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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 18884
Last updated: 12 December 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic F8L model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aviamilano F-8L Falco
Registration: G-ROVI
C/n / msn: 117
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:East of Long Sheelagh Island, Strangford Lough, County Down -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Newtownards, County Down (EGAD)
Destination airport:Newtownards, County Down (EGAD)
Written off (destroyed) 09-09-1989 when crashed into Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland, killing both persons on board (pilot and one passenger). The cause of the crash was attributed to a structural failure in flight, but the cause of the structural failure was not determined by the AAIB investigation:

"The aircraft departed from Newtownards at about 11:10 hours, and flew south towards Strangford Lough. It was in level flight on a southerly track to the east of an island named Long Sheelagh, when a loud bang was heard. The aircraft was then seen to descend almost vertically, with the empennage a short distance behind the main fuselage, but still attached by the control cables.

Two smaller pieces were also observed slightly to one side and behind, falling at the same rate as the main body of the aircraft. During the latter stages of the descent, and on impact with the water, the aircraft was seen to break up into many small pieces. An observer in a small boat near the point of impact noted the time to be 11:14 hours

The body of the pilot was recovered soon afterwards, along with the complete empennage and several small pieces of wreckage, mainly from the wing and rear fuselage area. Despite an extensive search, the body of the passenger, and the forward part of the aircraft, including the wing main spar, landing gear, engine and propeller, were not recovered.

The post-mortem of the pilot revealed that he died of multiple injuries. Insufficient wreckage of the aircraft was recovered to enable a full investigation into the accident to be conducted. From the portions of the wreckage that were recovered it was ascertained that the tail had been subjected to stress loads in excess of the design ultimate loads, causing it to break away from the rear of the aircraft.

These loads had been imposed on the tail by the impact from another object, almost certainly some other part of the aircraft which had become detached beforehand. It was established that the sliding canopy of the aircraft had been released, and had broke from from its guide rails during the accident sequence. Witness marks indicated that the canopy had contacted the fin leading edge and root fairing".

NOTE: It had been suggested in some published sources that G-ROVI suffered a bird strike to the canopy, and that this caused the canopy to became to detached. However, the official AAIB report makes no reference to any bird strike

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report, "aircraft destroyed". As a result, the registration G-ROVI was cancelled by the CAA three months later, on 19-12-1989 as "destroyed"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
22-Oct-2008 02:09 Anon. Updated
22-Jan-2009 09:46 WJR Updated
08-Oct-2012 10:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Feb-2016 18:35 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Feb-2016 18:37 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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