ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 19281
Last updated: 29 March 2020
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.

Time:15:20 LT
Type:Taylorcraft Auster AOP.IV
Owner/operator:600 (City of London) Sqn Flg Gp
Registration: G-ANHO
C/n / msn: 899
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Biggin Hill Airport, Biggin Hill, Bromley, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Biggin Hill Airport, Biggin Hill, Bromley, Kent (BQH/EGKB)
Destination airport:
Built as Auster AOP.IV MT169 for RAF: First civilian registered 5/12/53 as G-ANHO (C of R R4281/1). Sold on and re-registered nine times between 5/12/53 and 15/5/63.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) when destroyed in fatal take off accident from Biggin Hill, Kent, on 9/5/1964. Auster V G-ANHO was owned by No. 600 (City of London) Squadron Flying Group and operated from Biggin Hill Airfield. It was from there that it took off, with two on board, at about 15:18 on 9 May 1964 (shortly after the conclusion of the flying display on the penultimate day of the 1964 Biggin Hill Air Fair). It seems that the pilot, Mr A.N.J.Wheeler, experienced handling difficulties with the aircraft on taxiing to the take off point. On take off it swung significantly to port. On reaching a height of between about 50' and 100', the pilot made a steep 180║ turn to port, during which its port wing tip struck rough ground, about 300 yards east of the threshold of runway 23, and the Auster cartwheeled, throwing the passenger clear (he was only slightly injured), but the pilot was killed. The aircraft was destroyed in the ensuing fire. The accident was investigated by the AIB. An incomplete copy of its report is available online (which, unfortunately, doesn't include the pages on which appears its conclusions as to the cause of the accident).

According to a contemporary local newspaper report (The Sunday People - Sunday 10 May 1964)

A MAN watched a small Auster monoplane nose-dive into a rubbish dump on Biggin Hill airfield in Kent yesterday Świthout knowing his son was on board. His son, Michael Wheeler, 19, of Barton Hill Road, Sanderstead, Surrey, who was killed, is believed to have been piloting the aircraft.

Mr. N. Wheeler was watching from the control tower when the plane crashed seconds after taking off on a private flight not connected with the air travel fair being held on the field. He was told his son was on board by a bystander.

A passenger in the plane, Gerald Cross, 21, of Hillcott Road, Whyteleafe, Surrey, was thrown through the hood just before the crash and walked away from the blazing wreckage. He was taken to hospital with shock, cuts and bruises."

Registration G-ANHO cancelled by the CAA on 24/6/1964 as "destroyed"


1. The People - Sunday 10 May 1964
2. Report on the accident to Auster Mk.V G-ANHO at Biggin Hill Aerodrome, on 9th May, 1964, Ministry of Aviation, Accidents Investigation Branch, HMSO London 1965

Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
27-Jul-2009 21:03 VHKDK Updated
25-Nov-2012 15:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
12-Jan-2013 05:26 Nepa Updated [Operator]
17-Jun-2013 13:04 Anon. Updated [Total occupants]
28-Oct-2019 09:02 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]
29-Mar-2020 00:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Mar-2020 14:37 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description