HC Deb 04 March 1957 vol 566 cc8-9W
58. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Supply by what type of Royal Air Force aircraft the damage done during an operation to the glass roof of the operating theatre of the Southport Infirmary was caused; and whether he will see that, in future, flights of this kind take place over the sea.

Mr. W. J. Taylor

The aircraft concerned was a P.1 fighter flown by a pilot of the English Electric Company under contract with my Department. The aircraft was headed out to sea where the test was to take place. The pilot was obliged to get his position by radio bearings because there was cloud below him, and he passed through the sound barrier five seconds too early and just before crossing the coast. I much regret that damage was caused.

I am afraid that for reasons explained by my predecessor and in reply to the hon. Member for Maidstone (Sir A. Bossom) on 11th July, 1955, no undertaking can be given to confine supersonic flying wholly to sea areas, although we do our utmost to avoid causing damage and inconvenience.