asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that aircraft accident reports are completed more quickly than the time taken in relation to the helicopter crashes off the Scilly Isles on 16 July 1983 and at Aberdeen airport on 4 July 1983.
An aircraft accident which is the subject of a formal inspector's investigation involves a most detailed investigation of all aspects of the accident. This invariably takes time, particularly if any tests or research are required. In addition, there is a lengthy and comprehensive statutory procedure to be followed in which the various parties to the investigation are invited to make representations. This procedure can be more prolonged for example if a foreign manufacturer is involved.It must be stressed that immediate action is taken if during an investigation any evidence is unearthed which has safety connotations. There is no question of having to wait for the report to be published before disseminating safety information. It is important that the maximum value is obtained from an accident investigation so that further accidents can be prevented. It is considered that the present procedures strike a reasonable balance between the need for a detailed technical investigation and the time taken to publish the report.