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Tuesday, 15 March 1966

Mr SWARTZ - No fault has been established in the high wing type of aircraft now in operation in Australia. What has taken place in the United Kingdom is this: In early tests certain high tail wing aircraft proved to have a pre-disposition at a certain stage of stall to some breakdown leading to a situation that could be difficult for the crew to control. Many of the aircraft of this type produced in the United Kingdom have fitted to them what is technically termed a stick pusher. This controls stall at a certain stage. The aircraft manufactured in the United States of America, which are operating successfully in Australia and throughout the world, do not reach this position of stall under similar conditions and the equipment fitted to the United Kingdom aircraft is not necessary. This is no criticism of either type of aircraft, both of which operate efficiently.

Mr Beazley - Is the Minister satisfied after what has happened in Tokyo?

Mr SWARTZ - Yes. The position has been clearly stated following a recent conference in the United States of America in relation to aircraft of this type which are flying at the present time. I refer specifically, of course, to the Boeing 727 aircraft which is operating in Australia. No mechanical fault was proved in any way at all. The aircraft has been declared to be perfectly safe in operation provided that certain operation and ground control procedures are adhered to. We are very happy to know that Australia's Department of Civil Aviation procedures are in accord, and previously have been in accord, with what has been recommended by this conference in the United States. In other words, complete safety of operation can be expected provided these operation and control methods are maintained.

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