§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement as to the circumstances in which an RAF Jaguar dropped a 10 ft long auxiliary fuel tank near the village of Halberton, Devon, at approximately 16.30 hours on Tuesday 14 June; and what effective action he proposes to take to prevent such an event happening again.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
At about 4.15 pm on 14 June, during a routine training flight, an external fuel tank was inadvertently released from a Procurement Executive Jaguar aircraft of the Empire test pilots' school at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. The tank fell on open ground near Halberton. We have received no reports of consequential injury to any person or livestock or damage to property. A unit inquiry has been convened and I expect it to report on the incident in about two weeks' time. Meanwhile it would be premature to prejudge the outcome of the investigation or to predict any measures which it may suggest to be necessary.