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Low-Flying Aircraft, Rugby

Volume 530: debated on Monday 19 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Supply what knowledge he possesses of low-flying jet aircraft over Rugby; and what action he is taking in this matter.

The only aircraft operating in that area for which I have any responsibility are those manufactured at the Armstrong-Whitworth Works. These have to be flight-tested before delivery to the Services.

The pilots are expressly forbidden to fly below 1,000 feet, except when taking off or landing; and I have received no evidence to show that any of these aircraft have contravened the regulations.

Is the Minister aware that his colleague the Under-Secretary of State for Air, disclaims all knowledge of R.A.F. planes in this connection and that I believe him, because in my division there are many ex-pilots who think that these planes are from the right hon. Gentleman's establishment at Bitteswell? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is an intolerable nuisance to teachers in schools and to parents who have small children? Would he look at it again, please?

Looking at it is not so easy. The areoplane, presumably, is no longer there. We have consulted Rugby police, who tell us that they have not observed or had reports of low-flying aircraft for a long time. Nevertheless, I have brought the hon. Member's complaint to the attention of the firm concerned, though I have no evidence whatsoever that anyone there has transgressed at all.