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,

RICHARD J. CLAYDON

Carmarthen, Dyfed

28 May

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