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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 234785
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Time:10:40 LT
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: VX473
MSN: EEP/42...
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1/2 mile SSW of Dunkeswell Airfield, Honiton, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:RAF Merryfield, Somerset
Destination airport:
De Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.Mk.5 VX473: Delivered 23/12/48. RAF service was with 249 Squadron, 203 AFS, and 208 AFS.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 16/2/54: Stalled on approach and crashed 1/2 mile south south west of Dunkeswell Airfield, Honiton, Devon. The pilot took off from RAF Merryfield, Somerset at 10:20am, and approached Dunkeswell Airfield, Honiton, Devon ten minutes later to carry out a practice approach and landing.

At that time, a red-and-white chequered hut was parked at the end of the runway, which was manned by an RAF Corporal, whose job it was to warn pilots if they were flying too low on their approach to the airfield.

On this occasion, the pilot was observed to be flying too low, and the duty corporal fired a red flare as a warning to the pilot. The warning flare was either not seen - or ignored - and Vampire VX473 crashed half a mile south south west of the runway at Dunkeswell, Devon.

The pilot was thrown clear of the aircraft by the crash impact, and ground crew from Dunkeswell airfield found him in the sitting position, trying to beat out the flames on his burning clothes. The pilot's misfortunes took a further turn for the worse, when the RAF ambulance taking him to hospital broke down, causing a delay in treatment while the RAF waited for a civilian ambulance to arrive from Honiton (the nearest town with an ambulance station) to continue his journey to hospital. The delay may have been a factor in the death of the pilot, who died two days later (February 18) in Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton of severe burns

Crew of Vampire VX473:
Pilot Officer Robert William Miall (pilot, Service number 2560467, aged 19) - died 18/2/54 of injuries sustained (burns)


1. Chard & Ilminster News - 20 February 1954
2. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.155 ISBN 0-85130-290-4
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p.99)
4. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.34-35
5. Wings Over Somerset: Aircraft Crashes since the End of World War II By Peter Forrester

Revision history:

05-Apr-2020 21:02 Dr. John Smith Added
05-Apr-2020 21:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
06-Apr-2020 08:58 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description