ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 139874
Last updated: 13 December 2013
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Narrative:This Chipmunk was one of a batch built for the RATG (Rhodesian Air Training Group), was delivered, but, along with several others, never used. Its RAF serial was WG425. VH-FTA was, therefore, brand new when acquired the Royal Aero Club of NSW in 1955. This aircraft was mercifully spared the standard navy blue fuselage with black rego (probably because it was owned by a second party and operated by the club).
de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk 22
|Owner/operator:||Royal Aero Club of New South Wales|
|C/n / msn:|| C1/0499|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Cobbitty, near Camden, New South Wales -
|Phase:|| Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)|
|Departure airport:||Bankstown, Sydney, NSW|
|Destination airport:||Bankstown, Sydney, NSW|
VH-FTA crashed on 27 January 1968 at Cobbitty, near Camden, killing Royal Aero Club of NSW Instructor Arthur Kell, DFC and Bar, and his student, who had gone out to do a session of spins. The subsequent investigation revealed that a 20-cent coin had fell out of the pilot's pocket whilst the aircraft was inverted, jammed the controls, preventing the stick from moving.
It was ironic that Arthur Kell had survived all the Germans had thrown at him during WW II, but was killed by a coin someone had lost in the cockpit. Moral: Never do aerobatics with anything in your pockets!
The leather or canvas boot around the base of the stick was in poor condition thus allowing the coin to enter. Post accident there was a nation wide flurry of activity to rectify similar wear and tear on other Chipmunks. The problem was exacerbated by the practice in those days of removing the rear stick for solo flights thus leaving a gaping hole for objects to enter the under floor area.
http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austcl/VH-FTA.html www.cnapg.net/chipmunk.htm www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=WG
||Dr. John Smith
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