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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 55537
Last updated: 19 October 2017
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Date:22-OCT-1987
Time:17:06 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic HAR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
BAe Harrier II GR.5
Owner/operator:British Aerospace
Registration: ZD325
C/n / msn: 512113/P6
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Atlantic Ocean, 250 miles SW of Ireland -   Atlantic Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Dunsfold (EGTD)
Destination airport:Dunsfold (EGTD)
Narrative:
Crashed into the Atlantic 250 miles SW of the Irish coast after flying for at least 1 hours without the pilot, Taylor Scott

The parachute deployment rocket had fired through the canopy dragging him out of the cockpit. His body was found near Winterborne Stoke near Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, several days later.

ZD325 took off from Dunsfold at 16:59 hours GMT. Pilot made his last radio call at 17:06 and did not make or answer radio calls after this time. Unconfirmed theory is that the pilot passed out from oxygen starvation at 30.000 feet, due to incorrect use of pilot's oxygen supply,

The inadvertant ejection was reportedly caused by the pilot wrongly attempting to adjust the height of the seat whilst in flight.

The pilotless airframe was 'intercepted' by a USAF transport aircraft (either a Lockheed C5 or C141), the crew of which confirmed the status of the aircraft. They reported that "there was no-one in the cockpit". They videoed the Harrier continuing west, with seat, a broken canopy and no pilot. It eventually ran out of fuel an crashed in the Atlantic 250 miles west of Ireland.
Note on 9/27/2016: It was indeed a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy that intercepted (at Oceanic ATC request) and tracked the aircraft for approximately one hour until the fuel was exhausted. I was the pilot/aircraft commander of that memorable flight, now almost 29 years ago. Video cameras were a new phenomena for the average person back then, but my co-pilot was brand new (on his "Dollar Ride") and brought the camera to record his first mission. Upon landing at Dover AFB some six or seven hours after the Harrier crashed, the video tape was immediately copied by base authorities and put on another waiting C-5 to return the tape to Great Britain for the investigation.

Sources:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1987/1987%20-%202205.html
http://www.ghoststations.com/Harrier_Jet_Mystery_Ghost_Stations.html
http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/182748-accidental-fatal-ejection-over-southern-england.html
http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/177593-lightning-shootdown-harrier.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
12-Aug-2011 00:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Sep-2016 18:14 vincefagan Updated [Narrative]
11-Dec-2016 10:05 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Country, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport]

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