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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 25260
Last updated: 21 November 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic LANC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Lancaster B Mk III GR
Owner/operator:236 Operational Conversion Unit Royal Air Force (236 OCU RAF)
Registration: SW363
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2 miles SSW of RAF Kinloss, Scotland -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RAF Kinloss, Morayshire
Destination airport:
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.III (GR): Written off 12-1-1950. Caught fire on take off and dived into the ground, 2 miles SSW of RAF Kinloss, Scotland Per eyewitness report:

"I last observed the aircraft at between three and four hundred feet before getting into my car. I started the car, backed out of its parking position, drove in front of the Mess, a distance of about thirty yards, and intended to proceed to the hangar to check administrative details such as 'duty crew' for their return. As I was turning away from the Mess, my attention was attracted by a steady and increasing 'bright yellow orange glow' in the sky. I stopped the car, opened the door, and got out, whilst continuing to watch the glow. Almost immediately I heard the engines 'whine' as though going into 'fine pitch' under increased power. Within two or three seconds there was a cut in noise as if the engines had been throttled fully back, or cut. Approximately three seconds afterwards I saw an explosion of flame and smoke, and heard after a few seconds the noise of the crash. In conclusion, I have retimed my actions from the stage when I first saw the glow in the sky, to the time when I saw the explosion in the ground, and estimate that this time interval was 'ten seconds', and so assessed by the court."

All five crew members were killed.
Crew (236 OCU):
F/Lt Richard Gwynn Williams,
F/Lt Leslie George Harris,
F/Lt Alfred Enos Stephens,
Navigator John Cunningham,
Signaller Ernest Geal.

The exact cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty. However, it was reported by the crew at the end of the preceding flight that it smelled fuel in the cabin. Also, it was stated that the aircraft was already on fire on takeoff. The assumption that a spark occurred during takeoff and created a fire when contacting with fuel vapours was not ruled out.



Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
21-May-2010 13:36 TB Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature]
04-Jun-2011 11:37 Anon. Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Mar-2013 15:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Jun-2016 15:08 TB Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
10-Oct-2018 01:56 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
02-Nov-2018 20:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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