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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56610
Last updated: 18 August 2019
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Date:30-JUL-1976
Time:11:38 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic LTNG model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Lightning F6
Owner/operator:11 Squadron Royal Air Force (11 Sqn RAF)
Registration: XS937
C/n / msn: 95270
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:off Flamborough Head, Humberside -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Leconfield
Narrative:
first flown by J. Cockburn 26-6-67 at BAC Samlesbury. Delivered to 23 Squadron, 21-8-67 as "C". To 11 Squadron 1975 as "K"

Written off 30/7/1976 when crashed into the North Sea off Flamborough Head, Humberside after the pilot - F/O Simon Manning - ejected when he was unable to lower the undercarriage while on approach to Leconfield. (11 Squadron were operating out of Leconfield due to Binbrook being temporarily closed for runway resurfacing work). Per eyewitness report:

"XS937 flew satisfactorily on its first sortie that morning (nothing like a successful sortie for establishing the airworthiness of an aircraft…), had a pilot-staying-in turn-round and flew again. On selecting undercarriage down, Simon Manning got two greens and a red, and after trying the usual rolling and pulling tricks to no avail, flew a number of times past Leconfield’s tower for a close look. The undercarriage leg was swinging half way between up and down, seemingly unconnected to its jack. We couldn’t see why it had become disconnected, but it was probably either a failure of the jack eye end (remember the Lightning’s main jack pulled the gear down and pushed it up), or, more likely, a failure of the jack attachment lugs at the top of the main leg casting.

It is unlikely any manoeuvre would succeed in locking a leg down in this condition – the aerodynamic loads on the wheel as it comes down forwards from the swept wing are in the wrong direction. And you cannot do a hammerhead stall and a tail-slide in a Lightning!

In spite of an intense effort by the Navy, we never found any wreckage and that area of sea off Withernsea silts up rapidly. A few weeks later the RAF lost a Phantom in more worrying circumstances and the Navy effort was diverted to that."

The pilot was quickly recovered by a Westland Whirlwind SAR helicopter from 202 Squadron (also based at Lecnfield).

Sources:

1. https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/73801-xs937-m-crash.htm
2. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1976.htm
3. http://www.aviation-picture-hangar.co.uk/xs937.htm
4. http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1176087/
5. http://web.archive.org/web/20170818194916/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/project/year_pages/1976.htm#jul


Images:

Photo of XS937 courtesy AirHistory.net


Leuchars (EGQL / ADX)
26 August 1968; (c) Jerry Hughes

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
08-Feb-2012 11:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2013 14:32 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
23-Jun-2013 01:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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