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Plane Crash Diaries

Episode 20 - A catastrophic Chinook gearbox failure and a mysterious RAF crash in 1994

Plane Crash Diaries
Plane Crash Diaries
This is episode 20 and it’s all about helicopters. Thanks first of all to Martin Darlington who hosts History by Hollywood podcast and is a highly experienced helicopter pilot and instructor. He has agreed to help with the more technical aspects of helicopters as we probe two specific accidents and the improved safety that they helped bring about.

It sounds counter intuitive to talk in positive terms about accidents but it is also true to say that most commercial crashes that have been properly investigated have led to improvements in safety.

This episode will focus on two helicopter crashes.

The first took place on 6 November 1986 when Chinook returning workers from the Brent oilfield crashed on approach to land at Sumburgh Airport in the Shetland Islands.

Forty-three passengers and two crew members were killed in the crash; one passenger and one crew member survived with injuries – the captain.

The second was the Chinook crash in June 1994 that was carrying 25 senior intelligence experts which went down on the Mull of Kintyre on the west coast of Scotland.

Leading security personnel from the Royal Ulster Constabulary, MI5 and the Army died, alongside the crew. They had been travelling to a security conference in Inverness, just two months ahead of the 1994 IRA ceasefire. The fact that high level intelligence officers were involved including members who were involved in Ireland has intrigued investigators and conspiracy-mongers since then.

Our expert Martin has some good ideas about what happened there and we’ll tap his immense knowledge about helicopters to get more information in the second half of the podcast.
Plane Crash Diaries
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