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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 11:22 GMT
RAF court martial over jets crash
F15 in flight
The aircraft were on a training exercise
The RAF has confirmed that an air traffic controller is to be court martialled over a double jet crash in the Highlands last year.

Two American pilots died when the F15 fighter bombers crashed near the summit of Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms last March.

The RAF said that court martial papers had been served on an officer based at the RAF Leuchars base in Fife.

The rare move is the armed force's most serious disciplinary hearing and the penalty for a conviction can be jail.


We can confirm that court martial papers have been served on an officer at RAF Leuchars

An RAF spokesman
It is understood the charges relate to conduct amounting to professional negligence.

An RAF spokesman said: "We can confirm that court martial papers have been served on an officer at RAF Leuchars arising from the loss last March of two American F15 jets on Ben Macdui and their two pilots.

"We don't know at this point where or when the court martial will be held."

Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Hyvonen and Captain Kirk Jones died when the planes, which set off from the RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed on a low flying training exercise.

The RAF will conduct the hearing which is likely to last several days and will probably be heard at a RAF station.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Christine McCormick reports
"The officer is charged with conduct amounting to professional negligence"
See also:

30 Mar 01 | Scotland
Second body found at F15 crash site
26 Mar 01 | Scotland
Search for missing US jets aborted
26 Mar 01 | Scotland
America's frontline fighter
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