1979 losses

25/01/1979 XN236   Cadet TX3 662 VGS Written off in a heavy landing after a low level launch failure at Dyce, Aberdeen
03/02/1979 XT441 337 Wasp HAS1 829 NAS  HMS Sheffield Flt Ten minutes after take off from the ship off Gibraltar at night a bright glow emanated from the engine area with a strong smell of burning. A controlled ditching in the Mediterranean severed the tail boom. The two crew were rescued. To the AIU at Lee-on-Solent then to Wroughton as A2703. Ended its days at Predannack Fire School
08/02/1979 XR604   Scout AH1 7 Regt Prior to take off from Hereford, Herefordshire the pilot inadvertently operated the fuel shut off cock instead of the cabin heater. The engine failed at 800ft and the aircraft overturned during the subsequent forced landing in a school playing field. The pilot was slightly injured
28/02/1979 XV578 F Phantom FG1 111 Sqn Crashed into the North Sea off Montrose, Tayside after the crew ejected following engine failure
02/03/1979 XS150 CU-524 Wessex HAS1 771 NAS Written off after falling off a jack while under maintenance, possibly at Culdrose. Allocated to Lee-on-Solent for ground instruction
03/03/1979 XT465 VU Wessex HU5 846 NAS Flew into power cables across a fjord near Andoya, Norway. The tail section detached and it crashed inverted killing two of the crew. The third member died later of his injuries
14/03/1979 XJ637 O Hunter FGA9 1 TWU Crashed near Aberystwyth, Dyfed after the pilot ejected due to engine failure
26/03/1979 XX147 BY Jaguar T2 17 Sqn Crashed at Sudlahn, West Germany after suffering a bird strike while at 250ft which entered the cockpit. The crew had initially attempted to recover the aircraft but ejected when speed began to decay. This had been due to the airbrakes being extended
28/03/1979 XN585 12 Jet Provost T3A 1 FTS The crew ejected shortly after take off from Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire after a spurious fire warning
19/04/1979 XR500 A Wessex HC2 28 Sqn Crashed into Hong Kong harbour during winching practice in fog. Allocated to Sek Kong fire dump
22/05/1979 XP539   Gnat T1 Red Arrows Crashed at Leeming, Yorkshire after the engine cut due to a fuel blockage. The crew ejected safely
25/05/1979 XX459   Gazelle AH1 669 Sqn Despite taking avoiding action the aircraft struck a power cable near Bispingen, West Germany during Exercise ‘Red Hackle’ It struck the ground and bounced onto its port side. The two crew escaped safely
25/05/1979 XS931 D Lightning F6 5 Sqn Crashed into the North Sea off Hornsea, Humberside after the pilot ejected due to the controls jamming shortly after take off from Binbrook
07/06/1979 XP805   Beaver AL1 BATUS Crashed near Banff, Alberta, Canada after completing a turn and then losing height possibly due to turbulent conditions. The tail section struck trees which pitched the nose down causing the starboard wing to strike the trees. Two of the four occupants received major injuries
12/06/1979 XV781 O Harrier GR3 3 Sqn Crashed on approach to Gutersloh, West Germany after the pilot ejected following an engine fire
12/06/1979 XX950   Tornado BAe The aircraft was simulating high loft attack manoeuvres over the Irish Sea. It struck the water in a shallow dive 44 miles off Blackpool after descending too low in mist while preparing for another loft run in. Both crew were killed
22/06/1979 XX142 G Jaguar T2 226 OCU The pilot had been asked to fly inverted to check for a loose article. This was done first at 1,500ft and then at 1,000ft. On the second attempt the nose dropped due the application of positive ‘g’ and rudder and it flew into the Moray Firth ten miles north of Lossiemouth, Grampian killing both crew. The laid down minimum height for a loose article check is 5,000ft
22/06/1979 WH589   Sea Fury FB11 Private Crashed shortly after take off on a test flight in West Germany
03/07/1979 XW371 59 Jet Provost T5A 7 FTS Crashed ten miles east of Lancaster during a low level navex in bad weather. The pilot was killed.
03/07/1979 XK140 N Hunter FGA9 2 TWU The Ecuadorian pilot ejected over the Sea off Lochives, Scotland after loss of control while in cloud. This was the second aircraft lost while being flown by an Ecuadorian pilot (see 1st November 1978) and they were subsequently not allowed to fly solo again in British aircraft
05/07/1979 XZ189   Lynx AH1 1 Regt During refitting of the Automatic Flight Control System computer a cable was not connected correctly and made contact with, but pushed back, the Pitch Control pin. During the transition from hover on take off from Hildesheim, West Germany contact was broken. The computer detected a pitch error and compensated. In doing so, contact was re-established then broken again. This 'Pitch Runaway' cycle repeated, each time more violent, and the helicopter lurched towards a hangar door. The main rotors struck the doors and turned back on themselves striking and killing the pilot. The other crew member died from his injuries
06/07/1979 XG197 26 Hunter F6A 1 TWU Crashed into the sea off Tintagel, Cornwall after the pilot ejected following engine failure
12/07/1979 XW526 Y Buccaneer S2B 16 Sqn Suffered structural failure of a wing and crashed near Osnabruck, West Germany killing both crew
18/07/1979 XX960 AY Jaguar GR1 14 Sqn Struck a TV mast and crashed at Iserlohn, West Germany while attempting to rejoin his formation. The pilot ejected safely
18/07/1979 XZ137 E Harrier GR3 4 Sqn Crashed near Glessen, West Germany killing the American pilot
07/08/1979 XW842   Gazelle AH1 663 Sqn Suffered a wire strike at Soltau, West Germany and crashed. 
17/08/1979 XP737 N Lightning F3 11 Sqn Crashed into the Irish Sea off Valley, Anglesey after the pilot ejected due to a jammed undercarriage
24/08/1979 XZ293   Gazelle AH1 662 Sqn Suffered a wire strike and crashed at Jerret Pass, near Bessbrook, Armagh, Northern Ireland killing both crew. The wreckage was taken to Middle Wallop and stripped
26/08/1979 XR601   Scout AH1 BATUS The main rotor severed the tailboom in a heavy landing at Suffield, Canada after engine failure while in a 50 feet hover. One of the two crew were badly injured. Allocated to ground instruction at Arborfield
28/08/1979 XW179   Sioux AH1 A&AEE Damaged in a heavy landing Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. Allocated to A2711 at Wroughton. To the Wessex Aviation Society and used in the rebuild of XT242 (crashed 15/04/1975)
01/09/1979 XX458   Gazelle AH1 669 Sqn The aircraft was carrying out a rising and falling target marking 'Porpoise' manoeuvre during the work up for Exercise Medicine Man on the Soltau training area, West Germany. With a high rate of decent on a hot windless day the skids struck a small rise in otherwise flat area causing the aircraft to disintegrate. The engine and gearbox passed through the cabin area but the three crew were not badly injured
18/09/1979 XR723 A Lightning F6 5 Sqn After a fire in No2 engine the pilot mistakenly shut down No1 engine. The aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea fifteen miles off Akrotiri, Cyprus and he was rescued by 84 Sqn Whirlwind XP346 after only six minutes in the water
21/09/1979 XV757 12 Harrier GR3 1 Sqn Both pilots ejected after the aircraft touched wing tips over Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. XV757 crashed onto open ground south of the town but XZ128 crashed onto houses in Wisbech, killing three civilians
21/09/1979 XZ128 15 Harrier GR3 1 Sqn
04/10/1979 XW766 E Harrier GR3 3 Sqn Crashed in a wood near Ravensberg, West Germany after the pilot ejected due to loss of power following a bird strike
01/11/1979 XP899 D Scout AH1 ARWS Damaged when the engine surged during a practice autorotation near Winchester, Hants causing the aircraft to strike the ground heavily. Later declared a write off. The pilot was uninjured
08/11/1979 XV756 26 Harrier GR3 1 Sqn Crashed on Holbeach Range, Lincs after suffering ricochet damage during firing. The pilot ejected safely
16/11/1979 XX542 13 Bulldog T1 RNEFTS The crew abandoned the aircraft near Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire after loss of control in turbulence
23/11/1979 XX762 28 Jaguar GR1 226 OCU Encountered bad weather while acting as a chase aircraft. During the ‘pull up’ the pilot ejected, possibly in the belief that the aircraft was about to strike the side of a hill. It crashed on the summit of Beinn-A-Chleibh, near Dalmally, Argyllshire. He was killed after suffering a severe blow to the head
10/12/1979 XX749 21 Jaguar GR1 226 OCU Collided during a low level formation turn  and crashed at Lumsden, Aberdeenshire. The pilot of XX749 was killed
10/12/1979 XX755 8 Jaguar GR1 226 OCU
27/12/1979 XW228 DP Puma HC1 230 Sqn Flew into steel telephone wires at 18ft strung across a road Mtoko, Rhodesia. It crashed and burst into flames killing the three crew members. yThe helicopter was engaged on cease-fire monitoring duties and was operating with two other Pumas from Kotwa

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