On 3 July 2012, two Tornado GR4T aircraft of XV(Reserve) Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth collided over the Moray Firth while conducting separate training sorties.  Three of the four crew on the two aircraft were killed and the surviving crew member receiving serious injuries.

The Military Aviation Authority Service Inquiry into the accident concluded that the cause of the accident was lack of recognition of converging flight paths, resulting in the controlled flight of both aircraft into the same airspace at the same time.  The Inquiry identified 19 contributing factors which include:

  • The absence of an electronic planning (deconfliction) aid.
  • Ineffective authorisation. 
  • Airmanship decisions that led to a descent without a radar service.
  • Meteorological conditions.
  • The lack of a collision warning system (CWS) on Tornado GR4 aircraft.

The report also makes more than 50 recommendations including the completion of the CWS for the Tornado, which was initially recommended for the aircraft in the 1990s.

Following publication of this Service Inquiry, the insurers for the MOD confirmed to Irwin Mitchell that they will accept responsibility for the death of the serviceman whose family is represented by Irwin Mitchell.

If you would like to speak in confidence to an expert regarding this accident, or any other aviation incident you were involved in, please contact a member of the aviation team on 0800 056 4110. The team will be able to advise you on the accident, the relevant law and the parties who may be liable.

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