All 37 passengers and crew lost their lives when an Iberia Airlines Caravelle, heading for Heathrow, crashed into the hillside at an isolated spot close to Upper Blackdown House at 10.02pm on 4 November 1967.
The police report from 1967 gives a harrowing account of the event:
“About 10.02 p.m. on Saturday, 4th November, 1967, a Caravelle Airliner No. EC-BDD, owned by Iberia Airlines of Spain, crashed at Black Down Hill, Sussex (map reference 919289). This Hill at its highest point is 902 ft. above sea level. The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Malaga, Spain, to Heathrow Airport, and was piloted by Captain Harnando Maura [Pieres], 37 years, an experienced Pilot. It left Malaga at 7.30 p.m. G.M.T. and the estimated time of arrival at Heathrow Airport was 10.10 p.m. G.M.T. The weather at the time was slightly misty with intermittent drizzle but there was reasonable visibility.”
Now, the Fernhurst community has come together to organise three commemorative public events:
- Exhibition – telling the story of the accident and its aftermath – Sat. 4th and Sun. 5th November 2017, 10.30am – 4pm, Fernhurst Village Hall
- Memorial Service – Sat. 4th November, 12 noon, St Margaret’s Church, Fernhurst
- Unveiling of Commemorative Plaque – Sat. 4th November, 2pm, Fernhurst Village Hall
For more information, please go to Fernhurst Society