Wednesday, December 13, 2023




On 29 September 1940, a mid-air collision occurred over Brocklesby, New South Wales, Australia.

Brocklesby is a town in the Riverina region of south west New South Wales, 45 kilometres (28 mi) north-west of the regional centre of Albury. In the 2006 census Brocklesby had a population of 238.

The accident was unusual in that the aircraft involved, two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Avro Ansons of No. 2 Service Flying Training School, remained locked together after colliding, and then landed safely.

The Ansons were at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 ft) over the township of Brocklesby, near Albury, for a cross-country training exercise over southern New South Wales. Tail number N4876 was piloted by Leading Aircraftman Leonard Graham Fuller, 22, from Cootamundra, Tail number L9162 was piloted by Leading Aircraftman Jack Inglis Hewson, 19, from Newcastle.

Whilst making a banking turn, Fuller lost sight of Hewson's aircraft beneath him and the two Ansons collided amid what Fuller later described as a "grinding crash and a bang as roaring propellers struck each other and bit into the engine cowlings".

The two aircraft did not disintegrate, but remained jammed together, the lower Anson's turret wedged into the other's port wing root, and its fin and rudder balancing the upper Anson's port tailplane.

The collision stopped the engines of the upper Anson, but those of the one underneath continued to run, allowing the aircraft to keep flying. Both navigators and the pilot of the lower Anson bailed out. The pilot of the upper Anson found that he was able to control the interlocked aircraft with his ailerons and flaps, and made an emergency landing in a nearby paddock.

All four crewmen survived the incident, and the upper Anson was repaired and returned to flight service while the lower Anson was used thereafter as an instructional airframe.


Ansons of No. 2 SFTS in formation

Two Avro Ansons (L9162 and N4876) "piggyback" in a paddock near Brocklesby after a mid-air collision resulted in the two aircraft being locked together and landing safely in a paddock.

Two Avro Ansons of No. 2 Service Flying Training School that collided in mid-air, locked together, and then landed safely near Brocklesby, New South Wales, on 29 September 1940.

Mr Stanley Bruce, the High Commissioner for Australia in London, talking with 402052 Sergeant (Sgt) Leonard Graham Fuller.. As a trainee pilot at No 2 Service Flying Training School (2SFTS) at Wagga Wagga, in Southern NSW, he was involved in a mid-air collision of two Avro Ansons, the two aircraft remained firmly locked together and he was able to make a successful crash landing. He was killed in an accident on 18 March 1944 riding a bicycle.

Avro Anson propeller at Brocklesby, New South Wales

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