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Thread: RAF Aircraft accident cards

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Grantham, Lincs
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    Default RAF Aircraft accident cards

    Via a third party I am told that on RAF accident cards where the cause of the accident is attributed to engine problems, there appears at the top of the card an abbreviation such as “ES” and “MP” – presumably an abbreviation of the cause ?

    ( “ES” = engine seized perhaps ?)

    Can anyone shed light on theses codes please ?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Bewdley, UK
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post


    Hi Ian,

    The coding changed as the time progressed.

    The following is a work in progress for another part of the forum and still requires to be completed.

    Initially the F1180 card had plain edges and coding for statistical analysis was given on the reverse as letter then number.

    The breakdown is:
    T - Taxying Phase

    T1 - Bad surface of aerodrome

    T2 - Hitting Obstructions

    T3 - Hitting other aircraft

    T4 - Harsh use of brakes

    T5 - U/c drill

    T5a - U/cr drill at end of landing run

    T6 - Various errors

    T6b - Locked Brakes, poor drill

    T7 - Airframe defects

    T8 - Misc causes

    T9 - Unknown or not yet determined

    O - Take Off Phase

    O1 - U/c retracted too soon

    O3a - Hit other aircraft

    O3b - Hit obstruction

    O3c - Loss of control

    O3d - Other errors

    O4 - Other cause

    O4a - Other Cause, Airframe defect

    O4b - Other Cause, Misc

    O5 - Unknown or not yet determined

    O13d - Swung

    F - Flight Phase

    F1a - Unauthorised low flying or aerobatics

    F1b - Other types of non-compliance with orders for flight or Standing Orders

    F2 - Loss of control in good visibility

    F3 - Loss of control in bad visibility (cloud etc)

    F4 - Flying into ground, sea or high ground in bad visibility etc.

    F7a - Other Errors, Collisions

    F7b - Other Errors, others

    F8a - Other Causes. Airframe defects

    F8b - Other Causes, Miscellaneous

    F9 - Unknown or not yet determined

    L - Landing Phase

    L1 - Overshot

    L1a - Overshot, Flaps up

    L1b - Overshot, others

    L1c - Overshot - u/c damaged - u/c collapsed

    L2 - Undershot

    L3 - U/c retracted or not fully locked down

    L3ai - Pilot error Forgot

    L3aii - Pilot error remembered but did not operate correctly

    L3b - Technical Defect

    L3c - Not known whether 3a or 3b

    L6 - Heavy landing

    L6a - Heavy landing, hit other aircraft except after overshoot etc

    L6b - Heavy landing, hit obstructions

    L7 - Swung

    L8a - Out of wind, pilot error

    L8a - With drift

    L9 - Errors other specified

    L9a - Loss of control

    L9b - Others

    L10 Errors not specified

    L11 - Rough surface

    L12 - Other causes

    L12a - Airframe defects

    L12b - Misc

    L13 - Unknown or not yet determined

    L14 - Engine failure on take off, subsequent error by pilot

    L15 - Engine failure on take off, others

    L16 - Engine failed in flight, subsequent error by pilot

    L17 - Engine failed in flight, others

    L18 - Engine failed during landing, subsequent error by pilot

    L19 - Engine failed during landing, others

    L20 - Engine failed, subsequent error by pilot

    L21 - Engine failed, others

    L22a - Forced landing, bad weather

    L22b - Forced landing, lost, bad Weather

    L22c - Forced landing, lost, bad weather, fuel shortage

    L22d - Forced landing, bad weather, fuel shortage

    L23a - Forced landing, lost

    L23b - Forced landing, lost, fuel shortage

    L23c - Forced landing, fuel shortage

    S or M - Stationary

    S1 or M1 - U/c maloperated on stationary aircraft

    S2 or M2 - Others

    Next phase was to retain the above coding and expand using alpha codes

    These are partially developed on this thread

    See post 37 et al.

    Finally the perforated edge codes duplicated this information for data analysis.

    Your E abbreviations come from this era and coding so worth trawling back through the linked thread.

    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Grantham, Lincs
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Hello Ross,

    As ever many thanks for your comprehensive answer, now copied to archive and will pass to my enquirer.

    Best regards,


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts


    Can anyone advise on whether this list is the most comprehensive that we currently have available or is there an updated listing on another thread? I am currently looking for Command Category F15 and Command Category 5 but there may be other codes that I need as I progress this phase of my project


    Last edited by PeteT; 26th March 2016 at 13:18.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 ( )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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