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Hawker Hurricane P3588 - 13/02/1941

Type Serial No Unit Station Duty Crew Passengers
Hawker Hurricane P3588 No 229 Squadron Speke Patrol Manchester 1 -

Hawker Hurricane No P3588 flown by a Pilot Officer John Frederic Fortescue Finnis who was an acting Flight Lieutenant of No 229 Squadron took of on a routine flight to patrol Manchester, after a short while the  engine started to miss then failed, in the pilots attempt to pull over some high tension cables the aircraft dived straight into a railway embankment in a area of Little Hulton near Walkden known as “the Moor” badly injuring Pilot Officer Finnis. The aircraft was lying with its nose pointing towards Ashton Field Colliery, after a short time two RAF armourers arrived to remove the guns and belts of ammunition.

P3588  Crash site - Winter 2002 (The remains of the railway run through/behind the back gardens of the houses). 

P3588  Crash site - Winter 2002 (The remains of the railway run through/behind the back gardens of the houses). 

The official inquiry concluded that the engine failure could have been caused by an airlock when the pilot failed to change tanks soon enough, it was also felt that an attempt to land should have been made earlier when the engine started to miss.

Pilot Officer Finnis

Pilot Officer Finnis

Pilot Officer Finnis had over 3100 flying hours with 139 of these on Hurricanes at the time of the accident. Pilot Officer Finnis was in the Southern Rhodesian Air Force, he transferred to the RAF and was given a commission for the duration in August 1940, joining No 1 Squadron at Northolt in September 1940 and was then posted to No 229 Squadron. In 1942 he was posted to the Western Desert to command No 33 Squadron. Pilot Officer Finnis returned to the Southern Rhodesian Air Force in September 1945.

The aircraft was possibly giving fighter cover for the visit to Manchester of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Position Rank Name Service No Age Status
Pilot  Pilot Officer (acting Flight Lieutenant)  John Frederic Fortescue Finnis 80035  - Badly injured

Speke Incidents