§ 35. Captain EDEN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how many accidents have taken place in the last 12 months in Atlas aeroplanes used by the Royal Air Force and how the proportion compares with that of other makes?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Montague)
During the past 12 months, four fatal accidents, involving the type of aircraft in question, have occurred, and the proportion compares not unfavourably with fatal accidents involving other types of aircraft. My Noble Friend, however, deprecates the making of any attempt to draw inferences on that score as to the merits or demerits of a particular type, as being likely to produce very misleading conclusions.
§ Captain EDEN
Can the hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that the Ministry are satisfied that these accidents have nothing to do with the make of the machines?
§ Sir W. BRASS
Is there any evidence to show that this particular type of aircraft is dangerous either to fly or to land?
§ 36. Captain EDEN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if Atlas aircraft used for training purposes at the Cranwell Royal Air Force cadet college are fitted with safety slots; and if, in the 384 case of recent accidents to this type, the slots bad been left unlocked and free to operate?
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, in the case of one fatal accident involving this type of aircraft at Cranwell the slots were sealed, in the two other cases the slots were unlocked.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
It was the policy, until the beginning of this year, that a certain amount of ab initio training should be done with sealed slots, because of the effect upon the work of the pilot afterwards.