Writing in the latest Ox Box magazine – which has replaced the PE SAAF Museum’s Pathfinder online magazine, compiled by well known Port Elizabeth artist, Don Bell, a 1942 plane crash in Walmer is recalled in an article by Paul Stringer titled Anson crashes on Walmer House. Interesting to note is that this is where Plane Lane in Walmer got it’s name from.
In the early hours of 31st October 1942 Avro Anson 3296 failed to gain height on take off for a dawn operational flight, and struck the corrugated iron roof of a Walmer dwelling. Both aircraft and roof ended up on the opposite side of the road where a new road was later constructed and named Plane Lane in commemoration of the event. One of the Ansons wheels landed on a little girls bed, but fortunately for all concerned, she had been sleeping in her parents room that night because she was suffering with tooth ache. No one in the house was injured. The pilot, Lt L.C. Klinch also survived the incident but sustained head injuries. His wireless operator plus two pupil pilots were unhurt.
It appeared that on take off when the aircraft had reached a height of about 80 feet, the port engine failed, later thought to be the result of a broken valve spring and resultant bent push rod. Unable to gain further height nor turn back to the aerodrome, Lt Klinch decided to make a pancake landing in a small clearing he could just see in the “false dawn”.
The undercarriage of the Anson was not yet retracted and one of the wheels struck the apex of the roof of No 68 Albert Road, which was adjacent to the clearing and occupied at the time by the family of Mr J.B. Strydom. The roof of the house was extensively damaged, many of the roof timbers and ceiling boards being broken, with subsequent repairs costing 130 pounds. The aircraft had then crashed through some trees which ripped the main planes off, the starboard engine broke free of its mountings and it ended up on the road. As a result of the extensive damage, which later found to include the fuselage being buckled as well, Anson 3296, built by Avro at Yeadon in April 1942 and it only had 136 hours flying time, was written off, the rear fuselage used for instructional purposes, instruments and engine controls being repaired, the propeller blades straightened and all put into stores for spares.Lt Klinch who had 209 hours on type and 433 hours in total, was exonerated of any responsibility for the accident.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/walmer-plane-crash/49088/2015/05