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Tuesday, 30 August 1960

Mr TOWNLEY - I shall refer this question to my colleague in another place, but I can inform the honorable member now that Electra aircraft are to be returned to the Lockheed factory in California for re positioning of the engine rather than for work on the wing. This will be done at the cost of the Lockheed company, and progressively these aircraft will be taken over to America to be modified. As to whether the Lockheed Electra is a safe aircraft, I can give the honorable gentleman an unqualified assurance in regard to that. This aircraft has been examined by surveyors, aircraft engineers and so on, in every country on earth where the Electra has been operating. These authorities have met in the United States, and Australian technical authorities were there with them. After the most exhaustive tests they decided that this aircraft could be flown with utter safety at a speed not exceeding 225 knots, and that is the practice now throughout the world. I might add that, as well, the Department of Civil Aviation in Australia watches the position constantly, and is quite satisfied with the operating safety of the aircraft. The people who have probably the most intimate interest in the safety of this aircraft are the airline pilots and air crews. As well as having a personal interest in the safety of the aircraft and being superb professionally, they have a very keen sense of their responsibilities to the travelling public - and they do not hesitate to accept this aircraft with its present limitation regarding speed.

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