Accident de Havilland DH.100 Vampire F Mk 1 VF273,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 153677
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Date:Friday 12 January 1951
Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire F Mk 1
Owner/operator:203 AFS RAF
Registration: VF273
MSN: EEP/42...
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Black Combe, Swinside Farm, Thwaites Fell, Millom, Cumberland -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, East Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire F.Mk 1 VF273: Delivered 13/9/1946. Known operational Service was with 595 Squadron, 631 Squadron and 203 AFS RAF.

On 12th January 1951 the pilot of this aircraft took off for a high altitude training flight with instruction to fly at 30,000 feet within a radius of 50 to 75 miles of his base of Driffield, East Yorkshire. The aircraft took off from RAF Driffield at around 12.45hrs. Around thirty minutes later it was heard flying in the Ulpha area of Cumbria in cloud, it was then seen by a farmer to come out of the mist in a steep dive and to crash in a field on Black Combe, near Swinside Farm, three-and-a-half miles West of Duddon Bridge, on Thwaites Fell, Millom, Cumberland, and exploded on impact. The pilot was sadly killed in the crash. Why the aircraft crashed or why it it was being flown beyond the 75 mile radius of Driffield was not properly determined at the pilot's inquest.

Crew of Vampire VF273:
Sergeant (4034487) Brian James CUNDALL (pilot) RAF - Killed on active service 12/1/1951.

The reported crash location of Black Combe is a fell in the south-west corner of the Lake District National Park, just four miles from the Irish Sea. It lies near the west coast of Cumbria in the borough of Copeland and more specifically, in the ancient district of Millom. It is 1970 feet (600 metre) high and stands in isolation, some 10 miles away from any higher ground. Black Combe is a Marilyn and, at 600 metres, it is only 10 metres short of being a Hewitt. Sub-tops include White Combe, Stoupdale Head, Swinside Fell and Stoneside Hill, at approximate coordinates: 54°15′25″N 3°19′45″W


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.109 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take Off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p.106
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain 2983 p. 62)
4. 203 AFS ORB (Operations Record Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for the period 1/1/1951 to 31/5/1954: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 29/2145/1 at

Revision history:

02-Mar-2013 13:34 Dr. John Smith Added
28-May-2015 15:36 Oezil Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
10-Jan-2020 20:30 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Nature, Departure airport, Operator]
09-Sep-2020 19:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Sep-2020 21:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
10-Sep-2020 08:10 Oezil Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]
08-Jan-2021 02:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
12-Jan-2021 14:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source]
12-Jan-2021 17:12 Werich Updated [Operator, Operator]

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