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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 233027
Last updated: 1 December 2021
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Date:11-JUN-1929
Time:day
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA
Owner/operator:17 Squadron Royal Air Force (17 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J8880
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Arpinge, Paddlesworth, near Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:RAF Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk.IIIA, J8880, 25 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 11 June 1929 when caught fire in flight and crashed at Arpinge, Paddlesworth, near Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent. J8880 was returning from Sutton Bridge where they had been on Annual Air Firing Practices when incident occurred and the pilot - Elphinstone Docwra Turner - survived, albeit with a broken arm. According to a report in "The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser", 24 July 1929, Page 5:

"Turner was flying from Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire where he had been taking part in manoeuvres. Flames were seen coming from the port side of the engine just before he jumped. He hit the ground with some force, but refused offers of assistance and walked unaided to the aerodrome, where he received attention before being taken to the military hospital at Shorncliffe. He was asked by a farm hand if he was hurt and replied "No, only a broken arm thanks very much". The airplane which was enveloped in flames before it actually struck the ground, was quickly destroyed. The aeroplane caught fire over Arpinge and crashed into an oat field at Paddlesworth."

A fuller report appeared in the "Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald" - Saturday 15 June 1929:

"SAVED BY PARACHUTE.
Pilotís Escape From Blazing íPlane.
CRASH NEAR HAWKINGE.
A single-seater fighter aeroplane of No. 17 (Fighter) Squadron, Upavon, Wilts., piloted by Flying Officer E. D. Turner, burst in flames while flying over the downs north of Cheriton, in the vicinity of Paddlesworth, on Tuesday afternoon. The pilot was seen to jump from the machine and his parachute opened after he had fallen a short distance. He appeared to make a good descent. The íplane dived towards the ground and crashed in an oat field on Mr. C. Davison's land, at Arpinge, close to the reservoir at Paddlesworth.

BURST OF SMOKE.
As the machine struck the ground a great burst of smoke and flames shot up, and in a few moments only debris remained. An ambulance dashed to the scene shortly afterwards, and it was found that the pilot, who had landed safely some distance away, had sustained a broken arm. A number of farm workers and others ran to the spot where the íplane had crashed. They rendered such assistance as they could. The 'plane was flying at a fair height when it was first seen in flames.

EYE WITNESS'S STORY.
"I saw the pilot leave the 'plane," said one eye-witness to an "Herald" representative. "His parachute seemed to have opened perfectly and he came down very steadily. The íplane hit the ground with terrific force and parts of it were scattered. There was a burst of flame when it hit the ground".

Crew of Siskin J8880:
Flying Officer Elphinstone Docwra Turner RAF (pilot, Service Number 22207, aged 25 at the time). Later became a Wing Commander and awarded AFC (Air Force Cross). Died Truro, Cornwall, July 1990 aged 85.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft J1-J9999 (Dennis Thompson, Air Britain, 1987 p 95)
2. Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Saturday 15 June 1929
3. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 24 July 1929, Page 5
4. National Archives (PRO Kew): Report on Flying Accidents during Jan.-June 1929 - File AIR 10/1460 at https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C3304015
5. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=7937.0
6. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?16770-J-Serials-J8880-Siskin-Lookup


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Feb-2020 00:27 Dr. John Smith Added
18-Feb-2020 11:45 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

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