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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 2076
Last updated: 22 November 2021
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Time:10:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:233 Squadron Royal Air Force (233 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K8778
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Belmont Ironstone Mine, Guisborough, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Thornaby, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Thornaby, North Yorkshire
Took off at 06:50 hours from RAF Thornaby for a Home Fleet exercise somewhere in the area of Scotland. The crew carried out their task and made their return south, passing Newcastle just before 10.00 hours, and making their way along the coastline towards the Middlesbrough area. The weather over the North-East at the time was dreadful and it was thought that the navigator had missed the turn inland when over the Tees estuary, because of the poor visibility.

Flying at a height of 750 feet the aircraft passed over Guisborough, which those on the aircraft took to be Greatham. The two towns looked similar from above and in the bad visibility, the mistake could be made. The aircraft flew over Guisborough and ploughed into the hillside near the Belmont Ironstone Mine at 10.45 hours killing all four on board instantly.

Locals had heard the plane fly over them and the engines falling silent in the resulting crash, many of them made their way up onto the moor to try and locate the site which they could not see because of the fog from the valley below. Nothing could be done for the airmen, the locals helped to carry their bodies down off the moor, they were later taken to the Admiral Chandler Hospital where they lay until removal for burial.

An inquest was later held and a verdict of accidental death was returned on all four men. During this inquest it was stated that the captain and navigating officer of the aircraft was P/O Lowden.

Although the captain, it was thought that he had not been the actual pilot at the time of the crash. It was also said that because of the weather and very poor visibility the airmen would take turns to be the pilot.

The aircraft was built to contract 497338/36 by A.V. Roe Ltd at Woodford and delivered directly to 233 Squadron on 25th May 1937. The aircraft sustained Cat W/FA damage in the incident detailed above and was struck off charge with total flying time of 93.40 hours.

Pilot Officer Leonard W. Lowden (pilot, aged 21) RAF killed.
Acting Pilot Officer Hugh G McDonald (aged 22) RAF killed.
Acting Pilot Officer David Sorley Munro (aged 19) RAF killed.
AC1 Thomas Douglas (W/op, aged 18) RAF killed.


1. Air-Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s

Revision history:

16-Feb-2008 02:42 JINX Added
18-Mar-2012 17:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
26-Jun-2012 11:45 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jul-2013 21:44 JINX Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Oct-2015 18:24 Jixn Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport]
04-Mar-2018 17:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Apr-2018 00:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Oct-2018 05:50 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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