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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 233092
Last updated: 17 November 2021
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Date:13-JUL-1952
Time:day
Type:Percival P.31 Proctor Mk IV
Owner/operator:Short Brothers & Harland Ltd
Registration: G-AJMX
MSN: RM170
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near St. Stephen's Church, Rochester, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Rochester Airport, Rochester, Kent
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Percival Proctor Mk.IV G-AJMX: During 1947 a small batch of RAF Proctor IVs were declared surplus and 16 were civilianised at Tollerton and Croydon by Field Aircraft Services Ltd and registered G-AJMH to G-AJMX. First registered (C of R 11436/1; C of A 9273) on 2 April 1947 as G-AJMX to Short Brothers (Rochester & Belfast) Ltd., Rochester, Kent. Slightly re-registered on 12 January 1948 to Short Brothers & Harland Ltd, still based at Rochester, Kent. Note that the aircraft's record card has its former RAF serial RM170 in lieu of its official c/no.H.773 (Aircraft built by F. Hills & Sons Ltd at Trafford Park, Manchester)

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 13 July 1952 when crashed near St. Stephen's Church, Rochester, Kent, half a mile north north east of Rochester Airport. No fatalities to the crew, and only minor injuries to a 10-year-old-girl and two eight year old girls on the ground. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer" - Monday 14 July 1952):

"Choir girls injured by 'plane crash.
Congregation dash to safety.
PEOPLE leaving St. Stephen's Church, Rochester, Kent, after morning service yesterday, scattered when a single-engined Proctor plane glided over the rooftops and crashed yards from the church. Three little girls, who a few minutes earlier had been singing in the church choir, were injured. Ten-year-old Pauline Ilender, of Wilson Avenue, Rochester, was struck by the tail of the 'plane and detained in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester, in a serious condition. The other two, Margaret Coe (8), of Ewart Road, Chatham, and Janice Corey (8), of Jackson Avenue, Rochester, were allowed to go home after treatment.

Pilot only bruised.
Mr. Frederick William Maxwell, of Rochester, pilot of the 'plane, which had taken off from Rochester Airport, escaped unhurt apart from minor bruises. The Rev. L. J. Gillespie, the incumbent at St. Stephen's, who for the last 12 months has led a campaign to prevent low flying near the Airport, said: "The pilot deserves full credit for missing the houses. The 'plane skimmed over the rooftops very slowly and I could see that he was keeping calm. As soon as he was clear of the houses he made one last effort get his engine started. He failed and crashed, half on the pavement and half in the field next to the church."

The air traffic officer at Rochester Airport described the flight as being of a 'military nature,' but declined to give details on security grounds."

Sources:

1. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 14 July 1952
2. https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AJMX.pdf
3. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=6096.0
4. G-AJMX at Cambridge 4/7/51: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwhitworth/5517096506
5. https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1952/1952%20-%203556.html

Media:

The Aviation Photo Company: Great Britain &emdash; Shorts Percival Proctor G-AJMX

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
19-Feb-2020 20:20 Dr. John Smith Added

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