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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20531
Last updated: 29 November 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:12 Squadron Royal Air Force (12 Sqn RAF)
Registration: WD994
MSN: 71067
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1/2 mile West of Sixhills Church, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire (EGXB)
Destination airport:RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire (EGXB)
EE Canberra B.Mk.2 WD994, 12 Squadron, RAF: Written off 10/11/1952: Flew into hill 1/2 mile West of Sixhills Church, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, after abandoning ground-controlled approach to Binbrook: aircraft exploded on impact, killing all three crew.

The aircraft was on the base leg of a GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) circuit and was instructed to turn onto final approach. The pilot made no acknowledgement of this instruction, and the aircraft continued on course. It was hen seen to dive towards the ground seven miles down range from RAF Binbrook, but then to recover and fly straight and level beneath the low cloud.

However, it then struck a hilltop half a mile west of Sixhills Church, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, exploding and disintegrating on impact. The reason why the pilot abandoned the GCA in its final stages was not established, but was possibly due to the loss of electrical power to the instruments, and his attempt to fly visually below the cloud.

Crew of Canberra WD994:
Flying Officer John Shingler, RAF (pilot)
Flying Officer Bernard Hawkes (Navigator)
Flying Officer James Pemberton (Bomb Aimer)

November 1952 when a jet bomber crashed at Sixhills. Snippet from the local newspaper ("The Market Rasen Mail") at that time:

"THREE airmen were killed when a Canberra jet bomber on a training flight crashed in low cloud in a grass field beside Sixhills at midday on Monday. The aircraft first struck a hill on the Legsby side of the village before crashing into a tall ash tree near the hill. Rapidly losing height from this point, it tore through roadside telegraph wires and flattened the hedge before striking the hillside 200 yards beyond, where the aircraft exploded with a loud report.

Parts of the plane were hurled high into the air and villagers who rushed to the scene from houses nearby realised what a narrow escape they had had. Mr B Baker, of Grove Farm, who was first on the scene, told our reporter: "There was a terrific flash and I saw the plane in flames. "It all happened so quickly I never saw the plane in the air. I went straight up to the plane and saw the men in it were dead."

Mr Baker ran back to telephone for assistance but his phone, like others in the village, had been put out of action when the aircraft ploughed through the telephone wires. Two men who were very near to the plane as it crossed the road running up Sixhills hill were Joseph Hubbert and his son Victor, who were on their way home in farm carts from the potato fields.

They were halfway up the hill when the Canberra roared by just below them, ripping off the telephone wires which fell towards them in a tangle. "We couldn't do anything," Mr Hubbert told our reporter. "The horses just turned round and bolted down the hill as fast as they could go. "I managed to hold on but I was thinking about my son behind me and wondering if he was alright. It dazed me completely. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to us."

Market Rasen Fire Brigade, under Station Officer V Robins, was on the scene only ten minutes after being called. Stretcher parties arrived with an ambulance from Binbrook and men were engaged for a long time afterwards in salvaging widely scattered parts of the wrecked aircraft."

Wreckage Struck Off Charge 01/12/1952 at No.60 MU RAF Rufforth, North Yorkshire


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p 137 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 308
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 31)
4. Aeroplane Monthly December 2018 p 81:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/123:
6. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2603:

Revision history:

03-Jun-2008 22:43 JINX Added
29-Jan-2012 13:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Phase, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
02-Feb-2012 09:05 Nepa Updated [Operator]
03-Apr-2013 22:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
18-Oct-2018 19:01 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
30-Dec-2019 21:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
31-Dec-2019 10:06 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
12-May-2021 13:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time]

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