§ 19. Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the provision of parachutes for crews of sea-going service aircraft is considered a matter of urgency; and if he will state for how long experiments with this equipment provision have been carried on, and when the present trials are likely to be concluded?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Montague)
The provision of parachutes for the crews of aircraft when flying over the sea is regarded as a matter of great importance, but a difficult mechanical problem is involved, namely, to devise a form of parachute harness enabling the wearer to divest himself of encumbrances in a confined space in the least possible time if his machine falls into the water. Exhaustive trials and experiments extending over more than four years have been carried out with forms of quick re ease to enable the wearer to get rid of his parachute equipment. I am hopeful that the latest design of quick release will be adequate for sea-going aircraft other than those flying on and off ships' decks, and that one of the types of equipment recently under trial in the Fleet, although not fulfilling all the desired conditions, will be found sufficiently satisfactory for these latter aircraft. If this is confirmed, provision will be made as early as possible.