Incident Hawker Demon Mk I A1-54,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192727
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Date:Thursday 11 January 1940
Type:Hawker Demon Mk I
Owner/operator:25 Sqn RAAF
Registration: A1-54
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:off Yanchep Beach, NW of Perth, WA -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
On 11 January 1940, the Hawker Demon I A1-54 of 25 Sqn RAAF crashed at 0915 hrs into sea off Yanchep Beach, northwest of Perth, Australia, during the daily meteoroligical flight flown by this unit. Both crew, Plt Off John James Holden (pilot) and Sgt John Thomas Whelan (observer), were slightly injured, suffering from bruises and mild concussion, but managed to exit the aircraft while it was sinking in 60 feet of water. The crash happened half a mile off the coast but both crew were saved by a rowing boat manned by Mrs Ronald Cockman, George Thomas Giblett and Arthur Frederick Pope, who had seen it crashing.

The aircraft had taken from Pearce airfield, the base of 25 Sqn RAAF, at about 0800 hrs, and climbed to 16,000 feet. The pilot then dove several times to fly lower before flying along the coastline. Off Yanchep beach they were flying at 1,000 feet when the pilot turned towards the airfield but the Demon stalled in a too sharp turn and spun. The pilot managed to stop the time and was just coming out of the dive when the aircraft hit the sea.

RAAF Court of Inquiry concluded that the crash was due to misuse of controls by the pilot during a sharp turn.

Crash report of Demon A1-54, available online in Australian archives (

Revision history:

11-Jan-2017 08:59 Laurent Rizzotti Added
07-Jun-2022 19:43 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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