Firstly and most importantly we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham.
Today, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company entered a guilty plea to a single breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This plea was entered following detailed and lengthy discussions with the Health and Safety Executive which have considerably narrowed the issues from when its investigation first started. It should be noted that this was an isolated failure relating to the tightening of a nut during maintenance procedures conducted by RAF Aerobatic Team (RAFAT) mechanics.
Martin-Baker Aircraft Company has designed and manufactured ejection seats for 73 years and in that time these ejection seats have been flown by 92 air forces, with over 17,000 seats currently in use. Our ejection seats have saved the lives of 1050 British Royal Air Force and Navy aircrew, with a further 6509 aircrew lives saved around the world.
Martin-Baker’s priority has and will always be the safety of the aircrew who sit on the Company’s seats. We appreciate that the Health and Safety Executive, during this process, has acknowledged this dedication and track record of saving lives.
A further and more detailed press statement will be released at the conclusion of these proceedings.