ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 259513
Last updated: 28 November 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic CNBR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Canberra B Mk 1
Owner/operator:AIEU Royal Air Force (AIEU RAF)
Registration: VN799
MSN: 71001
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1.5 miles SE of Sutton Heath, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk
Destination airport:
English Electric Canberra B.Mk.1 Prototype VN799: first flown 13/5/1949. Delivered 27/10/1949. Written off 18/8/1953 when with the AIEU (Aircraft Instrument Examinations Unit), RAF when crashed during initlal climb away from RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk.

While in a climbing turn to port, having overshot the autopilot controlled approach to RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk, with the undercarriage and flaps raised, both engines failed at an altitude of 300 feet. The pilot levelled off, advanced both throttles, and turned on the fuel supply from the No.3 tank, but not quickly enough to relight either or both engines.

The aircraft lost altitude rapidly, and the pilot was unable to reach open ground for an emergency landing before the aircraft collided with some trees, and two small fires broke out in the wreckage. The aircraft came down one-and-a-half miles South East of Sutton Heath, near RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The two crew - Flight Lieutenant Harry Maule (pilot) and Mr. Mike Burgan (Civilian Flight Test Observer) - were injured.

Note that the Canberra which flew until September 2013 as "VN799" is, of course, not the original (which was written off as per the above) but Canberra T.Mk.4 WJ874, which was repainted in 1999 as VN799 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight of VN799. It had retained those markings ever since.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.149 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 403
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 77)


Canberra T.Mk.4 "VN799" (really WJ874) at the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Newquay 28 May 2018 English Electric Canberra T4 - WJ874 - VN799 - Flickr - lynothehammer1978 Canberra T4 Bomber (20847040813)

Revision history:

10-May-2021 15:12 Dr. John Smith Added
10-May-2021 15:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
10-May-2021 15:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-May-2021 17:41 Harry Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description