NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE SCOTLAND: TORNADO ACCIDENTS R

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NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE SCOTLAND: TORNADO ACCIDENTS R

Post by kbcl1 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:38 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE


SCOTLAND: TORNADO ACCIDENTS RAF REPLY


The RAF has responded to Celtic League concerns expressed following accidents involving a number of Tornado aircraft during military exercises over Scotland in February (see link below):


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_le ... ssage/3580


The full text of the RAF reply is set out below together with the statistics supplied (unfortunately the statistics cannot be set out in the tabulated form of the original correspondence).



"Business Secretariat 14

Room 2E03, Spitfire Block

Royal Air Force

High Wycombe

Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE
Ref: AirCmd/BusSec/TOCl47O/2011


16 March 2011


Dear Mr Moffat


Thank you for your letter of 15 February 2011 asking for information on Tornado aircraft. I am replying on behalf of Headquarters Air Command which has responsibility for these matters. I will address your queries in turn.


There have been 9 Tornado aircraft accidents (all variants) over the last ten years (01 March 2001 — 01 March 2011). The official definition of an aircraft accident is an occurrence resulting in a death or major injury, or where the aircraft suffers Category 4 damage (damage that is not repairable on site because special facilities or equipment are needed), or is assessed as Category 5 (aircraft is missing or beyond economic repair). This figure therefore represents accidents which are defined as above. However this does not include the Tornado incident at RAF Lossiemouth on 10 Feb 11 as the damage to this aircraft has not yet been fully assessed.


Date Accident Location


27 Jan 2011 Crashed into the sea. A Service Inquiry is ongoing. Off coast of Stornaway


20 Jul 2009 Burnt out following aborted takeoff. Afghanistan


02 Jul 2009 Crashed during low level sortie Argyll. Scotland


14 Nov 2007 Rear seat fell out. Norfolk


24 Oct 2006 Crashed following multiple bird strikes. The Wash


14 Oct 2005 Crashed following loss of control. North Sea


22 Jul 2004 Crashed following loss of control. North Sea


23 Apr 2003 Friendly fire. Middle East


17 May 2002 Crashed after a fire which caused the controls to seize. Humber Estuary


It is not possible to advise you of the number of incidents involving Tornado aircraft over the last ten years because `incidents' cover such a wide range of possibilities, e.g. occurrences which disclose a potential flight safety hazard or where an aircraft sustains Category 1 to 3 repairable damage. If you would like to define which incidents you mean, either those above or any others, then we would be happy to consider your request. If you are referring to airproxes* you may wish to know that all completed airprox reports are published on the UK Airprox Board website at www.approxboard.org.uk.


There is nothing to lead us to believe that there is a need to ground the Tornado fleet following the two recent incidents in Scotland this year. Safety is of paramount importance to us and the first consideration following any accident is whether or not to ground the fleet. If there were reasons for us to stop these aircraft from flying then we would have done so. Furthermore no Tornado aircraft have been withdrawn from RAF service as a result of safety or airworthiness issues.


The Tornado GR1 was upgraded to GR4 in order to benefit from more modern battle-winning technology. This is typical in the life of many long term equipment programmes and ensured the aircraft remained operationally effective in the light of the then anticipated future threat environments. Compared to the GR1, the GR4 had a number of capability upgrades including improved cockpit displays, new avionics and weapons systems and updated computer software.


Since entering service with the Royal Air force, the Tornado has proven to be an extremely reliable and safe aircraft; this is reflected in the attrition rate. It should be noted that aircraft numbers have reduced since 1981 as squadrons have been disbanded. The loss rate has dropped commensurately to 2 aircraft per year for GR1 to a steady state of 0.7 aircraft per year for GR4. The attrition rate for Tornado F3 variant has remained at a steady state of 0.3 aircraft per year. Unfortunately, I am not able to provide, the attrition rates in percentage terms as these figures are not readily available.


I hope this information is helpful.


Yours sincerely



Sue Hurst -

RAF Bus Sec 14
AIR Command


*An Airprox is a situation in which, in the opinion of a pilot or a controller, the distance between aircraft as well as their relative positions and speed have been such that the safety of the aircraft involved was or may have been compromised."


The Celtic League are grateful to the RAF for the swift and comprehensive response however we will be responding to them in relation to paragraph 3 of the letter seeking detail of Category 4 & 5 incidents which are omitted.



J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


30/03/11



The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works

to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a

broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights

human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.


TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609


Internet site at:



http://celticleague.net

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

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