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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 77313
Last updated: 28 December 2019
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Date:18-JUN-1971
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic HAR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hawker Siddeley AV-8A Harrier
Owner/operator:VMA-513 USMC
Registration: 158386
C/n / msn: 712064/3
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Chesapeake Bay, off Virginia Beach, VA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Patuxent River NAS
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Failed to recover from dive over Chesapeake Bay. This particular AV-8A Harrier first flew on Feb 3rd 1971, and thus was only six weeks old at the time of the crash. It had originally been ordered for the Royal Air Force as Harrier GR.1 XW646, but diverted to the US Marine Corps whilst under construction.

Obituary of pilot:

MAJ. MICHAEL J. RIPLEY
Died: June 18, 1971
Ripley, a test pilot, was the first to die at the controls of a Harrier in the United States. His AV-8A crashed into Chesapeake Bay during a test flight. (Location co-ordinates at approx 3659′45″N, 7557′34″W)

On his last flight, Ripley flew toward a target in the bay at a steep angle, but then couldn't pull up fast enough to avoid hitting the water.

A Marine investigation found pilot error, said his brother, retired Marine Col. John W. Ripley. "That's almost always the case, especially when you can't recover the aircraft."

Michael Ripley was 33. He had a wife and three sons under the age of 6.

Sources:

http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6725
www.joebaugher.com/navy_serials/thirdseries20.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Harrier_Jump_Jet_family_losses#US_operated_Harriers
http://www.harrier.org.uk/history/AV8APROD.PDF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Nov--0001 00:00 ASN Archive
02-Aug-2011 11:44 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
02-Aug-2011 23:34 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
28-Dec-2019 16:26 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]

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