Country
code

East Sussex

Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 690B in Eastbourne: 9 killed

Date & Time: Nov 13, 1984 at 1841 LT
Registration:
EI-BGL
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Dublin - Paris
MSN:
690-11507
YOM:
1977
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
9
Captain / Total flying hours:
10256
Captain / Total hours on type:
150.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2390
Circumstances:
The aircraft was flying from Dublin to Paris (Le Bourget) at a height of 25,000 feet. In the area of Petersfield, Hampshire, the aircraft began a gentle turn to the left from a south easterly heading. After the radar controller queried the departure from the expected heading the commander reported that the autopilot had 'dropped out', and the south easterly heading was resumed. Approximately 7 minutes later, the radar recording shows that the aircraft again began to turn left and started to lose height. After the aircraft had reached a northerly heading it began to lose height rapidly following which secondary radar returns were lost and the primary returns became fragmented before they also disappeared. The aircraft suffered an in-flight disintegration at approximately 19,000 feet and all 9 occupants were killed. A positive cause of the accident was not determined but there was evidence that a part of the aircraft's electrical supply had been lost. This would have caused the autopilot to disengage and also have resulted in the failure of the commander's flight director indicator. It was concluded that, following the disengagement of the autopilot, the aircraft probably entered a steep spiral dive and that the disintegration of the aircraft occurred as recovery was attempted.
Probable cause:
The in-flight disintegration of the aircraft was probably caused by over-stressing during an attempted recovery from an extreme attitude in a spiral dive. A probable contributory factor was the commander's lack of awareness of the loss of the 26 volt AC supply to the autopilot and flight director system.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft C-45B Expeditor near Plumpton: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 18, 1967 at 1440 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N102S
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Nice - London-Gatwick
MSN:
6158
YOM:
1944
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
1360
Captain / Total hours on type:
162.00
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, was completing a ferry flight from Nice to London-Gatwick. While descending to Gatwick Airport in VFR mode, the pilot encountered poor weather conditions with rain falls and turbulences. While flying in clouds, he lost control of the airplane that plunges into the earth and crashed in a field. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was killed.
Probable cause:
The aircraft collided with high ground when the pilot was attempting to navigate at low altitude in poor visibility. Turbulent airflow in the lee of a ridge may have been a contributory factor. Investigators did not find any topographic maps for the UK in the aircraft. The pilot probably did not recognise the seriousness of the deteriorating weather situation in southern England until he crossed the coast and had to fly at low altitude to remain in visual contact with the ground.
Final Report:

Crash of a Short S.25 Sunderland MR.5 off Eastbourne: 4 killed

Date & Time: Jun 4, 1955 at 0930 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
RN288
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Pembroke Dock - Calshot
Region:
Crew on board:
14
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The crew left Pembroke Dock for RAF Calshot and was detached to take part to a presentation to the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) celebrations at Eastbourne, and was supposed to be displayed to welcome the Duke of Edinburgh. While landing on rough sea, the airplane hit waves, nosed down and plunged into the water before coming to rest few dozen yards off shore. Four crew members were killed, two other were injured and eight were unhurt. The aircraft was destroyed.

Crash of an Airspeed AS.65 Consul off Brighton: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jun 14, 1952 at 0949 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AHFT
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Croydon – Le Mans
MSN:
2593
YOM:
1946
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
7
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
The aircraft was performing a charter flight from Croydon to Le Mans with seven passengers and the pilot. The flight was without incident until shortly after crossing the English coast in the vicinity of Brighton at about 0855. The starboard engine gave one or two bangs which the pilot thought might be due to carburetor icing. The engine quickly recovered, however, and the flight proceeded. At about 0915 the starboard engine again began to cough. This time it did not recover. The aircraft was then twenty-two nautical miles from the nearest aerodrome, namely Le Havre on the French coast while the nearest English aerodrome was Shoreham, fifty-seven nautical miles in the opposite direction. The pilot elected to turn back to the English coast and make a 180 degrees turn to port. The aircraft continuously lost height and finally ditched twelve miles south of Brighton at 0949LT. There were only two passenger survivors who were picked up two hours later.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of this accident was primarily the failure of the starboard engine, and, thereafter the disaster must be attributed to errors on the part of the pilot.
Final Report:

Crash of a Vickers 619 Wellington X in Horam: 4 killed

Date & Time: Apr 5, 1950 at 2200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
NC615
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Middleton Saint George - Middleton Saint George
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The aircraft left RAF Middleton Saint George at 1845LT on a night navigation exercice. At 2137LT, the crew informed ground that the mission was uneventful until this time. Twenty-three minutes later, the aircraft went into a dive. At an altitude of 1,000 feet, it partially disintegrated and eventually crashed in a pasture. All four crew members were killed.
Crew:
S. J. Murdoch, pilot,
F/Lt W. A. Ryde, navigator,
F/Lt H. Seiman, navigator,
Sig A. E. Bazen.
Probable cause:
The aircraft broke in flight due to exceptional aerodynamic and other stresses.

Crash of a Curtiss C-46D-10-CU Commando near Wilmington: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 6, 1945
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
44-77861
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
33257
YOM:
1945
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances near Wilmington, East Sussex, killing both pilots, 1st Lt Sidney J. Gibson and S/Sgt James F. Maloney.

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-80-DL in Lewes: 25 killed

Date & Time: Nov 19, 1944 at 1510 LT
Operator:
Registration:
43-15046
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Châteaudun – Greenham Common
MSN:
19512
YOM:
1944
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
25
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
25
Circumstances:
En route to RAF Greenham Common, the crew encountered poor weather conditions. While cruising in low visibility at a height of 600 feet, the aircraft hit the slope of a hill and crash near Lewes, some 3 miles northeast of Brighton. Five passengers were rescued while all 25 other occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, the ceiling was low with a maximum horizontal visibility estimated at 800 meters. In addition, the wind was blowing from the south at an estimated speed of fifteen knots.

Crash of a Martin B-26 Marauder in Battle: 5 killed

Date & Time: Jun 6, 1944 at 0530 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
42-107592
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
While flying over the county of East Sussex in low visibility, the bomber collided with another Martin B-26 Marauder of the USAAF. Registered 42-96249, it was also carrying a crew of six. Following the collision, both bombers dove into the ground and crashed in a field located in Battle. A crew member on board 42-107592 survived while all 11 other occupants were killed.
Crew (394th BG):
Lt Tommie Potts,
Sgt George J. Kyle, †
Lt Christian Burger, †
Lt Leroy A. Dyer, †
Sgt James M. Long, †
Sgt George W. Williams. †

Crash of a Martin B-26 Marauder in Battle: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jun 6, 1944 at 0530 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
42-96249
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
While flying over the county of East Sussex in low visibility, the bomber collided with another Martin B-26 Marauder of the USAAF. Registered 42-107592, it was also carrying a crew of six. Following the collision, both bombers dove into the ground and crashed in a field located in Battle. A crew member on board 42-107592 survived while all 11 other occupants were killed.
Crew (394th BG):
Lt Thomas Jenkins,
Lt Walter Winter,
Sgt Boris R. Salinsky,
Sgt William C. Hoeb,
Sgt Ralph D. Parker,
Sgt Edward F Bailey.
Source: ASN

Crash of a Consolidated B-24D Liberator in Eastbourne: 10 killed

Date & Time: Feb 2, 1944
Operator:
Registration:
41-24282
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
MSN:
1077
YOM:
1943
Region:
Crew on board:
10
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
10
Circumstances:
En route, while cruising at low altitude, the four engine aircraft christened 'Ruth Less' hit a hill and crashed near Eastbourne, East Sussex. All ten crew members were killed.