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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20524
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic CNBR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Canberra B Mk 2
Owner/operator:617 (Dambusters) Sqn RAF
Registration: WD964
MSN: 71046
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Tealby, 3.5 miles from Binbrook, Lincolnshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire (EGXB)
Destination airport:
English Electric Canberra B.Mk.2 WD964, 617 (Dambusters) Squadron, RAF: Written off 9/12/1952: Tail actuator failed, dived into ground & blew up, killing all 3 crew.

The pilot was carrying out a GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) Overshoot, and all appeared normal until after the aircraft had passed the GCA caravan, when the pilot called the control tower, advising them that he had lost all of the aircraft's instruments.

The Canberra continued along the line of the runway at RAF Binbrook, and crashed three and a half miles beyond the airfield. The cause of the accident was attributed to the tailplane actuator remained in the fully "nose down" position, after the flaps were raised during the over shoot. All three crew were killed

Crew of Canberra WD964
Squadron Leader Michael John O'Bryen-Nicholls (pilot, aged 31, and Commanding Officer of 617 Squadron from June 1952) - buried at St. Mary;s Church, Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Pilot Officer Roy Frederick Bridle (navigator)
Flying Officer David Izatt (Observer)

Wreckage Struck Off Charge 06/01/1953 at No.60 MU Rufforth, York as Cat.5(Scrap)


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.139 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 p 317
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/127:
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2607:
5. 617 Squadron ORB (Operational Record Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for December 1952; National Archives (PRO Kew) file AIR 27/2526/69 at
12. Headstone of the pilot:


Canberra B.Mk.2s at RAF Binbrook 1952:

Revision history:

03-Jun-2008 16:37 JINX Added
16-Feb-2012 01:43 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Phase, Source]
03-Apr-2013 21:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Oct-2018 18:07 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
24-Dec-2019 21:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
24-Dec-2019 21:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
27-Dec-2019 18:05 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
01-Apr-2021 18:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
01-Apr-2021 18:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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