Hawker Hart Mk.I K3864 of No.28 Elementary Flying Training School, crashed near Rushton Spencer on the 23rd May 1939

Hawker Hart at the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon


Clare Norman Parish Sergeant Pilot Killed


No.28 EFTS was one of several in the UK prior to the Second World War which was tasked with maintaining the proficiency of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, they were largely part time and operated by civilian flying schools for the RAF. Sgt Parish, from the Adlington area near Macclesfield, was a member of the RAFVR and was carrying out an Air Navigation flight from Meir on the southern edge of Stoke on Trent. He flew upto Ruston Spencer where he then performed some aerobatics consisting of a tight right hand turn and dive. This was for the benefit of the owners of a farm where he had camped while in the scouts. During one of the manoeuvres his aircraft struck a tree and crashed down a wooded hillside destroying the aircraft.

The tree which the aircraft struck was badly damaged, by the 1980s when the site was visited by members of the Macclesfield Historical Aviation Society it had been reduced to a stump several feet high, by early 2012 this stump had fallen over and was lying on the slope below its original position and was entirely covered by mosses and bracken.

Crash site of Hawker Hart K3864 near Rushton Spencer
Under the bracken and moss in the centre of the image are the rotting remains of the tree which K3864 is reported to struck.
Crash site of Hawker Hart K3864 near Rushton Spencer
The area in which Hart K3864 came to rest after striking the tree.
Wreckage at the crash site of Hawker Hart K3864 near Rushton Spencer
This is one of the few pieces of the aircraft which we found at the crash site, a cowl clip. Most of the wreckage was concentrated in a small area close to the remains of the tree, which suggests that the aircraft did not travel far after hitting the tree.
Crash site of Hawker Hart K3864 near Rushton Spencer
Looking uphill into the area where K3864 came to rest.