ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20742
Last updated: 27 December 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:16-FEB-1953
Time:night
Type:Silhouette image of generic CNBR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Canberra B.2
Owner/operator:231 Operational Conversion Unit Royal Air Force (231 OCU RAF)
Registration: WF889
C/n / msn: 71090
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2 miles North of RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire
Destination airport:RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire
Narrative:
English Electric Canberra B.Mk.2 WF889, 231 OCU, RAF: The aircraft passed over RAF Bassingbourn airfield at night at circuit height with both engines running, and the navigation lights on. Two miles north of Bassingbourn airfield, the aircraft was seen to enter into a vertical dive, and to crash.

Crashed and destroyed 16.2.1953 when dived into ground in circuit at night, two miles north of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, killing all three crew:

Pilot Officer Norman Robertson Mitchell (Observer)
Pilot Officer Alexander Jack Smith (Pilot, aged 24)
Pilot Officer Frederick George O'Brian (Navigator)

Although the cause of the loss of the aircraft was never determined, the pilot had limited night flying experience, and little dual flying instruction on the Canberra. Wreckage of Canberra WF889 Struck Off Charge as Cat.5(Scrap) at No.58 MU, RAF Sutton Bridge 13/03/53

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.141 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 341
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985)
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/138: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C424259
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2618: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6578464
6. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=WF
7. Grave of P/O Norman R. Mitchell: https://www.flickr.com/photos/harlowirish/5485888410
8. http://www.planetrace.co.uk/1950-1959_26.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Jun-2008 12:18 JINX Added
04-Apr-2013 18:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
12-Nov-2018 21:23 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]
25-Dec-2019 21:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
25-Dec-2019 21:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Narrative]
25-Dec-2019 21:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
27-Dec-2019 12:14 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description