RAF health and safety farce after crew manager forgoes flight after chipping a fingernail

9 May 2022, 07:14 | Updated: 9 May 2022, 08:28

The crew manager was working on a Voyager aircraft
The crew manager was working on a Voyager aircraft. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A crew manager on an RAF aircraft had to sit out his shift on board the plane after chipping a nail.

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An insider in the air force branded it "embarrassing" and overbearing health and safety rules risked the service "becoming a laughing stock".

The Airbus A330 Voyager was taking medical supplies from Bahrain to Brunei, where British forces have a base, when the manager complained about chipping his fingernail.

The Air Safety Information Management System report said he ended up sitting in a passenger seat for the journey, the Sun said.

It quoted an RAF source as saying: "It's embarrassing to say the least.

"He won't live that one down in a hurry, but these ridiculous health and safety rules… It risks us becoming a laughing stock."

The Voyagers are used as air-to-air refuelling tankers in the RAF, filling up fighter jets during transit or on operations, besides their air transport role.

It can also be used as a passenger transport plane, and one of the aircraft, called "Vespina", doubles up as the VIP jet for the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and royals.

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It has a distinctive, Britain-themed livery, with the union jack painted on its tail and the words "United Kingdom" emblazoned in gold writing on its side.

The Voyager flight from Bahrain to Brunei was operated by AirTanker, a private company, and it was crewed by civilians.

AirTanker said: "It successfully operated as scheduled.

"At no point did it divert from its pre-authorised flight plan."

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