HC Deb 10 July 1979 vol 970 c127W
32. Mr. Lennox-Boyd

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many crashes have occurred in the last 12 months in connection with Royal Air Force pilots undergoing training in Jet Provost aircraft; and how many resulted in loss of life.

Mr. Pattie

During the last 12 months there have been two crashes involving RAF Jet Provost aircraft with pilots undergoing training, which have resulted in the loss of the life of one pilot.

Dr. Hampson

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if, in the light of six Jet Provost crashes, he is satified about the reliability of these planes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Pattie

The two most recent accidents of Jet Provost aircraft—on 28 March and 3 July 1979—are under investigation and I cannot at this stage comment on the possible causes. As for the earlier accidents—one in 1977 and three in 1978—the House was informed on 3 April 1979—[Vol. 965, c.634]—that no evidence has come to light to suggest any common factor; and that the Jet Provost is planned to remain in service for many years. Of the four accidents which have now been investigated, only one was attributed to a technical defect—an engine failure. There is no evidence therefore of any inherent defect in the aircraft or indeed of any deterioration in its safety record during its Service life; or that it is in any way unsuited to its role as a training aircraft.