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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 212382
Last updated: 23 December 2019
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Time:10:35 LT
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Atlas Mk I
Owner/operator:26 Squadron Royal Air Force (26 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J9043
C/n / msn: AW.289
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Grinton Moor, near Redmire, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Catterick, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Catterick
Armstrong Whitworth Atlas Mk.I J9043, 26 Squadron, RAF Catterick: Written off (destroyed) 6/11/19228 when dived into the ground in bad weather, Grinton Moor, near Redmire, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. Both crew were killed:

Pilot Officer Charles Lilburn Myers (aged 20) killed
AC.2 Henry Chadwick (Service Number 359640, aged 21) killed

On 6/11/1928 this aircraft took off from RAF Catterick at 10:15 hours for a flight that was set to be a thirty minute photographic flight over the Bellerby Ranges near Leyburn. The weather conditions over high ground on this date are said to have been poor the aircraft flew into this weather. When the aircraft failed to return to Catterick and nothing was heard of the two airmen a search was put into action at 14:30 hours that afternoon. An aircraft from Catterick was used to fly over the moorland in the area and dispite misty conditions Flt Lt Hollinghurst spotted the crashed aircraft from the air between Wensleydale and Swaledale on Grinton Moor.

He returned to land at Catterick and informed others of the location but they could not find the wreckage from the ground, so Flt Lt Hollinghurst took to the air again and guided the ground search party to the location. At 13:10 hours the site was found on the ground by Flying Officer Lambie and Pilot Officer H.L.Piper from Catterick, and both airmen were found to have been killed in the crash, their bodies were removed from the site and taken down to the Bolton Arms in Redmire where an inquest was held on 8/11/1928.

The inquest was reported in The Times on November 9, 1928 (p.13)

A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned yesterday at the inquest at Redmire, Yorkshire, on the bodies of Pilot Officer Charles Lilburn Myers and Aircraftmas Henry Chadwick, who lost their lives when their machine crashed on a lonely stretch of moorland lying between Wensleydale and Swaledale, North Yorkshire, on Tuesday.

The inquest was held by Mr. J.G. Gardner, the North Riding Coroner, in a room of the Bolton Arms, Redmire, within two miles of the place where the accident occurred. The two men left Catterick Aerodrome on Tuesday for a short flight, but failed to return, and it was only after a search lasting 30 hours that their bodied were found lying among the wreckage of the machine.

THE CORONER, addressing the jury, said he did not think that anyone was to blame, and it was possible that the machine had got into a spin.

Evidence of identity was given by Flight Lieutenant H. Penman, R.A.F. Medical Service, who said that Myers was 20 years of age and Chadwick 21. Both men had received such injuries that death was instantaneous.

Flight Lieutenant Hebbert said that he detailed the men for their flight on duty. In his opinion, it was quite a good morning for flying. The object of the flight was to train pilots to pick out certain points and take pinpoint photographs.

THE CORONER -- Did the weather remain good enough all the morning? -- Yes. I went up later. The clouds, however, seemed to be dropping. Myers left Catterick Aerodrome at 10.15 on Tuesday morning, and knew that the machine was wanted again at 11 o'clock. Myers had flown over the surrounding country before and was a competent pilot. He had previously flown this machine.

THE CORONER -- It struck me as possible that in the fog he came down to see where he was and descended lower than he thought.

THE WITNESS -- The place where he should have been was about 1,000 feet above the sea-level. Where the crash occurred is above 1,500 feet.

THE CORONER -- What is your theory? Do you think mine likely? -- It is very difficult to say. It looks as though they had got into a spin.

Thomas Robson, a farmer of Redmire, said that it was very misty on Tuesday in the moors, and he could not see his hands before him. He heard an aeroplane coming across. It was making a funny noise, and two or three minutes afterwards the engines stopped. Two or three minutes later he heard a thud, but did not know whether it was from the moor or from the quarry. He said nothing that day, but next morning as he heard that two men were missing, he reported the matter.

Rigger Lambert gave evidence that the machine was inspected immediately before its flight and was in perfect order. They had never had any complaints about it.

THE CORONER said that he could not see anyone was to blame. He thought that the machine had got into a spin. Sometimes flying men got into a fog, and instead of returning home hoped to pass through it, and so got deeper into it."

Atlas J9043 was one of 37 aircraft (J8777-J8801 and J9039-J9050 c/n between AW.248 to AW.296) ordered from Armstrong Whitworth, Whitley, to contract 750052/27 dated June 1927, to meet Specification 33/26.


1. The Times, London 7 November 1928 (page 18) and 9 November 1828 (page 13)

Revision history:

20-Jun-2018 16:07 Dr. John Smith Added
20-Jun-2018 16:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Narrative]
20-Jun-2018 16:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]
20-Jun-2018 16:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
20-Jun-2018 16:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
10-Nov-2018 07:04 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]

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