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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138388
Last updated: 18 July 2020
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Date:12-FEB-1946
Time:09:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic FFLY model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Firefly Mk IF
Owner/operator:825 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: DK455
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:75 St John's Road, Bootle -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Training
Departure airport:RNAS Ringtail, Burscough
Destination airport:RNAS Ringtail
Narrative:
DK455 took off accompanied by two other aircraft to carry out dummy deck landing practice at RNAS Ringtail.

Soon after taking off the aircraft were engulfed in cloud, and the pilot of DK455 climbed to 4,000 feet to give the other aircraft time to land before making his own approach.

Still in thick cloud at 4,000 feet the pilot lost control of his plane and it entered an uncontrollable spin. Thinking he was over open ground, between Liverpool and Southport, the pilot baled out at 800 feet.

At around 09:45 hours the aircraft crashed into the middle of St John's Road, Bootle, near to No 75, smashing windows, making an 8 feet crater, and fracturing the gas main. Lieutenant Wall landed a few yards away uninjured.
The aircraft crashed 8 minutes after making a radio homing call. Members of Bootle NFS (National Fire Service) were quickly on the scene after witnessing the incident from a nearby NFS depot.

The aircraft crashed into the street where a number of children were playing, and some were badly burned, especially 5-year-old Irene Jacobs of No 71 St John's Road who died of her injuries a few days later in Bootle General hospital. A postman, Mr John Hudson, was blown from his bicycle onto his face and was also burned by the resulting inferno.

Mr William O'Callaghan of No 79 St John's Road was in the front bedroom of his house when he heard "the rushing of wind" and saw a parachute coming down. He then rushed downstairs and saw the aircraft appear from behind St. Johns Church with its landing wheels appearing to hit the telephone cables causing it to tilt and crash nose first, then bursting into flames.

Mr O'Callaghan then saw Mr Hudson, the postman, blown off his bicycle against the garden wall and also little Irene Jacobs came out from the fire at the rear of the wreckage. Mr O'Callaghan raised a coat and wrapped it around her whilst trying to put out the flames with his hands. Irene and her two brothers who were also injured were placed on a lorry and taken to hospital.

Mr Hudson recalled in his statement " I was delivering parcels in St John's Road when I heard the faint sound of an aircraft overhead. I looked up but there was a thick mist and I could see nothing. About two seconds later there was a sudden roar and an explosion in the roadway. I was blown on my face in the gutter. There was a terrible fire and I felt as though I was saturated in petrol and a mass of flames."

Residents in the street commented that the plane came down like a bomb, a blinding flash and, when it hit the ground, the houses shook.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of "Death by Misadventure" and commended Mr O'Callaghan for his prompt action.

Sources:

1. http://www.hms-ringtail.co.uk/History%20of%20ringtail.htm
2. http://www.south-lancs-aviation.bravepages.com/DK455.htm
3. https://www.bootlehistory.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=22772&sid=f20f7db8981d8d2b0f0ced8409596170
4. http://lbmhs.co.uk/history-of-ringtail


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Sep-2011 03:54 angels one five Added
17-Jan-2012 07:07 Nepa Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Narrative]
24-Jan-2012 13:16 Nepa Updated [Operator]
06-May-2013 00:17 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
08-May-2013 17:03 Nepa Updated [Operator]
12-Feb-2014 21:10 angels one five Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Narrative]
05-Mar-2014 14:32 Nepa Updated [Operator]
15-Jun-2014 09:44 angels one five Updated [Operator]
24-Jul-2014 01:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
24-Feb-2015 05:59 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
30-May-2018 14:07 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
19-Oct-2018 09:04 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]

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