It Is not correct that the Defence Committee "rejected" a call for a new inquiry into the Chinook crash on the Mull of Kintyre in June 1994 ("It's still easier to blame a dead pilot", 7 December). The committee decided that it would not itself attempt to reopen an inquiry but this was not a judgement on the decisions of the inquiries that have already reported. The committee did conclude that there were wider questions raised by the circumstances of the crash and I wrote to the Minister of State for the Armed Forces on 5 December setting out the committee's concerns. These are some of the points raised:

1. Reliability: what consideration has the MoD given to wider questions of the reliability of the type of aircraft involved in the crash? In particular has the MoD raised with the manufacturers of the aircraft (or any suppliers of equipment or software) questions of reliability? Have pilots raised concerns about the safety of this type of aircraft or its equipment?

2. Findings of negligence: what is the MoD's doctrine and practice in reaching findings of error of judgement and negligence against pilots who have died in aircraft crashes? What steps have been taken to meet the concerns expressed by families of the pilots killed in the Chinook crash about the ways in which the findings of the inquiry were reached?

Bruce George MP

Chairman, Defence Committee

House of Commons

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