Tornado crewman dies after Moray crash
04 July 2012
A Royal Air Force Tornado crewman has died and two are still missing following an incident involving two Tornado GR4 jets over the Moray Firth yesterday, the RAF has confirmed.
Of the four air crew involved in the incident, which took place shortly before 2pm on 3 July, two were recovered from the water shortly afterwards. It is one of these men, from 15 (Reserve) squadron, who has died in hospital, while the second crew member recovered is said to be in a serious but stable condition.
The RAF has said there is no 'realistic' expectation that the remaining two men would be recovered.
Group Captain Ian Gale, Station Commander at RAF Lossiemouth, said: "Two additional personnel remain unaccounted for. Due to extremely poor weather conditions in the area, the RAF and Her Majesty's Coastguard have made a joint decision not to resume search and rescue operations.
"The operation will be resumed as a recovery operation as soon as possible, but we must be realistic: given the length of time that has elapsed since the accident, there is no expectation of recovering missing personnel alive.
"The Royal Air Force is in contact with the next of kin of all those involved. As I am sure you will understand, they have asked for a period of time to take in the news and inform extended family members before further details are released. The Royal Air Force intend to respect this and I would ask the media to do likewise."
"Clearly, this incident will be subject to full investigation, and a Service Inquiry will be led by the Military Aviation Authority. It is important that we establish the facts of what happened and it is vital that the investigation is allowed to take its course. But the priority now is to ensure that the families of those involved receive the support they need at this most difficult of times."