Accident Hawker Hurricane Mk I L1724,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193689
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Date:Sunday 18 February 1940
Type:Silhouette image of generic HURI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hawker Hurricane Mk I
Owner/operator:151 Sqn RAF
Registration: L1724
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Honeylands, off Honey Lane nr Waltham Abbey, Essex, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF North Weald, Essex
Destination airport:RAF North Weald, Essex
On 18 February 1940 151 Sqn RAF at North Weald recorded in the ORB the weather at 07:00 hrs as "Fog with snow storms. Visibility poor. Wind East 10 m.p.h." In the morning the weather improved and 17 training sorties were flown before noon, including 10 for air firing practice at Sutton Bridge. In the afternoon two patrols of three aircraft took off for local formation practice but one of these ended in tragedy with the squadron suffering its first war-time fatality of "Killed On Active Service".

Pilot Officer Harold Arthur Lovell, a 19 year old originating from Morden, Surrey, was flying No. 3 in a section with Flying Officer Newton leading and Pilot Officer Hamar No. 2. The section had taken off at 15:55 hrs was returning to the aerodrome and were forced to fly low owing to the weather. Lovell was killed when his Hurricane I L1724 ("DZ-C") struck a tree near Waltham Abbey, besides Honeylands, off Honey Lane. The collision with the tree robbed the Hurricane of flying speed.

Not much further along Lovell hit the ground. Contemporary reports state that the 19 year old died instantly; in any case he was reputedly dead when the first ground born onlooker got to his aircraft. Not a total wreck, but severely compressed by the tremendous ’g’ force of the impact, there was no fire. The debris from the smashed Hurricane, including a whole variety of panels and ammunition belts, were quickly snatched up by bands of arriving civilian youth.

This snatching gave members of the authorities a headache as they attempted to get to the machine whilst being constantly diverted to retrieve bits. It was fortunate that the pilot was already dead.

The section was flying in line astern and therefore neither of the other pilots saw the accident, the real cause of which is not known. The two other pilots landed at 16:15 hrs.


9. (map)

Revision history:

18-Feb-2017 08:04 Laurent Rizzotti Added
19-Feb-2017 07:42 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Date, Location]
03-Oct-2018 07:01 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
23-Apr-2019 00:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-May-2019 19:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]
02-Sep-2020 17:48 Anon. Updated [Location]
08-Sep-2020 08:45 Anon. Updated [Location, Operator]

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