TV company to be shot down in flames

A firm that provided aircraft equipment for an episode of the Thames TV series Call Red, saw red when its equipment was returned damaged. Now it is taking Thames to the High Court with a claim for nearly £50,000 compensation.

The case will centre on an episode dealing with an air crash. To add reality, Trygon, a company based at Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, was called in to provide plane parts.

Trygon sold Thames a BAC 1-11 series 200 aircraft fuselage for £18,000 in June 1995 and agreed to loan other equipment – landing gear, an engine and engine cowlings – for free.

The company says Thames was told the equipment was valuable and in serviceable condition and that proper care should be taken of it.

But Trygon claims that in September 1995, while filming an episode of the series, which features emergency rescue scenarios, Thames lit fires around the fuselage and landing gear, damaging the landing gear.

The nose wheels and tyres were burnt, the nose landing gear was blackened, both wheels appear to be corroding – probably from the fire extinguishing materials – and some of the other equipment was broken, fractured or dented.

Trygon puts the replacement cost at £48,346 and accuses Thames TV of failing to take proper care of the gear and returning it in a damaged and improper condition. It will claim that Thames was negligent in failing to remove the gear from around the fire, failing to isolate the gear before the fire, and failing to extinguish the fire in good time to avoid damage.

BD Laddie of London is acting for Trygon.