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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 232757
Last updated: 19 July 2020
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Date:26-MAY-1950
Time:day
Type:Gloster Meteor F.Mk 4
Owner/operator:1 Sqn Royal Air Force (1 Sqn RAF)
Registration: VT173
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Maudlin, Westhampnett, near Chichester, West Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex
Destination airport:RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex
Narrative:
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.4 VT173,("JX-B") 1 Squadron RAF: Written off 26 May 1950 at Crashed at Maudlin, Westhampnett, near Chichester, West Sussex, after engine failure on approach to RAF Tangmere. The pilot allowed the speed to decay and the Meteor spun in. The pilot - Pilot Officer R.W.N. Dixon - was killed.

According to a contemporary newspaper report of the Coroner's Inquest ("Portsmouth Evening News" - Thursday 1 June 1950)

"METEOR PILOTS LAST MESSAGE
Radioed “Engine Failing”, Crashed
PILOT OFFICER RICHARD WILLIAM MICHAEL DIXON (21), 62, St. Martyn’s Stamford, Kent, killed when his jet Meteor crashed near Westhampnett, had sent out a message saving that one of his engines was failing. This was revealed at the inquest at Chichester to-day.

"Another pilot heard it in the air and passed it on to me," said Flight Lieutenant Louis Charles Bazalgette."Another message was also received that he was returning to Tangmere to make a single-engine landing. I think the only possible reason for the crash is that on the final turn in for the approach he allowed his air speed to get too low and consequently flicked into a spin. He should have been doing in the neighbourhood of 160 knots but he was doing rather below when he crashed."

RESCUE BID.
The Station Officer, Flight Lieutenant James Llewellyn-Jones said that death was instantaneous from multiple injuries and burns. An eye-witness, George Kenneth Langford, of Arundel-road, Westhampnett, said he saw the plane 20 feet high going in a southerly direction trying to land. It touched the ground lightly and then appeared to jump to the right about 10 or 15 feet and burst into flames.

"I tried to get in the aircraft," added Mr. Langford, "but it was impossible because of the heat."

The jury, who sat with the Chichester Coroner (Mr. G.L. Bridgeman) returned a verdict of "Death by Misadventure".

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.103 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 59
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985)
4. Western Morning News - Saturday 27 May 1950
5. Portsmouth Evening News - Thursday 1 June 1950
6. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=VT
7. https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Gloster-Meteor-F4-VT173-Crew-Large-Original-Flight-Photo-AZ549-/372656365336
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westhampnett
9. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2272.0


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Feb-2020 19:47 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Feb-2020 20:15 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Operator]
15-Feb-2020 22:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
19-Jul-2020 23:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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