Hawker Audax K7471

Caputh, Perth and Kinross













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A Hawker Audax bi-plane.


A Hawker Audax bi-plane


Photo: 2012 Flickr. San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

(No known copyright.)






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Hawker Audax / K7471



(Trainer / Reconnaissance)


Based largely on the Hawker Hart, which it resembled, the Hawker Audax  was produced between 1931 and 1937. The aircraft was intended as a trainer / observation aircraft / light bomber.


The Audax was equipped with a Rolls-Royce Kestrel 1B engine, and had a maximum speed of 170mph. For armaments, it was equipped with two .303 machine guns--one forward and one aft. I could also carry four 20lb bombs.


The Audax saw service with the RAF and also with the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm), and was used by the RAF in countries such as India and Africa.






Aircraft Accident Details


This aircraft crashed while lost. The following report of the incident was produced by  the Blairgowrie Advertiser of 28 May 1937:


"Aeroplane Accident at Caputh:


 RAF Machine hits Electricity Cables:


 Two Royal Air Force pilots from Montrose had a double escape from death on Monday [24th] when their aeroplane collided with electric cables and fell into the Tay at Caputh.


The airmen, who were taken to Perth Royal Infirmary, were: Acting Pilot Officer Peter Charles Daniel Eaton, pilot, and Acting Pilot Officer Robert McDonald Hall. Both are 24 years old: both had head and body injuries, Eaton’s hurts including an injury to the spine.


 The plane cut clean through three Grampian electricity supply cables. Each cable carries 11,000 volts, and when impact took place there was a vivid flash of flame.

After the machine fell into the river Hall was able to swim towards the bank and was assisted by Mr T Bell, Sparrowmuir which is opposite the scene of the accident. Eaton was strapped in the cockpit and was unable to extricate himself.

Miss Ballantine, Victoria Cottage, and her brother, Mr James Ballantine, who is home on leave from South Africa, together with Mr Stephen Bryan, Wester Gourdie, managed to rescue Eaton, who was immersed to the neck in the water. A boat was quickly rowed to the partly-submerged aeroplane; Eaton was loosened from the straps holding him to the pilot’s seat, and pulled out of the cockpit into the boat.

The two officers were taken into Mr Bell’s house and given first aid by Miss Ballantine, who had had the presence of mind to take an outfit with her. Assistance in the rescue was also given by Messrs D and G Slidders and Miss Slidders, Boatlands Farm, who heard the crash and ran to the spot.

Dr Bell, Murthly, who was summoned, gave medical attention to the men before their removal to Perth Infirmary."


[Above article provided courtesy of Jim Black]





Aircraft Crew Survivors


Both crew members survived. These were:


Acting P/O Peter Charles Daniel Eaton (24), RAF


Acting P/O Robert McDonald Hall (24), RAF






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: The remains of the Hawker Audax bi-plane after crashing into power lines and coming to rest in the River Tay.


Audax plane wreck in River Tay


Photo, Courtesy Jim Black






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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 24 May 1937


Accident Site:

Caputh & River Tay


Region: Perth and Kinross


Nearest town or village:

Caputh or Dunkeld [map]


Nearest large town:

Blairgowrie (NE)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition Underwater. (No known wreckage remaining.)




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: K7471


Operator: RAF (No 8 Flying Training School, Montrose)


Operating Station: RAF Montrose


Station Location: Montrose, Angus, Scotland.


Current Station Status: Military Airport closed . Now, an RAF Heritage Centre.


Current Station Name: Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre




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