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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 161555
Last updated: 4 January 2020
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Date:25-JUL-1962
Time:
Type:Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6
Owner/operator:Airwork FRU
Registration: WV919
C/n / msn: AWA.6134
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Hurn/Bournemouth, Dorset (EGHH)
Destination airport:Hurn/Bournemouth, Dorset (EGHH)
Narrative:
Hawker Sea Hawk WV919 "033" of the Airwork FRU was written off on 25/7/1962 whilst being flown by civilian contractor pilot, Alfred "Dusty" Rhodes. Apparently, his mother lived in Hutton, Somerset, near Weston-super-mare, and he performed a bit of a show for her (unauthorized low level aerobatics). Unfortunately, the ejector seat was not locked in position, and when he inverted the aircraft, the seat and Dusty fell out of the aircraft. He did survive, but received neck and leg injuries.

However, there are different accounts as to where this took place. Some sources state that the Sea Hawk crashed onto the airfield at Weston-super-mare, others that it crashed into the Bristol Channel off Weston-Super-Mare...and one account claims that it crashed on touchdown back at base at Hurn...!

The most likely crash location of the three is that WV919 crashed onto the airfield at Weston-super-Mare

Per eyewitness report:

"I believe I witnessed this crash while in apprentice training at RAF Locking. We were on sports parade which would be early afternoon and we were facing south, towards the Mendip Hills. I remember a Sea Hawk flying along the hill line when it inverted, and something fell out. I realized this was the pilot but he wasn't ejected however his parachute opened and he descended normally.

The aircraft continued inverted into the ground. I believe the pilot received injuries (a broken leg) on landing by impacting a stone wall. If my memory serves me well sports parades were on a Wednesday afternoon but I could be wrong. The crash was a Tuesday, I believe. I was in training for three years, January 1962 to December 1964 and I know the accident was early on in the training."

As for the Sea Hawk, it dived into the ground inverted at speed. The RN MARTSU (Marine Aircraft Transport & Salvage Unit) arrived to clear up the wreckage, but could not reach the engine and cockpit, due to it being buried over 20 feet deep. In 2011 some efforts were being made by a private individual to recover the wreckage, as the crash site is scheduled to be built over by a new housing estate.

Sources:

1. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1962.htm
2. http://web.archive.org/web/20160423024448/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/Aircraft_by_Type/SeaHawk.htm
3. https://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?111356-Sea-Hawk-WV919-recovery-pics-needed
4. http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafsubaqua/rafcms/mediafiles/04F90D75_5056_A318_A85893C085315C27.pdf
5. http://dorset.hampshireairfields.co.uk/dorcrash.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Oct-2013 03:26 Dr. John Smith Added
02-May-2014 06:21 spaceneedle Updated [Phase]

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