Douglas DC-3 Dakota G-AMVC of BKS Air Transport Ltd, crashed on Croglin Fell in the North Pennines whilst on route to Crosby on Eden on the 17th October 1961

C-47 Dakota


H. L. Mose Captain Pilot Killed
A. Francis First officer Co-pilot Killed
C. N. Wildman Supernumerary Pilot Killed
Valerie Christian Air Hostess Killed


Douglas Dakota G-AMVC of BKS Air Transport
Image ©: The A.J. Jackson Collection, Brooklands Museum,


The aircraft and crew were all based at Yeadon, Captin Mose was BKS Air Transport’s senior pilot at the airfield. The aircraft had been chartered to fly a party of farmers and agricultural workers from Crosby on Eden near Carlisle to Speke so they could visit the Lever Brothers Farm in Flintshire.

The crew first had to fly the aircraft from Yeadon to Crosby, an airfield that none of them had flown to before. Despite never having flown to Crosby before the crew were experienced, Capt Mose had flown 6586 hours and his co-pilot 1st Off. Francis had flown 2638 hours. The Supernumerary Pilot was newly qualified commercial pilot with 384 hours who was employed by BKS as a trainee pilot.

The weather in the Carlisle area during the 17th October 1961 was fairly poor with strong winds, westerly 22 knots at ground level becoming north westerly 40 to 45 knots from 2000 to 10000 feet and continuous moderate to heavy rain in the Carlisle area.

The aircraft left Yeadon at 08:18 for what had been planned to be a 40 minutes flight, the Supernumerary pilot was in the Captain’s seat with the Captain in the right hand seat at take off. They climbed to 6500 feet at 08:44 Crosby was called with an overhead ETA of 08:51. The controller on duty at Crosby was asked to provide a QDM and over the next few minutes passed a number of bearings to the crew. After the crew’s ETA had passed the controller remarked “You appear to have a tremendous headwind”, it was determined that the original flight plan was based on still air conditions. The aircraft passed overhead the airfield at 09:04 and was then to have carried out a turn to the west following a course of 290o before turning on to a course 095o to head back to the airfield for landing. Throughout this the controller was to pass QDMs so the aircraft could remain on course in the strong wind.

The pilot of the aircraft turned onto the correct course but shortly after turned SW and then eastward before heading SE away from the airfield, within a couple of minutes the aircraft struck the northern side of Croglin Fell. Both wings and engines were torn off and the fuselage badly damaged.

Map showing the route taken by Dakota G-AMVC around Carlisle before it crashed
Above is a map from the AIB report into the accident, click on the image to view a larger version.
Wreckage at the crash site of Daktoa G-AMVC on Croglin Fell, Penrith, Cumbria
Parts from G-AMVC as gathered up into a number of pits, this is the one that contains most wreckage. When walking around on the moss you can hear the crunching of metal so parts from the aircraft are buried all over the site.
Wreckage at the crash site of Daktoa G-AMVC on Croglin Fell, Penrith, Cumbria
A view of another of the pits.