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Accident description
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:
Date:Tuesday 26 April 1955
Time:ca 00:15
Type:Vickers Varsity T.1
Operator:Royal Air Force - RAF
Registration: WF426
C/n / msn: 569
First flight: 1952
Engines: 2 Bristol Hercules 264
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 4
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Onnaing (   France)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Illegal Flight
Departure airport:Thorney Island RAF Station, United Kingdom
Destination airport:-
Narrative:
On April 25, 1955 about 19:00 local time, the Varsity plane was taken on an unauthorised flight by a mechanic from Thorney Island RAF Station. The airplane flew towards the London area, circling the city. All the time the airplane was being chased by another Vickers Varsity from Thorney Island. After three hours the chase plane lost sight of the stolen plane. The mechanic continued flying low over southern England and then across The Channel to France. Shortly after midnight the airplane crashed into a farmhouse at Onnaing, near Valenciennes in northern France. Four occupants of the house were killed, along with the pilot.

Sources:
» Broken Wings : Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents / James J. Halley


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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