ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56584
Last updated: 28 November 2019
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.

Type:Silhouette image of generic LTNG model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Lightning F3
Owner/operator:Lightning Trg Flt Royal Air Force (Lightning Trg Flt RAF)
Registration: XP753
C/n / msn: 95181
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Into the North Sea, North Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire (EGXB)
Destination airport:Tees-Side Airport (MME/EGNV)
The Lightning was on a positioning flight from Binbrook to Tees-Side Airport to participate in an air show the next day. The pilot was asked to perform a fly past at an RAF recruiting event near Scarborough, whilst en route. While manoeuvring near the coast line the airplane stalled as the pilot attempted to avoid colliding with a cliff top. The pilot - Flt Lt Thompson - was killed

"I was a witness to the accident. My family and I were spending the last day of our holiday on the north beach at Scarborough. The sea was in, so the little beach was packed with holidaymakers (standing room only},while we were watching the Lightning jet performing. After a north to south pass along the northern part of the beach the jet turned left and flew out in an easterly direction, turned 180 degrees towards the castle while at the same time slowing down and turning towards the north beach with. in my point of view. the intention of a slow fly past. At this point we heard the rise of the engine noise but the plane did not accelerate and was pointing directly towards us.

At that moment in time the plane was at a height of about 60 feet and at distance of about 400 yds from the beach. The pilot could have ejected safely with time to spare. But all of us present think that if this had been the case the plane would have crashed on the beach or thereabouts with catastrophic consequences. I am convinced the pilot chose to ditch the plane in order to save a lot of people an that beach that day. My eternal gratitude to that pilot. Thank you."

As I recall, from the report on this tragic accident, the pilot was number 2 of two Lightnings positioning for the display (the number one aircraft being the authorizing officer) and he was asked about performing the flyby en-route. This was refused as there was not time to properly plan this. On take off the number one aircraft developed a fault, so his take off was delayed and the number 2 took off as a singleton. He then performed the flyby without authorization and tragically crash. Truly a sad loss.




Photo of XP753 courtesy

Valley - Anglesey (EGOV / VLY)
13 August 1983; (c) Fergal Goodman

Revision history:

09-Mar-2009 07:11 Anon. Updated
17-Sep-2009 09:55 harro Updated
17-Jul-2010 23:43 floris Updated [Source]
13-Mar-2012 16:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Mar-2012 17:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Embed code]
06-May-2013 20:16 Nepa Updated [Operator]
01-Jun-2013 12:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
01-Jun-2013 12:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 09:02 sirjames102 Updated [Narrative]
25-Nov-2018 18:33 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description