HC Deb 19 January 1949 vol 460 cc141-2
Air-Commodore Harvey (by Private Notice)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will make a statement regarding the B.S.A.A. aircraft Star Ariel which is missing on a flight between Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica.

Mr. Lindgren

I much regret to inform the House that we must now presume the loss of the British South American Airways Corporation's Tudor IVB aircraft G-AGRE known as "Star Ariel" on a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica, on the morning of Monday, 17th January. The machine carried 13 passengers and seven crew.

Search for the aircraft is continuing, and the full air-sea rescue service, in which we are grateful to have the full co-operation of the United States authorities, is in operation over the whole area.

I am sure I am expressing the feelings of the Whole House, when on behalf of my noble Friend and myself, I extend profound sympathy to the families of the passengers and crew of the aircraft, of whose survival I am afraid there can now be very little hope.

A preliminary investigation has already begun and a representative of the Chief Inspector of Accidents left for Bermuda yesterday.

As a result of this tragic loss, the British South American Airways Corporation have decided that the Tudor IVB shall be suspended from service pending a special investigation of each individual Tudor IV aircraft. My noble Friend is sure that they are taking the right course, and he is taking the necessary steps to see that all available resources are placed at their disposal.

Air-Commodore Harvey

While I agree with the course taken by the hon. Gentleman's noble Friend, will he not also investigate the accident record of British South American Airways Corporation, which had a crash only two weeks ago involving loss of life?

Mr. Lindgren

Yes, Sir.

Wing-Commander Millington

Can my hon. Friend say what steps have been taken by British South American Airways Corporation as regards the inquiry made into the loss of the Star Tiger?

Mr. Lindgren

All the recommendations of the Macmillan Report were fully implemented even before the Macmillan Report was made public.