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Royal Air Force (Civilian Flying Instructors)

Volume 480: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will consult with the Minister, of Pensions, with a view to reconsidering the position in regard to pensions of ex-officers of the Royal Air Force who are now employed as civilian flying instructors at regular Royal Air Force training stations, in view of the fact that an assistant chief flying instructor was recently killed while on duty at such a training station and his widow has been informed that under existing regulations she is not eligible for a Service pension although her husband at the time of his death was still a member of the Royal Air Force Reserve.

Civilian flying instructors engaged at Reserve Flying Schools are employees of private firms working under contract to the Air Ministry. These contracts provide that pilots employed by the contractor notwithstanding that they may be members of the non-regular Air Force, are to be regarded at all times and for all purposes as servants of the contractor, except when on Air Force service. In these circumstances, I regret that I can see no ground for suggesting that civilian flying instructors should be made eligible for Service pension when engaged on the business of their employers.