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Company fined £1.1m after Red Arrows pilot dies in ejector seat accident

Sean Cunningham died in 2011 after being accidentally ejected from his plane Credit: Press Association

The company that manufactured an ejector seat, which failed and led to the death of a Red Arrows pilot has been fined £1.1million.

Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham died after being accidentally ejected from his plane while on the ground at RAF Scampton in 2011.

The makers of the seat - Martin Baker Aircraft - admitting breaching health and safety law.

Our thoughts remain foremost with the family and friends of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, to whom the Company conveys its sadness, regret and apology.

Martin-Baker’s ethos has always been to design and manufacture the highest quality ejection seats and that the maintenance should be carried out to the highest possible standards, under effective supervision and by regularly trained and qualified personnel.

Martin-Baker has designed and manufactured ejection seats for 73 years and in that time they have been flown by 92 air forces. Our seats have saved the lives of 1,050 RAF and Royal Navy aircrew with a further 6,510 aircrew lives saved around the world.

We appreciate that both the Judge and the Health & Safety Executive, during this process, has acknowledged our dedication and track record in saving lives.

– Martin Baker Aircraft

The case centred on the fact that the company had not warned the RAF that a nut and bolt could prevent the parachute from deploying when the plane is not moving if fastened too tightly.