Accident Taylorcraft Auster I G-AHAJ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 19457
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Date:Sunday 30 November 1947
Type:Taylorcraft Auster I
Owner/operator:Hugh John Smythe-Piggot c/o Skyways Ltd
Registration: G-AHAJ
MSN: 221
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Cranleigh, Waverley, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Dunsfold Aerodrome, Godalming, Surrey (EGTD)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Ex-RAF Taylorcraft Plus D LB374. Delivered to 654 Squadron on 4/12/42 and flown to 47 MU for packaging on 23/12/42. However, it was not shipped abroad and instead released for 652 Squadron on 8/2/43, passing to 656 Squadron on 23/3/43, and shortly afterwards to 43 OTU on 7/4/43. On 18/5/43, LB374 was badly damaged when a pupil carried out several unauthorised dummy-runs in a field at Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset. When a gust of wind hit the aircraft during a run, the pupil's experience proved insufficient to avert a stall which in turn caused it to crash. Conveyed to Rearsby for repairs, LB374 was delivered to 20 MU on 17/8/43 where it remained Struck off charge 12/1/46 and sold to Taylorcraft Aeroplane (England) Ltd, Britannia Works, Thurmaston, Leicester. First registered to them (C of R 9885/1; C of A 7427) on 1/2/46 as G-AHAJ.

Sold on and re-registered (C of R 9885/2) on 27/4/46 to Cecil Kay (Aircraft) Ltd., Birmingham. Aircraft based at Elmdon, Birmingham. Registration cancelled 23/6/47. Sold on and re-registered (C of R 9885/3) on 15/7/47 to Hugh John Smythe-Piggot c/o Skyways Ltd. Aircraft based at Dunsfold Aerodrome, near Godalming, Surrey

Written off (damaged beyond repair) when crashed at Cranleigh, Surrey on 30/11/1947 shortly after take-off from Dunsfold, Surrey. According to a contemporary local newspaper report, which gives further details of the incident (Derby Daily Telegraph) - Monday 1 December 1947):

Hugh Smyth-Piggott, a Skyways pilot and son of Mr J. R. W. Smyth-Piggott, a British Celanese employee, of 65, Moor-street, Spondon, was killed yesterday when his two-seater Auster crashed in thick mist near Cranleigh, Surrey. Mr. Piggott was employed at the Skyways airfield at Dunsfold, near Cranleigh.

Registration G-AHAJ cancelled 2/2/1948 as "crashed". Wreckage recovered to Farnborough for accident investigation.


1. Derby Daily Telegraph - Monday 01 December 1947
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT 217/2114:
5. Auster Quarterly Vol 1 No 3 Autumn 1975 p 79:

Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
09-Dec-2012 11:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
29-Nov-2019 01:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Mar-2020 20:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
06-May-2023 19:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [[Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]]

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