Incident Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XVI SL617,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 312024
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Date:Thursday 8 January 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XVI
Owner/operator:203 AFS RAF
Registration: SL617
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon
Destination airport:RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon
SL617: Spitfire LF. XVI, MSN CBAF.IX.4698. Built at CBAF (Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory) with Merlin M266 engine. Awaiting Collection at VAHP (Vickers Armstong High Post) 31-8-45. To 29MU, RAF High Ercall, Shropshire 11-10-45. To 61OTU RAF Keevil, Trowbridge, Wiltshire 5-2-46. Became 203AFS at RAF Keevil 1-7-47.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 8-1-48 in a wheels-up landing at RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon. One of two very similar incidents on the same day (8-1-48) at the same airfield (RAF Chivenor) with the same unit (203 AFS, RAF) and the same aircraft type (Spitfire LF. XVI)

The tyre on the starboard undercarriage burst on the take-off run from RAF Chivenor. Despite this, the pilot opted to take-off and continue the sortie (air to ground gunnery firing sortie) in order to discharge the 'live' ammunition on board. Having completed the sortie, the pilot returned to base, and due to the damage of the undercarriage on the take-off run, opted to make a wheels-up landing at RAF Chivenor. The pilot was apparently uninjured.

Damage initially assessed 8-1-48 as Cat. C (Repairable), but instead airframe deemed "n.e.a" (non-effective airframe) 9-2-48. Struck off charge as Cat. E and sold for scrap to International Alloys 28-3-49


1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946 to 1949 by Colin Cummings p.360
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)
4. 203 AFS ORB for the period 1-6-47 to 31-12-50: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 29/1771:
5. "RAF Write offs 1948": Air Britain Aeromilitaria No.1 1979:


Revision history:

03-May-2023 17:06 Dr. John Smith Added
03-May-2023 17:13 Nepa Updated
25-Aug-2023 14:32 Dr. John Smith Updated
27-Aug-2023 21:02 Dr. John Smith Updated

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