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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 69324
Last updated: 16 February 2020
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Type:Handley Page HP.54 Harrow Mk II
Owner/operator:115 Squadron Royal Air Force (115 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K7019
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Church Road, Halewood, 3 miles NE of RAF Speke, Lancashire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF West Freugh, Wigtownshire
Destination airport:RAF Marham, Norfolk
Engine failed on night navex, abandoned by crew except pilot who stayed with aircraft & survived crash unscathed, after becoming uncontrollable due to vibration.
Sgt (564865) E F LINES (pilot) RAF - OK.
Sgt Geoffrey SATHERLEY (nav.) RAF - injured.
F/O J F NEWMAN (Check Nav) RAF - OK.
AC1 Rodger C J PILGRIM (Wop) RAF injured.

On the evening of the 21st October 1938 Handley Page Harrow K7019 of No 115 squadron was an evening cross country flight after departing West Freugh at 17:10 hours and was proceeding to Marham via Point of Ayre, Blackpool, Ternhill and Cheltenham. When at about 7 miles NNE of Liverpool at 4,000 feet the port engine suddenly failed. The pilot Sergeant Lines then altered course for RAF Sealand, which he hoped to make on one engine. Almost immediately afterwards an oscillation of the aileron control started. This vibration became rapidly more violent and affected the flying controls to such an extent as to render the aircraft uncontrollable and suspecting a structural failure Sergeant Lines gave orders to abandon the aircraft and the crew landed by parachute. The aircraft crash landed into a field near the village of Halewood with Sergeant Lines at the controls, 3 miles NE of Speke at 18:25 hours. The weather at the time of the accident was good with no moon and was very dark, Sergeant Lines subsequently crawled from the wreckage with hardly a scratch.

The noise and lights of a aircraft circling over the Hale district had attracted a number of people on the roads below and suddenly at 06:30 pm, its lights were seen to veer sharply to the ground. The engines spluttered to rest and there was a loud crash. A cyclist who was the only witness to the actual crash was amazed when he saw the pilot in a tatty white flying suit stumble through the hedge looking for a telephone, behind him lay the shattered wreckage of his aircraft with fuel pouring from its ruptured fuel tanks.

Of the four crewmen who jumped in their parachutes, one landed on Speke airport just missing the River Mersey by 150 yards and was able to stagger into Speke fire station where he was taken care of. A second crewman landed unhurt into the grounds of the Bryant and May match works, a third had fallen into the LMS wood yard at Speke sidings and the fourth landed on top of an office block in Edwards Lane, Speke, the injured crewmen were detained in Garston Hospital.

When the aircraft crash landed it had fouled a tree bordering Church Road, Halewood, tore up a small orchard at Vine Cottage which it missed by 20 yards leaving a wing in the orchard, hit telephone and power cables as the fuselage and engine crossed the road and then buried its nose in a potato field on the other side of the road, 15 yards from the hedge and narrowly missing a farm house on that side of the road. The road was littered with wreckage of the aircraft, the debris of the hedge and tangled cables and wires and the whole area reeked of aviation fuel.

The cycling witness to the crash was a Mr Albert Fairclough and he recalled the following,

"I had seen the navigating lights of the plane for sometime and realised the machine was in trouble. It was very dark and as it approached the village the engines began to splutter and finally failed, and I could only hear the rush of wind turning the screw. Then the lights plunged earthward and there was a terrible crash. I sprinted as hard as I could go and as I approached where the wreckage lay I could actually hear the sound of petrol spluttering from the fuel tanks. As I drew nearer I discerned the figure of a man scrambling through the hedge. The road was covered with wreckage, and he staggered towards me, his first words were "where's the telephone - I must telephone the Police." I at once asked if anyone else was in the plane with him, and he said "no, they all jumped back there", pointing towards Speke. He had a torch in his hand and he got into the road, and I was able to see he was a sergeant through his white overalls which were badl


1. Air Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s

Revision history:

21-Oct-2009 08:14 JINX Added
09-Jun-2015 16:21 Angel dick one Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
10-Jan-2016 23:15 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Source]

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