Gloster Meteor WA882

Oxen Craig, Bennachie, Aberdeenshire













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: Of 2 Tactical Weapons Unit (TWU), RAF Chivenor, seen arriving for RIAT 86. Last noted flying in Australia as VH-MBX in the markings of A77-851.


a gloster meteor f. mk 8 with gear down for landing


Photo: 1986 Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation


Released under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 only as published by the Free Software Foundation. [Wikimedia Commons]



BELOW: Gloster Meteor F8 / WH291 at Abingdon.


raf gloster meteor f.8


Photo: 1973 Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation


Released under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 only as published by the Free Software Foundation. [Wikimedia Commons]



BELOW: Gloster Meteor F. MK. 8. The wheeled trolley in front of the aircraft is a trolley acc, containing lead acid accumulators (batteries) used for starting the aircraft's engines.


gloster meteor in museum


Photo: 2006 Stahlkocher


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. [Wikimedia Commons]






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 / WA882



The Gloster Meteor was developed during WWII and was the first jet fighter in service with the RAF before the end of the war.


The Meteor entered operational service in 27 July 1944—just behind the German Messerschmitt Me262. The Messerschmitt Me262—also a jet-powered aircraft—had been under development for some time before the Meteor. It entered operational service on 26 July 1944—one day before the Meteor.

Initially, the Meteor was powered by two W2B turbo-jet engines designed by Frank Whittle. However, this type proved unsatisfactory, and the Whittle design was later passed to Rolls-Royce who produced a modified version with greater thrust. This was the W2B/23 Welland enginethe type later fitted to the production model Meteor Mk I. Some models, however, were equipped with Rolls-Royce Derwent engines.

The first RAF squadron to receive the Meteor fighter (in 1944) was 616 Squadron. This squadron engaged their new Meteors against the V-1 flying bombs. After some initial difficulties with their guns, this Meteor squadron managed to shoot down a fair proportion of V-1s.

The Gloster Meteor T.7 (F-IV airframe) was a two seat advanced fighter trainer (pilot and pupil). The T.7 variant was used by both the RAF and the RN (FAA).

Being a training aircraft, the Meteor T.7 had dual controls and was unarmed. It had an extended fuselage (0.76m / 2ft 6in longer) to accommodate the second cockpit.

The F.8 variant featured on this page had a longer fuselage, increased fuel capacity, a standard ejection seat and other improvements to the airframe and electronic systems. This variant saw active service between 1950 and 1954.





Aircraft Accident Details


Gloster Meteor WA882 of 222 Squadron took off from RAF Leuchars in Fife for a low level cross-country training exercise. However, while flying over the hills and mountains of Aberdeenshire in blizzard conditions, the Meteor crashed on the snow-covered Oxen Craig—Bennachie's highest peak.


The jet aircraft exploded on impact, scattering wreckage over a wide area.





Similar Gloster Meteor Crash Containing Errors of Detail



(Note: The following text extracted from Brenchley War  Memorial appears to contain some errors regarding the aircraft serial number and the location of the crash. See footnotes below for more details.)


Extract from Brenchley War Memorial Records.


"At the time of Owen’s death [see footnote 1] whilst flying a Gloucester Meteor F.8 jet aircraft (No. WA882 1 ) during a low level exercise, his squadron was based at R.A.F. Leuchars, Fife, Scotland.


"On Friday 25 July 1952 there was a very thick sea mist, (known locally as a Harr), which had spread inland to cover the town of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to the south of Aberdeen.


"The whine of the Owen’s flying Meteor jet was heard flying unseen above the streets of Stonehaven, and only a few seconds later it crashed into Bennachie 2 which is the highest hill in eastern Aberdeenshire."






1) WA882: F/O Owen Hoadley was flying Gloster Meteor WA821—not WA882. WA821 crashed near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire on 25 July 1952. However, another Gloster Meteor aircraft being flown by a P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (WA882—the aircraft on this page), crashed in February 1952.


2) Bennachie: The memorial at Oxen Craig, Bennachie, Aberdeenshire states that the pilot who died there when his Meteor crashed was P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (22). The memorial record also states that this pilot was flying WA882 at the time of the crash at Oxen Craig.






Aircraft Pilot Casualty


The pilot who died in the accident involving Gloster Meteor WA882 was:

  • P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (22).







Crash Site Photos


NOTE: Due to the damage caused by the impact of the crash, it is now virtually impossible to identify the individual pieces of shattered wreckage.



BELOW: A piece of aluminium skinning from the Meteor's airframe


A piece of aluminium skinning from the Meteor's airframe.


Photo: © 2015 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Riveted aluminium skinning with heavily corroded steel section.


Riveted aluminium skinning with heavily corroded steel section.


Photo: © 2015 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another view of the aluminium skin and the rusted steel part.


Another view of the aluminium skin and the rusted steel part.


Photo: © 2015 Neil Daniel









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Crash Date / Site



Aircaft page added: 14 Aug 2015


Page last updated: 14 Aug 2015



Accident Date: 12 Feb 1952


Accident Site:

Oxen Craig, Bennachie [streetmap]


Region: Aberdeenshire


Nearest town or village:

Inverurie (E).


Nearest large town or city:  Aberdeen (SE).


OS Grid Ref: NJ 663 220


GPS Refs: N/A


Present Crash Site Status: Only small pieces of wreckage now remain, but these may be partially hidden by long grass, etc.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: WA882.


Operator: RAF (222 (Natal) Squadron)


Operating Station: RAF Leuchars


Station Location: Leuchars, Fife.


Current Station Status:

RAF operations ceased on 31 March 2015. Base now under Army control.


Current Station Name :

Leuchars Army Garrison (Royal Scots Dragoon Guards; 2 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and the 110 Provost Company Royal Military Police.)




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