The overall focus of the crew of an Apache helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan was affected by a visit from former EastEnders actor Ross Kemp, a new official Ministry of Defence board of inquiry report says.
Visit ‘not a distraction at time of crash’
The report says although the visit of the star – whose EastEnders character Grant Mitchell is set to make a brief Albert Square return – was a “contributory factor” to the “overall focus” of the British crew, it had not been a distraction at the time of the accident.
The report concludes the accident was caused by the pilot’s “disorientation” when the Apache flew into a dust cloud.
It says the board of inquiry believes the crew lacked sufficient experience for the unsupervised and complex operation being carried out. The crew had become tired and were distracted at a “critical juncture”, the report adds.
The accident resulted in the helicopter losing its tail and left its rotor blades badly damaged.
Accidents ‘extremely rare’
Following the report’s release, a spokesman for the MOD said such incidents are “extremely rare”, adding that its “highly skilled pilots” are trained to deal with various emergency situations.
He added that it would be “disingenuous” to suggest that the accident was caused by Ross Kemp’s visit and the filming of his documentary.
Date Published: March 6, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown