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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 163588
Last updated: 5 December 2019
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Date:22-JUL-1951
Time:11:00
Type:Gloster Meteor F.4
Owner/operator:611 (West Lancashire) Squadron Royal Air Force (611 (West Lancashire) Sqn RAF)
Registration: VT121
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Over Kellett, near Carnforth, Lancashire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Hooton Park, Cheshire
Destination airport:Hooton Park, Cheshire
Narrative:
On Sunday 22nd July 1951, 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force was set for an all-day co-operation exercise with the Royal Observer Corps, which was initially delayed due to bad weather. Conditions must not have improved as at approximately 10.30 those aircraft that had taken off were recalled, with the exercise being cancelled altogether at 11.00 due to approaching thunderstorms.

27 year old Sgt. Thomas Arthur Rignold Price, piloting Gloster Meteor F.4 VT121, was in the vicinity of Carnforth, Lancashire when he received and acknowledged the recall transmission and it seems that he descended through the layered cloud prevalent at that time, in order to pinpoint his position. It is thought that he then entered an area of low cloud and attempted to keep the aircraft's nose down, which resulted in him emerging from this at around 200 feet from the terrain in a diving turn to port with insufficient height to recover and struck the ground at Over Kellett, near Carnforth Lancashire

A local witness recalled hearing the aircraft engine under power, before it appeared briefly "coming down steep and fast", then he heard the crash. Rushing to the scene he met the shaken driver of a passenger vehicle that had been passing on a nearby road, who stated that he had thought the aircraft was going to hit his vehicle. When they reached the scene they found that the plane had been completely destroyed in the impact and numerous fires had been started, by the fuel, mainly in a wood on the far side of the field. Soon some three acres of wood and scrub land was ablaze, but the fires were dealt with by Carnforth Fire Brigade who were soon on the scene - once they had managed to managed to get past cars parked by the many spectators who converged on the scene. The local paper reported that a seven-foot deep crater had been left by the impact and that a five-foot section of wing was the largest remnant of the aircraft. This and the aircraft's wheels appeared to be the only recognisable parts remaining amongst the widely scattered debris.

Sgt. Price was buried on 26th July 1951 in a private ceremony at St. John's Church, Waterloo, Liverpool, which was attended by the squadron's commanding officer and three other airmen.

Sources:

1. https://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?101084-Digs-1946-to-late-60s
2. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=VT
3. http://www.611squadronrauxaf.co.uk/history/Roll.html


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Jan-2014 21:12 Dr. John Smith Added
17-Feb-2014 15:30 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location]
02-Mar-2014 18:42 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator]
16-Oct-2018 15:11 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
23-Jun-2019 06:12 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
20-Oct-2019 20:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location]

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