On 30 January 2005 a Hercules transporter plane crashed in Iraq after an inert object - possibly a single bullet - pierced a fuel tank, causing the wing to explode with the loss of all 10 people on board.
Yet three years earlier pilots and air crew had called for a relatively cheap foam safety device to be fitted to the planes, to stop fuel tanks exploding even if pierced by a bullet.
US versions of the aircraft have been fitted with the device since the Vietnam War in the late 1960s.
A fuel leak caused a Nimrod jet from RAF Kinloss in Moray to explode mid-air during operations in Afghanistan, killing all 14 personnel on board on 2 September 2006.
An inquest into the crash in 2008 found that the jet was not airworthy due to a fundamental design flaw - fuel couplings were in the same compartment as hot air piping.
The BBC has seen a restricted flight safety investigation report into an incident two years before that Nimrod crash, in which another Nimrod had a hot air leak - up to 400C - which was effectively boiling a fuel tank.
Listen to the interruption to this interview at 10minutes 50 seconds in, and the denial and stonewalling by Air Vice Marshall Stephen Hillier. This chinless twit then stated that "we are just banging on here," and after the press Officer interuption stone walled by refusing to answer question on flight 227. This is the most disgusting betrayal I have ever heard.