ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20903
Last updated: 19 June 2020
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-DEC-1953
Time:day
Type:Gloster Meteor F Mk 8
Owner/operator:56 (Punjab) Squadron Royal Air Force (56 (Punjab) Sqn RAF)
Registration: WH283
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5 miles SW of Thurlough, Cambridgeshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 WH283 "A" of 56 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 16 December 1953. Abandoned out of fuel in bad weather and crashed, 5 miles South-West of Thurlough, Cambridgeshire. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Cambridge Daily News" 16 December 1953):

"Four meteor jet fighters crashed in the Duxford area; three pilots parachuted to safety and one was pulled from his wrecked plane by farm workers. They were on a training flight from Waterbeach airfield and were not in collision in the air before crashing. It is possible the pilots abandoned their machines after running short of fuel. It is the second time that a plane has crashed at White House Farm, West Wickham; a Meteor came down at the back of the farm just before harvest".

According to one published source (see link #4)

"As if history was to repeat itself, the bad weather that had brought disaster upon the bombers of the RAF’s Bomber Command on ‘Black Thursday‘ (RAF Bourn) ten years earlier also brought havoc to 56 Sqn on December 16th 1953.

With visibility down to a little as 100 yards on the Tuesday, Wednesday saw some improvements. With flying restricted to four aircraft per flight, it was going to be difficult. The Cathode Ray Direction Finding equipment (C.R.D.F.) was not working and so bearings needed to be obtained by VHF. Whilst the majority of aircraft were able to land using a Ground-Controlled Approach (G.C.A.) ‘A’ flight were not so lucky. Red Section were diverted to Duxford, but failed to achieve a landing.

Being too low on fuel to continue on or try for a third time, the two aircraft climbed to 5,000 feet and the pilots, Flt Lt. G. Hoppitt and Flying Officer R. Rimmington ejected. Fuel gauges at the time were reading as little as 20 Gallons.

Both aircraft came down near to each other, no damage was caused to public property and both pilots were unhurt. Yellow section, also diverted to Duxford, where they attempted G.C.A. landings also, but unable to do so, the section leader, Flying Officer N. Weerasinghe suffered a broken neck and fractured skull after he force landed in a field.

The fourth pilot, Flying Officer Martin, broke his back in two places after ejecting at only 700 feet. A court of enquiry ruled that three of the pilots had difficulty in jettisoning their canopies, and Flying Officer Martin, even though he managed to succeed, ejected at an all time low-level.

It was well into the New Year before Flying Officer Weerasinghe regained consciousness, and all four aircraft, WA769, WH510, WA930 and WH283 were written off. In a light-hearted but perhaps tasteless ‘that’s how its done‘ demonstration, both Flight Lt. Hoppitt and Flying Officer Rimmington jumped off the bar at a Pilot’s party in the Bridge Hotel."

Pilot: Flying Officer Roy Rimington, RAF (Service Number 3129842).- survived OK when ejected at 5,000 feet and 170 knots

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.171 ISBN 0-85130-290-4
2. Air Britain RAF Aircraft WA100 - WZ999
3. Last Take off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950-53 by Colin Cummings p 436
4. https://aviationtrails.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/raf-waterbeach-a-period-of-change-part-3/
5. https://archive.org/stream/WaterbeachScrapbook1897To1990/Waterbeach+Scrapbook+1897+to+1990_djvu.txt
6. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=WH

Gloster Meteor F.8 WH283 "A", 56 Squadron, RAF, 1953: The Aviation Photo Company: Meteor (Gloster) &emdash; RAF 56 Squadron Gloster Meteor F.8 WH283/A (1953)

Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
10-Jun-2008 07:13 JINX Added
15-Jan-2012 15:04 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
09-Dec-2013 16:34 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
01-Feb-2020 23:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Feb-2020 10:04 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description