Aircraft incident at Mill Meece

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Date:September 1956

Description:A De Havilland Rapide aircraft is pictured after making a forced landing at Mill Meece. The eight-seater aircraft was on the way from Elmdon Airport, Birmingham to Squires Gate, Blackpool. The pilot Captain Charles Gwyther from Kent decided to make an emergency landing when a fault developed in the radio equipment and the pilot’s cabin began to fill with smoke. After circling Nelson Hall, Captain Gwyther chose a large field alongside the Newcastle under Lyme to Eccleshall Road.

Before reaching the field, the plane went through a hedge and ploughed through 100 yards of a cabbage field, still under control. The landing would have been successful had it not been for a row of stout posts between the cabbage field and the adjacent field of clover. The starboard wing hit one of the posts, which tore the starboard engine away and swung the plane round, during which the port wing was also severely damaged.

The pilot reported the matter to the Police and spent the night at Nelson Hall, Training College, but in the meantime Police Constable I James of Standon had heard the crash and set out in search of the plane.

The plane was owned by the Lancashire Aircraft Company and Officials from the Company later inspected the aircraft and decided it was a total loss.

The above information is an extract from a copy of the Stone Guardian published on Saturday 22 September 1956.

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Creators: Mr Ian Hazlehurst - Contributor

Donor ref:IH-74a (192/39865)

Source: Mr Bob Metcalfe

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