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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
Tornado crash report calls for review
Tornado crash site
The aircraft crashed on farmland
A combination of bad weather and pilot error was responsible for a Tornado crash which killed two airmen, a Ministry of Defence report has suggested.

The accident took place almost exactly a year ago while an aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth was taking part in an exercise over the Spadeadam range in Cumbria.

Accident investigators have recommended a review of the procedures for calling off low-level flying in bad weather.

The Tornado crashed a mile-and-a-half south east of Kirkheaton on 14 October 1999, killing pilot Flight Lieutenant Richard Ashley Wright and navigator Flight Lieutenant Sean Patrick Casabayo, who were both 30.

Tornado
The plane was based at RAF Lossiemouth
The men had been in the RAF for about 10 years.

An investigation into the accident said the plane encountered bad weather north-west of Newcastle Airport, which prevented it from following its planned low-level flight path towards Spadeadam.

It was forced to pull up and return to the coast for another pass on two occasions.

But on the second attempt the aircraft turned hard left to avoid entering Newcastle Airport's airspace.

As a result of this manoeuvre the plane's nose dropped and because of the low altitude there was not enough time to pull up. It crashed into open farmland.

The RAF's Board of Inquiry recommends a review of the procedures to call off low level flying in bad weather.

It also suggests that the introducion of a safety system which would warn pilots when they are too close to the ground should be considered.

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12 Feb 99 | UK
RAF plane in near miss
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