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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 137052
Last updated: 11 February 2016
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Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Vampire FB.Mk 9
Owner/operator:501 (County of Gloucester) Sqn RAF
Registration: WR260
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Leigh Woods, Avon Gorge, 1.5 miles west of Clifton Bridge, Bristol -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Illegal Flight
Departure airport:RAF Filton, Gloucestershire
Destination airport:
The Vampire was taken on an unauthorised flight. 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.

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".


Revision history:

29-Jun-2011 14:11 angels one five Added
31-Jan-2012 01:05 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
25-Jun-2012 12:58 Updated [Narrative]
14-Mar-2013 17:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
01-Jun-2013 09:13 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport]
28-Jun-2014 02:01 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
21-May-2015 08:50 Opietz Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport]
30-Dec-2015 10:55 Updated [Narrative]
Number of views: 3467

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