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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 209406
Last updated: 1 December 2021
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Type:Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk IIIA
Owner/operator:25 Squadron Royal Air Force (25 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J9325
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Between Falmer and Rottingdean, East Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent
Destination airport:RAF Hawkinge
Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk. IIIA J9325, 25 Squadron, RAF Hawkinge, Folestone, Kent: Written off (destroyed) 8/8/30 when crashed off slow turn, near Falmer, Sussex. Pilot - Sgt Owen Herbert McNair (aged 23) - was killed. "The Aeroplane" (issued dated 13 August 1930) reported on the accident as follows:

"An inquest was held at Falmer on August 9. The following report is taken from The Times: Flight Lieutenant Sidney Toomer, of No.4 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, said that he had come down from Hampshire to arrange a demonstration of how single-seater fighters attacked troops on the march. McNair was flying one of the aeroplanes, and the demonstration was actually over when the crash occurred. Two aeroplanes had resumed flying formation and were waiting for McNair.

“When I first saw him,” he continued, “he was flying very slowly and at a fairly low altitude, with his engine throttled down. As soon as he had passed over the troops he commenced a right-hand turn and at the same time opened his throttle, but he had lost flying speed and crashed.”

The Coroner asked whether he agreed that if McNair had not crashed he would have flown into the troops?

Flight Lieutenant Tooner said that he did not. He considered that it was an error in judgement. McNair was flying too slowly to make the turn. It had been said that McNair waved to the troops. I think that he was flying over them to say good-bye and there is no truth in the suggestion that he was waving in order to give warning that he was about to crash.

The Coroner, addressing the jury, said that it was apparent from the evidence that there was no question of McNair having crashed in order to avoid injuring the troops. “It was an error or judgement, and it is extraordinarily easy to make in such circumstances. The relatives may gain some measure of consolation from the fact that there are still gallant young men like McNair who hold their lives cheap in the performance of their duty. It would be a sad day for England if “Safety First” ever became the slogan of our race.” A verdict of “Death by Misadventure” was returned."


1. The Aeroplane 13 August 1930
2. The Tines, London England Friday 8 August 1930
3. Gloucester Citizen Gloucester, England Friday 8 August 1930

Revision history:

16-Apr-2018 18:21 Dr. John Smith Added
08-Oct-2018 17:49 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]

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