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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20286
Last updated: 29 February 2020
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Type:Gloster Meteor F Mk 8
Owner/operator:66 Squadron Royal Air Force (66 Sqn RAF)
Registration: WA778
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Butlins Holiday Camp, Filey, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 WA778, 66 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when broke up in flight at low level over Butlin's Holiday Camp, Filey, North Yorkshire.

The aircraft was flying fast and low over Butlin's Holiday Camp at Filey, North Yorkshire, when it broke up in flight while recovering from a dive. Wreckage was scattered over the Holiday Camp and in a wide surrounding area. The breakup sequence seems to have begun with the wings failing; firstly the port wing, outboard of the engine nacelle, followed by the starboard wing inboard of the engine nacelle. Pilot killed. According to an eyewitness report:

"I witnessed the incident from the moment the aircraft passed by the Filey Golf Club clubhouse about 500 feet, not travelling at a great rate of knots, in level flight save for climbing gently as it went south...only to explode in a orange black mass.There was neither sight nor sound of any other you can imagine my surprise that the Meteor broke apart as in a structural failure. The explosion was as if it had been hit by a SAM (Surface to Air Missile)!!"

Pilot of Meteor WA778:
Pilot Officer Brian Watton, RAF (pilot, aged 23)


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.150 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 409
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985 p 12)
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/172:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2653:

Related books:

Revision history:

31-May-2008 13:01 JINX Added
06-Jun-2008 22:14 JINX Updated
12-May-2015 16:55 BlB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
05-Jan-2020 00:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Jan-2020 00:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
05-Jan-2020 00:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
05-Jan-2020 09:45 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]

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