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Thorrat, Thomas Andrew (Pilot Officer (Acting))

Killed in Flying Accident 1954-April-08

Birth Date: 1932 (age 22)

Born: Kirkcaldy Scotland

son of John Marshall Thorratt and Jessie Bett Robertson

Home: Kirkcaldy Fife Scotland UK

2 FTS- Flying Training School
RCAF Moose Jaw
Pilot Officer (Acting)
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Harvard Mk.IIB 3309

Operational 1954-April-08 to 1954-April-08

() () RCAF Moose Jaw

From Aviation Safety network:

The Canadair C-4 was on a flight to Vancouver and had been cleared on an IFR flight plan flying at 6000 feet on Green Airway 1 between Winnipeg and Calgary, which was the first intermediate stop. At 09:57 an RCAF Harvard Mk. II took off from RCAF Station Moose Jaw for a navigation cross-country exercise. The Harvard was climbing to 9000 feet, crossed the Airway at 6000 feet and collided with the C-4. A large portion of the wreckage fell on a house which was destroyed by fire, killing the only occupant. The Harvard pilot and all 35 occupants of the C-4 where also killed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "1) Failure on the part of the pilots of both aircraft to maintain a proper lookout, the onus of responsibility for keeping out of the way being with the Harvard aircraft as it had the other on its own right side. 2) The Harvard aircraft in crossing the airway climbed through altitudes normally used by aircraft flying along the airway. 3) The Board up to the present has been unable to determine whether the window post on the left side of the Canadair C4-1 aircraft hid the Harvard aircraft from view, but there are indications that this was possible."

General Aviation Safety network

NATO Pilot training

This incident involved multiple aircraft:

  1. Harvard Mk.IIB Serial: 3309
  2. North Star C4-1 Serial: TCA223

All the aircraft in the above list are referenced in this report.

Google MapKirkcaldy Fife Scotland UK

North American Harvard NA-26 NA-44

North American Harvard Mk. IV
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The North American Harvard appeared in 1937, in response to a US Air Corps proposal for an advanced trainer. The first of 50 Harvard Mk. Is ordered by the Canadian Government were delivered to RCAF Sea Island, BC in July 1939. By early 1940, the Mk. II was being assembled in California with an all metal fuselage replacing the original tube and fabric structure. 1200 Mk. IIs were supplied from US sources, until Canadian built Harvards started being produced in 1941.

In August 1938, Noorduyn Aviation of Montreal farsightedly signed an agreement with North American, to build the Harvard under licence. When the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) came into being in December 1939, Noorduyn received its first orders and went on to produce nearly 2800 Harvard Mk. IIBs for the RCAF and the RAF, between 1940 and 1945. In Canada, Harvard Mk. IIBs were used as advanced trainers with the BCATP at fifteen Service Flying Training Schools across the nation. They helped pilots make to the transition from low powered primary trainers, like Fleet Finch or the de Havilland Tiger Moth, to high performance front line fighters such as the Spitfire.

At the end of WW II, although the RCAF retained the Harvard as a trainer, a large number of them were sold off to civilian operators. The RCAF soon regretted this, for by 1949 the Cold War with the Soviet Union was in full swing and the RCAF urgently needed trainers again. 100 T-6J Texans were leased temporarily from the USAF and a further 270 Harvards, the Mk. IV version, were ordered from Canadian Car & Foundry, Thunder Bay. The RCAF used the Harvard Mk. IV for a further fifteen years, before finally retiring it in 1966.

A total of 20,110 Harvards were built between 1938 and 1954, 3,370 of them in Canada. Countless numbers of privately owned Harvards are still flying today.

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Harvard Mk. IV was built by Canadian Car & Foundry, Thunder Bay, Ontario in late 1951. The aircraft saw service at four RCAF flying schools across the nation until it was sold to a civilian owner in 1965. It was the third aircraft to join the Museum after Dennis Bradley, Alan Ness and John Weir donated it in 1973. Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

YouTube Harvard Advanced Trainer

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Harvard Advanced Trainer

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (2196), RCAF 400 Squadron (1), Canadian Aircraft Losses (374), Canadian Manufactured (3400), RCN On Strength (3), Canadian Museum(4)
last update: 2021-10-19 20:12:13

Harvard Mk.IIB 3309

Used by No. 14 Service Flying Training School at RCAF Station Aylmer, Ontario. Used post war by No. 402 Squadron (Auxiliary) at Stevenson Field, Manitoba; and at RCAF Station Gimli, Manitoba. Category A damage on 8 April 1954. Mid air collision with Trans Canada Airlines North Star CF-TFW, near Moose Jaw.

1942-03-09 Taken on Strength 2019-08-20
1942-September-29 Accident: 14 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Lipsit | Mcdonnell
1943-October-21 Accident: 14 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Scott
1944-February-28 Accident: 14 Service Flying Training School Loc: R1 Yarmouth Names: Mckitrick | Reekie
1954-April-08 Accident: Loc: Moose Jaw Names: Thorrat
1954-05-18 Struck off Strength Struck off after crash, see comments. 2019-08-20

North Star TCA223

North Star C4-1 TCA223

1954-April-08 Accident: Loc: Moose Jaw Names: Adamson | Adamson | Baugh | Bell | Belzberg | Blanck | Brook | Cameron | Craig | Crossen | Edwards | Finney | George | Gillett | Goodall | Goodall | Guthrie | Hadwen | Hunter | Hutton | Matheson | McLean | McVey | Nelson | Nelson | Nelson | Penner | Penner | Pirie | Quinney | Reid | Reid | Smart | Stanton | Sweny | Sweny | Wilson

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