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Author Topic: Whirlwind (XJ395) crash, Lyndhurst, 30th April 1956  (Read 625 times)
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John
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« on: December 01, 2013, 12:00:11 PM »

A tragic accident claimed the lives of three people when Whirlwind XJ395 crashed near Lyndhurst on 30th April 1956. The helicopter had been allotted to A & AEE Boscombe Down for performance handling and engineering trials with a view of recommending a release to the service up to a take-off weight of 7,800 lb. In addition to the RAF pilot, Flight Lieutenant Beeching, three observers were carried. XJ395 climbed to 11,300 ft and when descending at about 40 kts, rotor r.p.m. control was lost at 9,000 ft. The Whirlwind banked to port, and the pilot could not regain control - at a low altitude, Flt Lt Beeching ordered the three observers to bale out. He himself managed to get clear of the plunging helicopter but his parachute didn't fully deploy - fortunately for him, he landed in some trees where he was suspended above the ground by the parachute.

The other occupants were not so lucky.. the two male observers, Assistant Experimental Officer J.W. Lowman and Scientific Assistant M. Booth, both died because their parachutes failed to deploy fully in the height available. The female observer, Scientific Assistant Miss M. Warman, had made no attempt to abandon the aircraft and her body was found still strapped in the wreckage.

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Whirlwing XJ395 crash (3).JPG
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Whirlwing XJ395 crash (5).JPG
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John
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 16:17:46 PM »

Two aerial views of the cabin wreckage.

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Icare9
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 17:04:16 PM »

I'd always assumed it a joke for parachutes when in a helicopter.
Unless the pilot has some control over the descent, how do you escape the rotor circle?
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John
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 17:06:32 PM »

Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 05 May 1956

HELICOPTER PILOT LANDS IN TREE. Wiltshire Woman Killed.
A woman and two men were killed when a Whirlwind helicopter from the Ministry of Supply experimental air station, Boscombe Down, crashed near Lyndhurst on Monday. The pilot baled out and was rescued unhurt from a tree. The woman and two men, passengers in the helicopter, were found dead with their parachutes near them.

A Ministry of Supply spokesman gave the names of the three dead as Miss G. M. Warman, Mr. J. W. Loman and Mr. M. Booth, all Ministry of Supply technicians. Miss Gwenda Margaret Warman (20), the daughter of Major and Mrs. Cyril Warman, of Lower Manor Farm, Bulford, worked as a scientific assistant at Boscombe Down. Previously she was a bank clerk at Amesbury. Mr. Mike Booth was of Southampton, and Mr. John Loman lived at Boscombe Down.

 Flight-Lieutenant Michael Beeching, the pilot of the helicopter, is 28, and lives with his wife at Pitton, near Salisbury. He is the only son of a former Town Clerk of Lymington, Hampshire, Mr F. J. Beeching.
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