Memorial services to mark 25 years since RAF Chinook crash

Services are being held to mark the 25th anniversary of the RAF Chinook helicopter disaster.

Relatives of the 29 people who died when the aircraft crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in south-west Scotland were expected to attend the commemorations on Sunday.

They will join members of the local community at Southend Parish Church on the peninsula to remember the 25 passengers and four crew who perished in the 1994 tragedy.

The helicopter was on its way from RAF Aldergrove near Belfast to Inverness when it crashed into a hillside in thick fog.

Chinook disaster memorial cairn
Chinook disaster memorial cairn

A memorial cairn stands at the accident spot.

Rev Stephen Fulcher, who is leading the services, said: “This is an anniversary of national significance and I expect quite a lot of local people will attend the service because many of them vividly remember that fateful day like it was yesterday.

“A lot of local residents have kept up contact with relatives of the people who were aboard the helicopter and continue to hold them in their thoughts and prayers to this day.”

The pilots, flight lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook, were accused of gross negligence over the crash.

A fresh review was ordered and in 2011 found the pilots should not have been blamed.

Last month the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland made a fresh call for the Ministry of Defence not to destroy records relating to the worst RAF peacetime disaster.

Members backed a motion calling for all documents relating to the crash to be “kept in a safe place and not deleted” in support of the families affected.