Health and safety police say it’s unsafe for WWII ace to board Spitfire

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A Second World War fighter pilot has spoken out against “ridiculous” health and safety concerns which prevented him from sitting in the cockpit of a stationary Spitfire on show at a museum.

Eric Carter, now 91, was told he could not go aboard because paint containing a radioactive substance had been used to refurbish its instrument panel.

Mr Carter, from Worcestershire, thanked staff at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent for inviting him to view the aircraft.

It is understood that the Spitfire did not have a proper seat fitted and officials were concerned for Mr Carter’s welfare given his age.

Professing himself to be amused rather than angry, the war hero, who served in a secret RAF unit in Arctic Russia, added: “It just seemed a bit ridiculous.”