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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 245219
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Date:14-AUG-1965
Time:15:28 LT
Type:Miles M.65 Gemini 1A
Owner/operator:Thomas James Binderman
Registration: G-AKFU
MSN: 6494
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:65 Miles East South East of Goose Bay, Labrador -   Canada
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Narsarsuaq, Greenland (UAK/BGBW)
Destination airport:CAF Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada (YYR/CYYR)
Narrative:
Miles Gemini 1A G-AKFU; First registered as G-AKFU on 8 September 1947. Sold on and re-registered nine times between then and 2 August 1965.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 14 August 1965 during a forced landing 65 miles east-south-east of Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada while on a flight from Narsarsuaq, Kujalleq municipality in southern Greenland. The pilot - Thomas James Binderman, from London, aged 32 - survived the crash, but walked away from the wreckage in a remote area, and was presumed to have died from exposure and the cold, as he was never found. According to a contemporary report (see link #7):

"Thomas James Binderman of Montreal purchased Gemini G-AKFU in the summer of 1965. A low-time private pilot, somehow he was authorized to fly the North Atlantic to Canada:

On August 14, 1965, Binderman left Narsarssuaq, Greenland, at 07:58 for Goose Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador, a 685 nautical mile leg. His last radio communication was with Cartwright, Newfoundland & Labrador, at 14:25, and at 15:28, fuel was considered exhausted. An RCAF 107 Rescue Unit Albatross crew spotted G-AKFU five days later, 65 miles east-south-east of Goose Bay, overturned in a bog after attempting a wheels-down landing.

The pilot had survived apparently uninjured, and spent one night with the aircraft before walking away. A helicopter and foot search in all directions yielded nothing, and the search was reduced on 28 August 1965. Pressure from family and friends caused the search to restart on 3 September, and Binderman’s wife flew to Goose Bay, but he was never found, the search finally being abandoned on 11 September 1965.

A number of errors were found in the navigation log and this quote from the accident report is telling: “… the distance between Narsarssuaq and Goose Bay was measured in nautical miles whereas the estimated ground speed was shown in statute miles per hour. This error in calculations would have shown the flight to be feasible; when the correct computations were applied it was evident that it was almost impossible with the fuel available".

Registration G-AKFU cancelled 14 August 1965 as "P.W.F.U." ("Permanently Withdrawn From Use")

Sources:

1. CAA: History of G-AKFU 1947-1957: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AKFU-1.pdf
2. CAA: History of G-AKFU 1957-1962: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AKFU-2.pdf
3. CAA: History of G-AKFU 1962-1965: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AKFU-3.pdf
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 101/123: Canadian investigation: includes Canadian report with search and rescue details - https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C5070133
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 101/124: Departmental comments on Canadian report - https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C5070134
6. G-AKFU at Swanton Morley (X3SR) in 1965: https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1514686
7. https://canavbooks.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/may-5-2020-blog/
8. G-AKFU at Southend (EGMC) 15 May 1965: https://www.airhistory.net/photo/261133/G-AKFU
9. http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/xchbook/xchpart3-061019.pdf p.360
10. Liverpool Echo Saturday 21 August 1965 p.12


Images:

Photo of G-AKFU courtesy AirHistory.net


Southend (EGMC / SEN)
15 May 1965; (c) Terry Dann

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Nov-2020 01:03 Dr. John Smith Added
28-Nov-2020 01:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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