HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 c566
18. Mr. J. Wells

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware of the lower accident rate achieved in the United States Naval Air Service as a result of increased expenditure on safety measures; and if he will increase expenditure on accident prevention in order to reduce the number of accidents to naval aircraft.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

I am unable to say how far the lower accident rate in the United States Navy is attributable to any increased spending on flight safety. Comparisons with the United States Navy tend to be misleading owing to differences in the methods of classification. In the last eleven years the major accident rate in the Fleet Air Arm has been reduced per 10,000 hours from 24 down to 10. We are at present considering various ways of improving still further our flight safety.

Mr. Wells

Could my hon. Friend give some outline of the new steps he intends taking? Can he say why it is impossible to get a straight comparison in the number of accidents in a number of flying hours?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Consideration is being given to setting up a Flight Safety Centre to distribute flight safety information and to run flight safety courses. It is difficult to compare like with like, because the endurance of United States naval aircraft is greater than ours and one cannot, therefore, say that 10,000 hours of their flying time would represent the same number of deck landings. If one takes the major accident rates and compares them with the number of deck landings, our figures are favourable compared with theirs.