§ Mr. Nott
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether he will investigate the cause of a supersonic boom which occurred at approximately 4.30 p.m. on Friday, 8th November, 1968, in the constituency of the hon. Member for St. Ives; and why this occurred without prior warning being given to the local residents following the undertaking given to the hon. Member on 26th June, 1968;
(2) whether the supersonic boom at approximately 4.30 p.m. on Friday, 8th November, 1968, which occurred in the constituency of the hon. Member for St. Ives, was caused by service aircraft.
§ Dr. David Owen
Investigation shows that a naval aircraft from the Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton, made an authorised supersonic flight some 35 miles from the North Cornish coast at about 257W 4.30 p.m. on 8th November. This was in accordance with the revised instructions issued last June.
It is considered unlikely that this aircraft could have been the cause of the supersonic boom heard in the St. Ives area, but no other Service aircraft can be traced as having carried out supersonic flights at the time stated. If the naval aircraft was responsible and by some unusual atmospheric condition the bang was heard at St. Ives I very much regret any disturbance caused. Prior public warning of supersonic flights made out to sea are not considered to be necessary.