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RAF Form 700 Avro Anson Mk1 N5130

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RAF Form 700 Avro Anson Mk1 N5130

Old 5th Feb 2020, 10:32
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RAF Form 700 Avro Anson Mk1 N5130

Whilst flying Avro Anson’s from Mona, with 8 (O)AFU a Navigator Training School, my late father in law, had a mid air collision in the circuit at night in very bad weather and despite losing 10 feet of one of his wings, managed to land the aircraft safely. The aircraft he collided with also landed safely.

His aircraft was repaired by grafting on a section of replacement wing and when complete, he was tasked with test flying the aircraft the day before going on leave for his 21st birthday. The next person to fly the aircraft was his best friend and sadly the aircraft crashed killing everyone on board. It is believed that the left wing failed after an aileron separated and led to a loss of control. This weighed heavily on Dad for the rest of his life.

The report into the accident made no mention of the recently completed repair. It did however refer to a number of accidents to Anson’s where the wing had failed in flight resulting in the aircraft crashing. This was attributed to the aircraft being made of wood and being stored in the open on airfields because there was not enough hanger space to keep them inside and protected from the British weather.

I am trying to find out which wing was repaired following the mid air collision, the one that failed in flight or the other one. I think the Form 700 will tell me this if it is possible to get a copy.

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to obtain copies of this form for aircraft in WW2 ands if so how.




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Old 5th Feb 2020, 22:11
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Following a bit more Googling this evening, I have now learnt that the RAF Form 700's are routinely destroyed when an aircraft is struck off charge. So no chance of getting hold of that! However, the MOD Air Historical Branch, holds Air Ministry Form 78's Aircraft Movement cards and these apparently record details of repairs to aircraft, so I am hoping to get hold of a copy of that.
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Old 6th Feb 2020, 11:10
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You say that "his aircraft was repaired by grafting on a section of replacement wing" but I would have expected it far more likely (having lost the outboard 10ft) that the entire outboard wing (from just outboard of the engine) was replaced with a new one. Given that it was then flown once satisfactorily, it is unlikely that the same wing then fell off on the next trip implying a poor fitment (although I know anything is possible!). It is entirely probable that the reason the replaced wing is not mentioned in the accident report is because it was the other side and so was irrelevant.
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Old 6th Feb 2020, 20:57
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possel

Having watched the refurbishment of the wooden Anson progress at Duxford over a number of years, I think the wing, like the Mosquito was a one piece unit from tip to tip. It would be easier to graft on a replacement section for the missing piece than taking the aircraft apart to replace from the centre section, even if that was possible. My understanding is that there were "approved repairs" for this type of work involving scarf joints to the woodwork. I could be wrong.

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Old 7th Feb 2020, 12:26
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As stated by the previous poster the wing was a one piece unit.
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Old 7th Feb 2020, 23:28
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My Wife informs me that her Dad always referred to a section being grafted on to replace the missing bit.

Also it would seem that my recollections of what he said about the accident were correct, in that he test flew it the day before his 21st Birthday ie 15th February 1944 and the crash occurred on 16th February 1944.

From - http://www.deganwyhistory.co.uk/wp-c...0-42-SLIDE.pdf

“Little was recorded in the Operations Record Book for No.8 (O)AFU about the crash, these are the relevant entries: February 16th 1944, “Anson N5130 crashed between Conway and Llandudno (Map Ref 258008). Crew of five all killed.” February 1944 - Medical Officer's Report, “On the afternoon of the 16.2.44 the ambulance was called out to a flying accident near Llandudno Junction. On arrival there it was found that the crew of five were all dead and had been established as personnel from this Unit. They were conveyed back to RAF Station Mona Sick Quarters Mortuary. Two of the funerals were carried out here, the rest elsewhere.”

There are differing dates for the deaths of the crew on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Site and on one of the headstones on the graves. There were no survivors from the crash.

Final Descent by Terrance R Hill gives the date as 15th February 1944 which is where I got my information from. I do not have access to my Father in laws log book at the present time so have not been able to check his entries, long story, impossible relatives!




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Old 8th Feb 2020, 14:34
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
..... long story, impossible relatives!
Tell me. It seems that I'm not the only one to have this problem!
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Old 21st Feb 2020, 18:42
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Came across this photo, seems the wing was easily detached.



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Old 22nd Feb 2020, 18:08
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Yes but it is still a one piece wing from end to end
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Old 24th Feb 2020, 19:41
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The AM Form 78s don't usually give details of repairs - it's more a case of recording that the aircraft has been damaged and then returned to service. I checked the AM 1180 Accident Record Card (originals with AHB, microfilm copy at Hendon) and the first entry says "Part of wing broke off in air. Aircraft crashed".

A later entry reads "Aileron probably broke off in flight followed by loss of control."
The summary of the Court of Inquiry states, "Structural failure in air. CO rec[ommend]s periodic o[ver]haul by contractors of Anson. AOC agrees. AOCinC: AIB has [illegible] invest[igatio]n of [illegible] failures & accident rate very low.
AIB: Loss of control followed by structural failure. Primary cause N/K [Not Known] but evidence suggests breaking away of aileron."

There seems to be no mention of this accident in the Accident Investigation Branch reports at Kew (Series AVIA 5) which may indicate that AIB merely commented, rather than holding a detailed investigation. I'm not sure how loss of an aileron would lead to structural failure, but loss of control may have led to a dive which overstressed the airframe. There is no specific indication of the wing failing as the result of a repair, but the card suggests that aileron failures had caused previous accidents.

As far as I'm aware, records of Courts of Inquiry have not been preserved.

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Old 25th Feb 2020, 11:21
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Innominte thank you for that.

If I ever get my hands on my father in laws log book again, I am hoping it will tell me which wing was broken in the mid air in the circuit over Mona. I am trying to establish if it was the wing that was repaired that subsequently failed or the other one, ie was it possible that the repair was done properly.
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Old 27th Feb 2020, 09:08
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WB627

Having worked with F700's a lot there are several things here.

1. The F700 would not list huge amounts of detail on the repair. It would note it had been done - that is all. It would have been updated if the whole component had been changed though (so a whole wing or whole aileron etc), not a panel repair though. It is perfectly possible to splice a whole section of wing on to a damaged wooden aircraft including the main spar but usually it is a major job and takes a long time to do and you need jigs to do it. I think it is unlikely that this sort of repair wold have been done if the crash was 16th and the previous accident on the 15th - time would not allow.
2. The aircraft would have been repaired to an approved repair scheme (of which there were many) so not just any old fix would be allowed
3. Only minor repairs were done at a unit level - the serious repairs were done by specialist units or often returned to the manufacturer for repair - in this case that did not happen (obviously)
4. All repairs were (are) cross checked by other tradesmen and then supervisors - the likelihood of a poor repair being returned to service are tiny
5. Sadly it is a fact of wartime that many of the aircraft on Training units and OTU's were old and 'war weary' and often combined with inexperienced crews there were many accidents that otherwise might have been avoided. I think almost as many people died training as died on Ops.

If your relative was around today I think people would tell him it was not his fault in any way shape or form, and that sadly these things happen as part of training (as he would be only too well aware). The fact that it was his friend makes it doubly sad, but based on what you have found out there appears to be no real link between the two accidents.

Lets hope that would have set his mind at rest.

Regards

Arc
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Old 27th Feb 2020, 15:48
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Arc,the missing information is the date that the mid-air collision took place,which WB627 seems unable to get...and also which wing was damaged..
Losing 10 ft of a 56ft wingspan,and landing safely in difficult weather at night I would have thought worthy of a Unit Inquiry of one sort or another,and possible praise or `carpet shuffling` depending on the outcome...!
I agree entirely with your comments on repairing./splicing on a new piece ,etc.
WB627..AS REGARDS TO YOUR FiL,..Your wife is entitled to apply for her Father`s Service Records,if they have not already been obtained by others.
Go to Gov.UK, Search for `Military Service Records`,read the instructions,etc fill out forms,you may have to pay,but as your wife is NOK,worth checking first,send off,and hopefully in a few weeks,or so,you may have some answers.....Best of luck.....
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Old 27th Feb 2020, 16:45
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Originally Posted by sycamore View Post
Arc,the missing information is the date that the mid-air collision took place,which WB627 seems unable to get...
A few minutes with Google would suggest that there might be some confusion with a mid-air that occurred at Mona on 14th May 1943. The Anson involved in that incident was LT528 and the other aircraft was Blackburn Botha I L6373.

Clearly the suggestion that an aircraft was re-winged within a day is somewhat infeasible.
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Old 27th Feb 2020, 17:34
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DRUK,there is no date known ,or given about the first mid-air ; only that after repair he test flew the aircraft on 15 Feb,and that the friend flew it on the 16 Feb with fatal results. A 10 ft splice job would take certainly a week or more as if it was repaired on site,Anglesey in winter is not an ideal place for glueing wings back together,re-covering,painting etc...would have been quicker to have changed the whole wing...maybe they went to the `graveyard and did a bit of cutting on a `hangar queen`.....
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Old 28th Feb 2020, 00:55
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The date of the mid air that my Fil was involved in is currently unknown to me, however it was with another Anson in the Mona circuit, so in all probability from the same unit. It could have been a few days or a few weeks prior to the fatal accident on 16th Feb and would have depended on the availability of resources to carry out the repair.

There is/was some confusion over the date of the fatal accident, I correctly believed it was on 16th Feb, his 21st Birthday whilst he was home on leave, but the deaths of the crew who died are recorded in some cases as 15th. The ORB has the correct date of 16th. Final Descent by Terrance R Hill has the date incorrectly as 15th.

I have no reason to doubt my Fil regarding "a section of wing being grafted on" as I understand that this was a tried and trusted method of repair on wooden aircraft. A wing change I think would have would have been beyond the capability of the airfield infrastructure, which only had three tee hangars and seventeen blister hangers. I think a wing change would have also been a lot more work, engines off, wiring disconnected, controls disconnected etc involving a number of different trades and a lot of testing of systems once they had it back in one piece, rather than having a couple of chippies graft on 10ft of wing, which probably came from the 'graveyard'. I think they would have used a scarf joint...….

https://www.sweethaven02.com/Aviatio...k/ama_Ch06.pdf - Aircraft Wood and Structural Repair

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Old 5th Jan 2021, 04:30
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WB627, stumbled upon this purely by accident and thought it may interest you. From page 12 of the link.
Anson A4-5 crashed at Glenbrook, NSW on 29 January 1941 while flying from Parkes to Sydney. It was immediately obvious that the port wing had failed in flight and the detached wing sections were sent to ARL for expert examination. As designed, the one-piece wooden wing of the Anson followed standard Fokker practice. Two box beam spars, internally braced, were built up from laminated booms and plywood webs, and connected by plywood ribs. The whole was then covered by a load-carrying plywood skin locally thickened by cushion strips where it passed over the spar booms.

At ARL many test specimens were cut from the wing sections and subjected to tensile,shear and impact tests. The results obtained were generally satisfactory but specimens cut from the skin-main spar joint showed a shear strength less than half the specified value. Visual examination of this joint disclosed extensive areas of poor adhesion,delamination and excessive glue thickness. ARL concluded that quality control during manufacture had been poor with insufficient pressure applied to the joint during curing of the casein glue used, S & M Report 6.

It is interesting to compare the ARL conclusion on the port wing of A4-5 with that reached by the AAIC with respect to the starboard wing of A4-8; see Section 6. For the latter, the AAIC concluded that the wing 'apparently exploded' and let it go at that. It is also interesting to note that both aircraft were drawn from the first RAF production batch of 174 aircraft of which K6212 -K6223 were shipped to Australia to become A4-1 to A4-12.

Concurrently with the work on A4-5, ARL carried out similar inspections and tests on the main spar of Anson N1331 which had been damaged in a ground collision. This wing had been manufactured during September 1938 as part of the fifth RAF production batch of 98 aircraft. By this time, modern synthetic resins were replacing casein and N1331made extensive use of urea formaldehyde (UFD). This work suggested that the strength of UFD deteriorates with age and was one of the first indications of this adverse property.

This early work on Anson wing failures generated a comprehensive program of research.The static strength of Anson wings was investigated in a full-scale structural test, Fig. 3. Improved structural analysis techniques were formulated for wooden box beams while the strength and stiffness characteristics of plywood panels and shells were investigated.The ageing properties of UFD were quantified leading, ultimately, to the final grounding,in Australia, of all aircraft constructed with this resin. The effect on bonding strength of extreme temperature and humidity cycles was examined; work which continues to this day in connection with modem fibre reinforced composite materials.
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a267086.pdf
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