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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 181325
 
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Date:09-NOV-1984
Time:13:04
Type:Silhouette image of generic PTS1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Pitts S-1S
Owner/operator:Christopher Jonathan Davenport Hackett
Registration: G-CJDH
MSN: 101
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Yapton, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Bognor Regis, West Sussex (EGKC)
Destination airport:Bognor Regis, West Sussex (EGKC)
Investigating agency: AIB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Narrative:
Ex-US Registry as N47142; re-registered as G-CJDH on 27/5/1981. Written off (damaged beyond repair) 9/11/1984 when "cartwheeled" after it force landed at Yapton, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex due to engine failure. The pilot survived with only minor injuries. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"After take off the pilot climbed the aircraft to 1,500 feet, and flew the aircraft inverted for approximately 40 seconds. the engine continued to run perfectly for some 30 seconds after the aircraft had returned to upright flight, but then lost power completely.

The pilot then selected a large field whose surface seemed firm enough for landing, and turned into wind, whilst, at the same time attempting to restart the engine, without success. The aircraft's rate of descent proved to be greater than the pilot was expecting from his experience of flying in his own aircraft of a similar type, and so he aimed for a gap in the boundary hedge of the field he had selected.

However he was unable to reach the selected field, and the aircraft touched down in a ploughed field about 40 metres short of the hedge. Due to the ploughed condition of the field, the aircraft cartwheeled on touchdown before coming to rest uptight, suffering severe damage

Although the pilot was wearing a fully tightened six point harness, his head went forward, and struck the instrument panel, he was, however, was able to turn everything off and leave the aircraft within about 30 seconds of the aircraft coming to rest."

From the AAIB report one deduces that the pilot of G-CJDH was not its owner (who was Christopher Jonathan Davenport Hackett - hence the registration mark) and that the pilot had his own Pitts Special. From this and the fact that the Pitts was being flown from Bognor Airfield (the LEC company airfield), one might deduce that the pilot of G-CJDH on 9 November 1984 was David Purley, the heir to the LEC business. If so, he had less than eight months to live after this incident. He was killed when his Pitts Special, G-POKE, crashed at sea off Bognor on 2 July 1985. Ironically that crash also occurred due to fuel starvation to the engine and Purley's head also was thrown forward, striking the instrument panel. But on that occasion he was, it appears, rendered unconscious by the blow, with the result that he was unable to release himself from the sinking aeroplane and thus he drowned.

Damage to airframe: Per the AAIB report, the aircraft was "destroyed". As a result, the registration G-CJDH was eventually cancelled by the CAA on 22/3/1989 (almost five years later) as "destroyed"

NOTE: The Official AAIB report into the accident mis-reports the aircraft's registration as G-CDJH, transposing the "J" and the "D". G-CJDH is the correct registration (derived from the initials of the owner's name) as G-CDJH was later allocated to another aircraft - on 17/3/2005 - to Aeroprakt A22 Foxbat (c/no. PFA-317-14358). In addition, the CAA documentation states that the aircraft as a Pitts S-1S, but the AAIB states that it was a Pitts S-1E

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/5422f51340f0b613420004df/Pitts_S-1E_G-CDJH_12-84.pdf
2. CAA: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-CJDH.pdf
3. https://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17840.0
4. Pitts S-1S G-CJDH at the Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, on 17th July 1982: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59455242@N07/7975678764/
5. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/G-CJDH
6. https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/Search/NNumberResult

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

9 May 1971 N21F 1 Lewiston, MT w/o
16 Aug 1991 N9HE private 1 Monroe, GA w/o
31 Oct 2013 N67JC 0 Wellington, Kansas sub


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Nov-2015 17:13 Dr.John Smith Added
16-Nov-2015 20:26 Dr.John Smith Updated [Phase, Narrative]
14-Nov-2020 20:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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