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Royal Squadron

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what safeguards are in place to ensure that planes of the Royal Squadron are properly maintained. [17415]

The BAe 146s, BAe 125s and Wessex helicopters of No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron are required to be maintained to RAF standards, which are at least as robust as those applying to civil aircraft. The terms of the engineering support element of the multi-activity contract at RAF Northolt stipulate that contractor personnel should be capable of maintaining the aircraft to the same standards as would be required of RAF personnel. The Squadron also operates Twin Squirrel helicopters provided and maintained by a different contractor, which are required to meet CAA standards. We will, however, ensure that all the lessons from the recent incident involving a BAe 146 from No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron are identified and acted upon.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to revert to Royal Air Force servicing and maintenance of aircraft of No. 32 (The Royal Squadron) at Royal Air Force, Northolt. [17376]

There are no such plans. We will, however, ensure that all the lessons from the recent incident involving a BAe 146 from No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron are identified and acted upon.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the findings of the inquiry into the technical causes of the airborne emergency of a BAe 146 aircraft of No. 32 (The Royal Squadron) on 6 November. [17377]

It would not be appropriate to publish the Station Inquiry as it will deal with named individuals. I will, however, write to the hon. Member once our investigation is complete, and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.