USAF de Havilland (Canada) L-20A Beaver 52-6145

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USAF de Havilland (Canada) L-20A Beaver 52-6145

5 December 1956.

The pilot of this STOL* liaison aircraft was First Lieutenant John Rossman Tinklepaugh, his passenger was First Lieutenant Guy B Waller. Both were killed when their plane crashed on Bramah Edge above Longdendale in the Peak District.

It was a routine flight, taking First Lieutenant Waller from the base at Sculthorpe in Norfolk to the American depot at Burtonwood near Warrington in order to collect an F-84 jet fighter.

First Lt Tinklepaugh had made an error in not staying abreast of changing weather conditions, which meant – unknown to him – a headwind slowed his aircraft down.

When he reported what he believed to be his position to air traffic control at Burtonwood he was a long way out. The ATC, looking at the screen in front of him, saw a blip he took to be the Beaver. Alas this appears to have been another aircraft, coincidentally on the same track and in the same place First Lt Tinklepaugh reported as his position….

ATC advised First Lt Tinklepaugh make a turn and descend to 1,500 feet. The pilot confirmed when he made the maneovre, but the blip on the screen at Burtonwood did not move.

Hurriedly, Burtonwood gave another order, and heard the reply “What – !” and then silence.

Nothing more was heard as the Beaver had struck the hillside while the blip on the screen continued on, the pilot of the aircraft it represented oblivious to the part it had played in the tragedy.

A USAF de Havilland Beaver on’s stream, photographed at the Castle Air Museum, Atwater, California (this is a U-6A which was the later designation of the L-20A)

De Havilland Canada U-6A Beaver

2 days later, an Avro Shakleton crashed in the Peak District with the loss of all on board. See here for details.

Shackleton WR970

Source; Pat Cunningham, High Peak Air Crash Sites (2010)
*STOL – Short Take Off and Landing

19 comments on “USAF de Havilland (Canada) L-20A Beaver 52-6145
  1. mick cooke says:

    great photo and story ian

  2. nondesigner59 says:

    Excellent shot and great information.. Great work.

  3. SolarScot. says:

    such beauty hiding such tragedy

  4. Jainbow says:

    Thanks for sharing the story and beautiful view.

  5. stopherjones says:

    What a tragic series of circumstances, makes you think of the various ifs and buts, and the peace and beauty of the place seen like this makes it so much harder to comprehend

  6. salfordlad1 says:

    Beautiful view, your shots are just that..thanks for sharing the story..

  7. Mark McKie says:

    Another fine shot and story Ian, Really well done.

  8. amyrey says:

    You frequently uncover traggic stories when you venture into the hills Ian but, for some reason, this strikes a particular chord. Non of us realise what awaits over the horizon and familiarity really does breed contempt. You can’t mess with the forces of nature.

  9. And who am i says:

    Nice one Ian, great info. Not an easy place to get to, it is one of the lesser visited Edges in the Valley.

  10. And who am i says:

    Nice one Ian, great info. Not an easy place to get to, it is one of the lesser visited Edges in the Valley.

  11. C J Paul (chris) says:

    brilliant Ian

  12. *Psycho Delia* says:


  13. cgullz says:

    great composition, wonderful to see the beautiful surrounds and weather. serves as a great contrast to what the pilot and his passenger experienced. incredibly bad luck with the control and reporting unfolding the way it did, one of those ‘what’s the chances?’ events that keeps everyone else on their toes – lessons learnt. great post Ian.

  14. Tech Owl says:

    Great work Ian – spectacular scenery as usual. We did think of you when we were exploring … came across a book of crash sites – I said that you probably already had it

  15. symbianos07 says:

    really nice ,love crowden in the backgroung

  16. pasujoba says:

    You have made tis location look terrific ! Worth that effort for your last Peak district crash site ! That is all of them isnt it ?

  17. vargues image says:

    nice work!!

  18. Ian D B says:

    Many thanks everyone.
    It is all of the ones with debris I think. But as Pat Cunningham points out in his new book, there are plenty of sites with no debris which I still need to visit and photograph. Might get a few more in this coming week.
    [] Could have Bryan, you recall which it was?

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