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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 180524
Last updated: 22 March 2021
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Date:25-MAR-1973
Time:10:25 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee
Owner/operator:Air Navigation & Trading Co Ltd
Registration: G-AZYP
C/n / msn: 28-7125289
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Illgill Head, Wast Water, Cumberland, -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Kirkbride Airfield, Kirkbride, Cumbria
Destination airport:Blackpool, Lancashire (BLK/EGNH)
Investigating agency: AIB
Narrative:
Written off (destroyed) 25/3/1973 when crashed at Illgill Head, Wast Water, Cumberland, killing all four persons on board (pilot and three passengers). The four men flying in this aircraft had been part of a party of twenty members of a Blackpool flying club who had flown in a total of six aircraft from Blackpool to Kirkbride to attend a social function at a hotel in the area. They remained at the hotel overnight and set out during the morning of 25th March 1973 with the other aircraft in the group to make the return flight to Blackpool. Before taking off the weather forecast was checked and after learning that the high ground of the Lake District was effected by low cloud. All pilots agreed that the route they would fly would be down the coastline of (what is now) West Cumbria south towards Blackpool.

G-AZYP took off from Kirkbride at around 10.00hrs. During the flight south G-AZYP was seen by those on one of the other aircraft to deviate off the coastal route and fly inland possibly after those on G-AZYP had seen a gap in the cloud and gone to undertake some sightseeing. As the aircraft approached Wast Water it entered cloud, it was thought that the pilot realised that the aircraft was too low while flying in the area of high ground and had attempted to climb the aircraft. The aircraft was heard to fly over Wast Water but then crash at 10.25hrs. The aircraft was later found to have crashed in the region of Illgill Head, and that the wreckage had then fallen from the point of impact down onto Wasdale Screes.The accident was non-survivable, and appears to be consistent with a CFIT: Controlled Flight Into Terrain. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"During a private flight from Kirkbride, Cumberland to Blackpool, Lancashire, the aircraft deviated from the planned route along the coast, and flew inland. The pilot and his three passengers were killed when it struck the cloud covered rock face of Illgill Head, Wast Water, Cumberland.

The wreckage was reached by the use of ropes, and it was found that the aircraft had flown into a vertical rock face at an altitude of about 1,800 feet, approximately 50 feet below the summit of a ridge on the side of Illgill Head. The aircraft had then fallen, after impact, about 200 feet down the mountainside, coming to rest on sloping scree below. At the time of the accident, the mist was down to around 1,000 feet, indicating that the pilot did not see the rock face

The AAIB report concludes that the accident resulted from the pilot entering cloud at a height too low for safe terrain clearance for the area in which he was flying".

As stated above all four persons on board were killed. They were:

Pilot - Mr Graham George Austin, aged 29, of Warrington. Burial location unknown.
Passenger - Mr Stephen Roy Rogerson, aged 17, of Blackpool. Burial location unknown.
Passenger - Mr Anthony Roger Williams, aged 30, of Warrington. Burial location unknown.
Passenger - Mr Mervyn Douglas Chappell, aged 18, of Blackpool. Burial location unknown.

The registration G-AZYP was cancelled by the CAA on 26/11/1973 as "destroyed". This aircraft crashed a few hundred metres from where Grumman Avenger JZ390 of 763 Squadron FAA RN crashed on 16/1/1945 and it appears that the two crashes have become confused on various fellwalking forums on the internet. In June 2015 there were still substantial pieces of wreckage - including the port wing and undercarriage leg (with a still inflated "Goodyear" tyre attached) - at the crash site, albeit partially buried by falling scree and rocks.

Sources:

1. AAIB Final Report: https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/5422fd01e5274a131400089f/16-1973_G-AZYP.pdf
2. CAA: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AZYP.pdf
3. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/lakes/azyp.html
4. https://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/crash_sites/lake-district/piper-cherokee-g-azyp-illgill-head/
5. http://www.planetrace.co.uk/1970-1979_30.html.
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illgill_Head

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
19-Oct-2015 17:41 Dr.John Smith Added
19-Oct-2015 17:45 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
02-Feb-2019 21:33 TB Updated [Location, Source]
10-Sep-2020 17:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]

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