Royal Air Force (Flight Safety)

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough 12:00 am, 30th November 1972

asked the Minister of State for Defence what steps he is taking to improve the standard of flying safety in the Royal Air Force.

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

The standard of flight safety in the Royal Air Force is high and compares favourably with that of other air forces. It is the responsibility of the Service at all levels to maintain and improve this standard, making full use of the continuous research and analysis which is conducted in this field.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the increase in the number of accidents in the RAF has now reached an unsupportable degree? Apart from the risk to life and limb of the gallant young men who fly these planes, is it not the case that accidents involving RAF aircraft now total about £1 million a week?

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

No Minister will ever be satisfied as long as there are accidents. However, considering the number of new planes which have come into service. I do not think that the number of accidents is surprisingingly high. They are regrettable, but we must remember that in the last few years we have had new types of planes coming into service.

Photo of Mr Michael McNair-Wilson Mr Michael McNair-Wilson , Walthamstow East

Does my hon. Friend agree that there could be more openness about the causes of RAF accidents? Are flight recorders carried in any combat aircraft?

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

That is another question.