Search for missing airmen 'not resumed'
04 July 2012
The search for two airmen still missing after an apparent collision between two Tornado jets off the northeast coast of Scotland yesterday has not been resumed, with the emergency services now focusing on recovering the second of the two aircraft.
A rescue operation was launched following a call at around 1.50pm on 3 July claiming the two jets had collided over the Moray Firth.
Two of the four airmen involved in the incident were recovered later that afternoon and have been flown to hospital in Inverness.
A coastguard spokesman said the search and rescue phase of operations ended at 7.04pm on the same day.
"We are now in a recovery phase," the spokesman said. "We stand by to assist the Ministry of Defence in any way that we can if required."
The aircraft which was recovered was found in the water some 25 miles south of Wick, in northeast Scotland. There is said to be poor visibility in the area around the crash site, near the Beatrice oil field, due to thick fog.
The incident has focused attention on the Tornado GR4's safety record in recent years.
Two aircraft were lost in 2011, with an engine fire forcing one Tornado to ditch into the sea off northwest Scotland in January while a crew was forced to eject after having difficulty landing just one month later. There were no casualties in either of the 2011 incidents and the RAF has defended the Tornado's safety record.
Group Captain Ian Gale, station commander of RAF Lossiemouth, where the Tornados were based, said: "The circumstances remain uncertain but clearly this is a very serious incident.
"I am confident that the Tornado aircraft on this station are operated as safely as they possibly can be - however, the incident is a stark reminder that the military operations and training we conduct are not without risk. What happened is under investigation and more details will be released by the Royal Air Force in due course."
HAVE YOUR SAY
04 July 2012
What a terrible article, not just because of the loss of life for the RAF but because of the stirring of the media.
"The incident has focused attention on the Tornado GR4's safety record in recent years"
We don't know what happened yet so there is nothing to draw attention too! Unless the article is going show evidence of poor safety then don't say anything, other crashes are not proof of poor safety but the causes (as per the enquiry, not media) might be but there is no mention of this.
Also, they are not missing airmen they are missing aircrew!! Another source stated 2 missing pilots in the headline then explained that it was a Pilot and a Navigator missing in the text. Firstly it could be 2 pilots if it was a pilot training sortie in a twin stick aircraft, but it is more likely that it is a Pilot and Weapons Systems Officer. The RAF has not used the term Navigator for years.
It is articles like this the make the British media a laughing stock to people in the services and all but the uneducated reader. The media has to add speculation before the facts are know and can not even get simple basic facts right. When reporting on incidents involving the deaths of members of our armed forces the media HAS to get the facts right and NOT speculate.
Wibble - UK