ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230860
Last updated: 27 November 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:05-MAY-1946
Time:11:20 LT
Type:Gloster Meteor F.Mk 4
Owner/operator:CFE Royal Air Force (CFE RAF)
Registration: EE578
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Braceby, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF West Raynham, Norfolk
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.4 EE578, CFE (Central Fighter Establishment), RAF: Written off (damaged beyond repair) 5 May 1946. Structural failure in flight; fuselage broke off just behind the cockpit during practice interception of a quartet of Spitfires at low level over Braceby, near Grantham, Lincolnshire. Pilot - Wing Commander Harold Bird-Wilson DSO, DFC, AFC - abandoned the aircraft and bailed out, parachuting to safety. He was not able to eject, as the aircraft was not fitted with an ejection seat, although this incident hastened their introduction

At the time, Wing Commander Bird-Wilson was the Officer Commanding, Air Fighting Development Squadron, Central Fighter Establishment, RAF West Raynham

In the period between 1 January 1946 and 31 December 1953, no less than 27 Meteors were lost as a result of in-flight structural failure. This figure does not include Meteors that broke up as a result of mid-air collisions. A report on this was written in 1957, but the file in the National Archives in Kew is sealed for 75 years, and is thus unavailable until 1 January 2032.

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.62. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft EA100-EZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1988 p 21)
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/29/W2378: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6578224
4. Meteor from the Cockpit: Britain’s First Jet Fighter By Peter Caygill
5. http://www.bcar.org.uk/1945-49-incident-logs#1947
6. http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Bird-Wilson.htm
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Bird-Wilson#After_the_war
8. https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/13110/Bird-Wilson-Harold-Arthur-Cooper.htm?c=aw
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braceby

IWM Archive Photo of Harold Bird-Wilson DSO,DFC, AFC in 1945 WING COMMANDER BIRD-WILSON DSO.,DFC & BAR. WING COMMANDER BIRD-WILSON DSO.,DFC & BAR. © CH 14693

Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Nov-2019 23:17 Dr. John Smith Added
27-Nov-2019 11:58 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Embed code, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description