AT an airfield in Dorset, a vintage aircraft took to the air and then – as too often seems to happen – fell out of it. The fatal consequences led to Rogers v Hoyle  EWCA Civ 257,  3 W.L.R. 145 – proceedings brought on behalf of the dependants of the deceased passenger, Orlando Rogers, against the pilot, Scott Hoyle, whose negligence they claimed had caused the crash. As required by law, the accident had been officially investigated by the Department of Transport's Air Accident Investigation Department (the AAID). Its report contained findings about the cause of the accident which were helpful to the claimants' case, so they sought to adduce it as evidence. To this the defendant objected and sought to persuade the courts to exclude it. That he failed in his attempt is unsurprising because, as Leggatt J. put it at first instance, “If any non lawyer was told that the law does not permit a court to have regard to the AAIB report when deciding how the accident was caused, I am sure that he or she would express astonishment at the suggestion”. But if the sensible outcome was so obvious, why were lengthy judgments at two levels, with over 70 authorities cited and discussed, needed to produce it?