§ 78. Mr. MORRELL
asked the Undersecretary of State to the Air Ministry whether his attention has been called to the loss of life that occurs amongst officers undergoing instruction in flying; whether in the year 1917 nearly 800 pilots lost their lives in the training grounds of this country alone; whether in the opinion of many competent men a large proportion of these accidents might have been prevented if the use of parachutes had been allowed and that a type of parachute suitable for this purpose has now been perfected; and whether, under these circumstances, he will give permission for officers to provide themselves at their own expense with parachutes, as many have desired to do, and to go through a course of parachuting at the time they receive instruction in flying?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE to the AIR MINISTRY (Major Baird)
The hon. Member will be glad to know that the total number of fatal flying accidents during training in this country in the period referred to was much smaller than the figure quoted in the question. I cannot agree with the suggestion contained in the third part of the question, though experiments are being and will continue to be made. I would add that the great majority of accidents occur in circumstances in which it could not be hoped that any kind of parachute would be of avail.
§ Mr. MORRELL
If I am able to bring some facts before the hon. and gallant Gentleman, will he make further inquiries as regards a suitable parachute?