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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 145258
Last updated: 28 February 2020
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Date:06-JAN-1948
Time:20:36
Type:Percival Proctor 5
Owner/operator:George John Dawson (regd. owner)
Registration: G-AHWP
C/n / msn: Ae.69
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, off Margate, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Zurich Airport, Zurich, Switzerland (ZRG/LSZH)
Destination airport:Stansted Airport, Stansted, Essex (STN/EGSS)
Narrative:
A Proctor V, serial G-AHWP, disappeared off Margate on 6th January 1948. At the controls was Squadron Leader G. Coleman, with a Mr. G.J. Dawson as passenger - the aircraft was on a private flight from Zurich to Stansted. At 17.50 the pilot had established R/T communication with RAF Manston asking for bearings - the weather was poor, with cloudbase at 1200 feet, 9/10 and visibility approximately 200 yards.

At 19.55 the pilot of the Proctor warned that his endurance was limited to 25 minutes. It was decided by Air Traffic Control that Manston was the only viable option for a landing, and all available lighting was put into operation at that airfield - this included SANDRA searchlights, signal mortars and pyrotechnics. The captain of the Proctor requested FIDO as well, but the Station Commander decided that this would take too long to implement and wouldn't have given any greater benefit. The pilot reported that he saw the searchlights and mortar fire, but no further communications were received after 20.36. The police were informed, and told to look out for any signs of an aircraft crash, and at 20.49 the Margate and Ramsgate Lifeboats were launched and searched an area up to 10 miles from the coast. A Constellation on a trip from Brussels to London was asked to circle the area and this it did, at a height of 1000 feet, for 20 minutes without success. The Coastguard reported sighting flares out to sea.

Registration G-AHWP cancelled by the Secretary of State, Air Ministry as "Crashed 6/1/48". The Ministry of Civil Aviation file held at the National Archives, file number BT 217/2422 notes that there was an intention to prosecute the aircraft's registered owner. However, as that was Mr. G J Dawson, who was missing (believed killed) in the accident, it is not clear how this would have been achieved!

Sources:

1. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1153.0
2. https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AHWP.pdf
3. https://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?112651-A-Proctor-mystery
4. Ministry of Civil Aviation file held at the National Archives, file number BT 217/2422: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C576576


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Apr-2012 01:05 niccoleman Added
09-Dec-2012 12:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Jan-2014 16:12 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
16-Jan-2014 19:27 TB Updated [Damage]
12-Jul-2019 15:53 A.J.Scholten Updated [Cn]
12-Dec-2019 19:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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