Oral Answers to Questions — Flying Accident, Cheshire.

– in the House of Commons on 26th April 1928.

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Photo of Mr Edmund Wood Mr Edmund Wood , Stalybridge and Hyde

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether his attention has been called to an aeroplane fatality which occurred at Dukinfield, Cheshire, on 25th March; whether any inquiry has been held by the Ministry into the causes of this accident; and, if so, with what result; whether there are any Regulations in force governing the landing of aeroplanes on private property in similar circumstances; and, if so, what steps are taken to enforce these Regulations?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

The circumstances connected with the accident referred to have been fully investigated by the inspector of accidents, but a complete report has not yet been made. It may be stated, however, that the primary cause of the accident appears to have been the attempt to land in a field which was unsuitable for that, purpose. The conditions under which flying can lawfully be practised in this country are laid down in the Air Navigation Act, 1920, and the Air Navigation Order, 1923, as amended by various subsequent Orders. The enforcement of these Regulations is a matter for the police, who are acquainted with their terms.

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

Is it known that in this accident the pilot in the aeroplane had to come down in this field and what justification is there for saying that the machine came down in a field that was not suitable? Surely the pilot would not have come clown unless it had been compulsory for her to do so.

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

We have not yet received the report, and consequently I am not able to add anything to my answer.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

Is the Air Minister taking any steps whatever to avoid a repetition of accidents of that kind?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

The Air Ministry is not responsible for a private aeroplane coming down in an unlicensed field.

Photo of Mr James Hudson Mr James Hudson , Huddersfield

Is the Minister taking any action to prevent accidents like this which occur as the result of stunts? Is he not aware that on this occasion an attempt was made to carry a film to a local picture theatre, and had not that stunt been tried the accident would never have happened?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

When the report comes in, I shall know more about it.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Hackney South

Is it not a fact that in this case the landing in an unsuitable field was only the approximate cause of the accident, whereas the real cause was something else; and will he not sub-divide the explanations in which they are all classified as "errors of judgment" when some other cause precedes the error of judgment?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

I must have notice of that question.

Photo of Mr Edmund Wood Mr Edmund Wood , Stalybridge and Hyde

Can the Under-Secretary say when he expects to get the report.

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

I hope very shortly.