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Inquest into RAF helicopter deaths continues

An inquest into the death of four servicemen from RAF Odiham who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, has heard there is no evidence to question the pilots' ability.

Captain Thomas Clarke died alongside Warrant Officer class 2 Spencer Faulkner, Corporal James Walters, Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, and Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan when the Lynx helicopter crashed - during a training mission near the Pakistan border in April 2014.

Mel Bloor sends this from Oxford Coroners Court

Inquest opens into deaths of RAF Odiham servicemen

An inquest has heard how the air commander of a Lynx helicopter shouted 'pull up, pull up, pull up,' seconds before a crash in Afghanistan which killed four servicemen based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

Another British airman was also killed when the Lynx helicopter - came down on a training mission in April 2014. 30 miles from the Pakistan border.

The MoD says the crash - the worst involving a British helicopter in Afghanistan, was a "tragic accident".

From Oxford Coroner's Court, Mel Bloor sent this.

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Philip Hammond unveils new helicopter for RAF Odiham

Philip Hammond unveils the new Mark 6 helicopters, which were ordered in 2011 Credit: Ministry of Defence

The first of the RAFs 14 new Chinook helicopters were unveiled in Hampshire today.

The Defence Secretary revealed the Mark 6 helicopter as part of a £1 billion scheme to improve capabilities for pilots and crew.

Three of the new aircraft have been delivered to the RAF who has started training in the UK Credit: Ministry of Defence

During his visit to RAF Odiham in Hampshire, Philip Hammond also announced a £115 million agreement with Boeing Defence UK to maintain engines of the RAF's increased fleet of 60 Chinooks.

This will replace five existing contracts with one - saving the taxpayer £20 million.

The Defence Secretary and the Chief of the Air Staff, who is a Chinook pilot, were then given a tour of the brand new aircraft.

All 14 new aircraft will be delivered to the MoD before the end of 2015 Credit: Ministry of Defence

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“These state of the art aircraft will provide a significant uplift in helicopter capability operating as the battlefield workhorse of the RAF, supporting the Army on the frontline for decades to come. The 14 new Chinooks will boost our fleet to 60, already the largest in Europe.

Defence Secretary unveils RAF's new helicopter

A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter will join the fleet at RAF Odiham Credit: ITV Meridian

Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond is in Hampshire today to unveil the first of the new RAF helicopters.

The new chinook helicopters comes after the Government's commitment to 1% a year increase in the Ministry of Defence's equipment and support budget.

The aircraft will make it easier to operate in difficult conditions and feature a digital flight control system, including hot and dusty environments such as Afghanistan.

The Defence Secretary is in Odiham to unveil a new helicopter to RAF's force Credit: ITV Meridian

Defence Secretary to unveil new helicopters

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will visit RAF Odiham to unveil new helicopters Credit: Andrew Linnett/MoD/Crown Copyrig/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, will be at RAF Odiham in Hampshire today to unveil the first of the new Mark Six helicopters.

The chinnooks can carry up to 40 people or 10 tonnes of cargo and will increase the Uk's fleet to 60 aircraft.

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The bodies of British servicemen repatriated to UK

The bodies of five service personnel who were killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan have been repatriated to the UK.

The bodies have been repatriated. Credit: ITV News

Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters, all of the Army Air Corps (AAC), were serving as the Lynx aircraft's three-man team when they died.

The coffins were transferred to hearses. Credit: ITV News

They died together with Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan of the Royal Air Force and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas of the Intelligence Corps, who were believed to have been passengers on the flight.

Servicemen killed in Afghan helicopter repatriated

The bodies of five British servicemen killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan will be repatriated to the UK today.

Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters, all of the Army Air Corps (AAC), were serving as the aircraft's three-man team when they died.

They lost their lives together with Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan of the Royal Air Force and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas of the Intelligence Corps, who were believed to have been passengers on the flight

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has denied claims by the Taliban that insurgents shot the helicopter down, with initial investigations indicating a "tragic accident" rather than enemy action as the cause of the crash.

Repatriation for Hampshire servicemen

Poppies have been left at RAF Brize Norton's base in Oxford Credit: ITV Meridian

The bodies of five Hampshire servicemen who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan will be repatriated in Oxford today.

Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters, from Army Air Corps, were serving as the Lynx aircraft's three-man team when they died.

A private ceremony at RAF Brize Norton will remember the men who lost their lives went a helicopter went down in Afghanistan.

The cortege will then pass the Memorial Garden in Carterton before heading to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The servicemen will be flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire before a private ceremony Credit: ITV Meridian
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