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Last updated: 26 November 2021
Date:Friday 20 September 1957
Type:Vickers Varsity T.1
Operator:Royal Air Force - RAF
Registration: WL640
First flight: 1953
Engines: 2 Bristol Hercules 264
Crew:Fatalities: / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Falstone, Northumberland (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:?
Destination airport:?
At 14,000 feet the pilot lost control of the aircraft resulting in a dive, the aircraft then began to break up at around 1,500 feet.
The Varsity was attached to the 2 ANS at RAF Thorney Island and operated on a navigation training exercise.

Probable Cause:

A Board of Inquiry into the accident was held but was unable to determine the cause of the accident. Only those on board knew what had really occurred but our records indicate that the Board, whilst unable to say for certain what had happened, concluded that the mostly likely reason that the aircraft broke up was that it had been overstressed but there was no evidence to say why this had occurred and the Board could only conjecture.

Loss of control

» Andrea Garlick (E-mail, 16-2-2011)
» Broken Wings : Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents / James J. Halley
» The Vickers Varsity / Roger Lindsay and Geoff Cruickshank, 1987


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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