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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 154497
Last updated: 10 April 2020
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Type:Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6
Owner/operator:899 Sqn RN FAA
Registration: XE450
C/n / msn: AWA.6371
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:nr RNAS Hal Far -   Malta
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:HMS Eagle, off Malta
Destination airport:RNAS Hal Far, Malta
Written 2.7.1956: XE450 Based on HMS Eagle. Aircraft catapulted from ship for night-time practice landings at Hal-Far. After four circuits, aircraft crashed in undershoot area of runway. Pilot (Lieutenant Philip Cardew) ejected horizontally along runway, but survived with some injuries.

Per eyewitness report from the pilot involved: ""On the date of the crash, I was a young Lieutenant on 899 Squadron embarked in HMS Eagle flying Sea Hawk FGA 6 aircraft. I note from my log-book that I was catapulted in XE450 at night from the carrier at 2130 local time to carry out six Mirror assisted dummy deck landings at HMS Falcon (Royal Naval Air Station Hal Far).

"I flew to Hal Far, entered the airfield circuit and carried out, as far as I remember, four touch and go landings. On the fifth circuit my aircraft crashed into the undershoot of the main runway (13-31) and bounced along through several stonewalls. It came to rest at the other end of the runway with the whole front section of the aircraft including cockpit under the port (left) wing. The cockpit was a mess but fortunately, as the nose folded backwards, the locking mechanism of my ejector seat failed and the seat rose up the rails firing the second cartridge of the system to eject me clear, albeit horizontally along the ground. I fractured my left collarbone and suffered some scarring and concussion.

"My only memory of the crash is of a forty-five degree line (horizon) across my vision and of pushing the throttle fully open without effect and then being patted on my injured shoulder by a rescue fireman who had found me, still tightly strapped in the seat. Probably just as well that the memory erases incidents, which would have probably lived with me to this day.

The inquiry of the crash was I believe inconclusive although most believed I had flown into the ground by mistake. Since I carried out some actual night deck carrier landings and had carried out four successful circuits prior to the crash I am not so sure as to what exactly happened. In any event I was not blamed, thank goodness, but congratulated on a particular fortunate and well nigh miraculous escape."


Revision history:

26-Mar-2013 21:00 Dr. John Smith Added
05-Apr-2013 07:40 Nepa Updated [Operator]
09-Jul-2015 12:18 SIS07 Updated [Location, Destination airport]

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