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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21014
Last updated: 1 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.2
Owner/operator:RAF Flying College
Registration: WH639
MSN: 71111
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2.5 miles SW of Doncaster, South Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Manby, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:
EE Canberra B.2 WH639: Notified as awaiting collection 25/9/52, and delivered 3/10/52. Sole operation RAF service was with the RAF Flying College at Manby, Lincolnshire.

Written off 24/6/1954 when broke up in flight 2.5 miles South-West of Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The aircraft was seen to break up whilst flying at high speed at about 10,000 feet. The cause of the structural failure could not be determined although various theories were put forward by the Board of Inquiry.

Both crew were killed:
Group Captain Richard Thomas Fairfax Gates DFC AFC, RAF (Pilot, aged 40)
Flight Lieutenant Peter Oliver RAF (Navigator, aged 32)

Canberra WH639 was formally struck off charge as Cat.5(scrap) on 12/7/54


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.160 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 51)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.67
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/218:

Revision history:

12-Jun-2008 19:18 JINX Added
04-Apr-2013 19:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Sep-2016 18:29 peter ross Updated [Date]
15-Mar-2018 15:18 Anon. Updated [Date]
10-Jan-2020 23:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
10-Jan-2020 23:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Apr-2020 21:53 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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