Aircraft (Accidents) (Hansard, 16 November 1987)
HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 cc447-9W
Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list, for each year since 1971, the rate of major accidents per 10,000 flying hours for Royal Air Force fast jet aircraft flying at low level.

Mr. Freeman

The information requested is not available. Since 1980, the "Statement on Defence Estimates" has included the major accident rate for Royal Air Force aircraft flying at all levels. Since 1 January 1971, this has been as follows:
Royal Air Force Major Accidents: Rates per 10,000 hours flown
Rate per thousand
1971 0.66
1972 0.46
1973 0.51
1974 0.32
1975 0.45
1976 0.58
1977 0.34
1978 0.49
1979 0.52
1980 0.48
1981 0.50
1982 0.49
1983 0.46
1984 0.38
1985 0.33
1986 0.31

Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the definition of serious damage used in tables 5.7 and 5.8 of the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1987", Vol. 2.

Mr. Freeman

An aircraft is said to be seriously damaged when it has been damaged beyond repair or cannot be repaired on site and must be removed to an established repair depot or civilian repair organisation.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the frequency and circumstances of accidents in the United Kingdom to foreign military low-flying aircraft are taken into account in his continuous assessments of the safety and control procedures in the United Kingdom military low-flying system; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman

Yes, such accidents are taken into account.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military aircraft accident summaries were published in each year from 1980 to date.

Mr. Freeman

Since 1 January 1980, military aircraft accident summaries have been published as follows:
Year Number Published
1980 23
1981 24
1982 23
1983 23
1984 20
1985 16
1986 16
1987 (to 13 November) 15

Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for which of the military aircraft accidents listed in the annexes of the "Statement on Defence Estimates" in each year since 1980 there has been no military aircraft accident summary published; and what was the reason for non-publication in each case.

Mr. Freeman

Of the accidents to Royal Air Force aircraft listed in the "Statement on Defence Estimates" since 1980, military aircraft accident summaries have been published, or will be published, for them all with the following exceptions:
Date Aircraft Reason for non-publication
19 August 1980 Hawk Aircraft damage recategorised.
17 May 1982 Tornado Aircraft belonged to Trinational Training School, RAF Cottesmore.
25 October 1985 Wessex Aircraft lost during security operations in Northern Ireland
19 November 1985 Harrier Aircraft damage recategorised

The Royal Navy began producing summaries in 1985. Since then, summaries for all accidents listed in the SDE have either been published or will be published in due course. It has not been the practice to publish summaries in the case of Army aircraft accidents.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Freeman) on 28 October,Official Report, column 393, that the number of aircraft training accidents in 1987 is the same as for 1986, if he will list the dates, aircraft type and locations of all accidents to British military aircraft flying at low level (a) between 1 January and 31 December 1986, (b) between 1 January and 28 October 1986 and (c) between 1 January and 28 October 1987.

Mr. Freeman

Major accidents to British military aircraft during low flying operations in 1986 and until 28 October 1987 are as follows:
Date Aircraft Type Service Location
1986
7 January Phantom RAF Aysgarth, Yorkshire
20 March Lynx Army Einbeck, West Germany
29 April Gazelle Army Topcliffe
13 May Chinook RAF West Falkland
12 July Gazelle Army Sollau, West Germany
15 July Lightning RAF North Sea off Teeside
7 October Gazelle Army Hildesheim West Germany
20 October Sea King RN In sea off Portugal
5 November Wessex RAF Akrotiri Bay Cyprus
27 November Jaguar RAF Eskdalemuir Forest
1987
1 February Wessex RAF Ben More
24 February Sea King RN Falmouth Bay
27 February Chinook RAF Falkland Island
30 March Tornado RAF Wesel, West Germany
22 April Buccaneer RAF In sea off Wick
3 June Tornado RAF Manby, Lines
17 June Tornado Jaguar RAF Near Keswick
24 June Jaguar RAF Nr. Builth Wells
16 July Gazelle Army BATUS, Suffield, Canada
27 July Tornado RAF Fadmoor, Yorkshire
26 August Phantom RAF Near Aberystwyth
23 September Sea King RN Culdrose
16 October Wessex RN Off Lizard

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