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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21012
Last updated: 29 July 2020
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Type:Gloster Meteor FR.9
Owner/operator:Royal Air Force (RAF)
Registration: WH542
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Geilenkirchen -   Germany
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Geilenkirchen
Two Gloster Meteor FR.9s of 2 Squadron RAF (WH542 and WB124) collided on approach to Geilenkirchen after hitting the others slipstream. Both landed safely but WH542 being struck off charge as Cat.5.

Flight Comment, 2 TAFs Flight Safety magazine reported the incident as follows: " MAJOR WH542 & WB124, 15 March CAT. 3 & 2. These aircraft are taking part in a special squadron formation of twelve which entailed the last four flying in line abreast." (Probably the base-line of a formation forming a Number '2'). During a run over the airfield the middle pair of the four in line abreast collided, the wing-tip of one striking the outside of the nacelle of the other. Both landed safely at base. It is agreed by all concerned that both these aircraft hit the slipstream of the aircraft ahead at the same time, and in trying to recover control they collided. For this to happen, either the section leader on whom they were formating was insufficiently stepped down, or the two aircraft in question were out of position, or possibly a combination of the two took place. This has not been resolved. However the moral is obvious - slipstream can be (and could have been here) an invisible killer, and it is basic airmanship to be wary of its effects."

"I was Duty Officer on the 15th when they did just that and found that 4 abreast take more room than 4 in echelon! Chas Boyer's port wing tip penetrated Tony Winship's starboard engine nacelle and pushed off the HP Cock for him. Chas knew he was in trouble straight away as his ailerons jammed, but poor old Tony couldn't figure out what was going on for a while as he skidded along on one engine. All this at 300 feet over the Airfield, in close formation, with 3 and 234 Squadrons watching on... "

WB124 was repaired and returned to service, but was later written off in a separate accident on 11/05/1956.


Air Britain RAF Aircraft WA100 - WZ999

Related books:

Revision history:

12-Jun-2008 18:13 JINX Added
14-Mar-2013 18:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Feb-2014 18:49 TB Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description