Ejector seat maker Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd has admitted breaching health and safety law over the death of a Red Arrows pilot.

Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, an experienced flyer, was ejected from his Hawk T1 aircraft while conducting pre-flight checks on the ground at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, on 8 November 2011.

The parachute on the ejector seat did not deploy and the South African-born airman later died in hospital.

John Martin, statutory director of Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday, admitting a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

At an inquest into the 35-year-old’s death death in 2014, Central Lincolnshire coroner Stuart Fisher criticised the manufacturer for failing to warn the RAF about safety issues.

The company describes itself on its website as a world leader in the design and manufacture of ejection and crashworthy seats.

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(c) Sky News 2018: Ejector seat maker pleads guilty over Red Arrows pilot’s death