M.16  Junior Captain Walter Leslie 'Wal' Handley 
 flag england b. 5 Apr 1902, Birmingham  11 Sep 1939 to Nov-41 


ata walter handley



ata walter handley 2 




 Well-known motorcycle racer pre-WWII


d. 15 Nov 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Airacobra AH598 caught fire in the air shortly after take-off from 12 M.U. and crashed nr Fingland, Cumbria.

"Major fire occurred in engine. A/C stalled and crashed. Cause of fire cannot be established but two possibilities:

1. Engine was over-boosted and over-revved on takeoff

2. A/C may have been run up with mixture control in full rich."

'Gen' Genovese was of the opinion that Wal's accident in the Airacobra was due to the fact that American aircraft would allow the pilot to over-rev and over-boost the engine, unlike British-built aircraft which restricted the power to what the engine could take. 


A memorial to Walter has recently been erected near where he crashed in his Airacobra after taking off from Kirkbride:

ata walter handley memorial

 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey


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