Editor, UBM

September 26, 2016

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HSE to prosecute after Red Arrows death

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is going to prosecute a manufacturing company after a Red Arrows pilot died in 2011.

Flt Lt Sean Cunningham died in November 2011 after his ejector seat initiated during pre-flight checks of his Hawk XX177 jet while on the ground and stationary at Lincolnshire airbase.

Today, the HSE informed the manufacturer of the ejection seat that it will be prosecuted following “a thorough investigation”.

HSE inspector David Butler said: ” HSE has today informed Martin Baker Aircraft Ltd that it will be prosectued for an alleged breach of health and safety law.

“The charges relate to the death of Flt Lt Sean Cunningham in November 2011 at RAF Scrampton.

“We have conducted a thorough investigation and consider there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution.”

Following an MOD Service Inquiry, investigations by the civilian and military police and technical investigations involving the Military Aviation Authority and the Military Air Accident Investigation Branch, the HSE was handed primacy of the investigation.

Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd, Lower Road, Higher Denham, bear Uxbridge will appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court, date to be confirmed, to face a Section 3 charge under the Health and Safety of Work Act 1974.


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Ray Rapp
Ray Rapp
7 years ago

Interesting, I don’t know the facts but with all these faulty drying machines that catch fire due to a design fault some of which have caused serious fires and putting at risk tens of thousands of people the manufacturer(s) has not (yet) been prosecuted. Maybe a fair comparison and maybe not.