Accident de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB Mk 5 VZ860, Wednesday 9 January 1957
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Date:Wednesday 9 January 1957
Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB Mk 5
Owner/operator:4 FTS RAF
Registration: VZ860
MSN: EEP/42...
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:High Street, Harby, Nottinghamshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.Mk 5 VZ860: Delivered 15/6/1951. RAF operational service career was with 185 Squadron, 208 AFS (Advanced Flying School), 10 FTS (Flying Training School), 9 FTS, and 4 FTS

Crashed and destroyed 9/1/1957: The aircraft was engaged in formation flying and a tail chase over Nottinghamshire. The aircraft climbed to 30,000 feet, and subsequently descended to 18,000 feet, and carried out a number of formation changes. After a dive, the leading aircraft in the formation pulled up, but Vampire VZ860 did not follow suit, and was seen disappearing into cloud at 11,000 feet, still descending

The pilot made no attempt to correct the descent, and Vampire VZ860 dived into the centre of Harby village, Nottinghamshire, after presumed hypoxia of the pilot (caused by lack of oxygen at high altitude)...which would explain the lack of any corrective action to pull out of its terminal dive.

The pilot* and a woman civilian** on the ground were killed, and three other women were injured. One house was demolished and three others were seriously damaged

*Pilot - Pilot Officer Stanley Monro, RAF (Service Number 2739859, aged 23)
**Civilian casualty - Mrs. Lois Towning (aged 64)

Mrs. Towning was an elderly lady who was ironing when the aircraft crashed straight into her cottage. The surrounding cottages were also badly damaged injuring three other women who had to be dug out of their homes after roofs and walls collapsed (Miss M. Oliphant, Miss P.M.Richardson, and Miss D. Goldcare). The crash site is now the site of Harby Village Hall. Pilot Officer Monro is now buried at Retford Road Cemetery, Worksop, Nottinghamshire

The crash location of Harby is the easternmost village in the English county of Nottinghamshire and is close to the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire border. The nearest large town is Lincoln, over the border in Lincolnshire, about 10 miles to the east. Which explains why the Air Ministry official record file on the incident (File BT233/380 - see link #4) lists the crash location as "Harby Village (near Lincoln) Notts" [sic]


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.187 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 107)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.228-229
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/380:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/36/S2861:

Revision history:

05-Mar-2013 11:53 Dr. John Smith Added
21-May-2014 15:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Jan-2020 20:48 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Nature, Operator]
23-Jan-2020 18:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative]
23-Jan-2020 18:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
23-Jan-2020 22:42 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]
17-Jul-2020 19:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
17-Jul-2020 20:07 Yarbi Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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