|In 2002 I went through some of my late fathers modelling and drawings
collection. As an army child in Egypt in the 1930's he had a lifelong
Imperial Airways as they operated along-side the RAF at Heliopolis. When he retired he made models of the aircraft types he saw. A
scale model of Heliopolis aerodrome was in the works but not completed.
Drawings were a part of the development of these models. Unfortunately I was unable to take these with me, but I discovered I had transported his notes on the loss of G-AAGX Hannibal. This has led me to this page and the start of research into the loss.
His favourite book on the subject of middle east flying was 'The Baghdad Air Mail,' (Roderic Hill, 1929). A good read, concerning the period the RAF was delivering airmail from Heliopolis to Baghdad in advance of Imperial Airways taking over.
|As for the loss of Hannibal, when we
lived in Sharjah in the mid
1970's my father was intrigued by the loss of this aircraft. We
high probability that the aircraft had come down to the west of the
He was convinced by the evidence he had uncovered. Of course visions of tail ribs sticking out of wind blown sand dunes flickered. The chance to explore to the east of Sharjah existed but the pressure of work and short visits from UK limited that idea. Naturally well travelled regions were not worth exploring and the assumption that a reasonable search was made at the time left the area to be searched beyond our limited resources. The strong belief remains that G-AAGX came to rest in a mountain wadi. Subjected to the periodic devastating flash floods in this jagged terrain. But with nothing reported in 62+ years..!
Where the discovered data, on that slip of paper that started my search, originated remains lost in the sands of time. It is assumed they were copied from contemporary radio logs. That the notes were kept and they survived through numerous moves and disposals attest to the intrigue it generates.
Within a week of starting research and this page I had a note from a correspondent who suggested I tread very carefully as "the subject is still classified Top Secret in U.K. even 62 years later!" Also, previous investigators had been, "`warned off' by the authorities in Britain after trying to uncover more facts." (12) So much for innocently researching an intriguing mystery! Back
The intent of this page is to offer the information I
found in my fathers notes for discussion and to invite further input from anyone
who can spend time in the Public Records Office or elsewhere. The information is
out there. Are there further references or quotes in publications? As
more data arrives so it seems the questions multiply! In the interests of giving
closure to the families of those lost on "Hannibal" any genuine
leads in researching the crash site or any subsequent search or recovery operations
Received by email, "A detailed crash report is held at the public records office (Kew, London).
Thus began the slow, interesting and wide ranging exploration of the world and times surrounding the loss of 'Hannibal'.
Richard Hobby, 2002 - 10. ( This page is a collation of information
from various sources, please address any concerns about source and accreditation
to page author )