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Ronald Harvey Osborn

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Ronald Harvey Osborn

Old 1st May 2013, 18:47
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Ronald Harvey Osborn

Something of a long shot after so much time has passed.
I have the log books of the above who was killed in a crop spraying accident in July 1963 flying a Hughes 269A for Management Aviation.

I would like to return them to the familly if possible.
I spoke to Alan Bristow (who appears in the books as an instructor) a number of years ago and he thought the familly had moved to Moulton Northamptonshire.
Last known address was MYOB, Overstone Road, Sywell, Northamptonshire.

He learnt to fly in Rhodesia and spent the war instructing.
After the war he converted to helicopters with John Fay and Alan Bristow as instructors.
He was engaged on Whale spotting in the South Atlantic on Westland WS55's from 1954 till
1961. He then went into general charter flying including some early film and police support for Rent-A-Copter LTD at Luton before joining Management as a crop spraying pilot.
He did some spray work in the WS 55 as well in 1960.

Any leads on surviving familly members would be much appreciated.
One interesting entry notes a passenger as John Lennon (beatle)!!!!!

Last edited by ericferret; 1st May 2013 at 18:49.
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Old 1st May 2013, 18:54
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One interesting entry notes a passenger as John Lennon (beatle)!!!!!
Out of interest which aircraft was used for that sortie?
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Old 1st May 2013, 18:59
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Can you give me any details of the time he spent in Rhodesia? I may get a clue of some kind from that, it's a small community and despite the diaspora, one that has kept connections.

If you have any names, you could look them up on : Names of Rhodesians Worldwide
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Old 1st May 2013, 19:09
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Hi Savoia

John Lennon trip 22 June 1963 Battersea-Staverton
Hiller 12C G-ARTG

Aircraft returned to Bourn on the 23rd and he took it spraying on the 26th.
He converted on to the Hughes 269A 5/6 July (at the moment reg not confirmed, probably G-ASBL) 1hr 25mins.
He started to work with it on the 12th July and was sadly killed on the 18th.
Total time on type 30hrs and 10 mins. Total time 3347hrs.

Last edited by ericferret; 1st May 2013 at 19:44.
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Old 1st May 2013, 19:23
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Hi Capetonian

His pilot licence lists him as British, born London, 4 April 1924.

I just noticed he was a member of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators of the British Empire.

He flew from Mt Hampden, Norton, Thornhill all Southern Rhodesia.

To be honest it's strange reading his hand written entries from this period when I know what the eventual outcome will be.
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Old 1st May 2013, 19:42
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Hi..have pm'd you.
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:01
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There seems to be a small mystery with this accident as G-INFO does not appear to supply a suitable candidate for the crashed aircraft. Foreign reg unlikely at that period.
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:07
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Are you saying that G-ASBL was the accident aircraft?

There are a details for an accident in 1964 but .. it is non-fatal.

ASN Aircraft accident 27-OCT-1964 Hughes 269A G-ASBL
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:13
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What a magnificent gesture Eric.

This moves me to think how well does PPRuNe archive?

Over the years there must be some incredible information and or research data stored in these columns. I have seen other websites where they became plundered, or crashed and lost heaps of data.

I think PPRuNe has a lot more to offer than pretty much any other helicopter site, it would be nice to know that it is stored well and easily retrievable.

Since all of the material is given freely, so hopefully it would be available to descendants freely.

I see John Fay's name mentioned, I always reckoned his book was the best I ever read on the subject, got me through my exam at 98 1/2% anyway.

regards tet
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:17
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Nothing on RWW, I daresay you would have looked anyway. I will get onto my ex-BSAP contacts and see if anything can be traced. Most of them are younger, born in the 40s-50s, but you never know.

I have one contact who did some research into the RRAF and he may provide at least a clue.
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:29
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I do not know which aircraft it was, ASBL was my first candidate but on re-reading the G-INFO database it seems unlikely.

I have emailed the AAIB who were helpful with a previous accident inquiry, so hopefully some poor soul will be blowing dust off some very old files in the next few days.
I will post any forthcomming info.
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:41
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Apart from Fay and Bristow other names that stick out are Keith Sissons,
Ken Sheppardson (ex Bond chief pilot), Dennis Cox (engineer still working in 1999). John Crewdson (Helicopter Hire)

Last edited by ericferret; 1st May 2013 at 22:45.
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Old 1st May 2013, 21:31
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Capetonian,

He was very likely a British RAF ab-initio pilot trainee who learned to fly in Rhodesia as part of the of the RAF pilot training system which trained Commonwealth pilots at airfields South Africa, Rhodesia and Canada during WW2.

Last edited by Adroight; 1st May 2013 at 21:32.
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Old 1st May 2013, 22:41
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Devil

Thats spot on ADROIGHT.

My apologies for the lack of detail but it would take a lot to go through all of it.

He learnt to fly at 28 EFTS Southern Rhodesia.
He began as an AC2, and was gradually promoted to LAC, SGT, F/SGT.
First flight 20 Sept 1943 Tiger Moth 7926.
Flight test 16 Nov 1943 83hrs 55mins.

Posted to 20 SFTS Cranborne S.R
Looks like a Harvard conversion and advanced training.
Awarded wings 21 April 1944 265 hours 10 minutes.

Posted C.F.S Norton S.R
Instructors course 1 May to 26 July 1944.

Posted SFTS Thornhill S.R
Instructor till last flight 25 Aug 1945.
Declared redundant 1 Nov 1945
Enlisted RAFVR 29 Aug 1950
Flew as an instructor mostly with 4 BFTS at Sywell

Began helicopter flying 5 April 1954 in Westland WS51 G-AKTW and ALIK with John Fay and Alan Bristow as instructors.

Last edited by ericferret; 1st May 2013 at 22:46.
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Old 1st May 2013, 23:43
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I certainly have various notes on old accidents in my loft, but right now is not the time to get them. However, there's lots on the net, and my research comes up with these notes and thoughts.
  • Management Aviation - did they ever operate Hughes 300s? Thought they were only Hiller operators in terms of small helicopters in those days?
  • The only two 300s which had been registered by mid 1963 on the G register were G-ASBD and G-ASBL
    • G-ASBD this was still around in 1971 - photo here and ended up with a fatal accident in August 1981
    • G-ASBL was written off in a spraying accident in October 1964
  • There were a few Irish helicopters operating in the UK in 60s (eg at Denham?), but none of the 300s on the EI register had even been built in 1963 - the earliest was built in 1964
  • So I then looked at Hillers, which seem more likely with the Management Aviation link. While the CAA register cannot be held as the complete story, the only Hillers that Management Aviation had registered in their name BEFORE July 63 were
    • G-AOFV 28.06.62 - cancelled as permanently withdrawn 29.04.65
    • G-AOZS 08.02.63 - cancelled as destroyed 01.09.66
    • G-APOF 17.01.63 - sold to new owner Jan-65 - so likely discountable.
  • There were a further three which were in existence in the UK prior to July 1963, and were first reg to Management Aviation AFTER July 63 - on the dates given below - and I suppose there is the possibility of late notification of change of ownership, but assuming the aircraft was written off July 1963, why would an owner progress with a paperwork change after that?
    • G-AOFL 22.01.64 - cancelled as destroyed 17.01.66
    • G-ARTG 21.01.65 - sold on 1970/1 - so likely discountable
    • G-ASIH 02.12.63 - cancelled as withdrawn from use in 1971 - seems unlikely to be your one
  • Minutes of a council meeting of Wellingborough Borough Council (close enough to your Sywell address) in Jan 2011 list a Ms J Osborn (the unusual spelling without the "e") as "Homelessness Prevention Officer" referred to elsewhere as "Jo Osborn" A document on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website gives the email address as [email protected]
  • Google did help me track down a Hiller accident in July 1963 at Loch Awe, Ford, Argyllshire of G-ARUF listed on ASN here as "Rent-a-Copter Ltd" which is a possibility given your other notes
  • Assuming the "A" is right, there were eleven Hiller 12A helicopters ever on the G register, but none mention Management Aviation (and I have not researched them further yet either)
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Old 2nd May 2013, 00:28
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There may (just) be a tv doc in what you are doing.
Its hard to know where your search will end, could be interesting... or not.


Suggest you contact one of the UK production companies asap so they can shoot you doing the searching. Try Wall to Wall productions or Lion TV...

Generally they dont like "one-off" docs but it may fit in with a series they have planned.

Beware that how you are portrayed would be out of your control.


Mickjoebill
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Old 2nd May 2013, 01:14
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If you google Hughes 269a accident ,on page 2 under Worldcat Org ,it mentions a crash at High House Farm
Heckingham
Norfolk, on 18th July 63.

Better still google Hughes 269a N8785F-----------That takes you to the National Archives.

Last edited by Pappa Smurf; 2nd May 2013 at 01:54.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 08:57
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Papa Smurf

Now that is interesting, when I last looked at this I am sure I found a reference to a report on the fatality from the Norwich coroners office. I cant find the link now which is a pity.


Helihub

Thanks for the Jo Osborn email, I have sent a message so fingers crossed. Email just bounced back, bugger. Lots of Osborn(s) in the Wellingborough area. Looks like a sesssion of phoning round.

If Management aviation was the operator and the aircraft was on the N reg then it sounds like a trial. So possibly they binned the idea after the accident.
Apparently the ag manager "Curly" Truslove (sic) was still alive a few years back and he would definitely know.

I have an engineer contact from the early days of Bond/Management and I will give him a call to see if he remembers anything.

Mickjoebill

Fine idea, but as I am terminally non photogenic they would have to get a stand in!!!

Last edited by ericferret; 2nd May 2013 at 09:15.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 09:29
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The internet is a wonderfull thing, the National Archive mentioned by Papa Smurf lists an AIB accident report to Hughes 269A N8785F operated by Management Aviation on 18 July 1963. Six documents on file but not digitised so you have to request them. I think I will do that if not too expensive.

So I think that ties the aircraft down. So the search goes on for relatives.

Thanks to all who have assisted so far.

Last edited by ericferret; 2nd May 2013 at 09:39.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 11:42
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Nice to see that something still works in this country.
Sent request for info to the AAIB late last night and a copy of the accident report drops on to my email at 10.27AM. Many thanks to the staff at AAIB.

The aircraft was owned by Westland helicopters and was on lease to Management Aviation.
The pilot had completed his last flight of the day and hooked the skids under the topmost cable of a set of power lines while leaving the site. He had done 6hrs 20mins on the day so probably tired and suffered a loss of concentration.

Last edited by ericferret; 2nd May 2013 at 11:43.
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