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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 232392
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Time:15:19 LT
Type:Boulton Paul Balliol T Mk 2
Owner/operator:HCCS Royal Air Force (HCCS RAF)
Registration: WN141
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Malshanger Church, Oakley, 4.5 miles SE of Basingstoke, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF White Waltham, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Destination airport:RAF Andover, Hampshire
Boulton Paul Balliol T.Mk.2 WN141, HCCS (Home Command Communications Squadron), RAF: Written off 17/10/57 - Ran into trees in a forced landing in heavy rain at Malshanger Church, Oakley, four-and-a-half miles south east of Basingstoke, Hampshire after the engine cut. Aircraft caught fire on impact, and both crew were killed.

Balliol T2 WN141 crashed near Basingstoke on 17th October 1957, with fatal results. It had taken off from White Waltham at 15:03 for a training flight with two highly experienced instructors onboard who were planning on practising their "patter" and instructional technique. The weather was overcast but visibility was a reasonable 4 miles. At about 15:16 a weak R/T call was received to the effect that engine trouble was being experienced and that a forced landing in the Basingstoke area was going to be attempted.

WN141 was seen by ground observers to be flying low, beneath the cloud and rain, and the engine was making abnormal noises. Dark smoke was seen to be coming from the engine, and shortly afterwards the cold air intake filter was blown out. While attempting to land in a field, the aircraft struck some trees and crashed, breaking up on impact with the ground and catching fire. Both occupants died.

This aircraft had been built in 1953 and had flown 287 hours since new, being maintained by a civilian company at White Waltham. On the 1st October 1957, the flame traps on the Merlin 35 engine were inspected and found satisfactory, as was the cam gear. On 11th October, just six days before the fatal crash, the coupling drive shaft for the compressor was found to have failed and this was replaced and a new compressor fitted. No investigation was made as to why the coupling shaft had failed - after the accident the shaft was recovered from the scrap pile, and examination showed that it had failed due to fatigue following abnormal vibration, or possibly out of alignment running. The old compressor was also recovered, and this was tested under supervision at the makers. The compressor was perfectly serviceable, and was certified as "fit for immediate service".

The drive failure had taken place six days before the accident, but only 1 hour 20 minutes flying time had elapsed - if only a full investigation had taken place at the time, the accident could have been avoided and the lives of the two men, Flight Lieutenant R.A. Osborne and Pilot Officer F.O. Robertson, saved. The inspection of the engine at the scene revealed that all the flame traps had been burnt severely, and the spark plugs fouled with burnt metal. The two rear studs securing the camshaft bracket bearing on "A" bank had failed, and one stud had lost its nut which was subsequently found in amongst the valve gear. The split pins were missing.

The reported crash location of Malshanger is a small village in the Basingstoke and Deane district of Hampshire, England. Its nearest town is Basingstoke, which lies approximately 4.5 miles (7.1 km) south-east from the village.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.193 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 79)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.269
4. The Boulton Paul Balliol: The Last Merlin-Powered Aircraft By Alec Brew.
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/396:
6. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/37/S2900:

Revision history:

23-Jan-2020 18:59 Dr. John Smith Added
23-Jan-2020 22:47 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Operator]
03-Feb-2020 23:11 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative]
04-Feb-2020 10:46 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]
18-Jul-2020 22:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
18-Jul-2020 22:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
19-Jul-2020 08:53 T.T.Taylor Updated [Operator, Operator]

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