Puma crash questions

Overstretch?

Puma helicopter Puma helicopter
Newspapers are carrying the story behind the verdict of the RAF helicopter crash during a training flight in August 2007 near Catterick. It makes very solemn reading as it suggests that the RAF were responsible for a gross failure of discipline. Not so many years ago the public perception of the police was an organisation that tried to give good service to the public. Over time that has declined to a point where many members of the public see the police as inept, corrupt and self serving.

In contrast the reputation of the armed services has held up, despite the effects of 'Blair's Wars' on the public mood. However, most people can see that mistakes have been made in policy and equipment and, along with the rising death toll in Afghanistan there is now a desire for the troops to come home, the war is seen as futile. Naturally there will be great sympathy for the wounded and bereaved, this will not change. Military training must be worthwhile so cannot be risk free, so no change there either. Even so it will be interesting to see how the public view this event regarding military competence.

One can imagine there will be huge amounts of negative publicity. The government is bound to have to respond to this, the same government that is seeking to cut training for the Territorial Army. Obviously nobody should see this as a political opportunity but there are questions to be answered beyond the Coroner's verdict. That process might as well start at once.