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Thread: Help with Lettering/Number? AM 1180 Accident Card? Parachute related or Not?

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    Default Help with Lettering/Number? AM 1180 Accident Card? Parachute related or Not?

    Hello

    I wondered if anyone can explain please, what I originally thought might be ‘bp’ [bombing & photographic] or possibly ‘Gp’ [glide path], or 6p, in the Duty box Whitley P5044.

    However, after receiving a photocopy of Whitley Z6731 there is a link from a similar letter group, or number/letter [ 6p / 6f ] group in the Duty box, to the Parachute box?

    Both aircraft were on fire in the air and both aircraft have two or more accident ground locations, due to wing or engine coming off whilst in the air. Both were blamed on enemy action early on, but both changed to flying accidents.

    Perhaps you have a copy accident card, where they are not abbreviated?

    Thanks

    Mark



    Last edited by Mark Hood; 18th June 2015 at 11:45.

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    Just a thought, Mark; is it 'Gp' - indicating the operation was arranged by a Group, in this case 4 Group, rather than HQ Bomber Command?

    Brian

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    I read it as OP, and I take it to mean the incident happened on Operations (as opposed to training etc).

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Hello Bruce and Brian

    Normally in this corner would be nothing at all (blank), or "N" or "Op" or "Opl".

    Regarding P5044 Bomber Command did give the instruction, originally as a series of target choices, depending on the weather. The Intelligence for the Operation in one file refers to the Operation as "Bombing and Photographic", hence my initial feeling "bp" for P5044.

    It was a bit unfair to withhold this, but I wanted to see what was said and your suggestions crossed my mind.

    However, when this photocopy AM1180 for Z6731 arrived, the two characters leapt out straight away, with a stroke/mark to the parachute box and I began to have doubts, such as 6 f, or 6 fitted, referring to 6 parachutes on the aircraft when it left?

    There is a definite reference on the Z6731 Court of Inquiry Form signed off by AVM Carr eight months later on 20th April 1942 that the cause was obscure and that they will accept the findings of the AIB who stated a flame was seen from the aircraft, the mechanical engine damage and the engine falling off whilst in the air. The C of I Form is rather interesting as it says:- "All information recorded on this form has been obtained from sources outside this unit." The CO states in his part that it might be due to enemy action, but "this accident occurred before my arrival on the Squadron and I am therefore unable to give any opinion."

    Apparently, Engineers of the AIB, or for the AIB stated that the 'top land' on the piston [I understand the 'land' on a piston is between/adjacent the vicinity of the piston ring grooves] had broken up, resulting in piston ring breakage, followed by the little end bearings melting, allowing high clearance/elongation of the small end bore and the breaking of a con rod. The other damage to the big end was thought to be due to the engine breakage and catching fire. The AIB report turned up in a public Archive and is a public record.

    Some years ago I spoke to Ian Brownlie (77 Sqn) and it seems to be a repeat of his Whitley crash in 1940, fortunately he and his crew mangaged to land on fire, on an aerodrome and get out.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 19th June 2015 at 09:07.

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    Hello,

    For those who wish to see the 765(C)/C.o.I. of Z6731 for themselves, go to:

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetri...sicSearch.aspx

    Enter 402464 in Keywords box.

    Click on Digitised item symbol of Lowater's A705.

    Go to pp.10-19 of 79

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th June 2015 at 17:36.

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    Hello Col and All

    Yes, some of these reports can only be found by crew surname/year, as opposed to aircraft type/serial.

    Whitley Z6731 crash location is given as Lime Tree Farm, Laxfield, Suffolk. (apparently incorrectly spelt Lexfield).

    Another reference to Crouches Farm by Chorley, Crouch was a farmer at Laxfield, Suffolk in the 19th Century and there is still a building called Crouch Cottage, Cake Street, Laxfield nearby. Perhaps the Engine / Nacelle was found there.

    The engine Nacelle was returned to the makers for a detailed examination, probably a second opinion to definitely rule out bullet holes. I got the feeling that the RAF found it difficult to accept the detailed AIB findings, the Inquiry went on for months and finally engine failure (L17 on the Accident Card) was accepted as the cause, with an added note about the engine coming off.

    Parachutes were apparently not used per RAF.

    Original Query
    Having said that, I could find no Casualty Signals on file, which might have confirmed my original query in the Duty box and whether any special equipment was aboard?

    P5044
    Regarding Whitley P5044 on which Sgt Hood was crew, the aircraft was in a dive and never levelled out beneath the cloud base, according to records. Also the AIB left their cause/ opinion blank. The RAF blaming cloud and flying into hill/ground/sea 'F4'.

    Comparing other F4 accidents and researching some, it confirms these other Whitleys and RAF fighters were already out of control or never levelled out, before striking hills, high ground, obstructions/trees, or the ground/sea.

    I also don't believe that some of these other Whitley aircraft and RAF fighters simply flew level into hills and obstructions.

    Cause 'F4' and cause "Group 'A' " means these aircraft were diving or descending beneath cloud, with no holding off / levelling out. Some levelled out, but for unknown reasons, went into a second dive, which also affected RAF Hurricane & Spitfire Fighters, according to TNA, files.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 19th June 2015 at 10:27.

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    I don't wish to put a fox into the henhouse but there is one thing absent from the occurrences of a/c 'flying into clouds with hard centres' and that is "What was the Altimeter sub-scale set to?". The majority of inadvertent a/c-ground collisions are usually due to (a) the wrong sub-scale setting, (b) an erroneous sub-scale setting, and (c) ignoring the minimum height level on the nav chart (don't know when this, and Regional QNHs, came in, but I suspect they were driven by the number of fatalities caused by a combination of (a), (b), and/or (c).)
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks Peter

    I'm afraid a 1940/41 Whitley cause 'F4' covers a multitude of causes:-

    Whitley 1 May 1940 struck summit of the hill with the Starboard wing at 1529ft [Hill of Foudland], crashing at Bains Hole, nr Insch, Accidents Branch entered "weather?"
    Whitley Aug 1940 on fire in air, presumed broke cloud and impacted balloon cables. Changed from impact with obstructions F6, to F9 Obscure, to miscellaneous F8 (Misc cause not stated, but could be height restriction of 5,000 feet), to F4. The Observer Corps - could not ID plane sound as friendly [suggesting engine sound had changed/ desynchronised / engines faded]. Losing height, turn to left and then making a slow right turn for 16 miles and crashing in the Eastleigh balloon barrage [the Observer plots, on a map as roughly half circle of 16 miles along the half circumference]. Height originally given Observer Corps Centre as 10,000 feet. RAF - impact occurred at 2,500 ft below cloud. Obs Corps also recorded Red Flares off I of W about 11 mins before crash time. AIB U606 but no cause entered. RAF failed to establish exact crash time and other details, entering "AM" for time.
    Whitley Sep 1940 given as F8, on fire in air, dived out of clouds & hit hillside, diving for 1500 feet after leaving cloud base, fire seen to break out, Obscure. AIB investigation U685A, summary not retained by DFT.
    Whitley Oct 1940, engines may have failed. Had not asked for QFE, but had series of QDMs. Night was very bad.
    Whitley Oct 1940 Obscure F9, referred to AIB, loss of control "(Controls) for the record" fabric torn away.
    Whitley Oct 1940 Outgoing, fire started centre of fuselage incendaries, dropped flares to effect of, hit balloon cable.
    Whitley Oct 1940 Hit high ground in cloud FHG.
    Whitley Oct 1940 Arrived over drome, given permission to land then lost sight of beacon or drome lights. Then inaccurate (reciprical) QDM given by Stn Leeming (OC). Failed to maintain sufficient height when flying blind.
    Whitley Nov 1940 A/c flying at 1200 ft, when the nose dropped & aircraft went into steep dive from which it did not recover. C.I of A - left recovery too late. [seems a bit unfair, as clearly pilot could not recover a/c]
    Whitley Dec 1940 " "Instruments" (Wireless)", crashed into sea whilst flying by instruments, altimeter reading 550 ft. [I get the feeling this Whitley may have lost engine power and is trying to get back to UK coast].

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 22nd June 2015 at 10:46.

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