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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 231995
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB Mk 5
Owner/operator:208 Advanced Flying School Royal Air Force (208 AFS RAF)
Registration: VV564
MSN: EEP/42...
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Church Farm, Otterford, 7 miles S of Taunton, Somerset, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Merryfield, Ilton, Ilchester, Somerset
Destination airport:RAF Merryfield, Somerset
De Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.Mk.5 VV564, 208 AFS, RAF: Delivered 21/1/1949. Written off (destroyed) 8/9/53 when the pilot bailed out after the engine caught fire in flight. The aircraft crashed near Church Farm, Otterford, 7 miles south of Taunton, Somerset, not far from the B3170 road. The cause of the incident was that the impeller blades in the aircraft engine began to break apart, and caused the engine to explode while flying at an altitiude of 7,500 feet on a sortie from RAF Merryfield.

The aircraft rapildly descended, on fire, with black smoke billowing out from behind it, ending up in a field at Church Farm, south of Otterford, Somerset. A large crater was created where the aircraft impacted into the ground. The pilot (as stated above) bailed out successfully, and decended by parachute, landing a quarter of a mile from where his aircraft came down

Crew of Vampire VV564:
Pilot Officer G.W.Rippon, RAF (pilot, aged 19) - bailed out, survived. He originally came from South Harrow, Middlesex

Wreckage recovered to (and by) 49 MU RAF Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire and Struck Off Charge 29/9/1953. The reported crash location was south of Otterford, a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. It is situated on the Blackdown Hills, 7 miles south of Taunton in the Somerset West and Taunton district.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.150 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 410
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 91)
4. Wings Over Somerset: Aircraft Crashes since the End of World War II By Peter Forrester
5. Chard and Ilminster News 12 September 1953
6. 208 AFS ORB (Operations Record Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for the period 1/11/1951 to 31/5/1954: National Archives (PRO Kew) flie AIR 29/2147 at
7. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/173:
8. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2564:

Revision history:

07-Jan-2020 17:51 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Jan-2020 19:17 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Nature, Operator]
14-May-2021 16:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-May-2021 16:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
14-May-2021 16:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
14-May-2021 16:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
14-May-2021 21:31 Digger Updated [Operator, Location, Destination airport, Operator]
14-May-2021 21:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
14-May-2021 21:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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