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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 65289
Last updated: 25 November 2021
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Time:11:30 LT
Type:Airspeed Oxford Mk I
Owner/operator:1 SFTS RNZAF
Registration: NZ279
MSN: 0501
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Main Street, Akaroa, Canterbury -   New Zealand
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RNZAF Wigram, New Zealand
Destination airport:RNZAF Wigram, New Zealand
Airspeed Oxford Mk.I NZ279: Built by Airspeed Ltd, Portsmouth, England, with RAF Serial P2032. Brought On Charge with Unit No.1, RNZAF Hobsonville on 24 April 1940 and assembled at No.1 Aircraft Depot. Assigned RNZAF Serial NZ279. Issued to No.1 SFTS, Wigram.

Written off (damaged beyond economic repair) when crashed 15 June 1940. Leading Aircraftmen J. L. McFadyen and F. M. McFarlane took the Oxford from No.1 Service Flying Training School, RNZAF Wigram on an air-to-ground gunnery exercise over the Birdlings Flat area. Later they flew to Akaroa, flying low over the main street. During a steep turn for another pass the aircraft stalled and spun, crashed, and burst into flames, ending up in the Main Street of Akaroa, Canterbury, near houses, killing both occupants, and injuring two people on the ground. Some eyewitnesses said they saw at least one pilot still alive, but were unable to get close because of the flames.

The two crew members are buried at Nelson and Greymouth respectively. Francis McFarlane had 182 hrs flying time of which 115 was solo, and 38 on the Oxford.

Parts of this aircraft were possibly used in the construction of Ground Instructional Airframe INST35 which was allotted to the Technical Training School, RNZAF Wigram.


1. King, John (1995). Aviation Accidents and Disasters. New Zealand Tragedies. Wellington: Grantham House. p. 163. ISBN 1 86934 042 6. .
2. Ministry of Defence Accident File no. 25/2/63

Revision history:

30-May-2009 01:13 XLerate Added
08-Sep-2009 23:55 angels one five Updated
17-Sep-2009 12:47 angels one five Updated
17-Jan-2012 05:56 Nepa Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Source]
07-Jun-2013 23:54 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
24-Jul-2014 04:31 angels one five Updated [Time, Narrative]
02-Jun-2015 13:27 ABBA Updated [Time, Operator]
08-Oct-2015 00:27 angels one five Updated [Operator, Narrative]
24-Jul-2017 22:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Jul-2017 22:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Aug-2017 21:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-Aug-2017 21:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
20-Nov-2018 17:47 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
21-Mar-2019 21:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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