HC Deb 02 April 1930 vol 237 cc1271-2
40. Mr. MANDER

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he will consider the possibility of arranging for flying instruction to be given to civilians who are proposing to enter the Royal Air Force through the medium of light aeroplane clubs instead of the existing schools, seeing that this would result in substantial economies in addition to assisting the extension of these clubs?


My Noble Friend is anxious to make the fullest use of the light aeroplane clubs, and they do already serve a very useful purpose in training possible candidates for entry into the Reserve of Air Force Officers and the Auxiliary Air Force. The standard of knowledge demanded of regular officers of the Royal Air Force is, however, much higher than that which the clubs could reasonably be expected to attain. In order to train up to that standard, which includes much more than the mere ability to fly, the clubs would need to provide themselves with aircraft of varying types and other equipment on the same scale as the flying training schools of the Royal Air Force, and would require a staff of specialised instructors in tactics, armament, and the other technical subjects studied in the Service.


Would it not be practicable to train the pilots up to a certain point, and then pass them on for further work?


I think my answer indicates that the light aeroplane clubs serve a useful purpose in training men for entry into the Reserve.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire light aeroplane clubs have both been approved for subsidy from 1st April?


Applications for approval from the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire light aeroplane clubs for subsidy have been received and are under consideration.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if the £10 grant for each licensed pilot will be given annually to the Approved Light Aeroplane Club or only once on the pilot obtaining a licence?


A £10 grant will be paid to the club in respect of every pilot's licence issued or renewed for a member, subject to the conditions laid down in the agreement with the club being satisfied; consequently, subject to those conditions, if a pilot renews his licence each year, the grant is annual.