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Unauthorised Flights

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of unauthorised helicopter flights by UK forces that have taken place in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last 12 months. (89892)

There have been no unauthorised helicopter flights by UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 12 months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of UK personnel (a) injured and (b) killed as a result of unauthorised flights in the armed forces in the last 12 months; (89894)

(2) what procedures are in place to minimise (a) equipment abuse and (b) unauthorised flights by UK forces.

The Ministry of Defence has procedures to ensure that all equipment is used and maintained correctly and appropriate training is provided in its use. The abuse of equipment can lead to disciplinary action being taken against individuals.

Procedures for authorising flights made by a UK military aircraft are laid down in joint service publications which require that all military flights are authorised by a suitably qualified authorising officer. All Boards of Inquiry into fatal aircraft accidents over the last 12 months have found that the flights were authorised. A Board of Inquiry is not held for every person hurt on a military flight.