The brother of one of the two pilots killed in the RAF Chinook crash on the Mull of Kintyre has accused the Ministry of Defence a "cover up" after it insisted there were no safety issues at stake in advance of a 'snubbed' 30th anniversary.

A row has erupted after families of those who died say they have been “failed” by the Ministry of Defence who have not organised a 30th anniversary memorial.

Four crew and 25 passengers were killed when the helicopter went down in foggy conditions on June 2, 1994. Two pilots accused of negligence over the disaster were exonerated 17 years later.

The passengers had included 25 of Britain's most senior intelligence experts, including members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), MI5 and the Army who were flying from Belfast to attend a conference in Inverness.

Details of the Mull of Kintyre review report published in 2011, show that  the HC-2 had a "catalogue of engine control and other malfunctions as they were being introduced to operational service. It led to "undemanded shutdowns and surges in power, which could cause overheating to the point of self-destruction".

It said that prior to the crash the aircraft had been experienced a "number of malfunctions, the causes of which were not fully understood" and that at the same time flight manuals available to pilots were "incomplete" and "in some respects misleading".

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It said that a lack of understanding of the cause of these malfunctions led shortly before the accident to a decision by Boscombe Down to cease flying the HC-2.

The analysis said that in that situation those in command required to "balance the risk to service personnel created by ground troop movements against the risk of flying an aircraft with a history of malfunctions which was comparatively unfamiliar to air crew".

But the introduction of the HC-2 "could not be halted" and on 30 May 1994 it was deployed to Northern Ireland.

"That decision was taken on the basis of the operational imperative existing at the time and we are not in a position to criticise it. Subsequently, the difficulties with the HC-2 were largely eliminated and it is now regarded as a highly successful aircraft," the report states.

In 2006, the retirement dates for the HC2 and HC2A fleets were scheduled for 2015 and 2025 respectively but it was said that if planned upgrades are made both types could expect to be flying until 2040.

The RAF was heavily criticised for its board of inquiry's 1995 finding that two pilots were to blame for the crash.

Flight Lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook, were accused of being "negligent to a gross degree".

A Scottish fatal accident inquiry (FAI) concluded it was impossible to establish the exact cause of the crash.

Flt Lts Tapper and Cook were eventually cleared in 2011 after a two-decade long campaign led by their families.

In 2011, Defence secretary Liam Fox apologised to the families of Mr Cook and Mr Tapper after a report by retired judge Lord Philip recommended the overturning of a controversial earlier finding of negligence in what was the RAF's worst peacetime accident which came just two months before the 1994 IRA ceasefire in Northern Ireland.

The Herald: Chris Cook with wife Nicky and son Richard at the cairn on Mull of Kintyre in 2014

The minister in a Commons statement to MPs said he had "set aside" the original official Ministry of Defence report into the cause of the June 1994 crash, which said the two pilots had flown too fast and too low on the Mull of Kintyre.

Chris Cook, of Richard Cook, said there had never been any evidence to find the pilots at fault and said his father, before his death in 2005, had urged him to "keep fighting" to clear the name of his son.

The MoD said a number of investigations were held into the circumstances of the crash and that it did not routinely commission or fund new memorials.

It said: "The review did not find new evidence to suggest mechanical failure, and no safety issues with the Chinook mark 2 were raised in the report.”

But Mr Cook said the MoD's stance on the crash shows that unanswered questions remain while it is felt a proper memorial is required to mark the 30th anniversary.

He said: “It appears from the MoD’s statement that they still don’t accept, after all this time and after all the reports including the official Mull of Kintyre Review, that there could have been any safety issues with the Chinook Mark 2 going into service, which I find staggering, especially as it’s been proven and Boscombe Down had grounded it because there were known safety issues with the aircraft.

"If there is not a cover up about the cause of this accident then why have the MoD been behaving like it is a cover up. Everything they do and say makes it looks like it’s a cover up. It’s staggering.

“The fact the MOD have had the official files locked away for 100 years, till 2094, does raise serious questions regarding a cover up. Since this came to light many of the bereaved families are now very concerned that a cover up has occurred.”

He added: “I find it extremely disappointing that the families and loved ones of the 29 passengers and crew continue to be treated with such disrespect by the Ministry of Defence.

“Irrespective of the controversy that followed this disaster and the subsequent long campaign that both my and the Tapper family went through to get justice for the two deceased pilots, there is a continued unacceptable lack of recognition or respect by the MOD of the service that each of these 29 brave individuals gave to their country.”

Mr Cook and other families are now planning to travel to the Mull of Kintyre on the anniversary of the crash next month for a church-led remembrance service at 12.30pm on June 2, organised by the local parish minister, Rev Steven Sass, who has been liaising with an army chaplain in Northern Ireland.

Rev Roddy McNidder, who was the parish minister at the time of the crash in 1994, will deliver the sermon.

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Rev Steven Sass, Minister of Southend Parish Church said:“We hope that as many of the families as possible will join us. We want them to feel welcome and supported and we hope that this act of remembrance will give them the support which they need on this important anniversary.

“I understand that some of the families feel upset about the lack of an official military-led memorial service, but we hope that the church can offer the comfort, respect, and recognition that is deserved."

After the church service which starts they will travel to the memorial cairn at the crash site for a special act of remembrance at 3pm.”

Also attending will be Dr Susan Phoenix, along with her son Niven, a former military and now commercial pilot whose father, senior RUC officer Ian Phoenix was one of those killed.

David Hill, a retired aeronautical engineer who worked at the Ministry of Defence for more than 30 years, and who has examined and written extensively on this and various other RAF accidents, is angry at the response of the MoD.

“Last week, the MoD claimed the findings of the Mull of Kintyre review were fully accepted and that no safety issues with the Chinook Mark 2 were raised in the report. The findings were not fully accepted by MoD and they continue to trot out nonsense. The entirety of Section 7 of the report relates to safety and the failing airworthiness culture, culminating in the worst failure imaginable.

“'We know from a Boscombe Down report that there were airworthiness concerns, and that the aircraft should not have been ‘operated in any way that places any reliance whatsoever on the proper functioning of this equipment."

In response, the MoD doubled down on its position that there no safety issues with the Chinook were raised in the report.

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"The Mull of Kintyre was a tragic accident and our thoughts and sympathies remain with the families, friends and colleagues of all those who died," said an MoD spokesman.

They said that the MoD takes the safety of all personnel "extremely seriously" and said that to ensure that "our equipment operates at the highest standards we put safety right at the heart of our procurement activities".

They said that the "long-established" position is that the Department "does not routinely commission or fund new memorials" addiing: "Rather, memorials are usually instigated by a group or charity who will raise funding for the memorial by private donations and/or public subscription".