Accident Fairey IIIF Mk II , Monday 10 September 1934
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Date:Monday 10 September 1934
Type:Fairey IIIF Mk II
Owner/operator:1 Sqn Irish Air Corps
MSN: F.968
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:31-33 Terenure Road, Dublin -   Ireland
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Baldonnel Aerodrome, Dublin, Eire
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Fairey IIIF Mk. II (c/n F.968), Irish Air Corps: Written off (destroyed) 10/9/34 when hit tree, crashed and caught fire at Terenure Road, Dublin, Ireland. Two of the three crew were killed:

Lt Arthur G. Russell (aged 33) killed
Private Donal Joseph Toomey (aged 21) killed
Sgt Patrick Leo Canavan injured

Aircraft was on a test flight following a 20 hour inspection and flown by Lt Arthur Russell with Sgt Leo Canavan and Pte. Dennis Toomey.

The Court of Inquiry stated that it was flying at an unsafe altitude and over a thickly populated area. It stalled and crashed after hitting a tree ending up between numbers 31 and 33 Terenure Road (a West Dublin suburb) Leo Canavan was pulled from the burning wreckage suffering horrific injuries resulting in long periods of hospitalisation. He stayed in the Air Corps in a civilian capacity and I met him many times at Baldonnel but we never discussed the accident

The Fairey Aviation Company originally quoted for the supply of four IIIF Mk.IIs but only one was purchased by the Air Corps. (The planned purchase of four additional machines Mk. IVs (c/ns F.969, F.970, F.1135, F.1136) was cancelled for economic reasons). It was never allotted an IAC serial number and during its service carried the constructors number F968 on the fuselage side. However, the c/n F.968 ties in with the RAF serial S1262, which was delivered on 10/3/1928 to the Irish Air Corps. Floats for this aircraft were also delivered, costing £1,450. To “B” Flight, No. 1 Squadron. Force-landed in Co. Cavan, but not damaged, 13.9.28. Returned to service after repairs.

Lt Arthur Russell was a brother of Col Charlie Russell second in command to Major General Mc Sweeny the first OC of the new Air Corps. The Lt was considered a good pilot but succeeded in walking away from six other flying accidents prior to the fatal one. There was no attempt to use a parachute, too low and too late.


1. Philip Jarrett: Database: Fairey IIIF , Airplane Monthly, November 2011, Vol. 39 No 11 Issue 463. London: Kelsey Publishing Group, ISSN 0143-7240

Revision history:

24-May-2018 21:46 Dr. John Smith Added
27-Nov-2018 21:43 Nepa Updated [Registration, Operator, Operator]
28-May-2020 08:55 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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