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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 211039
Last updated: 28 April 2019
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Date:05-JAN-1931
Time:day
Type:Fairey IIIF Mk IV
Owner/operator:207 Squadron Royal Air Force (207 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J9137
C/n / msn: F.1003
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Heacham, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Fairey IIIF J9137, 207 Squadron, RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk: Written off (destroyed) 5/1/31 when crashed at Heacham, Norfolk due to a structural failure in flight. Both crew bailed out safely, and landed by parachute unharmed. According to the following extract from "The Planesman" (Heacham, Norfolk 5/9/31)

"On January 5th of this year two members of the Royal Air Force saved their lives by parachutes. Sergeant Pilot Hudson and L.A/C Molyneux of No. 207 (B) Squadron whilst flying in a Fairey IIIF aircraft found themselves in an unpleasant situation.

It is reported that during flight one of the wings collapsed and folded back on the fuselage. The aircraft commenced to spin, and owing to the fractured wing causing obstruction the observer was unable to leave his cockpit. Despite the fact that the aircraft had been flying at a height of only 4,000 feet and was losing altitude rapidly, Sgt Hudson is reported to have refused to jump, until he had assisted Molyneux out of the spinning machine.

He spent many precious seconds in this heroic act, and finally the observer was able to jump clear. Eventually, Hudson was seen to jump clear but the aeroplane to fall in his proximity thus preventing him from releasing his parachute. To many onlookers it appeared that the pilot was hooked and that his low altitude would preclude his escape by use of his parachute.

Then, when almost all hope had gone, he was seen to release his parachute, which opened immediately, and brought him safely to earth in a cottage garden. Molyneux, who also made a safe landing without any personal injury, was full of praise for the manner in which Sgt Hudson risked his life by refusing to leave the aircraft until his observer was clear.

Full official details of the crash are not yet to hand and it is not therefore possible to state whether the reported wing collapse was due structural defect or a direct result of strain through abnormal aerobatics."

Sources:

1. http://jollygreenp.co.uk/jonzpage2/dad/raf19271935crash.html
2. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13889-January-1931-RAF-Accident-List-Can-you-add-any-more-info
3. 207 Squadron, RAF ORB (Air Ministry Form 540) 1916-1941: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8393073


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-May-2018 16:30 Dr. John Smith Added
01-Nov-2018 08:39 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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