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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 187516
Last updated: 11 September 2021
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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
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
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
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 8-1-1994 when crashed into trees in the Savernake Forest, near Marlborough, Wiltshire. Unusually, the aircraft was only slightly damaged in the accident, which took place at very low speed and 75 to 80 feet agl, but was wrecked during the recovery operation! 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 As a result, the registration G-BEPZ was can celled by the CAA on 24-4-1994 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

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


Cameron Balloons D-96 Airship at Bassingbourn, May 27, 1978:


Photo of G-BEPZ courtesy

Bassingbourn (closed)
27 May 1978; (c) Alex Christie

Revision history:

22-May-2016 14:17 Dr.John Smith Added

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