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Hastings WJ342


 'NATION' reporter in Nairobi

January 1961:
A four engined Hastings aircraft WJ342 of RAF Transport Command crashed while taking off from Eastleigh Airport, Nairobi, early yesterday when one engine caught fire. There were no injuries among the eight people on board.
The accident occurred as the aircraft was reaching take-off speed, when according to the pilot, Flt. Lt. Edgar L. Field, a fire warning light came on indicating a fire in the starboard outer engine.
While he was operating an automatic fire extinguisher in the engine the whole aircraft swung off the runway and skidded across rough grass for about two hundred yards, finally coming to rest in the opposite direction to that of take-off.
The undercarriage collapsed and the two wheels were flung from the aircraft.
Other wreckage was strewn, over a large area, including propellers, engine [oil] coolers and pieces of fuselage.
Fire engines rushed to the scene and pumped foam over the aircraft, but no further fires started.
An RAF officer said he considered it fortunate that the fire had occurred when it did because, had the plane been airborne further complications might have arisen.
The plane was on a special mission from Abingdon, Berks and was taking off for Aden.

In addition to the crew there was one passenger and a quantity of freight.

Pictures courtesy of Neville Webb

Hastings WJ342 [Jan 61].jpgHastings [Jan 61] WJ342.JPG

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