RL197 - Great Whernside
13th December 1948
|Mosquito NF36||228 OCU||Leeming||Cross-country Navex||2||-|
On the evening of 13th December 1948 Mosquito RL197 took off from No. 228 Operational Conversion Unit's base at RAF Leeming for a night cross-country navigation exercise. It is believed that on the return leg of their route, the crew had drifted off course slightly and encountered deteriorating weather conditions over the North of England. Flying in dense cloud the crew apparently allowed their aircraft to descend to approx. 2000 feet and with the 2,300-foot mass of Great Whernside now directly in their path the result was inevitable. At approx. 2200 hours the aircraft struck the West face of Great Whernside at cruising speed, bursting in to flames on impact and scattering parts over a wide area. It was not until late the following day that a local shepherd made the grim discovery ending a nation-wide search for the missing aircraft.
|P/O A.G. Bulley||Pilot||K.|
|Flt. Lt. B.O. Bridgeman||Navigator||K.|
Little remains on the crash site of RL197 today and what is left is well scattered, some parts are even mixed with those of Halifax DT578, providing evidence as to the violent nature of the impact. Although engine & supercharger parts are reported to be present, these were not located on our visit.
|Main reduction gear from one of RL197's engines|
Brian Lunn (Aircraft Down 2), David W. Earl (Hell on High Ground 2), RAF Form 1180.
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