Letter: Backward-facing seats and air safety

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The Independent Online
Sir: H. C. Grant states that backward-facing aircraft seats have never been used (letter, 28 May). As far as I remember, this is not true. In the late 1950s, I was crewing officer and then senior air operations officer with Eagle Aviation at Blackbushe Aerodrome. The aircraft were Vickers Viking and we used backward-facing seats on trooping aircraft, mainly to North Africa. It was a requirement of the Ministry of Defence contracts before they could be awarded.

One of these aircraft with backward-facing seats had engine failure over Blackbushe in June 1958 and crashed. Unfortunately, nearly all the troops and family people on board were killed.

Yours faithfully,


Carmarthen, Dyfed

28 May