Was This The Strangest Plane Accident of WW2?

Was This The Strangest Plane Accident of WW2? | World War Wings Videos

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On September 29, 1940, two massive Avro Ansons crashed mid-air while banking at 1,000 feet in Brockelsby, Australia, causing the training planes to be entangled. All of the crew of the lower aircraft bailed except the pilot Jack Hewson.

The Anson

The Avro Anson wasn’t cut out for the dogfights and combat theatrics of war; its lineage was rooted in commercial aviation. Much of the Anson Mark I’s DNA was a direct carryover from its commercial ancestor, the original 652.

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Built as a low-wing, twin-engine monoplane, its wings were a laminated blend of spruce and plywood. Its fuselage is made of a sturdy steel framework swathed in fabric. Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah propelled the aircraft, pumping out a modest 335 horsepower.

With a range of 570 miles, it was clear that the aircraft was tailored for endurance and maritime patrol instead of duking it out in aerial dogfights. 

‘Faithful Annie’

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The Anson was a jack-of-all-trades, its adaptability didn’t go unnoticed. Its capabilities made it a great training vessel, preparing fledgling pilots as WWII loomed on the horizon. Soon, the plane became outdated and was fully relegated to the role of a training jet, earning the nickname, “Faithful Annie.”

An Extraordinary Tale

The skies of Brockelsby, Australia, became a stage for an extraordinary tale. What should be a standard training mission became an unforeseen twist. Known as the Brockelsby Incident, a group of Ansons went on a training incident when disaster struck. Two planes collided, one crashing into the other and becoming entangled in its frame.

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Jack Hewson, piloting the lower Anson, steadied his nerves and hit the throttle. With deft control, he took the engines to the brink, stabilizing both planes and averting a downward spiral. Up above, the pilot, Leonard Fuller, braced himself to land his warplane with another Anson stuck below it. While other crew members bailed out, Fuller managed to fly both planes approximately 8 kilometers using just his starboard engine. 

This culminated in a belly landing on a paddock near a farm, saving both machines and people onboard. This miraculous landing defied all expectations!


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