ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 137052
Last updated: 1 September 2015
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Narrative:The Vampire was taken on an unauthorised flight by an engineer. The Vampire was flown under Clifton Bridge, and then the pilot (F/O John G. Crossley) attempted a roll during which the plane lost height and crashed on the Bristol side of the Avon Gorge at Leigh Woods.
de Havilland Vampire FB.Mk 9
|Owner/operator:||501 (County of Gloucester) Sqn RAF|
|C/n / msn:|| |
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Leigh Woods, Avon Gorge, 1.5 miles west of Clifton Bridge, Bristol -
|Phase:|| Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)|
|Departure airport:||RAF Filton, Gloucestershire|
Whilst the civilian employment of the pilot may have been an engineer it appears he was a qualified RAuxAF pilot. This was the last recorded -and only jet aircraft- flight under that bridge.
Quote from 'To Fly No More' by Colin Cummings: "The Royal Auxiliary Air Force was about to disband. This pilot took off without authority and did not wear a helmet nor did he secure his harness and parachute and he left the pitot cover in place. After about 20 minutes, he flew under the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the Avon Gorge near Bristol. Having passed beneath the bridge he pulled up into a slow roll and entered cloud. He emerged from cloud inverted and rolled out slowly losing height. He then turned to port, leveled the wings and began to lose height more rapidly before striking the side of the gorge".
http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1957.htm http://brisray.com/bristol/bagorge2.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._501_Squadron_RAF#Into_the_jet_age http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Woods http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/96306-low-flying-under-bridges-updated.html http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/96306-low-flying-under-bridges-updated.html
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