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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 28391
Last updated: 24 February 2020
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Time:09:49 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic cnsl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airspeed AS.65 Consul
Owner/operator:Morton Air Services Ltd
Registration: G-AHFT
C/n / msn: 2953
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, 12 nm South of Brighton, East Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:International Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Croydon Airport, Croydon, Surrey (EGCR)
Destination airport:Tours Val de Loire Airport, Le Mans, France (TUF/LFOT)
Airspeed AS.65 Consul c/n 2593 ex-RAF Oxford HN423. Known RAF service was with 20 (P) AFU from 11.4.43 to 1.2.46. Struck off charge 1.2.46 upon sale to Airspeed. First civil registered 25.3.46 to Airwork Ltd, Heston as G-AHFT. Re-registered 29.5.46 to Morton Air Services Ltd, Croydon. C of A 7776 issued 24.5.46. Operated by United Nations in Palestine/Israel in 1948 as UN-99; reverted to G-AHFT.

On 14.6.1952, the aircraft was performing a charter flight from Croydon to Le Mans with seven passengers and the pilot. The flight was without incident until shortly after crossing the English coast in the vicinity of Brighton at about 08:55. The starboard engine gave one or two bangs which the pilot thought might be due to carburetor icing. The engine quickly recovered, however, and the flight proceeded. At about 09:15 the starboard engine again began to cough. This time it did not recover.

The aircraft was then twenty-two nautical miles from the nearest aerodrome, namely Le Havre on the French coast while the nearest English aerodrome was Shoreham, fifty-seven nautical miles in the opposite direction. The pilot elected to turn back to the English coast and make a 180 degrees turn to port. The aircraft continuously lost height and finally ditched twelve miles south of Brighton at 09:49 Local Time. There were only two passenger survivors who were picked up two hours later (11:49 local time).

Cause: The probable cause of this accident was primarily the failure of the starboard engine, and, thereafter the disaster must be attributed to errors on the part of the pilot. Some criticism was directed at the manner in which the ditching procedure was carried out. There was evidence that the port engine was still under full power when the aircraft struck the water and that the ditching took place at 120 miles per hour, whereas it should have been carried out at about 80 miles per hour. Moreover, it was established that the pilot took no steps to warn the passengers that ditching was imminent and to instruct them to put on their life-jackets and tighten their safety belts. Since, however, all the passengers were able to get clear of the aircraft, which remained afloat for about ten minutes, the Court did not attach great importance to these matters as possible causes of loss of life.

Registration G-AHFT formally cancelled by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on 14.6.1952 as "accident"


1. Six Deaths in Air Crash - Machine down in Channel". News. The Times (52339). London. 16 June 1952. p.6
2. Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 14 June 1952 and Thursday 23 April 1953 (Inquest into the deaths of six of the eight persons on board)
3. The Oxford, Consul & Envoy File (John F Hamlin, Air Britain, 2001 pp 161 & 262)
5. Final accident report ICAO Circular 38-AN/3:

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
07-Dec-2011 06:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
08-Dec-2011 01:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
07-Jan-2015 17:25 TB Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Jan-2015 17:26 TB Updated [Source]
09-May-2017 21:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
09-May-2017 21:37 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
24-Feb-2020 20:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
24-Feb-2020 20:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
24-Feb-2020 20:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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