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RAF test pilot sues for £200,000 amid claims faulty jet engines ruined his hearing and career

ROYAL EAR FARCE

Benjamin Reilly, 43, spent three months trialling Hawk T-165s for defence giant BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia but says he was grounded after being exposed to the jets' loud 'screeching'

A TEST pilot is suing for more than £200,000, claiming noise from faulty jets caused him hearing loss and tinnitus.

Benjamin Reilly, 43, spent three months trialling   Hawk T-165s for defence giant BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia.

Test pilot Benjamin Reilly is suing for more than £200,000, claiming noise from faulty jets caused him hearing loss and tinnitus

The ex-RAF top gun says he was exposed to loud “screeching” which got worse with altitude.

His writ states some Hawks were later declared unfit for service — and that four other aircrew developed ear ringing condition tinnitus.

Mr Reilly, of Southport, Merseyside, says he was grounded on medical grounds and accuses BAE  of failing to protect him, in papers served at London’s High Court.

The former test pilot says it has affected his sleep and daily life and cost him his successful and lucrative career.

 The Saudi order safeguarded more than 200 British jobs in BAE Systems' Lancashire plant

Reuters

The Saudi order safeguarded more than 200 British jobs in BAE Systems' Lancashire plant

Mr Reilly, from Southport, Merseyside, claims at least one other pilot also reported similar issues while test-flying the Hawks.

Mr Reilly now faces retraining as a civilian pilot after being grounded from fast jet duties .

BAE Systems signed the £1.9 billion deal in May 2012 to supply 22 Hawk trainer jets to Saudi Arabia.

The order safeguarded more than 200 British jobs in Lancashire.

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