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Thread: Crash of 205 Squadron Supermarine Southampton Mk II #S1128

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    Default Crash of 205 Squadron Supermarine Southampton Mk II #S1128

    This aircraft, according to the pilot's logbook, crashed at Pulo Ubin, Malaya, on September 15, 1932. The crew were P/O W.F. Hilchie; LAC Davy; LAC Hinken; LAC Sweetland; AC Shawyer. I've been told that the cause was some sort of mechanical failure and that one of the crew perished through being trapped in the fuselage. The RAF Museum do not have the Form 1180 pertaining to this accident and do not appear to know where it might be located, if indeed it still exists. I've contacted the National Archives at Kew to review the pertinent 205 Squadron Operations Records Book (AIR 27/1214) for this period and am awaiting their reply but wonder if anyone might be able to provide any further avenues of research to determine whether or not the Form 1180 might still be on record. I'm planning to travel to UK for the month of May and will try to pursue this research on site if additional leads of any kind concerning this accident come to my attention. Many thanks for any and all assistance regarding this project.

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    Those killed were

    LAC Leonard Stephen Davey aged 24
    LAC Robert Cecil Hinking aged 20

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    Full Story here:

    http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article.aspx?articleid=straitstimes19320916.2.38&s essionid=9df953b8642c43bb8092706086851202&keyword= Hinking&lang=en&search=advanced&fromdate=19320901& todate=19321201&articles=1&advertisements=1&illust rations=1&letters=1&obituaries=1&miscellaneous=1&n ewspaperTitles=biztimes%2cdailyadvertiser%2ceaster ndaily%2cfreepress%2cmalayansatpost%2cmiddayherald %2csingchronicle%2csingdailynews%2csingfreepressa% 2csingfreepressb%2csingweekherald%2cstoverland%2cs traitsadvocate%2cstraitschinherald%2cstraitseurasi an%2cstraitsmail%2cstraitsobserver%2cstraitstelegr aph%2cstraitstimes%2cstweekly%2ctoday%2cweeklysun& fuzzysearch=Off

    http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article.aspx?articleid=singfreepressb19320917.2.12 0&sessionid=a828fdc9023e4224a9e7f47bf549c39c&keywo rd=Hinking&lang=en

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    Correct Names

    should be Robert Cecil Hinkin Born 1912 Ely in Cambridge


    Leonard Stephen Davey Born 1908 Godstone Surrey

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    Default Southampton Crash

    Thank you for the ingenious sleuthing and the very prompt reply. It appears to have been a classic glassy water landing accident, still a danger in seaplane operations, one which kills people every year somewhere in the world. Tragic indeed. A photograph of this aircraft (S1128) appears on pg 306 of the book "Aviation Engine Examiner" by Major V.W. Page, published 1931.

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    I entered the tail number in google and found this thread, as I've discovered an old photo (in an old shoe box from my wifes grandfather). So sorry the crash resulted in a loss of life.

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    Default Crash of S1128

    Hi Chris - The newspaper references provided by Paul McMillan give a full story of this accident and the subsequent inquest. It was indeed tragic. And in fact surprising that any of the crew survived an aircraft that large cartwheeling on the water. Even peace time military flying, or civilian for that matter, was dangerous in 1932. Nor of course is it perfectly safe today.
    What I don't understand, based on testimony at the inquest, is the fatalistic tone of senior officers regarding the dangers of low level maneuvering over glassy water surfaces, at that late a stage in the operation of water aircraft. It's hard to escape the conclusion that there were really no standardized techniques for dealing with this problem, such as there are today.
    The pilot of this aircraft, F/O W.F. Hilchie, was a Canadian, trained originally in the RCAF, who had accumulated approximately 1000 hours of flying boat time, operating the Curtis HS2L boat with the Ontario Provincial Air Service in Northern Canada, even before he joined the RAF. That was a great deal of experience in 1932 and he would certainly have dealt with glassy water landings before.
    You say you have a photograph; is that of the crash itself or of S1128 prior to the accident? Do you know any of the circumstances behind the photo? For example, whether it was taken by your wife's grandfather and if so, where and when?

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    Thanks for the great information Johny. Another photo's been found. Both are post crash and show the tail in the first and the dammage to the front section of the airframe on the 2nd. Both were taken by Jack Lowe (the grandfather) during his RAF travels as far as I know. He was a farrier by trade but was employed as a chippy in the Air Force. I'll shall endeavour to upload the images and as you've said, it's amazing any of the crew survived. Thanks again.

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    Default S1128

    Extraordinary what can turn up on the Internet. The RAF seems to have no record of this accident left at all. Even the accident report and aircraft history card have disappeared. If it weren't for the entry in the pilot's own logbook and the period newspaper reports there wouldn't even be a starting point. And now you have photos of the aircraft ........

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyroad View Post
    Extraordinary what can turn up on the Internet. The RAF seems to have no record of this accident left at all. Even the accident report and aircraft history card have disappeared. If it weren't for the entry in the pilot's own logbook and the period newspaper reports there wouldn't even be a starting point. And now you have photos of the aircraft ........
    It's unbelievable that's the case. It would be fitting to trace the families of the poor airman and give the photos to them. I shall do some more digging and see what happens. Thanks again Johnny.
    Last edited by ChrisLewis; 12th December 2011 at 23:17.

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