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Thread: A.I.B. Investigation

  1. #1
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    Default 1661 HCU Lancaster crash - A.I.B.?

    In the early hours of Saturday 10th April 1943 Lancaster ED823 belonging to 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit took off from Winthorpe. The aircraft crashed in Halam, Notts. tragically all seven crew members were killed.

    I have found some information on the crash from the (Australian) pilot's service records:-

    "The marks of impact showed that the aircraft struck the ground flat and on an even keel and that all engines were under power, three of the propellors and reduction gears lying within 15 yds. of the point of impact. From examination of the wreckage it was not to establish any contributory cause of the accident from a technical aspect. The height of the ground at the scene of the crash is 200 ft. above sea level." W. H. ORCHARD S/Ldr.

    It notes that an A.I.B. investigatiom was taking place - can anyone tell me if it is possible to get hold on a copy of the A.I.B. report? Are they on archive somewhere?

    The aircrew were:-

    411919 Flt Sgt L W LEAN RAAF
    14855 Sert F DUNKIN RAAF
    127064 FO E LAMBERT
    1087359 Sgt H U OXSPRING
    1345277 Sgt W S L GRAHAM
    R/115799 Flt Sgt R D LEWIS RCAF
    1231524 Sgt W G STEPHENSON

    We are planning to unveil a permanent memorial this year (2011) and to hold a memorial service in the village. All will be most welcome, especially those with connections to those who sadly lost their lives that tragic night. Please contact us for further information.

    We are hoping to put together a booklet about the crew and their plane and would be delighted to hear from any relatives of the airmen, and from anyone with memories of Winthorpe and the 1661 HCU.

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    A copy of the A.I.B. report should have made its way to the National Archives (under file ref AVIA 5/22), but it isn't on the list, report W1510 is missing, as it is the only missing report from April 1943 it could be this.

    If you have a copy of the AM Form 1180 there should be the number of the A.I.B. Report on that, left hand side of the first side about half way up.

    The A.A.I.B. do still have a small number of reports in their Technical Library but I don't know how to go about accessing if from outside of the aviation safety world.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Thanks alclark

    It would be our luck that it is the missing report...

    What is the "AM Form 1180" and where do I find it?

    Regards

    Andrew
    andrew_paris@yahoo.com

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    You get those from the RAF Museum, Department of Research & Information Services. They are a two page record card and are kept on microfilm.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Andrew

    Its something I've yet to pursue myself, but if you can get the Loss Card, there is a space on it for 'AIB File No'. Can't say for certain if this was always filled out in the event, but the AIB still apparently hold these records. A letter to them should bring a result if one was carried out. If you have or find the loss card, and its been filled in, it should have the relevant file number.

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    I posted an answer here last night, although for some reason it hasnt appeared. It was basically the same as 'alclark' has written.

    Although it's not an avenue I've pursued myself, the Form 1180 (known as the 'loss card') gives brief details, with a box to the left side giving an AIB file number. Not certain if these were always noted, because like any such form, they are only as complete as the person filling them in makes them. But if you are able to get the form (as mentioned by alclark, they can be found at the RAF Museum, although the Air Historical Branch hold the originals) there should be a file number written in. Of those I have, they are unfortunately all blank. But there was a TV report on a case about 2 years ago and they simply contacted the Air Accident Investigation Branch who still had the file. Being such a long time ago, it might be possible to access the file, especially as the contents of many current ones are often reported in the aviation press.

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    It would be worthwhile also but takes a while to receive it, to order the abreviated service reocrd of the Canadian man listed above. The RCAF files I have ogtten are good for having copies of Form 765 or Form 412 Inquest forms with a little more detail.

    Details of how to get are on the Canadian Archives are here:
    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-909.007-e.html

    Him being a F/Sgt they might not be there. But make sure to ask for any docuemnts related to the crash of the aircraft from his service file.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Thanks Jonny

    I'm new to the forum and am learning how it all works - good advice though!

    Best regards

    Andrew

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    Hi Andrew,

    If you're lucky, there are some accident reports available in AVIA 5 at the National Archives. Unfortuantely yours, which should be in AVIA 5/22, doesn't seem to be present.

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/searchresults.asp?fldResultMarker=101&fldSearchNum ber=213722&SearchInit=1

    However, if you plug DUNKIN's service number into the National Archives of Australia website, you can get both his and LEAN's service records which have been digitised

    LEAN's A705 casualty file contains a copy of the Form 765(C) (Accident or Forced Landing Not Attributed to Enemy Action) Report, which was unable to find a cause for the accident.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff

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    See my reply here:-

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?10206-A.I.B.-Investigation&p=59664&posted=1#post59664

    You're in luck - LEAN's file has been digitised and contains a copy of the F765(C), which is probably about as good as it's going to get.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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