HC Deb 06 April 1927 vol 204 cc2065-6
70. Colonel DAY

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he has received a Report of the coroner's statement at the inquest held at Hawkinge aerodrome on Pilot-officer Frederick Priestman and Leading-aircraftsman John W. Pickering, who were killed in an air crash at Elham; and whether, in view of these remarks, instructions will be issued that unimportant flights should be discontinued in the future when indications have been received that the destinations were not desirable places' to go to on account of fog?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Samuel Hoare)

I have seen the Press reports of the coroner's inquest, but the Reports of the official Court of Inquiry and of the Inspector of Accidents have not yet been received. I can make no statement in regard to the orders, if any, which it will be necessary to issue when the Report has been received and considered.

Colonel DAY

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider it necessary to allow these men to take unnecessary risks in weather of this kind?


I certainly do not wish anyone to take unnecessary risks, but I cannot express an opinion on this case until I have had the Report.


Must any airman go up if he is ordered to do so by his superior officer?


Yes, Sir, certainly, if it be a proper order.

72. Colonel DAY

asked the Secretary of State for Air what percentage of accidents in the Royal Air Force since the war have been due to wing flutter or tail flutter in the aeroplanes involved; what types of post-war aircraft have possessed either of these defects; if it has been found necessary to restrict the manœuvres of any types of post-war machines; and whether such types were retained in use in the Royal Air Force although they were known to be prone to wing flutter or tail flutter?


I am not prepared to give the information for which the hon. Member asks. The whole question of accidents in the Royal Air Force was dealt very fully by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in the House on 10th March, and he has since deprecated inquiries on points of detail of this character.

Colonel DAY

Is it the fact that certain instructions have been issued that machines should not be flown at over 60 miles an hour, and are those instructions on account of the wing flutter?


I am afraid the hon. Member is asking for just the information I cannot give him.