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Prince Charles gives up flying

LONDON, July 19 -- Prince Charles has given up flying all aircraft even though an official inquiry cleared him of responsibility for a crash landing last year, a spokesman for the heir to the British throne said Wednesday. The St. James's Palace spokesman said the prince of Wales made the decision shortly after he crash-landed a Royal Air Force plane on the Scottish island of Islay in June 1994.

The spokesman said it would not have been 'considerate' to publicize the prince's decision earlier, while the inquiry into the incident was still under way. The findings of the Ministry of Defense inquiry, which were published Wednesday, apportioned no blame to the prince, but criticized the pilot, who supervised the flight from Aberdeen to Islay, and the navigator. The report said the pilot, RAF Squadron Leader Graham Laurie, and the navigator had been 'negligent' for letting the prince land the BAe 146 aircraft in high winds. The pilot should have taken over before the plane, which was carrying 11 people, landed too fast and came off the runway. No one was injured in the accident, but the aircraft suffered damage worth an estimated 1 million pounds ($1.59 million).

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