Accident Miles Magister Mk I P2508,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192500
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Date:Tuesday 2 January 1940
Type:Miles Magister Mk I
Owner/operator:79 Sqn RAF
Registration: P2508
MSN: 1708
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Garlinge, near Margate, Kent, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Manston, Kent
Destination airport:
On 2 January 1940, Plt Off Thomas Spencer Lewis of ’A’ Flight, 79 Squadron, asked his Flight Commander (Flg Off Davies) for permission to take the crew of his aircraft for a flight in a Magister from RAF Manston. Davies readily agreed and told Lewis to have the flight authorised in ’B’ Flight Authorisation Book. The flight was duly authorised by the Flight Commander of ’B’ Flight. Early in the afternoon, Davies stated that he saw Lewis take off in Magister I P2508 with LAC Needham and watched them climb to 2000 feet, when the aircraft suddenly rolled onto its back and descended in an inverted glide, finally rolling out at about 200 feet. After the Magister had landed Davies questioned Lewis about this and told him that if he ever saw him do such a thing again he would ground him. In the meantime, he stated that he would be reporting Lewis to the C.O.

Lewis then took up another of his crewmen, AC2 Sidney Herbert Smith, and the Magister was seen to taxi out at excessive speed. Two RAF witnesses in the area, both at home on leave, reported seeing the aircraft carrying out aerobatics at between 1000 and 1500 feet, including inverted flying. One of the witnesses saw the aircraft go into a near-vertical dive and disappear from view, followed by the sound of the crash. Both men died in the impact at Garlinge, near Margate, Kent.

Flg Off Davies stated to the Court of Inquiry that Lewis was normally a careful pilot, although inclined to be temperamental and requiring tact in handling. The Court found that the cause of the accident was the pilot executing aerobatics at low altitude, and the possibility of obstruction of the controls in the rear cockpit by the passenger couldn’t be dismissed.



Revision history:

02-Jan-2017 20:04 Laurent Rizzotti Added
02-Jan-2017 20:04 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
13-Dec-2017 16:51 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Aircraft type]
27-Apr-2019 03:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Oct-2020 11:09 MatthewC Updated [Cn]

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