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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 13
Last updated: 25 October 2021
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Date:13-MAR-1947
Time:c. 18:08
Type:Silhouette image of generic DOVE model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 1
Owner/operator:British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC)
Registration: G-AHRA
MSN: 04003
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Chewton Common, Highcliffe, Dorset -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Bournemouth Airport, Hurn (EGHH)
Destination airport:Bournemouth Airport, Hurn (EGHH)
Narrative:
A report from the Chief Inspector of Accidents dealing with the accident involving the B.O.A.C. Dove G-AHRA which crashed at Chewton Common, Highcliffe, Hants, on March 13th has been published.

The flight was planned to obtain fuel consumption figures of the Gypsy 70 engine under cruising conditions & Capt. R.G. Buck, the pilot, took-off from Hurn at 16:20 hours, his intention being to carry out a flight of one hour duration below the cloud which was then at 1,200 feet. No notification of the flight was made to flying control until the time of take-off & no weather forecast was requested or given. It is presumed that the test was satisfactorily concluded for at 17:14 hours the Captain requested permission to join the circuit prior to landing. This was given together with weather information & Q.F.E. Weather conditions then began to deteriorate rapidly, cloud base lowering to 800ft with rain.
Capt. Buck gave his position as being over Bournemouth Pier at 17:24 hours & was instructed not to fly above 1,500 feet owing to the presence of another aircraft at 2000 feet. Rockets & Very lights were fired & at 17:35 hours the pilot announced that he could see the airfield. He immediately carried out a left-hand circuit at an estimated height of 200 feet with the undercarriage down, at times going out of view into low cloud & rain. An approach at about 50 feet on runway 170 was attempted but the pilot failed to line-up with the runway & passed over the centre of the airfield & disappeared in a right hand circuit.

After a similar unsuccessful attempt to land, the controller gave permission for landing on any runway & gave further assistance by lighting sodium funnels. Capt. Buck then asked for a diversion stating " No radio, VHF not working & endurance three hours." At 18:04 hours he was told the best weather was in the London area & that London Airport had G.C.A & could work him on 5100 kc/s. The suggestion was not acted upon so the controller proposed he should make a further attempt to land at Hurn. Capt. Buck's reply was " Do not know where I am, but will try to find you."

At approximately 18:08 hours the aircraft struck a row of trees & crashed in an adjoining copse. Weather conditions were bad with fine drizzle, a cloud base of 60 feet & visibility down to as little as 200 yards.

In the opinion of the Inspector the accident was the result of the aircraft striking trees whilst flying low in conditions of poor visibility. The only recommendation made was that the present location of the inertia crash switch be reconsidered. Owing to the high inertia required to actuate this switch it was felt that a position such as the belly of the fuselage adjacent to the nose of the aircraft would be more desirable.

Sources:

1. British Civil Aircraft Registers 1919-1999
2. Western Daily Press 14/3/47
3. Southampton Daily Echo 14/3/47 (+Accident report 26/6/47)
4. Flight Magazine September 4th 1947 p 259-260: https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1947/1947%20-%201503.html?search=G-AHRA
5. Inquest into the deaths of the three persons on board: Christchurch Times of 22 March 1947
6. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=16696.0
7. https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AHRA.pdf
8. http://www.royhodges.co.uk/Highcliffe%20Plane%20Crash%201947.pdf
9. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT 217/1626: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C575780
10. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-de-havilland-dh104-dove-i-chewton-common-3-killed


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-Jan-2008 19:59 W.Fischdick Added
30-Jan-2008 02:33 JINX Updated
31-Jan-2008 04:11 JINX Updated
10-Nov-2008 03:27 Anon. Updated
16-Mar-2010 14:10 TB Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Feb-2011 15:19 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
12-Mar-2011 16:12 TB Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Mar-2012 10:57 TB Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
04-May-2018 18:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Jun-2018 10:45 TB Updated [Source]
25-Nov-2019 22:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
26-Mar-2020 22:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
26-Jul-2020 21:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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