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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 194223
Last updated: 9 April 2019
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Type:Bristol Brigand B Mk 1
Owner/operator:A&AEE Boscombe Down (Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment Boscombe Down)
Registration: RH753
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bemerton Heath, Salisbury, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Boscombe Down, Wiltshire (EGDM)
Destination airport:
Written off (destroyed) 2/7/1952: Port engine failed on take-off. Pilot had never flown a Brigand before and was soon in great difficulty, finally crashed on housing estate at Bemerton Heath, Salisbury, Wiltshire, causing injuries to a fireman and nine civilians. Both crew were killed: Flt Lt G. Wood-Smith DFC ('D' Squadron A&AEE) and Mr D.E. Purse, photographer. The crash sparked a debate in The House of Commons, quote:

"Jet Plane Crash, Salisbury

HC Deb 07 July 1952 vol 503 cc895-6 895

Mr. J. Morrison asked the Minister of Supply if he will make a statement on the jet plane crash on Bemerton Heath Housing Estate, Salisbury; and if he will do all that is possible to assist the city authorities to help to re-accommodate the injured and homeless.

Mr. Sandys The aircraft involved in this crash was a piston-engined machine engaged on a flight from the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down for the purpose of photographing a trial of Army parachute equipment from another aircraft. A court of inquiry is investigating the cause of the accident. I regret that the two occupants of the aircraft, a Royal Air Force pilot and a civilian photographer, were both killed. In addition, an officer of the Wiltshire Fire Brigade, who were called to the scene of the accident, was seriously injured by a wall which fell on him and he is still detained in hospital. Nine other people suffered cuts and bruises and were taken to hospital, but were able to leave later in the day. One house was destroyed and 10 damaged, five of them probably beyond repair. In consequence, 34 people are temporarily homeless. Fourteen of them are being looked after in our Establishment at Boscombe Down. Compensation will, of course, be paid for the damage caused.

I am sure that the House will join with me and the Secretary of State for Air in expressing its sympathy with the relatives of those who lost their lives and with those who have been injured or rendered homeless by this accident.

Mr. Morrison While I am sure that hon. Members on both sides of the House will wish to associate themselves with my right hon. Friend's expression of sympathy for the bereaved and for the injured and homeless, may I ask if he is aware that those who lent a hand at the scene of the tragedy should be congratulated on the rescue work which they performed? Is my right hon. Friend further aware that there is growing disquiet in the built-up areas in and around Salisbury at the continued practice of low flying, and will he be good enough to contact his right hon. Friends at the appropriate Ministries with a view to looking into the question of low flying and dealing with it?

Mr. Sandys I will certainly look into it."


2. Film footage of crash:

Revision history:

15-Mar-2017 23:57 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Mar-2017 23:58 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Mar-2017 21:08 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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