The Dakota crash memorial on Ventnor Downs

A plaque marks the site of the Dakota crash in 1962

At the far end of our car park, just before the Ventnor radar site fence, stands a poignant memorial to an air crash that occurred on the Isle of Wight over 50 years ago.

Channel Airways flight from Jersey to Portsmouth, May 1962

 
The Channel Airways Dakota accident occurred on 6 May 1962 when the scheduled passenger flight from Jersey to Portsmouth crashed into the cloud-covered St. Boniface Down. The aircraft was destroyed and sadly twelve of the eighteen occupants were killed.
 
The DC3 Dakota airplane G-AGZB notified the controller that they were descending from 3000 to 1000 feet in preparation for landing. The top of St. Boniface Down is 787 feet and was shrouded in thick fog. A local farm worker, Edward Price, helped four passengers to escape from the wreckage and then set off to get help. He came across a group of amateur radio enthusiasts taking part in a competition who contacted the emergency services. Seven injured were taken to a local hospital, but two subsequently died.
 

After the accident

 
Following the disaster it became mandatory that all airfields handling passenger traffic must be equipped with radio communication, and airlines were required to adhere to approved minimal standards for flying in bad weather.
 
In 2003 a memorial plinth was unveiled at our car park near the scene of the disaster. This moving ceremony was attended by more than 100 people, including Mr. Price. It was rededicated in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of the incident.
 
More details can be found on the website dedicated to the memory of the passengers and crew.