§ Mr. Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent trends have been observed in accident rates to Royal Air Force fast jet aircraft operating at low level; and what assessment has been made of the reasons for these trends;
(2) what recent trends have been observed in accident rates to Royal Air Force fast jet aircraft; and what assessment has been made of the reasons for these trends.
§ Mr. Neubert
The major accident rates (1971–87) for Royal Air Force aircraft and for RAF fast jet aircraft were set out in columns336-38 of the Official Report on 18 April 1988. Both have fallen over the years, reflecting the professionalism of the aircrew and support personnel of 367W the RAF as well as the continuous improvements in aircraft performance. Time spent at low level is not recorded precisely: it is not, therefore, possible to state the major accident rate for fast jets operating at low level. However, since 1979 such accidents account for some 32 per cent. of the total suffered by the RAF. This is compatible with the increased proportion of low-level flying training undertaken by the RAF since 1979.