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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56195
Last updated: 6 July 2021
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Time:07:27 LT
Type:Lockheed U-2R
Owner/operator:9th SRW USAF (9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, United States Air Force)
Registration: 68-10338
MSN: 060
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire
Destination airport:RAF Fairford
Flying under call sign "Mooch 31", with sensor pod on pylon above spine, 68-10338 departed RAF Fairford for an intended Bosnian overflight Senior Span mission, but port underwing pogo fails to detach. Pogo sticks have one wheel on them and support the wing on the ground which are heavy with fuel. An aircraft modification was made on all U2's pogo sticks after this fatal crash.

Pilot Capt. David A. Hawkens, 35, from McLean, Virginia, returned to airfield runway 27, attempted to shake loose the outrigger. Just after passing the runway's midpoint the aircraft entered a stall during which the left wing dropped, hit the runway, breaking off the wingtip.

The aircraft veered left towards the grass, struck a power sub-station and crashed through the base's perimeter fence. As the aircraft bounced on a concrete taxiway pilot attempted ejection, but zero-zero seat is outside of parameters, pilot chute deploys but main canopy does not have time to fully inflate.

Pilot came to rest 150 feet east of airframe, which ended up in a farmer's field. Nose broke off, rest of U-2 fully engulfed in fire. Pilot was transported to Princess Margaret Hospital in Swindon by police helicopter where he died at 09:55 hours. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.


Flight International 24-30 April 1996


Photo of 68-10338 courtesy

Mildenhall (EGUN / MHZ)
16 September 1978; (c) Don Gilham

Revision history:

11-Jan-2009 10:47 harro Updated
12-May-2013 14:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-May-2013 01:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
07-May-2015 15:27 Tink Updated [Narrative]
01-Oct-2016 17:27 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Feb-2020 09:51 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]
29-Aug-2020 07:59 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
31-Aug-2020 10:29 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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