We Shall Never Know.
I well remember how easily airborne accidents in both military and civilian scenarios are more easily able to lay blame on an operating crew than any underlying causes. This terrible tragedy appears to be such a case. However, if we look hard at the evidence, I, as a long time aviator am unable to square the latest findings that completely exonerate the pilots. A good source of material is here together with substantial references.
Question marks over the serviceability of the machine, crew fatigue and navigational issues, all combine to form a picture of a sequence of events coming together rather than any single major factor. However I argue that in the prevailing weather conditions the speed and altitude of the aircraft were significant. Why a safe altitude was not sought baffles me. A pure aviation mantra is that if in doubt climb and was always a good one.
I guess we really shall never know but I have little faith in Dr Liam Fox's expertise to comment as he has. I suspect a greater desire to look noble and gracious in the public eye is more likely than hours in a simulator to grasp the nature of the conditions prevailing on that rainy, foggy day in Scotland. It is also another opportune moment to have a go at the top brass. In some cases they deserve it, not in this.