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EDITIONS
Friday, 25 May, 2001, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Survivor vows to 'clear friend's name'
Andy Fairfield in Survivor
Andy (far left) was a close friend of the Chinook pilot
A Survivor contestant has vowed to donate 1m to try and clear the name of an RAF pilot blamed for a fatal helicopter crash, if he wins.

Andy Fairfield will use the prize money to try and prove Richard Cook was not responsible for the 1994 Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash which killed all 29 people on board.

The 41-year-old was a close friend of the pilot when they served together on tours of duty.

He is one of the 14 people left on the island of Pulau Tiga in the South China Sea fighting it out to win the jackpot on the ITV reality TV show.

The father of the pilot, Captain John Cook, is said to be "over the moon" that the money would be used in an attempt to clear his son's name.
Richard Cook
Richard Cook died in the crash

A Royal Air Force board of inquiry found pilots Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook guilty of "gross negligence" following the Chinook crash.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee criticised the findings saying there were repeated problems with the aircraft and the pilots should be exonerated.

The families of the pilots have repeatedly called for the inquiry to be reopened, believing equipment failure could be at fault.

Best man

Mr Cook, 67, said: "I am so very delighted that Andy has decided to do this.

"He and Richard were very, very close pals and served together in Germany and in the Falklands when they worked for the special forces.

"Andy was also best man at Richard's wedding and a close friend of the family.

"He has been trying hard over the years since the tragedy to help us clear Richard's name and has offered his many years of technical expertise to help do so."

He is confident Fairfield, now an airline pilot, has what it takes to win the show.

He said: "He is a battler all right and has seen a lot in his time.

"He has a level head and is just a great guy. I don't want to tempt fate by saying this but in my eyes he is the winner."

The winner of Survivor has already been determined but only series producer Nigel Lythgoe knows the end result, which will be revealed in a live show.

On Thursday's edition of the programme, former RAF officer JJ was evicted from the show.


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05 Mar 01 | Scotland
01 Dec 00 | Scotland
14 Jun 00 | UK
21 May 01 | Entertainment
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