Accident Cameron D-96 Airship G-BEPZ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 187516
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Date:Saturday 8 January 1994
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cameron D-96 Airship
Registration: G-BEPZ
MSN: 300
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Savernake Forest, near Marlborough, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Savernake Forest near Marlborough, Wiltshire
Destination airport:Savernake Forest near Marlborough, Wiltshire
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Cameron D-96 Airship G-BEPL: First flown: 15 July 1977, Blaise Castle, Avon. On the 8th January 1994, at the Icicle Meet, Warren Farm, Savernake, Wiltshire, this airship made the local news when the engine failed and the airship became entangled in the trees. The local fire brigade were called to get the pilot and crew down. Later the BBC did an action replay for a programme called 999. Focussing on the rescue. The envelope was destroyed but the BBM&L (British Balloon Museum & Library) have the gondola (the airship car). According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"After lift off of the airship, the pilot initiated a shallow climb,following by a right-hand turn, with the intention of staying at low level within the boundaries of the launch site field. During the climb out, left rudder was applied, to maintain the desired track, but the airship did not respond, and continued in a right hand turn towards the downwind boundary of the field.

The pilot became aware that the airship was on a collision course with the some large trees, and, as the rudder appeared to be ineffective, and there was insufficient space available in which to land safely, he decided to initiate a climb in order to avoid the trees.

Despite the use of double burner, the airship was unable to rise quickly enough to avoid the trees, and collided with tree branches coming to rest at 75 to 80 feet agl".

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "No significant damage due to the accident, but airship was destroyed during the recovery operation". As a result, the registration G-BEPZ was cancelled by the CAA on 24 April 1994 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"

Savernake Forest stands on a Cretaceous chalk plateau between Marlborough and Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire, England. Its area is approximately 4,500 acres. Most of the forest lies within the civil parish of Savernake

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
3. G-BEPZ at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire 27 May 1998 in "Zanussi" livery:

Revision history:

22-May-2016 14:17 Dr.John Smith Added
04-Sep-2022 21:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative, Category]
04-Sep-2022 21:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]

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