ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 30723
Last updated: 18 April 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:10 Operational Training Unit Royal Air Force (10 OTU RAF)
Registration: N9617
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Moel Sych, Berwyn Hills, Wales -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Destination airport:
On the morning of 7th September 1941, Frank Mitchell took off on a training flight out of RAF Abingdon in Avro Anson N9617. There were two wireless operators, Frank and Sgt. Raymond Keen, and two navigators, Sgt. Leslie Copland and P/O J.E. Taylor. The pilot was Thomas Weller, a native of Hendon, with more than 1,000 hours flying experience.

As the plane neared the Berwyn Hills in Wales, it entered dense cloud and mist. Copland warned the pilot he was too low, and Weller began a steep climb. It was too late. The plane crashed head-on into the sloping side of the Moel Sych, a 2,713-feet mountain, the highest peak in the Berwyns and the scourge of many other aircraft before and since.

The Anson‟s wings were ripped off as it crashed up the mountainside. P/O Weller was thrown against his control column and killed. The plane came to a rest: a mess of twisted wreckage, leaking fuel and the injured bodies of the four surviving airmen. Sgt. Copland was trapped by collapsed metal rods, with a broken thigh bone and a huge open wound on his broken forearm. He could not free himself from the wreckage.

Taylor was bleeding badly from a gashed head, Keen had cuts all over his body, and Frank Mitchell, who had been thrown against his wireless equipment, had bad injuries to his face, knee and legs.

All three were able to crawl out of the wreckage onto the misty mountainside. If rescue did not come before nightfall, they and Copland were bound to die, from either blood loss or exposure. It was Frank who volunteered to go for help.


Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
18-Mar-2012 08:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
10-Nov-2012 17:59 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
10-Nov-2012 18:05 angels one five Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Nov-2012 18:07 angels one five Updated [Source]
12-Jan-2016 20:36 JIXN Updated [Operator, Nature]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description