De Havilland Mosquito Mk.VI RF847, 16 Ferry Pilots Pool, Kirkbride
crashed Riccalton, Cheviot Hills on 30th March 1945
|Position||Rank/Title||Full Name||Age||Service Number||Injury|
|Pilot||Third Officer||Leon Jaugsch||30||Uninjured|
The aircraft was being ferried from RAF Kirkbride near Carlisle, home to 16 Ferry Pilots Pool of the Air Transport Auxiliary, to 404 Squadron based at Banff in Scotland.
The aircraft left Kirkbride at 14:30 hours but owing to poor weather conditions the pilot had to fly east and then north. Whilst flying up Redesdale, approximately 15 miles from Jedburgh the pilot noticed what he thought to be a fire in the starboard engine nacelle. The pilot panicked, failed to carry out any fire drill, and abandoned the aircraft by parachute. The Mosquito broke up in the air scattering wreckage over an area three miles long and 1 mile wide, the main bulk of the wreckage landing near Riccalton Farm on the Scottish side of the border.
A detailed examination of the wreckage by the Accidents Investigations Branch (AIB) found no evidence of fire in either engine or around the nacelles. It is believed that Leon Jaugsch had seen the glare from the exhausts whilst flying through a cloud causing him to panic and believe that the aircraft was on fire.
The Crash Site
Whilst investigating the Hampden crash in Windy Gyle in the mid 1980’s an old shepherd recalled this incident and mention that pieces were scattered up as far as Hindhope, which is some 4 miles south east of South Riccalton Farm. Based on this we believe that the aircraft came down on the moorland between South Riccalton and Nether Hindhope, although we have yet to investigate this further.
As much of the aircraft was recovered from the scene by the AIB, and with much of the Mosquito being of wooden construction, it is likely that very little remains. Locating any surviving fragments, given the nature of the crash and scatter of the wreckage, would prove difficult.