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*Continued to climb to - Reynolds:  “about 9000”

                                        Reeve:  “about 8000 to 9000”

 

*Reeve: “The remaining aircraft carried on climbing and shortly afterwards the Leader informed us that we were returning to Westport”

Reynolds: Called for a turn to port at about 10.55

 

*Reeves: “Still in the cloud, we started a gentle climbing turn to port (left) coming out of the cloud about half way through the turn., At this point noticed there were only two planes in formation”

 

*Reynolds: “Barstow was on my starboard for about half the turn and commenced to skid out until we could not see him”

 

*Reynolds: Noticed Barstow “watching him” when in turn.

 

*Reeve: Lost sight of Barstow at the start of the turn

 

Reynolds: “The turn was a climbing one and we came out in clear sky about another 1000’ on a reciprocal course”

 

* Reeve: “We then commenced to turn and halfway through the turn broke into the clear and steered a reciprocal course. I then noticed that P/O Barstow was missing and wondered why as I had not heard him call up, also it had not been difficult to keep in formation either during the climb or in the turn which was a gentle one, nor were the conditions turbulent”

 

*Reeve: “My instruments were uncaged but I do not know whether P/O Barstow’s were”

 

*Reynolds: transmitted a vector of 300° for Barstow to steer, but heard no reply

 

*Reynolds got Reeve to try calling with his radio, but still no reply

 

*Returned to Westport above cloud and “came out into the clear”

 

*Reeve: Landed at Westport and Reynolds continued to circle about 10 minutes trying to contact Barstow via radio, but no success

 

*Reynolds: “I continued to circle around trying to contact P/O Barstow, but did not get any reply on any VHF channels so went in also to land”

 

*Reynolds landed and then covered aircraft and staked down as weather was “depreciating rapidly”

 

*Reynolds: “I have just remembered that just prior to turning P/O Barstow transmitted that his windscreen was covered with oil and he could not see out of it ahead. This message was also heard by the other aircraft in the formation. The fact that he did not answer me after he broke away from the formation makes it seem possible that he could transmit but could not receive”

 

*Duty Controller, Central Flying Control Centre (C.F.C.C.): “This has since been confirmed by S/Leader Webster who advised C.F.C.C. that the radio on the missing aircraft failed on the way down from Ardmore, round about Wellington”

 

*Reeve: “He was not an outstanding formation flying pilot, but I would have no hesitation on taking him into such conditions, as existed on that day”

 

*Court Statement: Entry in Barstow’s Log book that on a previous occasion whilst flying as No. 4 in a formation he flew into No. 3

 

*Landed Westport 11.10

Barstow’s flying hours

 

  Harvard: 1.00 hr Dual / 23 hrs Solo

 P40: 0.00 hr Dual / 60 hrs Solo   30 hrs Instruments   8.00 hrs Link Trainer (3 hrs @ Ardmore)

    Corsair:  0.00 hr Dual / 26 hr Solo

    Total flight time: 219 hrs

 

As you can see, he had zero hours Instrument experience in the Corsair!!! Scary stuff!!!

  Zero hrs dual in the P40 and Corsair? That’s because they were single seaters.

 

 

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