1981 losses

28/01/1981 XW308 65 Jet Provost T5A 1 FTS Entered cloud at 1,000 ft shortly after take off from Leuchars, Fife. It emerged from the cloud in a near vertical dive but just before impact with the ground the aircraft levelled out. It then banked right and crashed into a wheat field on Crumlie Hill near Kilmany, The pilot did not eject and was killed
12/02/1981 XX827 BM Jaguar GR1 17 Sqn Pulled up sharply on the Nellis Ranges, Nevada, USA during a Red Flag exercise and rolled to starboard until inverted after being picked up on radar. It then stopped climbing but continued to roll until it struck the ground with both engines in reheat. The pilot did not eject and was killed
23/02/1981 XE552 R Hunter FGA9 2 TWU Dived into the North Sea off Lossiemouth, Grampian during ACT. Only small pieces of metal were recovered. The pilot was never found
06/03/1981 XZ915 N-015 Sea King HAS5 820 NAS Collided six miles south of St Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight during independent approaches to HMS Invincible and when 2½ miles astern of the ship. Both crashed into the English Channel killing all four crew of XZ917 and one of the four crew on XZ915. Both wrecks were located by divers on the 15th March, and were recovered to the AIU at Lee-on-Solent
06/03/1981 XZ917 N-016 Sea King HAS5 820 NAS
11/03/1981 XM872 PO-662 Wessex HAS3 737 NAS Ditched into the English Channel six miles east of Portland, Dorset after an engine fire. The crew were rescued by SAR helicopter
17/03/1981 XF977 VL-865 Hunter GA11 FRADU Crashed into the English Channel twelve miles SW of Start Point near Hallsands, South Devon after the pilot ejected due to engine failure. He was rescued by SAR helicopter
03/04/1981 XG151 H Hunter FGA9 2 TWU The pilot was making a precautionary landing back at Lossiemouth, Grampian due to a fuel leak. The engine flamed out one mile short of the runway and he ejected. The aircraft crashed into the undershoot area. Nose section later placed on the fire dump
14/04/1981 XX973 DG Jaguar GR1 31 Sqn The pilot lost control of the aircraft during ACT when he was flying at a high angle of attack and encountered the slipstream of one of the other aircraft. He ejected and the aircraft crashed into a field four miles NW of Gutersloh, West Germany
26/05/1981 XW923   Harrier GR3 1417 Flt Crashed on take off from Belize after the pilot ejected following loss of control during a short take off. Cockpit to 8724M at Wittering
01/06/1981 XX828 P Jaguar T2 226 OCU The crew ejected after a Black Headed gull struck and shattered the canopy while flying at 500 ft. Fragments of the canopy were ingested by both engines causing a double engine failure. It crashed eight miles east of Kirriemuir, Tayside
03/06/1981 XP347   Whirlwind HAR10 22 Sqn Crashed and turned over during its last flight after it suffered tail rotor failure while hover taxying at Koksijde, Belgium. A seal in the tail rotor coupling assembly had not been fitted correctly following servicing, allowing the grease to escape. It continued by road to its original destination at Gutersloh and was allocated to ground instruction as 8688M
16/06/1981 XW329 48 Jet Provost T5A 3 FTS The pilot mishandled the aircraft after a simulated engine failure after take off from Leeming, Yorks. It stalled while turning back towards the airfield and struck the ground under full power in a nose up attitude. The crew stayed with the aircraft and were only slightly injured. Allocated to Church Fenton fire dump as 8741M
30/06/1981 XX396 N Gazelle HT3 CFS During slope landing practice at Shawbury, Salop the front skids struck the ground. The pilot lost control of the aircraft and its was damaged beyond repair in the subsequent heavy landing. To 8718M with the Exhibition Flight and then to Cranwell for ground instruction during December 2000
09/07/1981 XT866 O Phantom FG1 43 Sqn Following instrument failure at night it was being led back to Leuchars, Fife. Control was lost short of the runway in the slipstream of the other aircraft. The crew ejected, it cartwheeled across the airfield and burnt out
14/07/1981 XV807   Harrier GR3 1417 Flt During recovery from a steep dive following a simulated rocket attack on Army trucks in Belize the aircraft struck the tops of trees in a flat attitude five miles south of Georgeville and crashed. The pilot did not eject and was killed
15/07/1981 XP118 PO-664 Wessex HAS3 737 NAS Ditched into the English Channel off Portland, Dorset after engine failure
17/07/1981 XX113 09 Jaguar GR1 226 OCU The aircraft rolled uncontrollably to the left during a test flight from Abingdon. The pilot ejected and it crashed one mile south of Malvern, Worcestershire. Caused by a loose article jamming the port spoiler Powered Flying Control Unit
23/07/1981 XR765 AJ Lightning F6 5 Sqn Crashed into the North Sea thirty miles E of Spurn Head, Humberside after the pilot ejected due to an inflight fire
24/07/1981 XX916   Jaguar T2 ETPS Crashed into the Bristol Channel twelve miles off Hartland Point, Devon after a bird strike. Both crew ejected but the navigator drowned
30/07/1981 XN643 26 Jet Provost T3A 3 FTS The engine flamed out after the student had mishandled the aircraft during aerobatics which disturbed the airflow to the engine. The crew ejected and the aircraft crashed near Snaiton, North Yorks
06/08/1981 XX972 DF Jaguar GR1 31 Sqn Crashed into a house two miles south of Barnard Castle, County Durham injuring the family and killing the pilot. Disorientation in the bad weather was the likely cause
25/08/1981 XZ139 AZ Harrier GR3 3 Sqn Crashed west of Ahlhorn, West Germany after the pilot ejected following loss of control. The tailplane operating linkage bolt had come off due to a securing split pin being omitted during servicing nineteen days previous
23/09/1981 XW537   Buccaneer S2B 237 OCU The aircraft stalled during a descending turn onto the approach to Wattisham, Suffolk. Both crew ejected and it crashed one mile short of the runway
06/10/1981 XP890   Scout AH1 ARWF The Scout was badly damaged when the Bell landed on top of it at Middle Wallop, Hampshire. This caused the Bell’s fuel tanks to explode and the fireball altered the fire crew who were on the scene quickly. All crew escaped without serious injury. The Bell was written off but the Scout was sent for repair. This was cancelled and it was put into store at Wroughton, eventually being cannibalised for spares during 1987
06/10/1981 G-AXKT   Bell 47G-4 Bristow's
07/10/1981 XT448 S Wessex HU5 845 NAS Ditched into the Atlantic thirty miles off Savannah, Georgia after tail rotor failure while operating off HMS Hermes
16/10/1981 XR509 AK Wessex HC2 72 Sqn Fell on to its side during a ground run at Odiham, Hampshire. To 8752M at Benson
21/10/1981 XX957 CG Jaguar GR1 20 Sqn Struck by lightning shortly after take off from Bruggen, West Germany. This caused the left hand engine to surge and shut down. The right hand engine failed while making an emergency landing at Bruggen and the pilot ejected. The aircraft crashed into open farmland
21/10/1981 XL619 88 Hunter T7 1 TWU Crashed into the sea 50 miles SW of Brawdy, Dyfed after the pilot ejected following loss of control in an inverted spin
22/10/1981 XM366 87 Jet Provost T3A 7 FTS Stalled while making an emergency landing at Holme on Spalding Moor, Humberside after engine failure. Approach speed was too low and the pilot ejected short of the runway. Caused by tiny particles of solid matter in the fuel system. This had interfered with the control of the high pressure fuel pump
13/11/1981 XL361   Vulcan B2 9 Sqn Found to be badly damaged after landing at Goose Bay, Canada after the anti-icing system had failed. With the withdrawal of the Vulcan from service it was not repaired and was left at Goose Bay
18/11/1981 XX758 18 Jaguar GR1 226 OCU Flew into a hillside in the Grudie Valley, Dingwall, Highland during a snow storm. The pilot was killed
30/11/1981 WH872 W Canberra T17 360 Sqn The pilot retracted the undercarriage to stop on landing at Bedford causing it to aquaplane on the wet runway. Although damage was deemed to be CAT 3 repairable its out of service date was on 17th December 1981 so it was declared CAT 5 (scrap). To the fire dump at Bedford
01/12/1981 XL583 84 Hunter T7 1 TWU The crew ejected while on approach to Brawdy, Dyfed after the engine lost power due to the failure of a diaphragm in the engine control system
12/12/1981 XT418 E-435 Wasp HAS1 829 NAS HMS Endurance Flt Caught by windshear on approach to land onto the beach at St Andrews Bay, Falkland Islands. It landed heavily, bounced and went onto its side. The crew and two passengers, the Governor of the Falkland Islands and his wife, were uninjured. It was stripped for spares and abandoned

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