1940 Brocklesby mid-air collision

A mid-air collision occurred over Brocklesby, New South Wales, Australia, on 29 September 1940. Two Royal Australian Air Force Avro Ansons remained locked together after colliding, and then landed safely. Both navigators and the pilot of the lower Anson bailed out. All four crewmen survived the incident, and the upper Ansons were repaired and returned to flight service.

About 1940 Brocklesby mid-air collision in brief

Summary 1940 Brocklesby mid-air collisionA mid-air collision occurred over Brocklesby, New South Wales, Australia, on 29 September 1940. Two Royal Australian Air Force Avro Ansons remained locked together after colliding, and then landed safely. The collision stopped the engines of the upper Anson, but those of the machine underneath continued to run, allowing the aircraft to keep flying. Both navigators and the pilot of the lower Anson bailed out. All four crewmen survived the incident, and the upper Ansons were repaired and returned to flight service. The accident garnered news coverage around the world, and cast a spotlight on the small town of Brockles by. In addition to avoiding the destruction of the Ansons, Fuller was credited with saving approximately £40,000 worth of military hardware; the top of the military hardware was later replaced with a new set of Avro Ansons.

The aircraft were part of No.2 Service Flying Training School, based at RAAF Station Forest Hill near Wagga Wagga, NSW, in the early years of World War II. The school’s facilities were still under construction when its first course commenced on 29 July 1940. After basic aeronautical instruction, pupils went on to an SFTS to learn techniques they would require as operational pilots, including instrument flying, night flying, cross-country navigation, advanced aerobatics, formation flying, dive bombing and aerial gunnery.