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Aircraft Accident, Shoreham

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1949

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether his attention has been called to the inquest on two private aeroplane flyers killed while flying the Brookside Flying Group's only aeroplane from Shoreham aerodrome last February; and whether he proposes to hold a public inquiry.

Yes, Sir. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No, Sir."

Does the Minister realise that this aircraft might easily have come down over Brighton instead of into the sea, and that the matter is causing a lot of local concern because of the fact that the group now have another aircraft? Can no supervision be provided? Furthermore, is it not always the custom where there is an air accident that some inquiry is made and afterwards the results of the inquiry are made public?

Yes, Sir. If I may work backwards I would tell the House that there was an inquiry carried out by the Chief Inspector of Accidents. The report can be had by anyone who is interested in it. I am not quite certain whether it was published in the same way as other reports are published. So far as regulations are concerned, flying is difficult enough at the present time. We do not want to make it more difficult and to regulate it completely out of the sky.

Does the Minister feel that there should be further supervision? There are quite enough rules and regulations already, but there ought to be provision for the safety of the public.

The regulations are made under the Air Navigation Order, 1949, which came into force on 1st April this year. Responsibility is jointly on the operator of the aircraft and on the person in command of it. There is a regulation for the certificate of airworthiness, while the person who flies it must have a pilot's licence.