This Day in History: 1944-06-10

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk 40 A52-12 operated by de Havilland Australia crashed at Bankstown airport, New South Wales on 10 June 1944. The aircraft crashed shortly after take off during a pre-acceptance test flight. Two de Havilland Australia employees were killed. They were FLTLT Hubert Fowler Boss-Walker (the pilot, ex RAAF) and SQNLDR Peter Fabian Meredith Rockingham (passenger, a de Havilland executive, also ex RAAF). de Havilland Australia engineer John Mills was the intended passenger, but he relinquished his seat at the last moment to Peter Rockingham, DHA’s supply manager. The aircraft broke up at low altitude “during pull-out from a high-speed dive”, as witnessed and reported by Mills. The wreckage was subject to intensive investigation, focusing, of course, on the glued joints, but Mills concluded: “there had not been any glue joint failure, each fracture showing timber coming away with the glue intact and maximum glue strength had been maintained. We concluded that there had been flutter starting at the wingtip causing tip failure and progressive peeling of the wing surface which continued rapidly.” Sources: website; ADF-Serials; Aeroplane Monthly January 2017