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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220663
Last updated: 28 April 2019
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Date:02-JAN-1917
Time:day
Type:Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b
Owner/operator:SAG RFC
Registration: A1941
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Hythe, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Hythe, Kent
Destination airport:RFC Hythe, Kent
Narrative:
2.1.17: Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b A1941, School of Aerial Gunnery, RFC Hythe. Written off (destroyed) when Engine failed; aircraft stalled, crashed and caught fire on impact with the ground, RFC Hythe, Kent. Both crew - Lt Archibald John McWha (aged 24) and Sgt George Wilkes (Service Number 3621 aged 26) - were killed. Sgt. Wiles died immediately at the crash scene, but Lt. McWha died 5 January 1917 (three days later) of injuries sustained.

According to the aircraft accident record card for F.E.2b A1941:

"Court of inquiry 87/9175
6/1/17
Flying accident, engine failure. Stalled machine due to lack of air speed while turning. The Court of Inquiry found that the cause of the accident was due to lack of air speed, and an error of judgement by the pilot while turning on the glide near the ground"

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (January 18, 1917 page 73 - see link #6)

"Casualties
Second Lieutenant ARCHIBALD JOHN MCWHA, R.F.C., third son of Mr. and Mrs. Dupree McWha, of India, late of Bedford, was killed on active service, aged 23. He was educated at Bedford School, and joined the Royal Flying Corps at the beginning of last year as Second Lieutenant."

Note that the official accident record cards (see links #4 & #5) give the serial number of the aircraft involved as F.E.2b A1941 on one record card, but F.E.2b No.4974 on the other!

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1917.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/368996/mcwha,-/
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/374355/wilkes,-george/
4. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/mcwha-a.j.-archibald-john
5. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/wilkes-g.-george
6. https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1917/1917%20-%200073.html?search=Archibald%20John%20McWha
7. http://barryniblock.co.uk/world-war-one-list-of-dead/names-listed-alphabetically-by-surname/mcmullan-to-mcwilliams/mcwha-archibald-john/
8. https://www.militaryimages.net/media/archibald-mcwha.95574/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
09-Jan-2019 19:44 Dr. John Smith Added
27-Jan-2019 05:34 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description