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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 178468
Last updated: 2 June 2020
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Time:18:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic b8 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bensen B8M
Registration: G-AWBO
C/n / msn: 19
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1/2 mile E of Mount Karrin, Ballaugh, Isle of Man -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Ballaugh, Isle of Man
Destination airport:Jurby, Isle of Man
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 15/9/1969 when crashed half-a-mile east of Mount Karrin, Ballaugh, Isle of Man. According to the following summary from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft was seen and heard making alterations in heading whilst flying near to the village of Ballaugh, about three-and-a-half miles south of Jurby. Half an hour after take off, when the aircraft was flying in good weather, between 1,000 and 1,500 feet, it went out of control following a rapid and uncontrollable rearward tilt of the rotor disc. The rotor blades came into contact with the fin and tail of the aircraft, and one rotor blade became detached. The wreckage fell to the ground and the pilot was killed.

The aircraft was originally built as a gyroglider in 1967 mainly with UK materials and using approved drawings. Although of the same area as the Bensen design, the fin on G-AWBO was a different shape, which reduced the clearance from the rotor tip. The gyroglider was considered well constructed and performed satisfactorily. A l,600cc VW engine, smaller but heavier than the recommended engine, was then fitted and a series of modifications followed, which the report describes in detail. Many of these centred on the rotor head. The aircraft had been flown under power for 62 hours 30 minutes prior to the accident.

A detailed analysis of the damage, accompanied by pictures of the rotor head taken before and after the accident, notes that the rotor blades had been nearly straight when striking the tail and had tilted relative to the tail unit, at a rate of about 30 degrees per second. The AAIB report says that there was no evidence as to an origin of the considerable force to which the rotor disc must have been subjected, but judges it to have been aerodynamic."

The wreckage was located near the peak of the 878-foot (268 metre) high Mount Karrin, and the wreckage trail indicated that it has impacted the ground from an altitude of approximately 400 feet agl. In other words, G-AWBO was flying at about 1,200 feet above sea level (amsl) at the time of is accident. Registration G-AWBO cancelled by the CAA on 4/11/1969 as "destroyed"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
3. Flight International 23 March 1972:
4. Yorkshire Air News February 1970:

Revision history:

10-Aug-2015 02:17 Dr. John Smith Added
10-Aug-2015 02:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Aug-2015 02:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
17-Oct-2015 17:27 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
17-Oct-2015 17:29 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
17-Oct-2015 17:34 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
17-Oct-2015 17:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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