Incident Hunting Jet Provost T3 XM456, 22 Aug 1962
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56481
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Type:Silhouette image of generic JPRO model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hunting Jet Provost T3
Owner/operator:C(A) MoA/Hunting Aircraft Ltd
Registration: XM456
MSN: PAC/W/9264
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Histon, Cambridgeshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Luton Airport, Bedfordshire (LTN/EGGW)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
The aircraft was on loan to Hunting Aircraft Ltd (still marked as "18" of the RAF College, Cranwell) to investigate the spinning characteristics of the Jet Provost T.3 when flying with fuel in the tip tanks.

On August 21st 1962 Ron Lees and another pilot, Squadron Leader John Barwell, took up XM456 three times, each time spinning it and coming out successfully. The next day on 22nd August 1962, during a spin to the left, XM456 could not be recovered and both crew - Squadron Leader. Ronald A. Lees and Squadron Leader John D. Barwell - ejected, the aircraft crashing at Histon, Cambridgeshire*. (*The official Board of Inquiry report, in the National Archives at Kew, (File AVIA 5/41/S3039) gives the crash location as "near Oakington")

Squadron Leader Lees landed in the yard of Chivers & Sons Ltd, jam and marmalade manufacturers, based in Histon. He later wrote to them, and to Martin-Baker, about his ejection. Martin Baker wrote back inviting Squadron Leader Lees to lunch, and sending him a commemorative tie, exclusively made for those who have had to make use of their ejection seats. Their letter also advised that he was the 593rd person to have used a Martin-Baker ejection seat since they were introduced.

C(A) MoA clearance for spinning of the Jet Provost with fuel in the tip tanks was withdrawn as a result. The wreckage of XM456 was recovered and struck off charge as Cat.5(scrap) on 19 October 1962. There is photographic evidence that the wreckage of XM456 was with the Air Accident Investigation Unit in a hangar at Croydon Airport on 4 May 1963, alongside the wreckage of Jet Provost XP623 and Percival Proctor G-AOEJ (see link #4 below)


3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/41/S3039:

Revision history:

26-Nov-2011 21:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Oct-2013 20:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
03-Dec-2020 17:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative]
03-Dec-2020 17:38 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
03-Dec-2020 17:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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