Aircraft Loss Card for Black Thursday

This is the loss card for the Scott crew‘s aircraft, which crashed near Graveley due to the fog and petrol shortage on Black Thursday. Similar loss cards were compiled for the other four 97 Squadron aircraft which crashed that night, those of Mackenzie, Kirkwood, Thackway and Deverill, and for the two which were abandoned, those of Smith and Mooney.

The same two reasons used on Scott’s card were given for all the accidents: ‘Error of Judgement in bad visibility and low cloud – should have used SBA’. This was obviously unreasonable. Moreover, it contradicted the assessment already given in 97 Squadron’s ORB that the losses had been due to bad visibility, fog and low cloud.

SBA was Standard Beam Approach (see Landing Aids), and it would have been impossible to use it that night because it demanded a great deal of time to get it right, and time was exactly what the crews did not have.