HC Deb 14 July 1954 vol 530 cc443-4
3. Mr. Tomney

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the source and identity of the Royal Air Force aircraft flying low over Hammersmith on the evening of 21st June.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

The aircraft was a Lincoln of Bomber Command taking part in a rehearsal for the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association Searchlight Tattoo at the White City.

Mr. Tomney

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this aircraft was flying at a height of 300 feet without navigation lights, and caused quite a lot of consternation to people in the neighbourhood, especially patients in hospitals? Will the hon. Gentleman undertake that in future aircraft of this size and character fly at the regulation height and display navigation lights?

Mr. Ward

Yes, Sir. I am very sorry that the public was disturbed in this way on this occasion. Last year a Lincoln bomber did the same thing without public protest. This year, unfortunately, the aircraft was forced down by low cloud below the height at which it would not have caused any complaint.

Mr. Beswick

How was this machine traced, when normally anyone who makes a complaint is told that he must quote its number?

Mr. Ward

This aircraft was taking part in a searchlight tattoo, and there was only one aircraft there.