HC Deb 17 November 1948 vol 458 cc337-8
2. Squadron-Leader Fleming

asked the Secretary of State for Air what inquiry, apart from the coroner's inquest, was held into the death of Aircraftman Michael Gaunt stationed at Church Fenton, who was killed on a test flight on or about 16th April, 1948; and whether the father of the deceased has been informed of the cause of his son's death, or given particulars of the crash.

Mr. A. Henderson

A Royal Air Force Court of Inquiry into this accident was held on 19th April. The father of the deceased airman has now been informed that the court was unable, through lack of evidence, to arrive at any positive conclusions about the cause of the accident. I regret that, through an unfortunate oversight, this information was not given earlier. I am sending the hon. and gallant Member further particulars of the accident.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

In view of the fact that the Court of Inquiry was held last April and that no information was given to the parents until quite recently—I do not know the exact date—would my right hon. and learned Friend consider the advisability of alternative procedure so that when the next-of-kin is informed in a fatal accident case, the usual telegram, which is sent by the Station Adjutant, should contain at the end the words "letter following," and then details should be given that there was no negligence, if such was the case?

Mr. Henderson

Certainly. I shall be glad to examine that suggestion.

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