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Warning system could have stopped RAF tornado crash

A Tornado GR4 like the two that collided killing three people off the Scottish coast in 2012. Credit: PA

An onboard collision warning system could have helped prevent a mid-air crash between two RAF Tornados off the coast of Scotland in which three men died, a report published today found.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) ruled the accident over the Moray Firth on July 3, 2012 happened as a result of a 'lack of recognition of converging flight paths' which meant both aircraft were in the same airspace at the same time.

Poor weather conditions and 16 other contributing factors were also cited in the 278-page report.

Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole, 28, Flt Lt Adam Sanders, 27, and Squadron Leader Samuel Bailey, 26, who were all based at Lossiemouth in Moray, died in the crash. A fourth crewman was badly injured.

An MoD spokesman said: "The RAF is already implementing the lessons learnt from this tragic accident and now uses a flight planning aid to highlight potential aircraft conflicts prior to flight."

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RAF parachutist collides with spectator during display

An 82-year-old woman is in hospital after being hit by an RAF parachutist with the Falcons display team in Weston-super-Mare today.

The RAF Falcons display team in 2012. Credit: PA

An air ambulance took both the parachutist and woman to hospital following the incident at around 1.20pm.

The parachutist was later discharged, while the woman is still being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Avon and Somerset Police said "There will be liaison between various agencies to ensure an appropriate investigation into the incident takes place."

Royals watch Trooping the Colour fly-past

The royal family gathered on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the traditional RAF flypast marking the Queen's official birthday.

The Queen is surrounded by her family during the fly-past Credit: PA

Among the 28 aircraft which buzzed over the Palace were Spitfires and a Lancaster bomber of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and a DC3 Dacota with D-Day stripes.

The historical planes were followed by modern Typhoon fighter jets, the Red Arrows aerobatic team and the RAF's largest transport aircraft, Voyager.

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RAF Hercules joins search for missing British sailors

An RAF Hercules aircraft is travelling to join the search for the four missing British yachtsmen, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

We can confirm that the UK will be providing military assistance in the search for the four British sailors.

A C130 Aircraft was deployed from RAF Brize Norton at 0500 on 21 May and has started to move towards the search area where it will join the international Search and Rescue effort.

– MOD spokesperson

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The RAF's contribution to the search operation for the four missing British sailors will provide additional capability and resilience to the resumed search led by U.S. and Canadian forces.

We all hope that the extensive resources being provided by our allies and the further support from the UK can help locate the missing yachtsmen as soon as possible.

– Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary

Leaked photos taken after 'Battle of Bastion' firefight

Graphic pictures which appear to show at least one UK serviceman posing with a dead Taliban fighter were taken after an attack by insurgents on Camp Bastion in September 2012.

Members of No 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, together with US Marine service personnel and civilian security contractors, defeated the attackers after a four-hour firefight with support from helicopters in what came to be known as the Battle of Bastion.

The leaked images showed the aftermath of the Battle of Bastion. Credit: Live Leak

The RAF Regiment is the ground fighting force of the Royal Air Force. Two members of the regiment have been withdrawn from the front line over the leaked photos.

Last month a report by MPs said British commanders had to "bear a degree of responsibility" for failing to prevent the 2012 raid, which left two US marines dead.

Prince Harry was serving at the base as a member of the Army Air Corps during the time of the attack.

Images show serviceman 'posing with dead militant'

The RAF has launched an investigation over photos apparently showing at least one serviceman posing beside the body of a dead Taliban insurgent in Afghanistan.

The serviceman gives the thumbs-up sign next to the corpse of a dead fighter. Credit: Live Leak
A serviceman poses with a dead body. Credit: Live Leak
The images were said to be taken following an insurgent attack at Camp Bastion. Credit: Live Leak

RAF takes Taliban photo incident 'extremely seriously'

The Ministry of Defence said "inappropriate actions will not be tolerated" after photos emerged appearing to show an RAF serviceman giving a thumbs-up sign next to the body of a dead Taliban fighter.

An MoD spokesman said:

Inappropriate actions will not be tolerated in the armed forces; the RAF is treating this incident extremely seriously and has launched a military police investigation.

As this incident is subject to an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

– MoD spokesman
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