RAF Tornado GR4s to resume training flights

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The UK Royal Air Force has resumed training activities involving its Panavia Tornado GR4 strike aircraft, but continues to assess the safety of its temporarily grounded BAE Systems Hawks and Shorts T1 Tucanos.

Announcing the step on 17 November, the RAF said its chain of command had "authorised the resumption of all Tornado GR4 flying operations without restriction".

Its decision followed "safety and engineering advice and the issuing of a precautionary technical instruction for the aircraft by the Defence Equipment & Support Organisation," it added.

 

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"The RAF is still reviewing other available evidence regarding Hawk T1, Hawk T2 and Tucano," the service said.

"As a precaution, the temporary suspension of flying for these aircraft remains in place at this time."

Non-essential flight activities involving the UK's Hawk, Tornado and Tucano training fleets had been suspended since a fatal accident involving an aircraft from the RAF's Red Arrows aerobatic display team on 8 November.

Flt Lt Sean Cunningham was killed after his Martin-Baker Mk 10 ejection seat was activated while his Hawk was still on the ground. An investigation continues into the cause of the incident.