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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 82610
Last updated: 16 March 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic F4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2
Owner/operator:41 Squadron Royal Air Force (41 Sqn RAF)
Registration: XV493
C/n / msn: 3420
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Fordham Fen, near Downham Market, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire (EGXC)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: AIB
Collided with Piper Pawnee crop sprayer G-ASVX over Fordham Fen, near Downham Market, Norfolk and crashed. Both Phantom crew - Pilot Group Captain David Robert Kidgell BLUCKE and Navigator Flight Lieutenant Terence Wesley KIRKLAND - and the Pawnee pilot (Mr. R.K. Hickmott) were killed

The Pawnee had departed earlier on the 9 August 1974 from Southend Airport to a disused airfield at Broomhill, near Downham Market in Norfolk. Broomhill was used as a temporary base to refuel the aircraft and to load pesticide. At about 14:04 the aircraft had finished spraying a field 6.5 mi (10.5 km) south of Broomhill and was returning to replenish the pesticide hopper. The Phantom departed RAF Coningsby at 13:51 to fly a low-level navigation and reconnaissance flight at no lower than 250 feet (76 m) above ground level. The Phantom was following a standard low-flying route, the Pawnee pilot was aware that military low-flying routes were in the area but the exact routing was classified and not released by the military. About 14:08 about 1 km (1,100 yd) west of the village of Hilgay, and at an estimated height of around 300 ft the Phantom, flying at a speed of about 420 kn (780 km/h), struck the Pawnee on its right side. The Pawnee disintegrated, while the Phantom, on fire and shedding parts of its structure, continued on its heading for a further 1 kilometre (1,100 yd) before it hit the ground inverted.

The investigation determined "The accident occurred because neither pilot saw the other aircraft in time to avoid collision. The 'see and be seen' principle was inadequate for preventing collision in the circumstances that existed. A significant feature which contributed to the accident was the absence of any system for co-ordinating military and civil low flying activities in the low flying areas and link routes



Revision history:

14-Nov-2010 11:55 ASN archive Added
16-Nov-2011 20:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2013 13:59 Nepa Updated [Operator]
24-Jun-2013 19:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source]
28-Jul-2015 15:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
28-Jul-2015 15:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time]

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