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Stardust "Rolls-Royce" is clearly marked on one of Stardust's battered engines.
Solve the Mystery of STENDEC
1947 Official Accident Report
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(b) The Engines—All running times are to the nearest hour.

Port Outer
Rolls-Royce Merlin No. 301045/C.2629.
Manufactured by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, as a Merlin T24/2 in January 1946. Completely overhauled by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, and converted to Merlin series 500-2 in November 1946. Time since complete overhaul 561 hours. Time since new 1194 hours. All relevant inspections and replacements carried out.

Port inner
Rolls-Royce Merlin No. 324853/C.2689.
Manufactured by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, as a Merlin T24/2 in February 1946. Completely overhauled by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, and converted to Merlin series 502 in November 1946. Time since complete overhaul 561 hours. Time since new 1020 hours. All relevant inspections and replacements carried out.

Starboard Inner
Rolls-Royce Merlin No. 300993/C.2603.
Manufactured by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, as a Merlin T24/2 in January 1946. Completely overhauled by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, and converted to Merlin series 500-2 in December 1946. Time since complete overhaul 512 hours. Time since new 1196 hours. All relevant inspections and replacements carried out.

Starboard Outer
Rolls-Royce Merlin No. 324493/C.2677.
Manufactured by Rolls-Royce, Ltd., Derby, as a Merlin T24/2 in July 1946. Time since new 535 hours. All relevant inspections and replacements carried out.


(c) Loading

Maximum total weight authorised was 65,000 lbs. Total all-up weight was 51,656 lbs. at take-off.

Centre of Gravity Position
The position of the C. of G. must be between 27.56' and 29.19' aft of the nose datum. In this case is was 28.6'.


(d) The Crew

(The flying log books have been lost with the aircraft and the flying times quoted have been supplied by B.S.A.A.C.)

Reginald Cook Stardust's final flight was pilot Reginald Cook's first trans-Andes crossing as Captain.

(i) The Captain
Captain R.J. Cook, D.S.O., D.F.C., D.F.M., was born on March 15th 1918. He was in possession of Class "B" Pilot's Licence No. 22201 issued July 28th 1945, endorsed for Mosquito. The York and Lancastrian endorsements are dated March 19th 1947. The licence was valid until August 17th 1947. He also held First Class Navigator's Licence No. 2064, issued on July 24th 1947 and valid until February 6th 1948. His total flying time as pilot in the R.A.F. and B.S.A.A.C. was 1,971 hours. He first started flying with the R.A.F. in May 1940 as a Navigator, and commenced training as a pilot in April 1943. He joined B.S.A.A.C. in May 1946.




[page 5]

Time flown in Lancaster in R.A.F. as pilot.
Day: 130 hrs.
Night: 20 hrs.
Total: 150 hrs.

B.S.A.A.C. Experience
Hours flown as Captain of Viking aircraft.
Day: 39 hrs. 51 min.
Night: 7 hrs. 22 min.
Total: 47 hrs. 13 min.

Total flying time in Lancastrian aircraft.
Day: 308 hrs. 10 min.
Night: 129 hrs. 37 min.
Total: 473 hrs. 47 min.

Total time flown as Captain of Lancastrian aircraft.
Day: 27 hrs. 5 min.
Night: 12 hrs. 17 min.
Total: 39 hrs. 22 min.


ST letters The first two letters of the name "Stardust" appear on a piece of wreckage from the fuselage.
This flight as Captain was from London direct to Bermuda and return London, flight refuelling off the Azores.

Total time flown as aircraft officer of Lancastrian aircraft.
Day: 281 hrs. 5 min.
Night: 117 hrs. 20 min.
Total: 398 hrs. 25 min.

Flying times with B.S.A.A.C. in other aircraft are:
Total flying time in York aircraft.
Day: 390 hrs. 14 min.
Night: 164 hrs. 20 min.
Total: 554 hrs. 34 min.

Time flown as Captain on check flight in York aircraft.
Day: 31 hrs.
Night: 25 hrs. 50 min.
Total: 56 hrs. 50 min.

This flight was from London to Buenos Aires and return London.

Also time flown as Captain of York aircraft.
Day: 29 hrs. 32 min.
Night: 8 hrs. 37 min.
Total: 38 hrs. 9 min.

This was Captain Cook's last flight from London to Buenos Aires (as Captain) in a York aircraft. He then changed over to Lancastrian G-AGWH to complete the service (C.S. 59) from London to Santiago and it was after approximately 4 hours flying as Captain of this Lancastrian that the aircraft was lost. This was his first flight as Captain of a complete service from London to Santiago via Buenos Aires, and was also his first flight as Captain trans-Andes.

Glacier Stardust ended its career here, on this glacier on Mt. Tupangato.

Services Flown
London to Buenos Aires to London—8 services.
London to Rio-de-Janeiro to London—1 service.
London to Santiago via Bermuda—2 services.
London to Santiago via Buenos Aires (trans-Andes)—2 services.
London to Bermuda to London—1 service.
Buenos Aires to Santiago (trans-Andes)—3 times.
Santiago to Buenos Aires (trans-Andes)—3 times.
London to Santiago (C.S. 59)—incomplete.

Thus Captain Cook had crossed the Andes eight times as second pilot and was in process of the ninth crossing, for the first time as Captain.

Continue: The First Officer



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