Harvard FX306

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Harvard FX306

10th December 1952.

Pilot Officer Robert Windle was undertaking circuits and landing practice in a North American Harvard trainer, flying out of RAF Ternhill in Shropshire. The engine of his Harvard began to run unevenly and then finally cut altogether and the Harvard glided down into a field and crashed into this dry stone wall near the village of Foolow in Derbyshire.

P/O Windle was thrown from the seat when the safety harness broke. He was badly injured and never got to complete his training.

The inquiry found that the pupil pilot had failed to switch to the next fuel tank and that there was nothing wrong with the engine.

Details from PEAKLAND AIR CRASHES – THE CENTRAL AREA, Pat Cunningham, 2006.

Photo of a Harvard taken by Kingsdude’s father in Canada, 1943.


31 comments on “Harvard FX306
  1. The_Photo_Boy says:

    very nice landscape

  2. Mark McKie says:

    Good shot mate…. No Sheep?

  3. Ian D B says:


    I scared the buggers off with my talk of the delicious Lamb Tikka I’d had the night before.

  4. **Hazel** says:

    Great shot of the landscape Ian!!! The pupil was very lucky not to lose his life, sorry he was badly injured! 🙂

  5. rob of rochdale says:

    Gorgeous landscape Ian!

  6. SolarScot. says:

    sometimes i wonder if you posted this as a pic of a country scene how differently folk would see this pic Ian, great stuff and always so interesting to read the stories you tell

  7. nondesigner59 says:

    Nice shot.. Thanks for sharing it…

  8. Richard Tierney says:

    Pretty nice landscape in its own right Ian… that sky is fabulous.

    The Harvard was a pretty advanced training aircraft for its day, specifically designed to train fighter pilots, it has what a pupill would call a high workload to manage.. Variable speed props, undercarriage flaps and what was his undoing a fuel management system in conjunction with trim settings etc… Seems he simply forgot or lost his concentration a little… A lot different when your flying solo and there is no instructor sat behind you…. I cant understand the safety harness "breaking" though??

  9. pasujoba says:

    Cracking work Ian , is the dip natural or was it formed by the crashing aircraft do you think?
    Like Richard says it is a lovely landscape shot too in its own right!

  10. andyholmfirth says:

    All that space and it hits the wall !

  11. amyrey says:

    Lovely looking place…. fascinating story about it.

  12. Ian D B says:

    Thanks all.


    Hi mate, good to see you back. Looking at a photo taken at the time, I don’t think the Harvard made much impact on anything apart from the wall.


    You are quite right, the pilot had less than 70 hours flying experience when he crashed. At the time he had been trying to radio for help, but kept losing the signal as he was flying too low, trying to work out where he was. And instead of looking for a better spot, P/O Windle, according to Cunningham, ran out of fuel and just let the aircraft come down without lining up into the wind to lose speed. All in all, the results of the panic that must’ve set in, poor bloke.

    Cunningham also notes that the harness broke because of the hummocks in the field and that the seat and harness arrangement was modified following this crash.

    Yeah, we do view places differently when we realise what happened there.

  13. C J Paul (chris) says:

    great workmian beautiful landscape.

  14. cgullz says:

    great info, great pic, great sky!
    there are still a few harvards operational in NZ, this link is a bit full on but has lots pix 🙂

  15. gastephen says:

    Another interesting story hidden in the landscape!

    ~ Graham ~
    Drop by my photostream!

  16. Tech Owl says:

    A really rich landscape Ian – I am guessing from you notes that this was a solo flight?

  17. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Landscape photography is your next calling I think, this is a piece of work I’d be very happy with.

  18. Nate Parker Photography says:

    Wow- amazing field of sky but in conjunction with the narrative and the comments make for a dramatic environs indeed!

  19. Hotpix [LRPS] Hanx for 1.5M Views says:

    Another thought provoking post Ian!
    Very cool, I like it my friend!

    Seen in my contacts photostream……

    Hotpix http://www.hotpix.org.uk

    Billy & Suzy

    Walk a year in my shoes, see whats up my street or see my world in selective Colour.

  20. Stezzer says:

    tragic accident, and a poster of a shot, i love it well done

  21. EverydayTuesday says:

    Great info, and a fantastic shot! Nice work.

  22. Kieran Lucas says:

    love this! , be sure to check out my photostream! 🙂

  23. P_H_I_L_L says:

    Very nice landscape. Looks to be early evening, nice light and shadow. Indepth story as always,glad this one wasn’t tragic.

  24. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Great landscape shot Ian and then another fascinating story as usual – nice work

  25. bandman12 says:

    There are some wonderful curves and angles in this photo.

  26. Luís Henrique Boucault says:

    Great photo! Well done!

  27. Billy Currie says:

    love that long wall, very nice and very interesting

  28. IANLAYZELLUK says:

    Beautiful. Perfect Composition. A real Stunner.

  29. erwlas says:

    Wonderful sky Ian

  30. paloetic says:

    wonderful leading line that makes you stroll through the landscape 🙂

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