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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20456
Last updated: 26 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10
Owner/operator:19 RFS Royal Air Force (19 RFS RAF)
Registration: WD326
C/n / msn: C1/0264
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2.5 miles South West of Malham Tarn, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Woodvale, Lancashire
Destination airport:RAF Woodvale, Lancashire
de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 WD326, 19 RFS, RAF: Written off (destroyed) in a flying accident 27th June 1953 when crashed 2.5 miles South West of Malham Tarn, North Yorkshire

The two crew had taken the aircraft out on a training flight from Woodvale. Flying Officer Vallance, who was a lecturer in botany at Liverpool University, had planned to fly to the Malham area as a group ecology students from Liverpool were carrying out a plant survey in the area, it was his intention to carry out aerobatics once in the right area.

The aircraft made its first pass over the group and performed a roll it was then seen to approach a second time at lower altitude again performing a roll. Throughout this the aircraft lost height (from 500 feet down to 150 feet) and while very close to the ground it appeared the two crew had lost control the aircraft impacted the ground while inverted and cart wheeled to a halt and burst into flames, although the fire quickly went out. Both on board were killed.

The flight to go and over-fly Malham Tarn was talked about prior to take off but the pilot was only authorised to fly within fifteen miles of Woodvale airfield. The full crash investigation is currently available at the UK National Archives (see links #4 & #5 below) and I do not wish to directly copy from this but blame is always attributable, in this case the instructor was held to blame for this accident, being an "error of judgement on his part".

A discussion was overheard on the ground prior to take off between the two airmen; the student had expressed his reservations about the low flying which the instructor had planned. It is not known which pilot was actually in control of the aircraft though it is known that Flying Officer Vallance was in the rear cockpit.

Pilot:Flying Officer Kenneth Bernard Vallance, RAF (aged 35) killed.
Co-Pilot:Pilot Officer Frank Reddish killed.

Kenneth Vallance had served in the War, he received his commission to the rank of Pilot Officer on probation (war subs) on 7th August 1944, rising to F/O (war subs) on 15th February 1945. He remained in the RAF Reserve after the War. His unit is recorded as being 19 RFS at the time of his death.

Frank Reddish received his commission to the rank of Pilot Officer on 24th October 1951 and was promoted to Flying Officer on 23rd April 1953 although the crash report does not credit him in this rank.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.146 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 382
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 23)
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/159:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2640:

Revision history:

02-Jun-2008 05:14 JINX Added
08-Jun-2015 05:41 DB Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
04-Jan-2020 00:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Jan-2020 00:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Jan-2020 16:55 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Nature, Operator]

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