Mosquito Mk.34 RG228 from 540 Squadron, Coastal Command, crashed into the River Arun near Ford on the afternoon of 13th December 1945. The pilot was Flight Lieutenant G. Trevor, an 'above average' pilot who had served through most of WWII as a Flying Instructor and had logged 2067 hours of which 366 were on Mosquitos. The Navigator was Flight Lieutenant C.R. Randles. RG228 was a new aircraft, having flown only 18 hours and the engines had each run for only 21 hours since manufacture. The weather was fine, and had no bearing on the accident.
The Mosquito took off from Benson at 12.20 hours to carry out a fuel consumption test and was to climb to 28,000 feet, flying to Marseilles and back and to remain at height. Over Dieppe, at an altitude of 28,00 feet, the starboard engine began to cough and the revs fluctuated - the aircraft became unstable and F/Lt Trevor descended to 26,000 at which point the engine stopped misbehaving. A second attempt was made to reach height but again the starboard engine started to cut out, accompanied by a high-pitched whine. Losing altitude again seemed to cure the problem. A third attempt, with similar consequences, made the pilot decide to lose height and return to base. Both engines behaved normally until at 4000 feet, just off Beachy Head, when the starboard unit cut out completely. The feathering button was pressed without result and the propellor continued to windmill. Course was set for the FAA base at Ford airfield - the pilot eventually decided that they couldn't quite make it and he decided to go in 'wheels up' in a field, and he instructed F/Lt Randles to jettison the escape hatch and brace for impact.
Mosquito RG228 struck the bank of the River Arun and almost completely disintegrated - both engines were torn out and landed, with the main parts of the wreckage, in the middle of the river. Smaller pieces of wreckage drifted downriver and were lost, the starboard propellor was found partially embedded in the bank, and one drop tank was found close by. F/Lt Randles was rescued from the tailplane to which he was found clinging - brave and prompt action from civilians and FAA personnel got him to shore in a dazed state and covered with blood. The Pilot, F/Lt Trevor, was not found - his body was eventually recovered from the River Arun in April of the following year, approximately at the scene of the accident.