Magister T9823 of No.16 Elementary Flying Training School, RAF, crashed near Ashbourne on the 5th December 1941


Miles Magister at the Shuttleworth Collection


Victor Harry Saunders Pilot Officer, RAFVR Pilot Killed
R Paine Mr, Civilian Passenger Survived


Pilot Officer Saunders was carrying out a flight test of T9823 from Burnaston near Derby, additionally he was to fly a to Wolverhampton to collect spare parts for the aircraft at No.16 EFTS and return to Burnaston.

It would appear that the first part of the flight had been successfully completed and P/O Saunders was returning to Burnaston. There was extensive low cloud with poor visibility at the time and P/O Saunders had strayed well to the north of the direct track between Wolverhampton and Derby. Rather than turning back to where visibility had been better he had pressed on and become uncertain of their position. At 17:00, just as it was getting dark the aircraft flew into the northern side of the valley above Henmore Brook to the East of Ashbourne at a height of approximately 700ft above sea level and 12 miles NNE of Burnaston.

There was no fire as a result of the crash but P/O Saunders suffered a fatal injury, while his civilian passenger, Mr Paine escaped without serious injury.

The crash site is ¾ of a mile, and on the opposite side of the valley from where Albemarle V1604 of No.42 OTU would crash in 1944.

Following the crash, Pilot Officer Victor Saunders who was 29 at the time of his death was buried at Repton Churchyard not far from the airfield at Burnaston, which today is largely underneath a Toyota plant.