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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 206214
Last updated: 11 October 2021
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Type:De Havilland DH.94 Moth Minor
Owner/operator:28 Operational Training Unit Royal Air Force (28 OTU RAF)
Registration: AW151
MSN: 94029
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RAF Wymeswold, Leicestershire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Wymeswold, Leicestershire
Destination airport:RAF Wymeswold, Leicestershire
First registered [C of R 8962] on 15.5.39 as G-AFMZ to Airsales & Service Ltd., Bekesbourne Aerodrome, Canterbury, Kent. C of A 6607 issued 16.7.39. Operated by Kent Flying Club, at Bekesbourne; on 24.8.39 was being flown by Arthur George Drew (instructor) and an unnamed student pilot, struck a passing cyclist whilst landing at Bekesbourne. Arthur Vallance Martin Turner, the unfortunate cyclist, died of his injuries on 28.8.39. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Dover Express" Friday 1 September 1939):


The tragic death of a Bridge man, Arthur V. M. Turner (57), a motor driver, of 4, The Terrace, who, there was apparently little reason to doubt, was struck by a Moth Minor monoplane as it crossed the main road to land on Bekesbourne Aerodrome on Thursday last week, was investigated by the Canterbury Coroner (Mr. C. A. Gardner) at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Turner, who was cycling along the road at the time, died from his injuries in the hospital on Monday.

At the inquest, Mr. A. K. Mowll represented the relatives, and Mr. F. Ross appeared for Air Sales and Service, Ltd., the owners of the Kent Flying Club. The widow stated that in hospital she asked deceased if he fell off his cycle and he replied, "No. An aeroplane," and on several occasions afterwards he gave her to understand that he was hit by an aeroplane.

Donald Norton, aged 11, of Elizabethville, Bekesbourne Aerodrome, said he saw the aeroplane flying unusually low and it hit the bank dividing the road from the aerodrome, and something went up in the air. The machine went on one wing and turned in a semi-circle, finishing 150 yards inside the aerodrome. He was about 400 yards away.

Mrs. Louisa Davis, of "Distant View,"- Bekesbourne, said she was cleaning her windows and saw the aeroplane flying low and at the same time a cyclist riding slowly towards her. She next heard a shout and, looking up, noticed that the cyclist had disappeared and that the aeroplane was on the aerodrome with its undercarriage apparently damaged. She afterwards went to the spot and saw deceased, with his cycle near him, lying on the bank on the opposite side of the road. Witness added that there had been a lot of low flying recently, which she considered dangerous.

P.C. Irons said he found no marks where the aeroplane was said to have hit the bank. He saw the aeroplane, which had one landing wheel off. He interviewed Mr. Drew, the pilot-instructor, who made a statement, in which he said that the previous landing was a very bumpy one. As they came down over the road to land again, he looked out one side and his pupil the other, and neither saw anything in the road. He estimated their height over the road at 10 to 15 feet. He was definite that neither he nor the pupil felt any bump.

Alexander R. Ramsay, manager at Bekesbourne Aerodrome, said Mr. Drew was a fully qualified instructor and had been with the Kent Flying Club for three weeks. He was instructing the pupil in landing and on the previous occasion the landing was so bumpy that the aeroplane had to take into the air again. On the second landing the left leg of the undercarriage collapsed. Witness considered 10 to 15 feet over the road a safe height. Asked by Mr. Mowll what he considered dangerously low, he replied any height where there was danger to traffic. There were warning notices at each end of the road, and pilots were instructed to watch for traffic.

Dr. G. H. McCracken, who conducted the post mortem examination, said that death was due to shock following multiple injuries, including a fractured base of the skull, laceration of the brain, fractures of the second to tenth left ribs and rupture of the spleen. He was of the opinion that such injuries could not have been caused by merely falling from a cycle. With this view, Mr. I. B. Morris, who was also at the post mortem, concurred.

The jury returned a verdict that death was caused by deceased being struck by a low flying aeroplane and that such death was accidental. Sympathy was expressed with the relatives."

Withdrawn from use and stored at Bekesbourne Aerodrome, Canterbury, Kent, from 4.9.39, when all private civilian flying was prohibited due to the outbreak of WW II. Aircraft may have stored, still damaged, due to the above accident, which had happened eleven days earlier.

Presumably repaired, as civil registration G-AFMZ cancelled 26.6.40 when impressed into military service as AW151. Served with, respectively 4 Squadron RAF, RAF Woolsington Station Flight, and 28 OTU, RAF Wymeswold, Leicestershire.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 13.9.42 when crashed at Wymeswold, Leicestershire; aircraft swung off the runway on landing and the undercarriage collapsed.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft AA100-AZ999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 2000 p 142)

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Revision history:

15-Feb-2018 22:54 Dr. John Smith Added
22-May-2019 00:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
25-May-2019 11:40 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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