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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 94291
Last updated: 25 June 2018
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Type:Silhouette image of generic HUNT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hawker Hunter FGA.9
Owner/operator:2 TWU (79 Squadron) Royal Air Force (2 TWU (79 Sqn) RAF)
Registration: XG261
C/n / msn: 41H/680062
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Dufftown, Grampian -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Lossiemouth (LMO/EGQS)
Destination airport:
Written off 28/05/1980: The pilot (Flying Officer Mike C. Longstaff) was unable to pull out of a high speed dive during ACT (Air Combat Training) as he had left the flaps down. He ejected and the aircraft crashed near Dufftown, Grampian

Mike Longstaff survived very high IAS (500+) supersonic ejection from Hunter XG261 in May 1980 with bruises and a broken arm.

Per a contemporary report in Flight International Magazine (5 September 1981):

"A tactical weapons student was unable to recover his Hunter from a dive because the flaps were in the wrong position, leading to a progressive increase in dive angle. On May 28, 1980, the pilot of the Hunter FGA 9 (XG261) was engaged in a one v one air combat manoeuvring sortie with a similar type. Towards the end of the first engagement the Hunters pulled up into a wing over, both aircraft reaching their apogee at about 25,000ft. As he started to descend, the student saw that his speed was low and selected full power to accelerate in a dive towards his adversary.

With a dive-angle of about 30, the student rolled towards the other Hunter and pulled back on the stick. The aircraft failed to respond so he rolled wings-level and attempted to recover. The dive became progressively steeper and the pilot tried unsuccessfully to locate the tailplane interconnect switch to increase pitch authority. He then noticed the altimeter unwinding rapidly through 11,000ft and, abandoning further efforts to regain control, he ejected, suffering a broken arm and facial injuries, commensurate with a highspeed ejection. The Hunter crashed into open moorland.

Examination of the wreckage showed that the flaps were 23 down at impact. It is normal to select flap down during ACM to improve the Hunter's low-speed handling characteristics. However, if the flaps are not selected "up" before MO.9/300kt is reached, the aircraft will pitch progressively nose-down. The Hunter cannot be recovered from this situation until the flaps are selected up"

A report in July 1980 by the Institute of Aviation Medicine, following the ejection of Hunter XG261, commented that "Hunter escape capability has not improved since 1957 but the role of the aircraft has changed considerably and there is a very real need to bring the escape system up to an acceptable standard"


Revision history:

19-Apr-2013 03:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Apr-2013 03:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
19-Apr-2013 14:59 Nepa Updated [Operator]
19-Apr-2013 18:53 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location]

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