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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74458
Last updated: 8 April 2021
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Type:Handley Page Halifax Mk II
Owner/operator:TFU Royal Air Force (TFU RAF)
Registration: V9977
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lower Lydbrook, Welsh Bicknor, 8 mi SSW of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Defford
Destination airport:RAF Defford
Halifax V9977 of the Telecommunications Flying Unit, Royal Air Force, was on a flight from its base at Defford, testing the top secret H2S ground mapping radar system. It carried a flight crew of seven RAF personnel and four technical experts.

A fire started in the starboard outer engine and spread to adjacent fuel tanks. The pilot sought to make a forced landing on flat ground near the River Wye, but before he could do so the wing structure burned through and the outer portion of the starboard wing broke away.

The Halifax rolled over and dived five hundred feet to the ground. There were no survivors.

The RAF investigation found that the fire was caused by the improper tightening of a tappet valve nut which had unscrewed in flight, causing excessive valve opening and the failure of the valve stem. This allowed fuel to leak out of the rocker cover and ignite inside the engine nacelle.

One of the civilian scientists aboard the aircraft was Alan Blumlein, an electrical engineer and gifted inventor who is regarded as one of the most significant scientists of the 20th century. He held 128 patents for inventions in the fields of telecommunications, sound recording, radar, and television. He was the inventor of the stereophonic sound system.

The eleven crew that were killed were named as:
First Pilot: P/O Officer D.J.D.Berrington (115095)
Second Pilot: F/O A.M.Phillips (44185)
Observer. F/Sgt G. Millar (751019)
F/Eng. LAC B.D.C.Dear (571852)
WOp/AG. Aircraftman II, B.C.F. Bicknell (1271272)
S/Ldr R.J.Sansom (33372) (Attached T.R.E.)
P/O C.E.Vincent (110285) (Attached T.R.E.)
Mr. G.S.Hensby, Civilian T.R.E.
Mr. A.D.Blumlein, Civilian E.M.I.
Mr. C.O.Browne, Civilian E.M.I.
Mr. F.Blythen, Civilian E.M.I.


1. Air Britain: RAF Aircraft T1000 - V9999, published 1997

Revision history:

23-May-2010 22:15 angels one five Added
23-May-2010 22:20 angels one five Updated [Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2012 06:00 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Jan-2013 23:26 angels one five Updated [Operator, Narrative]
07-Jan-2013 00:19 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
05-Sep-2014 22:52 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
23-Dec-2014 22:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
23-Dec-2014 22:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location]
08-Jan-2016 15:05 JIXN Updated [Operator, Narrative]

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