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Old 18th November 2017, 19:44
JimCorbett1977 JimCorbett1977 is offline
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404 Flight April 1930

On 7th April 1930, having disembarked HMS Courageous on 30th January 1930, 404 Flight left Gosport for Donibristle under the command of Lt Commander R.N. Sharman.

Can anyone confirm the number of aircraft in the flight and the names of the pilots on strength at the time?

In a newspaper report dated Saturday, 26th April 1930, the following information is given

"A series of mishaps at Falstone this week has caused much excitement, as the majority of the enhabitants had never seen an aeroplane at close quarters.

On Tuesday afternoon an RAF plane on a flight from Croydon to Edinburgh had to come down owing to a fractured engine spring. As the district is hilly and there were young Lambs in the fields it was difficult to find a suitable landing place, but the pilot, who handled his machine very well, made an excellent landing in Yarrow Pasture, which has a very uneven surface.

He wired for necessary spares, and about 10:00am on Wednesday 2 planes arrived from Edinburgh. The first to land came down in the pasture, but bumped badly on the uneven ground and was considerably damaged, lying partly on its side a sorry wreck. The other made a good landing in an adjacent field. This plane went off again at 12:15am, the damage to the first having been made good, and early in the afternoon, the pilot of the latter took off, but the repaired engine was knocking badly and he had to come down. Evidently not caring to risk another landing in the pasture, he chose the field, but fouled a hedge. The propeller and shaft were smashed, and the plane come to rest with its nose in the ground and tail in the air, so badly damaged that it will have to be removed by road or rail.

To make things more unpleasant for the pilots, steady rain set in, and the crowds which had assembled, many having come from very distant parts, quickly dispersed."

I have several photos of this incident which confirm one of the aircraft to be Flycatcher N9679, coded 13, of 404 Flight.

I am interested to know if 404 Flight returned south to Croydon later in April, having flown north to Donibristle at the beginning of the month. I am also interested to know, as stated in the newspaper report, if they then returned north to Turnhouse later in the month when this incident occurred on 22nd/23rd April 1930.

One of the other aircraft is possibly Flycatcher N9917, coded 8, but in the photo I have, only the last two digits are visible.
Jim Corbett
Author: Air Crash - Northumberland

Last edited by JimCorbett1977; 19th November 2017 at 13:47.
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