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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48749
Last updated: 29 November 2021
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Type:Airspeed Oxford Mk I
Owner/operator:1 SFTS RNZAF
Registration: NZ275
MSN: 497
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near RNZAF Taieri, Dunedin, Otago -   New Zealand
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RNZAF Taieri, Dunedin, Otago
Destination airport:
Airspeed AS-10 Oxford Mk I. Built by Airspeed Ltd, Portsmouth, England with RAF Serial P2008. Brought On Charge with Unit No.1, RNZAF Hobsonville on 4 May 1940 and assembled at No.1 Aircraft Depot. Assigned RNZAF Serial NZ275. To No.1 SFTS, Wigram

On the 20 June 1940 three Oxfords from 1 SFTS, Wigram were deployed to Taieri at the request of the Navy to carry out armed patrols in search of a German surface raider which may have laid mines off the entrance to Otago Harbour.

The next day, NZ275 took off from Taieri after two others on the same patrol at 07:25 hours local time, each machine carrying a 250lb bomb, but was unable to gain height. After clearing the airfield boundary NZ275 entered a slow right hand turn in order to clear trees ahead, but stalled and hit the ground while still turning and caught fire. Pilot Officer McNab and AC1 Kilpatrick were injured but the pilot died within an hour or two of being extricated from the wreckage.

A layer of frost on the Oxford's wings had significantly degraded its take off performance. Investigation also revealed that the throttle control lock wire had not been broken, indicating that the pilot had failed to push the throttles through the "gate" when the emergency arose.

For their courageous efforts in rescuing the three crew LAC D.T. Herrick and Cpl E.A. Stratton were each awarded the George Medal, and AC2 D.M. Nichol was presented with an Air Board letter of commendation.

Squadron Leader Kitson, a flying instructor with the ITS at Wigram (373+hours (412+ on Oxford)), was an English RAF officer on loan to the RNZAF. He was the first fatal casualty on an operational flight undertaken from a New Zealand base.

Pilot Officer P. McNab and AC1 R. Kilpatrick were both injured.
Squadron Leader Kitson, pilot, RAF 34160, age 28, was killed. R.I.P.


2. (incorrectly lists the aircraft as "NZ274")

Revision history:

11-Dec-2008 23:38 angels one five Added
07-Jan-2010 00:04 angels one five Updated [Registration, Narrative]
21-Jul-2010 20:12 angels one five Updated [Other fatalities, Nature, Narrative]
17-Jan-2012 05:57 Nepa Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Narrative]
07-Jun-2013 23:57 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
24-Jul-2014 04:35 angels one five Updated [Time, Registration, Operator, Location, Narrative]
10-Jul-2015 19:53 SIS07 Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Narrative]
10-Aug-2017 20:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Sep-2019 06:04 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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