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Last updated: 23 July 2019
Status:
Date:Sunday 2 December 1945
Type:Handley Page HP.68 Hermes 1
Operator:Handley Page Ltd
Registration: G-AGSS
C/n / msn: HP.68/1
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) from Radlett Airfield (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Radlett Airfield (EGTL), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Radlett Airfield (EGTL), United Kingdom
Narrative:
The Handley Page HP.68 Hermes 1 prototype crashed on its initial flight.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSIONS:
1. It is considered that the accident was the direct result of elevator overbalance, this brought about flight conditions the nature of which caused the pilot to lose control.
2. Although the porpoising motions set up by the overbalanced elevators would have been expected, the final manoeuvre of the aircraft, in climbing suddenly, cannot be satisfactorily explained.
3. It seems certain, however, that at different trimmer settings, a reversal of stick forces would have occurred with which the pilot could not have kept in phase as the loads increased.

Classification:

Loss of control

Sources:
» Air Pictorial Oct. 1965, p.371
» Flight International 6 December 1945


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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