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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 163216
Last updated: 24 May 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic FFLY model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Firefly AS.5
Owner/operator:719 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: WB336
C/n / msn: F8541
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Beinn Uraraidh on the Isle of Islay, Scotland -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RNAS Eglinton / HMS Gannet
Destination airport:
Both men, from the Royal Australian Navy, were in training with No.737 Squadron at Prestwick but part of their combined training was with No.719 Squadron at Eglinton in Northern Ireland. On the day of the crash the two took off in Firefly WB336 for a "controlled anti-submarine patrol exercise". They were to take off and receive orders once airborne. They had been briefed with a safety height of 3000 feet and were only to fly below that height should they encounter cloud and were ordered to remain below any cloud.

The weather was reported as being good that day, being mainly sunny with some scattered cumulus, especially around the Scottish islands. Cloud was reported to be covering the hills on Islay during the morning of the 25th September 1951.

Their initial orders were to take departure from Portrush, near Coleraine, on a bearing of 024 degrees for 30 miles and commence a grid search. These orders were acknowledged at 10:19 and the aircraft took up its course for the patrol area. Thirty miles at 024 degrees from Portrush would have taken the aircraft into the area around the Mull of Oa in the south of Islay.

Further orders were transmitted to the aircraft at around 10:30 and were repeated numerous times until 11:00 but none of these transmissions were acknowledged. These were for the aircraft to abandon the grid search and adopt a sonar buoy dropping pattern.

At 11:10 the aircraft was declared missing as no contact of any kind had been made since 10:19, and a search by air and sea was started immediately.

A report of wreckage some 10 miles NW of Portrush was received from an RAF Lancaster at about 12:30, but this turned out to be unconnected and the search was switched the Islay area after 14:15. The wreck was spotted by an FAA Barracuda (one of the last Barracudas still in service at that point) at 15:40 on Beinn Uraraidh and it, and later other aircraft, circled the spot until a ground team arrived at nightfall (approx 19:20 BST).

The aircraft had broken up over a wide area along a roughly ESE to WNW line with wreckage being spread for about 1/3 of a mile. Both crew killed:

Pilot Donovan J. Slater, Royal Australian Navy,
Observer Edward J. Edmonds, Royal Australian Navy.



Revision history:

13-Jan-2014 05:13 angels one five Added
14-Oct-2014 14:18 Holschtein Updated [Operator, Narrative]
05-Jan-2015 01:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-Jan-2015 01:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]
08-Jun-2015 05:40 DB Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport]
30-May-2018 13:41 angels one five Updated [Phase, Narrative]

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