Saturday, January 16, 2016
Peter Garner joined the R.A.F. in 1940 and in 1941 volunteered to serve with the Merchant Ship fighter Unit. Service with this unit meant being catapulted in a Hurricane from the deck of merchant ships in convoy, and when fuel ran out, either parachuting or landing in the sea and waiting to be picked up. After a tour with the M.S.F.U. he was attached to Naval Aviation for deck landings.
In 1943 he volunteered to fly Mosquito Intruders, and was for a while with No. 605 (County of Warwick) A.A.F Squadron. On completion of three tours of operations he was appointed Staff Officer to H.Q. Fighter Command as Intruder Controller. He later completed a full Empire Test Pilots' Course and, in February, 1946, joined Westlands as assistant to Harald Penrose. In addition to development work on the Wyvern, he has been demonstrating the Westland Sikorsky helicopter.
On October 15th 1947,Peter Garner met with a fatal accident while testing the first prototype W.34; the Wyvern TF Mk 1 when the propeller bearings failed in flight. He attempted to make an emergency landing and dove his Wyvern to avoid stalling but pulled out too late in the dive and the resulting belly-landing knocked him unconscious as his aircraft burned