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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174867
Last updated: 26 July 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic RF6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Slingsby T67C Firefly
Owner/operator:Slingsby Aviation PLC (reg. owners)
Registration: G-BOXK
MSN: 2063
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mow Cop Castle, near Harriseahead, Staffordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Woodford Airfield, Cheshire (EGCD)
Destination airport:Woodford Airfield, Cheshire (EGCD)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Written off (destroyed) 20 October 1998 when crashed at Mow Cop Castle, near Harriseahead, Staffordshire: The accident occurred when the aircraft, which had been engaged on a training detail, was returning to its base airfield at low level and crashed into rising ground. Both persons on board were killed. According to the AAIB report, the accident seems to have been due to the aircraft failing gain sufficient altitude recovering from a spin whilst conducting spinning recovery practice over high ground. The following extract from the AAIB report goes on to state:

"A further witness, walking his dogs close to the ruins of an old monument (known as the 'Old Man of Mow') on highest point of Mow Cop, noticed the aircraft as it approached him from the southeast. He saw the aircraft pass close to trees and the local church in a slight descent. He estimated that the aircraft cleared the church tower by an estimated 25 feet. At that point the aircraft was heading directly towards him. The witness could 'clearly hear the engine; the sound was uniform; there was no coughing or spluttering and no indication of any engine malfunction'

It then flew over nearby houses, narrowly missing electric cables standing some 12 feet above ground level then, within '0.5 to 1.0 seconds' it rapidly pitched nose up and rolled to the left before impacting with the ground in a right wing down attitude.

This witness arrived on the scene within 30 seconds. As he approached the wreckage the fuel ignited. Through the dense smoke from the fire the witness was able to see one of the pilots lying on the ground some 10 feet from the fuselage. He dragged the pilot clear of danger and, using his own jacket, extinguished the pilot's smoldering clothing. Unfortunately it soon became apparent to him that the pilot had already sustained fatal injuries. He did not see the other pilot because of the smoke and flames.

The emergency services were alerted at 11:32 hours by telephone from a member of the public. A paramedic, who lived locally and was alerted by pager, attended the scene almost immediately. The local ambulance, fire vehicles and police aircraft arrived on the scene by 11:37 hours. The second pilot was found fatally injured in the remains of the fuselage".

According to local media: "The plane had left the civilian flying school and was being flown by two experienced pilots. The instructor was Benoit Charles Niclause aged 39; he was the Chief Test Pilot at the "Test Pilot School" in Woodford, Stockport. The second pilot was the pupil; Francisco Bueno Cabellero aged 36, a pilot with 15 years experience. He was based in Torrijon De Ardoz, Madrid.It could not be determined why the aircraft was flown at low level for some 28 minutes before the accident or why it was flown on a track towards the rising ground at Mow Cop".

The AAIB report confirms that the Slingsby Firefly was "destroyed"; as a result, the registration G-BOXK was cancelled by the CAA on 14 March 1999 as aircraft "destroyed"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
5. Birmingham Evening Mail October 23, 1998.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

27-Mar-2015 17:32 Dr. John Smith Added
27-Mar-2015 17:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Nature]
15-Nov-2015 16:13 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description