Thunder & Lightnings

Test Flying Memorial

"...and everywhere the
blue sky belongs to them
and is their appointed rest
and their native country"
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge


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Date15/10/1947
CasualtiesSqn Ldr P.J. Garner, Westland ACTP
AircraftWestland Wyvern TS371
Took off fromYeovil, Somerset
Purpose of flightDevelopment test flight with air-to-air photography
Incident locationCattistock, Cerne Abbas, Dorset
Incident detailsThe Rolls-Royce Eagle engine suffered a failure of the pitch translation bearing whilst returning to Yeovil. This caused the rear unit of the propeller to move into superfine pitch, leading to dramatic loss of thrust and increase to drag and torque. The pilot made a forced landing but was probably rendered unconscious by a section of prop blade which penetrated the cockpit. He perished in the subsequent fire


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