Sweeney, N.F

Roll of Honour

Probationary Pilot N.F. Sweeney was killed in Wirraway A20-193 near Little River, Victoria, whilst filing on a training mission.

An excerpt from the ‘Crash Critique’ states:

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

CRASH CRITIQUE No 21

ACCIDENT TO WIRRAWAY A20-193 NEAR LITTLE RIVER VICTORIA

ON 18 OCTOBER 1951

At 1345 hours on 18th October 1951, A 38451 Probationary Naval Airman (Pilot) N.F.Sweeney, A 38451, took off solo from Point Cook in Wirraway A20-193 to carry out a one-hour period of general flying, to be followed by a period of low flying practice.

At about 1500, the aircraft was observed by PNA (P) Becker in Wirraway A20-547, who was also engaged in low flying practice, to be carrying out routine low flying training manoeuvres in the No 1 Flying Training School authorised Low Flying Area. Aircraft Control personnel at Little River Aerodrome and a group of civilians in the Low Flying Area also observed the manoeuvres.

Shortly afterwards these civilians observed A20- 193 dive to approximately 100 feet, pull up to 300 feet and commence to execute a roll. When the aircraft was on its back the nose dropped. The aircraft completed the roll, but continued to lose height until it crashed into an open field (at an angle estimated at 40 degrees) at 1520 hours. The pilot was killed instantly.