In June 1994, RAF Chinook helicopter ZD 576 crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in bad weather, killing all crew members and passengers on board. A Ministry of Defence inquiry found that the crash was caused by pilot error which amounted to gross negligence. This report presents the findings of the Select Committee appointed by the House of Lords, in July 2001, to examine whether this conclusion was justified. The Committee considered the evidence that was presented to the MOD inquiry, as well as additional written and oral evidence. This additional evidence includes: a weather report from the area at the time of the crash; information from helicopter pilots regarding the mechanical problems of the Chinook Mark 2 helicopter; and information as to the reliability of evidence provided by Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, who had used a mathematical simulation to determine the movements of the helicopter during the last seconds before the crash. The Committee's report states that it is not their role to determine the likely cause of this accident, and indeed on the evidence submitted, it would be impossible to do so. However, the Committee unanimously concludes that that the MOD inquiry was not justified in its finding that the crash was due to the negligence of the pilots. Boeing's conclusions cannot be relied upon as accurate, and it cannot be proven that there was absolutely no doubt whatsoever that some mechanical failure had not caused a loss of control of the aircraft.
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