Incident Percival Provost T Mk 1 WV551, 05 Oct 1955
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56535
 
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Date:05-OCT-1955
Time:day
Type:Percival Provost T Mk 1
Owner/operator:Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS)
Registration: WV551
MSN: PAC/56/097
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pink's Farm, White Dell, Wallington, Fareham, Hampshire, England. -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Hampshire (EGLF)
Destination airport:HMS Daedalus /RNAS Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire (EGHF)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Narrative:
Percival Provost WV551: Delivered 28/01/54. To ETPS (Empire Test Pilots School), RAF. Written off 05/10/1955 when crashed in Hampshire, both crew survived. The cause of the accident was due to engine failure, caused by an oil leak, which was traced to a gasket failure.

Note that the official Air Ministry file into the accident (File BT 233/304) gives the crash location as "Fareham, Hants", while the other file (AVIA 5/34/S2785) gives the crash location as "Farnborough, Hants". The two locations are 41 miles apart. However, published sources and contemporary press reports confirm that the crash location was Fareham, Hampshire (see link #5):

"Provost WV551 from the Empire Test Pilots School at Farnborough was carrying out aerobatics on the 5th October 1955 when it had a few problems. After carrying out a series of continuous rolls for ten minutes, the pilot noticed a sudden drop in oil pressure. Having headed towards the south coast anyway, he decided to try for Lee-on-Solent but, after a few minutes, the engine began to vibrate and the power died away. Attempting a forced landing, he undershot a large stubble field and touched down in the centre of a grass field at Mr Pink's Farm, White Dell, Fareham. The undercarriage was torn away and the Provost hit a bank about three feet high which separated the two fields with a cart track.

A contemporary newspaper report confirms that Fareham was the crash location ("Portsmouth Evening News" - Wednesday 5 October 1955):

"Crash-Landing at Wallington.
A Provost trainer aircraft of the Royal Air Force, operating from Farnborough, crash-landed to-day in a field adjoining Whitedale Farm, Wallington, near Fareham. The plane landed across a cart-track, burying its nose in a bank. The pilot, who was forced to make the emergency landing after his engine failed, was unhurt. He was the only occupant of the twin-seater aircraft. A naval helicopter from R.N. Air Station, Gosport, was dispatched to give assistance. Two days ago a Royal Navy helicopter force-landed on the same farmland."

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.175 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 101)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.160
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/304: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C424425
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/34/S2785: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6578565
6. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?action=printpage;topic=5583.0
7. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=WV
8. http://www.ukserials.com/prodlists.php?type=871


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Apr-2013 16:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Narrative]
30-Apr-2013 16:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
04-Dec-2018 09:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Operator]
13-Jan-2020 22:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Jan-2020 22:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport]
14-Jan-2020 19:43 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Operator]
21-Feb-2020 14:25 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]
29-May-2020 15:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
27-Jun-2022 12:01 Nepa Updated [Location, Destination airport, Narrative, Operator]

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