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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174669
Last updated: 18 November 2020
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Date:19-APR-1998
Time:c. 15:03 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth
Owner/operator:Roger Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
Registration: G-BALX
C/n / msn: 82103
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Category:Accident
Location:Enroute from Dieppe, France, to Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Dieppe Airport (DPE/LFAB)
Destination airport:Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, Kent (EGKH)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off when missing between Dieppe, France, and Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, Kent, on 19 April 1998. Aircraft presumed crashed into the English Channel, and pilot presumed killed. However, no trace of the pilot - named in contemporary reports as Roger Fiennes - or any wreckage was ever found. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the incident:

"The pilot flew from Lashenden (Headcorn), UK, to Dieppe, France, on Sunday 19 April 1998, a trip that he had flown many times before. He filed a flight plan for the intended flight which indicated a direct routing and at 10:10 hours, he refuelled the aircraft with 49 litres of fuel (108 Imperial gallons). He took off at 10:50 hours and landed at Dieppe at 12:04 hours.

Whilst on the ground at Dieppe he filed a flight plan for the return flight, by telephone, with Lille Air Traffic Control Centre; the ATC tower at Dieppe was closed. The aircraft was seen to take off at approximately 14:40 hours and at 14:42 hours a radio call was received by Paris North, the local Flight Information Service (FIS), from a pilot using the correct call sign.

After establishing contact the pilot transmitted "G-BALX EN ROUTE FROM DIEPPE TO HEADCORN, OFF THE FRENCH COAST, HEADING 350, VFR AND ESTIMATING MID-CHANNEL AT 17"; mid-channel marks the boundary between the Paris Flight Information Region (FIR) and the London FIR.

The pilot did not pass an airborne time nor did he request that his flight plan be activated. The reply from Paris FIS was "PARIS INFORMATION DO NOT PROVIDE TRAFFIC INFORMATION ONLY GENERAL INFORMATION ON REQUEST, YOU CAN MAINTAIN THIS FREQUENCY". The pilot acknowledged this transmission. There was no further radio, radar or visual contact with the aircraft which was subsequently reported missing.

Allowing for a cruising speed of 80 mph and assuming a transit altitude of 1,500 feet, which is the altitude that the pilot entered on both flight plans, the total flight time for the return trip would have been 54 minutes on a heading of 344, having allowed for the effect of the wind. Assuming a take off time from Dieppe of 14:40 hours this would have produced a time at the boundary between the Paris FIR and the London FIR (mid channel) of 15:03 hours".

As the aircraft was posted as "missing" and no trace of it was ever found, the registration G-BALX was cancelled by the CAA on 27 July 1998

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/dh82a-tiger-moth-g-balx-19-april-1998
2. CAA: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-BALX.pdf
3. http://thesteepletimes.com/opulence-splendour/a-gipsy-flies/
4. https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/306885-tiger-moth-disappearance.html
5. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/dh/p821.html
6. http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/showpost.php?s=d5781bbc772915c3189c0d7d37ec85d4&p=83938&postcount=9
7. https://www.key.aero/comment/305085#comment-305085
8. https://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17449.0
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes_family

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
19-Mar-2015 03:11 Dr. John Smith Added
19-Mar-2015 03:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
19-Mar-2015 03:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location]
18-Nov-2020 18:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

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