ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220309
Last updated: 8 January 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.

Time:15:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire F.Mk 1
Owner/operator:ETPS Royal Air Force (ETPS RAF)
Registration: TG388
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Shamley Green, 1.5 miles ESE of Wonersh, near Godalming, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire
Destination airport:
De Havilland Vampire F.1 TG388, ETPS (Empire Test Pilots School). Written off (destroyed) 13 April 1950 when crashed in flames during a thunderstorm at Green Lane Farm, Shamley Green, 1.5 miles East South East of Wonersh, near Godalming, Surrey. Assignment: Instrument assessment flight. Aircraft caught fire in flight (struck by lightning?) and spun into the ground. Pilot had baled out but was struck by the tailplane. Engine was not running when aircraft hit the ground

According to contemporary newspaper reports ("Western Morning News" - Friday 14 April 1950 and "The Picton Post" (Picton, NSW) Thursday 4 May 1950)

Girl Guides screamed and ran for cover in a lane in Shamley Green, Surrey, yesterday as a Vampire jet aircraft on a local flying exercise from Farnborough Air Station, crashed in flames in a field a quarter of a mile away. The crash occurred during a thunderstorm. The nose of the plane was buried about 5ft. in the ground. Four hours later the pilot's body was found in an orchard half a mile away.

At about 3.10 pm on Thursday 13th April, 1950, Vampire TG388 crashed in a field known as Blackmore Paddock, Northcote Lane, Shamley Green near Guildford. Information on the crash was received at North Street Police Station within 5 minutes of the incident, and the Fire Brigade and an Ambulance were despatched. Two policemen, Inspector Ferguson and Sergeant Thatcher arrived there at 3.35 to find the Vampire blazing but no sign of the pilot.

At 6.10 pm the body of the pilot was found in the garden of Meadow Bank, Northcote Lane, about a quarter of a mile north of the wreckage. He was identified as Squadron Leader Cyril William Stark, Royal Australian Air Force, attached to the Empire Test Pilot School at Farnborough, a married man with three children. Squadron Leader Stark was buried at Ship Lane Cemetery, Farnborough.

Squadron Leader Cyril Stark, who has been a member of the R.A.A.F. for the past 11 years, and who was aged only 30, was killed in England on 13th April whilst testing a jet Vampire plane.

Squadron Leader Stark had been stationed at the Rocket Range in South Australia, but on 13th January was sent on a special mission to England, where he arrived on 13th February. His wife and three young children later joining him. He was stationed at the Empire Test School, Farnborough, in Hampshire, and was testing Vampires. It was only two months later, on 13th April, whilst testing one of these planes, that it crashed at Shamley Green, near Guildford, and he was killed.

Many people here will remember Cyril Stark, who lived in Picton in his early boyhood and attended the Picton Central School. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Stark, who had the newsagency in Picton for several years from about 1925 to 1930. He is the nephew of Mr. and Mrs. karry Hanger, of "Tennyson," The Oaks Road, Picton, who were greatly shocked and grieved when the news of his death came to them a little over a fortnight ago."

Pilot - Squadron Leader Cyril W. Stark AFC RAAF - killed


1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.101. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 48
3. The Indian Express 16 April 1950, p 5
4. National Archives (PRO Few) File BT 233/15:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/30/S2489:

Revision history:

29-Dec-2018 19:09 TB Added
20-Oct-2019 19:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Oct-2019 09:44 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]
21-Dec-2019 22:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2019 22:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
21-Dec-2019 22:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
08-Jan-2020 21:26 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description