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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 234728
Last updated: 4 April 2020
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Type:Gloster Meteor NF.Mk 11
Owner/operator:85 Squadron Royal Air Force (85 Sqn RAF)
Registration: WM175
C/n / msn: S4/U/2348
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:4 miles NW of Whitstable, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF West Malling, Maidstone, Kent
Destination airport:RAF Manston, Ramsgate, Kent (MSE/EGMH)
Gloster Meteor NF.11 WM175: Delivered 10/9/52. RAF Service was with 85 Squadron, RAF only. Written off (destroyed) 21/1/54 when ran out of fuel and crashed 4 miles north west of Whitstable, Kent.

The pilot had overshot on a CGA approach to RAF West Malling, Maidstone, Kent, and was diverted, due to poor weather in the area, to make a "safe" landing at RAF Manston, Ramsgate, Kent. Although initially well positioned for a landing, the pilot did not respond to corrective instructions given to him by Ground Control, and missed his approach to RAF Manston.

The pilot then advised that he had insufficient fuel for another approach to RAF Manston, and advised that he would climb the aircraft to 10,000 feet, and then abandon the aircraft at that altitude. This action was carried out, but the two crew landed in the sea, and did not survive. The aircraft came down four miles north west of Whitstable, Kent.

The descision to divert the aircraft to RAF Manston, instead of RAF Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire (where the weather was better) was considered to be a contributory cause, but had been made so as not to overload the controllers at RAF Manston (who were also dealing with several other diverted aircraft at the time).

As stated above, both crew were killed. The crew of Meteor NF11 WM175 were:
Flying Officer Ronald Albert Moore (pilot) (Unconfirmed? but see note below)
Flying Officer David Brian Pattison (navigator)

NOTE: While Colin Cummings book "Category Five" states that pilot fatality was "Flying Officer Ronald Albert Moore, aged 28", most other published sources list him as an Acting Pilot Officer, who was killed in the crash of Varsity WF391 near Hullavington, Wiltshire, the day before (20/1/54). If that is the case, then pilot of WM167 on 21/1/54 is currently unknown


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.154 ISBN 0-85130-290-4
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 77)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.27
5. 85 Squadron ORB (Operational Record Book) (Air Ministry Form AM.F/540) for the period 1/1/51 to 31/12/55: File AIR 27/2704/28 at

Related books:

Revision history:

04-Apr-2020 00:21 Dr. John Smith Added
04-Apr-2020 00:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
04-Apr-2020 00:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
04-Apr-2020 09:57 Reno Raines Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative, Operator]

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