Accident Gloster Meteor F Mk 8 WK681, Friday 4 January 1957
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Date:Friday 4 January 1957
Type:Silhouette image of generic METR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Gloster Meteor F Mk 8
Owner/operator:65 (East India) Sqn RAF
Registration: WK681
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Letheringham, 5 miles south of Framlingham, Suffolk, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire
Destination airport:RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 WK681: Notified as awaiting collection 21/5/1952, delivered 28/5/1952. Sole RAF operational career was with 65 Squadron coded "H". WK681 was part of the 65 Squadron aerobatic display team in 1953, and for this purpose, was painted with an all-red rudder and fin bullet.The team comprised four Meteor F.8s and was led by Flight Lieutenant J A Fryer, examples of which included WA981/G, WH459/Q, WK681/H and WK827/T.

Written off (destroyed) 4/1/1957: During a low level navigational exercise (at altitudes down to 500 feet) Meteor WK681, as the leader of a pair, struck a tree at about 70 feet agl (above ground level). The pilot regained partial control of the aircraft, and climbed to about 400 feet agl.

The pilot made a radio call to base, indicating that he intended to bale out, but the Meteor then entered a descending turn to starboard, and struck the ground before the pilot could abandon the aircraft. The Meteor crashed near Letheringham, 5 miles South of Framlingham, Suffolk. The pilot was killed
F/O (2612508) Michael Knight MANTELL (pilot) RAF - killed

The reported crash site of Letheringham is a sparsely populated civil parish in the East Suffolk district (formerly Deben Rural District and then Suffolk Coastal) in Suffolk, England, on the Deben River, four miles south of Framlingham, at approximate co ordinates 2.172247°N 1.324282°E.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.184 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 69)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.228
4. The History of RAF Aerobatic Teams From 1920: Smoke On...Go! By David Watkins

Revision history:

18-Jun-2008 19:56 JINX Added
27-May-2013 06:24 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
21-May-2014 15:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
28-Jun-2014 01:45 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Nature]
10-May-2015 16:47 Angel Dick one Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location]
03-Jun-2015 16:48 Ing Edcker Updated [Operator]
16-Jul-2020 21:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Apr-2024 22:11 Nepa Updated [Location, Narrative, Operator]

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