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Blackburn Botha crashes, 1940

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Blackburn Botha crashes, 1940

Old 4th Feb 2013, 16:44
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Blackburn Botha crashes, 1940

Hello all,

My first post here is a somewhat esoteric one, I'm afraid. I'm looking into the first four crashes of the much-maligned Botha that happened between 5 March and 8 July 1940. These crashes are alleged to have pretty much killed the reputation of the aircraft before it entered service. Aircraft numbers were L6129, L6377, L6390 and L6205.

A J Jackson in his book "Blackburn Aircraft since 1909" states that "If the reason for these accidents was ever established, it was certainly never disclosed, with the result that many harsh things have been said of the Botha for more than a quarter of a century."

Does anybody have any details on these accidents? Who would have been the investigating authority? And if the results were undisclosed what might the reason have been?

Cheers, Vince
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Old 4th Feb 2013, 21:02
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I think from the little I've read it's reputation was p.poor before it entered service due to being underpowered, unstable and having v.poor view. Rendering it pretty much useless for renaissance or anti submarine duties. The crashes happening after it entered service yes...(?) just confirmed it was a bag of spanners.

Last edited by Load Toad; 4th Feb 2013 at 21:03.
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Old 4th Feb 2013, 21:54
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It did indeed have a poor reputation in-service, but these were the pre-service crashes that ruined its reputation prior to entering service. I think two were at Blackburn's factory in Brough, and two more were at maintenance units.

I'm looking for more detail on them, as according to Jackson the accident reports either weren't issued, or didn't give the cause. Really, I'm looking to find out why the aircraft entered service despite these accidents. I mean, if you're just going to put an aircraft into operation despite it being dreadful during testing, there's no real point in testing, is there?

It's quite a vexing conundrum, tbh.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 06:35
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The AIB report file note for L6205 at Silloth is in the AVIA series in The National Archives.

| The National Archives

AVIA 5/19

Regards
Ross
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 08:20
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Brilliant! Thanks, Ross.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 08:58
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It sounds like the design wasn't good & so it couldn't satisfy its intended role. (Esp. with other aircraft bercoming available). Though those that had been made could be used as squadron hacks and for other uses. More info will no doubt follow on this forum knowing the abilities of the contributors.
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