HC Deb 13 March 1928 vol 214 cc1725-6

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can make any statement to the House on the circumstances under which Flight-Lieutenant S. M. Kinkead lost his life in Southampton Water yesterday; whether the speed trial undertaken by this gallant officer was approved by the Air Ministry; if speed trials of this character serve any useful purpose in aircraft organisation for defence; if an inquiry will be held to ascertain the cause of the disaster, and if in speed trials in future measures will be taken to reduce to a minimum the possibilities of accident?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Samuel Hoare)

As regards the first part of the question, pending the recovery of the machine, which is sunk in water of some depth, I regret that I am unable to add anything to the information that has appeared in the Press on this subject. The answer to the remaining parts is in the affirmative. I will only add that the machine and

engine employed were of the same type as those which won the Schneider contest in Venice last September, and that every possible precaution is, of course, and has always been taken to reduce to a minimum the possibilities of accident in flights of this character. I am sure the House will, as I said yesterday, join with me in expressing their profound sympathy to the relatives of this most gallant and promising officer, whose untimely death we all most deeply mourn.