Computer software may have been a factor in the crash of an
RAF Chinook in 1994 that killed all 29 people on board the
aircraft. The official report indicates that the aircraft was
airworthy, and "gross negligence" on the part of the pilots caused
But the BBC is reporting that it is in possession of Ministry of
Defense documents that indicate there may have been a problem with
the FADEC software on the Chinook Mk 2s 9 months before the
aircraft went down. The internal documents describe the FADEC
system as "positively dangerous."
The father of Flight Lieutenant Johnathan Trapper says his son
told him he was forced to fly the Mk 2 Chinooks after expressing
serious concerns about the airworthiness of the aircraft. Mr.
Trapper said when the official report placed the blame on the
pilots, he was "shocked."
Subsequent investigations by the British House of Commons and
the House of Lords found the evidence to be "inconclusive", and not
able to sustain the theory that the pilots were at fault.
"The hazard analysis of Chinook Mk 2 … identifies the
software in the engine FADEC as safety critical and states that
'any malfunctions or design errors could have catastrophic
effects'," the report obtained by the BBC states. "Twenty-one
category one and 153 category two anomalies have been revealed. One
of these … is considered to be positively dangerous." The
report was not included in the official inquiry.
The MoD maintains that since that crash, the Chinook Mk2 has
been a "remarkably safe" aircraft, and that the report does not
constitute "new evidence" since it was available at the time of the