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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 209480
Last updated: 19 November 2019
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Date:12-JAN-1931
Time:day
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk IIIA
Owner/operator:29 Squadron Royal Air Force (29 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J8946
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RAF North Weald, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF North Weald, Essex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk.IIIA J8946, 29 Squadron, North Weald: Written off (destroyed) 12/1/31 when crashed after midair collision with AW Siskin Mk.IIIA J8865, over RAF North Weald, Essex. Pilot of AW Siskin J8946 - Flying Officer Frank Lemon (aged 23) - was killed. The tail of his machine broke off in the collison, and and he crashed. Aircraft was at a low altitude, and had no time to bail out.

Pilot of AW Siskin Mk.IIIA J8865 - Pilot Officer David Victor Angell - was unhurt. Angell was acquitted at a Court Martial on 17/2/31. "The Aeroplane" of 21/1/31 reported on the inquest into the death of P/O Lemon, held at Epping, Essex on 13/1/31:

"Pilot Officer M. Johnstone said that when the machines were over the Squadron hangar one got into a bump and rocked from side to side. When the pilot found that he was underneath his leader’s machine he turned away and his top left plane caught the leader’s tail. The leader’s machine continued for a few seconds and then dived onto the aerodrome. It was twisted right round as a result of the collision. The jury returned a verdict of ‘accidental death’ and attached no blame to anyone.”

"Flight" magazine's report of court martial (issue of 20/2/31) included the following report:

“Wing Commander R.D.G. Small said that the regulation about distance between machines flying in formation was very seldom carried out. It was much easier to fly in tight formation than at the correct distances and intervals. According to evidence, both machines got into bumps near a hangar. P/O Angell in his evidence said that he could not control his machine in the bump. He was not aware that there had been any impact until he landed. His machine was less than half a span away from the other. The court acquitted Angell after a brief retirement.”

Angell himself was killed just over two months later, on 19/3/31, in a separate accident in Siskin IIIA J9912, also of 29 Squadron, RAF North Weald when he hit a tree while low flying, Bourn, Cambridgeshire.

Sources:

1. The Aeroplane 21 February 1931
2. Flight Magazine 20 February 1931
3. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1934.htm
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?17427-RAF-Fatalities-1931
5. http://www.worldnavalships.com/directory/aircrewprofile.php?AircrewID=11719
6. http://nwamuseum.co.uk/IncidentsWestEssexto2000-1.pdf


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Apr-2018 00:59 Dr. John Smith Added
08-Oct-2018 18:15 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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