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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 82607
Last updated: 7 February 2020
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Date:01-JUN-1973
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic F4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2
Owner/operator:17 Squadron Royal Air Force (17 Sqn RAF)
Registration: XV397
C/n / msn: 2850
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kempen, district of Viersen, in North Rhine-Westphalia -   Germany
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Bruggen, West Germany
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Crashed near Kempen, district of Viersen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany 1/6/1973 after the crew ejected when the aircraft entered a steep spiral dive due to instrument failure. and only realised when it was far too late to recover. The crash resulted in a modification of the standby attitude indicator.

Pilot Squadron Leader Geoff Roberts, ejected safely, but Navigator, Flight Lieutenant David Nicholas BAKER, struck by pilot's canopy as he ejected and was killed. According to a pair of eyewitness reports:

"I was stationed at Bruggen Feb 73 to Aug 75 on 17 squadron. Dave Bakerís ejection sequence was perfect although he was killed. The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for ejection was 'Nav first. Pilot second' with no command ejection. As Dave initiated the sequence, Sqn Ldr George Roberts heard the first bang and pulled his ejection handle. His canopy struck Dave and he was killed instantly. Weather conditions were extremely poor and with total instrument failure and no visibility due to low cloud George had no option but to abandon the aircraft. The SOP remained the same"

"I was on 17 Sqn when Dave Baker was killed ejecting from XV397 in June 1973 (an unlucky aircraft - I'd had a multiple hydraulic failure in it and crash landed at Ahlhorn a couple of years earlier). What your other correspondent says is true but it may be of interest that the instrument failure was a very insidious one that the Board of Enquiry tried on several of us without warning in the simulator and we all did what Geoff (not George) Roberts did - entered a spiral dive and only realised when it was far too late to recover. The crash resulted in a modification of the standby attitude indicator".

Sources:

1. http://web.archive.org/web/20171019205516/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/Aircraft_by_Type/F-4_Phantom_RAF.htm
2. http://www.thephantomshrine.co.uk/Databases/f4-serials.txt
3. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=XV
4. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1973.htm

The Aviation Photo Company: McDonnell F-4 Phantom &emdash; RAF 17 Squadron McDonnell F-4M Phantom FGR.2 XV397/K (1971)

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Nov-2010 11:55 ASN archive Added
16-Nov-2011 13:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2013 13:51 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
30-Jun-2013 23:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
15-Aug-2015 18:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Narrative]

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