ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 139874
Last updated: 14 January 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk 22
Owner/operator:Royal Aero Club of New South Wales
Registration: VH-FTA
C/n / msn: C1/0499
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Cobbitty, near Camden, New South Wales -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Bankstown Airport, NSW (BWU/YSBK)
Destination airport:Bankstown, Sydney, NSW (BWU/YSBK)
Ex-RAF Chipmunk WG425: delivered 15/10/1951, service with 4 FTS, Heany, Southern Rhodesia. Struck off charge when sold 29/10/1953 at 394 MU Heany. VH-FTA was acquired the Royal Aero Club of NSW in 1955.

VH-FTA crashed on 27/1/1968 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.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 James J Halley, Air Britain 1983 p.44)


Photo: Department of Civil Aviation, Australia

Wallacia, NSW. Sept 1965

Revision history:

13-Nov-2011 13:23 Dr. John Smith Added
09-Feb-2013 01:03 Dick Updated [Narrative]
09-Feb-2013 01:03 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
01-Apr-2014 00:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Nov-2018 20:47 harro Updated [Photo]
25-Feb-2020 17:49 Warwick Henry Updated [Photo]
25-Feb-2020 17:51 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]
14-Jan-2021 20:52 Anon. Updated [Nature]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description