Written Answers. - Public Inquiry.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

292 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if it is her intention to hold a public inquiry into the forced landing of Aer Lingus flight 270 EI ACF in Spernal, England, on 1 January 1953; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19249/00]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

295 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she has received representations from members of the family of a person (details supplied) who was pilot of an aircraft (details supplied) which had a forced landing in Spernal, England, on 1 January 1953; if her attention has been drawn to the widespread public concern having regard to recent newspaper reports which suggest that a possible miscarriage of justice occurred; the steps she proposes to take in the interest of natural justice to correct the situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19279/00]

John Perry

Question:

298 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the progress made on the public inquiry into the forced landing of Aer Lingus Flight 270, EI-ACF in Spernal, England, on 1 January 1953; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19401/00]

Nora Owen

Question:

322 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she will provide information concerning a pilot (details supplied) of an Aer Lingus flight 270 which had to make a forced landing and, as a result of a public inquiry, the pilot was prevented from flying again; the plans she has in view of recent information to carry out a further inquiry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20130/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 292, 295, 298 and 322 together.

The accident was the subject of a public inquiry held in the Four Courts in June 1953 before the late Judge Thomas Teevan, SC. The inquiry found that the Aer Lingus DC 3 aircraft on a scheduled flight from Dublin to Bermingham on 1 January crashed at Spernal near Birmingham with the loss of the aircraft. There were no fatalit ies. The inquiry found that the captain was responsible for the accident by allowing both engines cut out by feeding from the same fuel tank which ran dry.
The captain's licence was endorsed by the then Minister for Industry and Commerce, the effect of which prohibited him from flying passenger aircraft. The licence was restored without prejudice in 1977. The late captain's family now seek the quashing of the verdict of the court and officials of my Department are in contact with them. I believe that these discussions should shortly result in an agreed mechanism for a structured review of the issues which are of concern to the family.