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Narrative:Crashed during flight from LGW operating base to Lasham engineering base (for crew positioning to Bristol). Struck trees on hillside in valley in poor weather, both persons on board killed
|Owner/operator:||Dan Air Services Ltd|
|C/n / msn:|| 23-1314|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Loxhill, Hascombe, near Godalming, Surrey -
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||London Gatwick (LGW/EGKK)|
|Destination airport:||Lasham, Hampshire (QLA/EGHL)|
Per contemporary report in "Flight International" magazine, 10 August 1967: "For reasons that have not been ascertained, the pilot of the Dan-Air Piper Apache which crashed into high ground en route from Gatwick to Lasham on September 1, 1966, had attempted to remain below cloud when such an operating technique was not practicable in the weather conditions prevailing.
The aircraft was on a communications flight with two crew aboard (only the pilot had an instrument rating) and was well equipped for IFR operation yet the decision was taken to fly VFR. The inspector of accidents in his report just published* notes that radar services were standing by at Lasham to give approach guidance to the Apache, and that the last weather information passed to the pilot indicated a cloud base at Lasham of 300 feet above ground with a visibility of 1.5 to 2 miles. The inspector notes that "a direct VFR flight to Lasham would have saved considerable time, and it may be that this was what the pilot had in mind. However, in the circumstances, the decision to attempt the flight below cloud was bad airmanship and the fundamental cause of the accident."
The aircraft struck trees near the top of the 644 feet Loxhill a mile north of Dunsfold. Both pilots were killed but the report considers that the degree of injury received (almost entirely to the head and upper torso) "would have been considerably lessened if shoulder harnesses and protective helmets had been worn." Only lap straps were fitted to the Apache..."
1. Local knowledge. Date, nature of flight, and narrative corrected from contemporary item in Flight International (August 10, 1967) re AAIB report publication.
||Updated [Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]|
||Updated [Date, Nature, Source, Narrative]|
||Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]|