Sea King collision an accident

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The Independent Online

The crash of two Royal Navy helicopters that killed six servicemen in the early days of the Iraq war was an accident, a coroner decided yesterday.

But Sir Richard Curtis, assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire, offered no explanation as to why the Sea Kings should have collided in good weather in the al-Faw peninsula in March 2003 after the two pilots apparently saw each other.

The inquest heard that the helicopters could have collided for a number of reasons including confusion over another helicopter in the area and a possible loss of situation awareness by some crew.

The men were all based at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall. Lt Philip Green, 30, from Lincolnshire; Lt Marc Lawrence, 26, from Kent; Lt Andrew Wilson, 36, from Devon and Lt Antony King, 35, Lt Philip West, 32 and Lt James Williams, 28, all from Cornwall, died along with Thomas Mullen Adams, 27, of the US Navy.