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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 140029
Last updated: 28 May 2015
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Date:01-FEB-1960
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic JPRO model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hunting Jet Provost T51
Owner/operator:Royal Ceylon AF
Registration: CJ704
C/n / msn: Set Number 2
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Negombo Lagoon, Western Province, Ceylon -   Sri Lanka
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Colombo/Katunayake Air Base, Sri Lanka (VCBI)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The Royal Ceylon Air Force bought 12 Jet Provost Mk 3 Aircraft in late 1959/60. They were the armed version and they called them the T51. The first six (Royal Ceylon AF serials CJ701-CJ706) were delivered by 28.1.1960

Whilst rehearsing for the Independence Day Fly Past, the aircraft experienced a flame out shortly after take-off. Crashed into the Negombo Lagoon, Western Province, Ceylon [at approximate Coordinates 709′N, 7951′E]. Pilot Officer Noel H. Lokuge ejected safely at 350 feet at 115 knots, landed in the lagoon, and made history as the first-ever Royal Ceylon Air Force pilot to eject from his aircraft. According to Pilot Officer Lokuge himself:

"I was Number three, in a formation of 6 Jet Provosts, practising for the independence day fly past, which was on the 4th of February [1960] Soon after take off and at about 1,000 feet up, I noticed that my aircraft was falling out of the formation. I realized my engine had flamed out; I tried two relights, but unfortunately the engine did not respond. By that time I had to turn the aircraft away from Negombo Town, a highly populated area, and glided the aircraft to a safe area over the Negombo lagoon.

I lost a lot of height at the same time. When I was clear and at 350 feet, I used the face blind handle and ejected. At first I waited until the canopy got released, (this was the longest second of my life!) Then, I was shot out of the Aircraft

I felt a tumbling sensation, and then I think I blacked out. next I found myself hanging on my parachute, but only for a few seconds because I hit the water and went under, My next nightmare was to release the Clip on my parachute buckle, which I did under water. The rest was a routine which we had practiced many times and maybe my subconcious mind took over, for I went for my life jacket CO2 bottle, and as I surfaced I pulled the cord of my Dinghy inflated it and got on board.

As I was floating on my Dinghy I noticed a few aircraft overhead. I was towed to shore by some fishermen. Later I ended up in The RAF hospital at Negombo. As I did not have any injuries I was out of hospital in the evening. The next day I had to fly again in a Jet Provost with our chief Flying instructor. (I believe this is normal procedure after an accident)"

Pilot officer Noel H. Lokuge retired from the air force a Squadron leader in 1976
Note; there is a Jet Provost T51 on display at the Sri Lanka AF Museum, Ratmalano, Colombo painted up as "CJ704", this is not the true identity of this aircraft!

Sources:
1. http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/PROJECT/Biographies/SRI_LANKA/lokuge_noel/lokuge_noel_r.htm
2. http://www.jetprovostfile.org/overseas-jet-provost-strikemaster-histories/
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandaranaike_International_Airport#SLAF_Katunayake
4. http://www.airforce.lk/60thanniversary/pages.php?pages=the_first_jets_arrive
5. http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/project/Biographies/SRI_LANKA/lokuge_noel/lokuge_noel_r.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
23-Nov-2011 21:36 Dr. John Smith Added
23-Nov-2011 21:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Departure airport, Narrative]
30-Jan-2015 20:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]
30-Jan-2015 20:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Jan-2015 20:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]
30-Jan-2015 21:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
Number of views: 555

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