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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230674
Last updated: 23 January 2021
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Time:15:20 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire FR.Mk XIV
Owner/operator:611 (West Lancashire) Squadron Royal Air Force (611 (West Lancashire) Sqn RAF)
Registration: NM814
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Coldbergh Edge, Nine Standards Rigg, Keld, 6 miles SE of Kirby Stephen -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Woodvale, Lancashire
Destination airport:Morpeth, Northumberland
NM814: Spitfire FR,XIV (built by Vickers-Armstrongs at Aldermaston). Delivered to the RAF 29 MU 31-3-45. Issued to 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron 20-6-47. Written off (destroyed) when Abandoned in cloud on a cross country NAVEX (Navigation Exercise) at Coldbergh Edge, Nine Standards Rigg, Keld, 6 miles South East of Kirby Stephen, on the Westmorland/North Yorkshire border on 3-7-48

On 3rd July 1948 three aircraft took off from Woodvale at around 14.45 hours for a cross country training flight to Morpeth in Northumberland and prior to taking off the Met report was checked and the flight was given the go ahead. Thirty five minutes into the flight and while flying at 6,000 feet this aircraft flew into cumulo-nimbus clouds. The other two aircraft had by now already turned back, this aircraft suffered severe turbulence, the lost height to about 3,000 feet.

Whilst flying on instruments the pilot then lost control and probably aware he was over high ground he bailed out leaving the aircraft to crash at the head of Swaledale. The aircraft crashed at Coldbergh Edge at a steep angle and bury much of itself into the ground. The parachute ripped on the pilot's exit of the aircraft but he landed reasonably well and only sprained an ankle on landing above Kirkby Stephen. He began to follow a river down stream but was met by two farmers who had seen the crash and were making their way up towards the site and was later taken to hospital.

Pilot - Flying Officer Peter Geldart RAF(AAF) (Service Number 128070). Slightly injured (sprained ankle)

Due to a breakdown in communications in the fact that Flying Officer Geldart had been found had not been passed on, therefore a search of the aircraft’s route was carried out in foul weather by a Lancaster and Spitfires from Woodvale, there was even a radio broadcast just before the 21:00 hour news on the BBC Home Service asking for information on a missing pilot and aircraft. Just before this broadcast Flying Officer Geldart managed to contact Woodvale and report to his unit he was safe, he was then taken to the station sick quarters at RAF Catterick to have his injured ankle treated

The wreckage was rediscovered in August 1976, and the crash site was extensively recovered in 1988 which saw the recovery of over 2 tons of wreckage, complete with the aircraft’s engine. Though this would not have been complete judging by the number of small fragments of engine casing still found at the site.


1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.7. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide: Historic Crash Sites on the Moors and Mountains of the British Isles (page 170) By Nick Wotherspoon, Alan Clark & Mark Sheldon

Related books:

Revision history:

13-Nov-2019 22:06 Dr. John Smith Added
17-Nov-2019 17:13 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]

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