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?
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.
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.
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?
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?