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Last updated: 6 December 2021
Status:
Date:Tuesday 25 August 1942
Time:13:42 GMT
Type:Short Sunderland III
Operator:Royal Air Force - RAF
Registration: W4026
MSN:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Total:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 15
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Dunbeath, Scotland (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Invergordon RAF Station, United Kingdom
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
The Sunderland, coded DQ-M, crashed into Eagles Mount near Dunbeath in the Scottish Highlands in bad visibility.
The aircraft exploded on impact and all on board died with the exception of the tail gunner, Flight Sergeant Andrew Jack who was badly burned.
Among the passengers who were killed was His Royal Highness Prince George the Duke Of Kent, who was making an official visit to Reykjavik in the course of his duties as a Staff Officer in RAF Training Command. He held the rank of Air Commodore.
The flying boat operated on a flight from Oban to Reykjavik with an en route stop at Invergordon, Cromarty Firth.

Probable Cause:

The Findings of the Court were: "The cause of the accident was in our opinion due to the aircraft being flown on a wrong track at too low an altitude to clear the rising ground on the track. The responsibility for this serious mistake in airmanship lies with the Captain of the aircraft Fit Lt Goyen, who changed his flight plan for reasons unknown, was such that he commenced the flight by climbing into cloud and then started to descend but failed to take the elementary precaution of making sure that he was over the water and crashed into a hillside while still in cloud. In our opinion the weather encountered should have presented no difficulties to an experienced pilot. The examination of the propellers showed that the engines were under power when the aircraft struck the ground."

Classification:

Aircraft strayed off planned course
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» ww2inthehighlands.co.uk
» Air Britain: RAF Aircraft W1000 - Z9999, published 1998
» RAAF fatalities in Second World War among RAAF personnel serving on attachment in Royal Air Force Squadrons and Support Units / by Alan Storr, 2006


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Short S.25

  • 749 built
  • 32nd loss
  • 18th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
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 United Kingdom
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 43rd worst accident (currently)
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