding this terrible accident but we hope that investigators are able to quickly investigate and answer the many questions that the incident has raised.
“There are a range of issues which undoubtedly need to be addressed following this incident, including whether – as has been suggested by some media – a technical fault with the ejector seat could have played any part what happened.
“Such an issue would be a clear concern about the ejector system on the aircraft and could potentially have implications on the rest of the Hawk T1s within the Red Arrows’ fleet.
“It is particularly vital that authorities work to rule out any link between this incident and the Red Arrows crash in which Flt Lt John Egging was fatally injured earlier this year, where he was unable to eject safely from the aircraft.
We hope that every effort is made to learn lessons from both of these incidents so that the highest standards can be achieved and maintained for the flight safety of military aircraft and systems.
“Our thoughts are with the pilot’s family and with the team who have endured a very difficult few months.”