HC Deb 01 December 1937 vol 329 cc2064-5
54. Mr. McEntee

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether, in view of the large number of accidents to civil airplanes leaving registered airports in this country which are due to adverse weather conditions, he will take the necessary steps to see that the taking-off of aircraft in such cases should not be left to the discretion of pilots, but that a responsible official should be on duty at such airports with power to override a pilot's decision to take off where he considered it dangerous to the passengers or crew that the pilot should do so?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

No, Sir. I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut.-Commander Fletcher) on 27th January last.

Mr. McEntee

In view of the fact that pilots have to make this decision on their own, and also in view of the fact that they are men employed, would the hon. Member not agree that they would be inclined to take unnecessary risks, for fear of losing their employment?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

I would not accept that. I think it must be agreed that the person who eventually has to exercise his discretion as to the safety of the passengers must be the pilot himself. He is naturally given all information at the aerodrome, but I do not think it would be in the public interest that a person other than the pilot should be given ultimate discretion.

56. Mr. Perkins

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the total number of lives lost as a result of air-liners taking off in Q.B.I. conditions from Croydon aerodrome since 1st December, 1936?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

Eighteen, in two accidents.

Mr. Montague

Is any responsibility accepted at Croydon for the cockpit equipment of foreign planes?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

I could not say that off-hand. Perhaps the hon. Member will put the question down.

Mr. Thurtle

For the information of the House, would the hon. Gentleman say what is the derivation of these initials, Q.B.I.?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

No, I am afraid I cannot.

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