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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 55084
Last updated: 16 November 2018
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Date:07-FEB-1980
Time:
Type:Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B
Owner/operator:XV Squadron Royal Air Force (XV Sqn RAF)
Registration: XV345
C/n / msn: B-23-66
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Nellis Ranges, about 20 miles north of Beatty, Nevada, -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Nellis AFB
Destination airport:Nellis AFB
Narrative:
The aircraft crashed on the Nellis Ranges, about 20 miles north of Beatty, Nevada, during a Red Flag exercise. A violent manoeuver causing a catastrophic failure of the starboard outer wing which separated from the airframe, rendering the aircraft uncontrollable. With only nine seconds between the wing failure and impact, Sqn Ldr Ken Tait (pilot) ejected but did not survive because the altitude and attitude of the aircraft was outside the operating parameters of the Buccaneer's Martin Baker Mk. 6 BSB-2 seat. Flt Lt Charles "Rusty" Ruston (WSO) did not eject before the aircraft collided with the ground. Both were members of XV Squadron, based at RAF Laarbruch, in Germany.

Subsequent investigation found that a fatigue crack in the front spar caused the wing to fail, as it was unable to withstand the high loading experienced during the turn. Structural analysis concluded that a force equal to between 5 and 6 G was sufficient to cause a catastrophic failure of the already weakened spar. Additionally, severe but localized turbulence in the vicinity of the aircraft contributed to the high wing loading at the time the front wing spar failed.

As a result of this accident the entire Buccaneer fleet was grounded. A very limited clearance was issued on May 9 to allow the aircraft at Nellis to fly back to their base in Germany. Full envelope clearance was not given until until August 1980, following completion of the necessary inspections and modifications.

Sources:

1. http://www.thebuccaneeraviationgroup.com/BuccaneerWebTest/Rollout_Blog/Entries/2012/3/26_A_Fast_Taxi_in_Memorial_to_Squadron_Leader_K_J_Tait_and_Flt._Lt._C_R_Ruston.html
2. http://www.blackburn-buccaneer.co.uk/S2_XV345_files/0_S2_XV345.html
3. http://web.archive.org/web/20170721225135/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/Aircraft_by_Type/Buccaneer.htm
4. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1980.htm
5. http://www.laarbruch-museum.net/ENG/Crashes/070280.html
6. http://www.laarbruch-museum.net/ENG/Crash%20xv345.pdf
7. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1981/1981%20-%202389.html

XV345 when with 237 OCU at RAF Honington in 1974The Aviation Photo Company: Latest Additions &emdash; 237 OCU Blackburn Buccaneer S.2A XV345 (1974)

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
23-Mar-2009 01:18 C Ruston Updated
02-Nov-2009 23:15 Anon. Updated
03-Nov-2009 23:54 Anon. Updated
05-Nov-2009 11:12 Anon. Updated
17-Jul-2011 01:18 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
08-Apr-2013 17:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
14-Apr-2013 00:15 AppleDaddy Updated [Narrative]
11-Jul-2013 02:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code]

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