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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 172886
Last updated: 27 July 2019
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Date:27-MAR-1931
Time:10:30
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Atlas Mk I
Owner/operator:2 Sqn Royal Air Force (2 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J9952
C/n / msn: AW.462
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, 1 mile offshore, near Reculver, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Manston, Kent (MSE/EGMH)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond repair) when went missing on a sortie from RAF Manston, Kent, 27 March 1931. Reported missing at 13:15 after taking off at 10:10 hours. Reportedly crashed into the English Channel, 1 mile offshore, near Reculver, Kent. The wreckage was not found until April 4th.

"Hull Daily Mail - Saturday 4 April 1931

AIRMEN'S BODIES FOUND STRAPPED TO THEIR MACHINE IN SEA BED. A GRIMSBY OFFICER. THE bodies of Flying Officer B. R. F. Wintringham (21), whose home was at Grimsby, and Aircraftsman A. L. Ellard (18), whose mother lives at Rochester, who perished when their two-seater machine fell into the sea off Herne Bay, Kent, on March 27, were recovered yesterday and brought to Sheerness, where to-day an inquest was opened at the Court-house by Mr E. Cecil Harris and adjourned until next Thursday.

William Henry Horward, a dockyard diver, stated that about 12:30 yesterday, when engaged in diving operations at the scene of the accident between Birchington and Reculver, about a mile from the shore and at a depth about 20 feet, he located the bodies strapped in the cockpit of the wrecked machine. They were brought to Sheerness last evening on a dockyard tug"

Per a contemporary press report ("The Aeroplane" 15 April 1931):

"An inquest was held at Sheerness on April 9 on Flying Officer Wintringham and AC1 Ellard whose aeroplane fell into the sea on March 27. Dr. W.H. Shephard said that both members of the crew were probably rendered unconscious and then drowned. Flight Lieutenant Stilwell said that the machine was in good order. Judging by the appearance of the wreckage he would imagine that the machine hit the water at considerable speed. The pilot had 300 hours flying experience and he imagined that he misjudged his height. In recording a verdict of ‘Accidental Death’, the Coroner said that the accident had happened in a fog and nobody was to blame.”

Crew of Atlas
Flying Officer Chargles Richard Fildes Wintringham (pilot)
AC/1 Leonard Alexander Ellard (5620901) (passenger)

J9952 was the second of a batch of 49 aircraft ordered from Armstrong Whitworth, Whitley, to contract 933799/29, dated August 1929, to meet Specification 11/28. Delivered between June and October 1930.

Sources:

1. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?17512-RAF-Fatalities-1931
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aerial_disappearances
3. The London Gazette: no. 33640. p. 5428. 2 September 1931
4. RAF Aeroplane Missing: Supposed Crash into Sea". Irish Times (Dublin). 1931-03-28. p. 10.
5. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=5474.0;wap2
6. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1934.htm
7. http://www.manstonhistory.org.uk/timeline/
8. https://www.aviationartprints.com/airframe_data.php?FrameID=25484


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Jan-2015 05:34 Dr. John Smith Added
11-Jan-2015 05:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location]
03-Jun-2015 08:13 Taylor Updated [Time, Operator]
07-Feb-2017 18:26 Dr.John Smith Updated [Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]

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