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Post Info TOPIC: Hastings WJ335 at Abingdon


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Hastings WJ335 at Abingdon

Sent in by Cecil Irvine on 8th February 2006 re WJ335 which crashed on take-off at Abingdon on 26th May 1953


I was stationed at Abingdon when this crash occured. I was a lowly engine Fitter and was on the parking ramp that morning.  I watched as WJ335 began it's take-off run. About halfway along the runway it began to lift off.  It's attitude at that point halfway between straight and level and the parked attitude.(nose up)  Almost immediately the nose-up attitude increased until the aircraft was vertical hanging on the props. It then nosed down and hit the runway, the landing gear collapsed and it slid along the airfield on fire. I offered my eye-witness account to the subsequent enquiry but I never found out the result.
My own theory at the time was that the pilot had taken off with the elevator control locks engaged. When the elevators were locked they were parallel to the ground and not in neutral. On reflection I remembered that the internal control lock lever engaged with the inboard throttles so full throttle couldnt be obtained.
Further reading of your articles brought to light that there was an elevator problem with the Hastings.
I hope this sheds some light on the crash which as you say was a stall prang.
Cecil Irvine


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