Accident Hawker Hunter FGA Mk.9 XE581,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144697
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Wednesday 22 November 1961
Type:Silhouette image of generic HUNT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hawker Hunter FGA Mk.9
Owner/operator:8 Sqn RAF
Registration: XE581
MSN: 41H-679939
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Qatari Desert, 28 miles SW of Doha -   Qatar
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Muharraq, Bahrain (BAH/OBBI)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Flying Officer Dick Gaiger was authorised by his Flight Commander to lead Blue section of four Hunters to practice high level battle formation, followed by a pairs tail chase and an individual tail chase. The Flight Commander briefed the leader on the exercises and the leader subsequently briefed the pilots of his section on the sortie to be flown. Due to R/T unserviceability, only three aircraft became airborne from Bahrain and one of these left the formation shortly afterwards, also due to R/T trouble.

The formation continued as a pair with Fg Off Gaiger still leading. After completing battle practice off the west coast of Qatar, the leader ordered No. 2 to take up position 800 yards line astern for a tail chase. The leader then made a gentle wing-over to port at about 30,000 feet and started a straight 30/40° dive. No.2 followed the leader into the dive and noticed nothing unusual except that he had some slight difficulty in depressing his gunsight pipper to bear on the leader as the dive developed. Between 15,000 and 20,000 feet, when the speed was Mach 0.94, the leader suddenly transmitted; “Blue leader ejecting – now!!”. No.2 broke away to avoid the path of the leader’s ejection seat and climbed to make a ‘Mayday’ call. He saw smoke and flames on the ground and after descending located the aircraft wreckage but saw no sign of a parachute.

A search and rescue operation was started from Bahrain and some 3½ hours later, the pilot, fatally injured, ejection seat and parachute were recovered from the desert in Qatar. The parachute canopy was found detached from the parachute harness, which was still attached to the pilot’s body.

Investigation was made difficult by the remote location of the crash, the vagueness of many of the eyewitnesses and the destruction or disappearance of many key parts of the aircraft.


Revision history:

29-Mar-2012 18:46 Dr. John Smith Added
19-Aug-2012 13:01 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
15-Apr-2013 11:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314