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List being compiled

Chronological Listing of Zimbabwe / Rhodesia Ejections

Date Air Force A'cft Unit / Serial based crashed crew photo seat
3 May 1951  

Tiger Moth SR 39

No details
21 Nov 1951  

Auster J/5 SR 55

  Crashed near St Mary's Mission, Salisbury      

Lt W J Henson

6 Dec 1951  

Spitfire Mk22

Beauvais, France, no details
21st August 1956
RRAF
Vampire FB9 RRAF110   crashed south of New Sarum Walter Garrett, Killed    
8th January 1957
RRAF
Vampire T11 SR124     R. J. Gaunt   Martin-Baker
Flg. Off. B. N. Horney   Martin-Baker

 

 

Vampire T.11 RRAF 103 which became RRAF 414. This aircraft crashed on 23rd February 1965. Both crew ejected.

 
RRAF
             
06   may   1959   RRAF103   Vampire FB9     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
06   may   1959   RRAF108   Vampire FB9     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
July 1959  

Vampire
FB 9

  Collission during Formation Aerobatics Practise
Click here for a full account.
     

Colin Graves, Killed
 

01   jul   1960   RRAF109   Vampire FB9     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
04.02.63  

Provost T52

  Killed while carrying out unauthorised low flying over the Salisbury Snake Park.      

Terry Ryan

22.06.63  

Vampire FB9

  Having "flamed-out" the Goblin Engine, (probably in a stall-turn manoeuvre) and with no acceptable "forced landing" field available in the Selukwe Area, McKerron had no option other than to attempt to "Bail out!" He was killed in the attempt.      

Bruce McKerron

09   feb   1961   RRAF104   Vampire FB9     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
22   jun   1964   RRAF106   Vampire FB9     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
04   aug   1964   703   C-47B   15967/32715   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
21.12.64  

Vampire FB9

  Henry had not felt well all day (Montezumas' Revenge) but did not report "Sick".
He launched on a night-flying training sortie (maybe marginal Guti weather) and failed to "Check" at the minimum Approach Altitude. He flew into the ground several miles short of the Runway at Thornhill.
     

Elliott H.G.

21   dec   1964   RRAF101   Vampire FB9     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
23rd February 1965
RRAF
Vampire T 11 RRAF 414
[RRAF 103]
 6 Sqn  near Selukwe Flg. Off. F. D. Janeke Martin-Baker
Cadet W. W. Buckle   Martin-Baker
22.07.68    

Allouette III
R7509

        Flt M. J. Grier
M/Tech D. G. Theobald
06.09.86    

Canberra B2
R2509

Sabi Rive
A/C struck overhead wire
      Fg Off P. W. L. Woolcock
A Plt Off I. B. Thomas
25th November 1968
RhAF
Vampire T.11  R2412 6 Sqn

 CONFIRM ??)

training flight crashed near Selukwe following fire warning   Martin-Baker
Flt. Lt. M. Guy Munton-Jackson  Flt. Lt. John F. Barnes Martin-Baker
07.01.69    

Cessna 185
R115

Kutaga Range
Low level aerobatics
     

Lt J. H. van Heerden (killed)
Flt Lt D. Annandale (killed)

16.05.69    

Provost
R3609

Gwenora Dam       Plt Off R. G. Beaver
Snr Tech B. Johnson
05.07.69    

Trojan
R3421

Bumi River airfield       Fg Off B. A. Penton
Cpl M. M. Jamison
23.07.69    

Provost
R3609

Thornhill
Frantan exploded on ground badly injuring Bob Breakwell, Station Armament Officer
      FG Off J. R. Breakwell
Cpl S. Stead, Cpl I. Flemming
Aircrew: Flt Lt P. Geldenhuis
Flt Lt C. White
26.08.69    

Provost
R3062

Near Thornhill       Fg Off G. W. Wrigley
Off Cdt M. R. Hill
28.10.69    

Canberra B2
R5212

Wankie National Park
Ran out of fuel in bad weather
      Plt Off R. G. Stagman
Fg Ogg D. C. Postance
29th October 1969
RhAF
Canberra B 2 85212 5 Sqn Out of fuel in tropical storm at night. Crashed Wankie National Park     Martin-Baker
Air Sub Lt. J. Stagman navigator Air Lt. D. Postance Martin-Baker
                 
01.07.70    

Allouette III
R5117

New Sarum      

Sqn Ldr G. E. Nettleton (killed)
Flt Lt M. R. Hill (killed)

12.10.70    

Allouette III
R7506

Rushinga area       Flt Lt V. B. W. Cook
Sgt K. Smithdorff
28th October 1970
RhAF
Hunter FGA9  R1823
XJ638
 1 Sqn Engine failure, flame out on finals. Crashed Bulawayo airport Air Lt. Alan R. Bruce Martin-Baker
04.11.70    

Allouette III
R5074

Charara Camp       Air Lt B. A. Roberts
Flt Lt G. W. Wrigley
WO2 C. Tapping
16.11.71    

Canberra B2
R2510

New Sarum
Aircraft shed wing
     

Flt Lt A. G. Roughhead (killed)
Air Lt G. N. Robertson (killed)

17.10.72    

Allouette III
R5077

Gwelo area
Disorientation in rain at night
     

Air Lt G. Munton-Jackson (killed)
Flt Sgt P. J. Gardener (killed)

04.08.72    

Vampire T11
R4222

Thornhill
Engine failure after take off
     

Air Sub Lt D. D. Brown (killed)

15.02.73    

Allouette III
R7500

Rushinga
Aircraft hit tree
     

Air Lt J. E. Smart (killed)
Sgt K. Smithdorff (killed)

04.09.73    

Vampire T11
R4219

Near Selukwe       Air Sub Lt P. M. Bate
19.11.73    

Allouette III
R5087

Near Mt Darwin
Aircraft hit telephone wires
      Sqn Ldr E. R. Wilkinson
Flt Sgt D. Woods
Sgt W. Huck (Army)
4th September 1973
RhAF
Vampire T 11 84205  2 Sqn  Operational conversion training sortie. Crashed in Selukwe area S. Lt. P. M. Bate   Martin-Baker
04.04.74    

Canberra B2
R2156

Near Musengedzi
Bombs expolded in bomb bay
     

Air Sub Lt K. W. Goddard (killed)
Air Sub Lt W. R. Airey (killed)

14.04.74    

Trojan
R3244

Mozambique
Aircraft hit by SAM7
     

Flt Lt B. C. Weinman (killed)
SAC R. R. Durrett (killed)

20.04.74    

Trojan
R3427

Mozambique
Aircraft hit by SAM7
     

Air Sub Lt R. J. Wilson (killed)
Flt Sgt R. S. Andrews (killed)

14.08.74    

Allouette III

Madziwa
Aircraft hit by RPG on the ground
     

Lt H. Houghton
A/Sgt R. H. Wernich

Maj. E. C. Adams (killed)

16.08.74    

Provost
R6308

Aircraft struck ditch on runway       Flt lt S. Baldwin
Off Cdt J. C. Phillips
17.12.74    

Trojan
R4326

Mushumbi Pools
Aircraft struck vehicle at night
     

Air Lt. B. Murdock (killed)
Cpl T. M. Perker (killed)
L/Cpl R. J. Povey (killed)

21.02.75    

Dakota
R7307

Rushinga
Aircraft ground looped after brake failure
      Flt Lt E. H. Paintin
Flt Lt F. Wingrove (VR)
Sgt J. Mitchell
21   may   1975   7307   C-47B   16324/33072   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
30.06.75    

Vampire T11
R4223

Gwelo area
 
     

Off Cdt B. M. Delport (killed)

30   jun   1975   423/4223   Vampire T55     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
19.06.75    

Provost
R6309

Gwelo area. No 2 in Tailchase. Crashed, reason uncertain.      

Air Sub Lt R. J. Boulter (killed)

23.12.75    

Allouette III
R5697

Umtali area
Aircraft hit overhead wires
     

2 Lt van Rensberg
Sgt P. van Rensberg (killed)
Maj Gen J. R. Shaw (killed)
Col D. G. Parker (killed)
Capt I. A. B. Robertson (killed)
Capt M. J. Lamb (killed)

16.02.76    

Cessna 185
R116

Umtali area
Aircraft took off overweight
     

2 Lt Stroebel

Sqn Ldr G. A. Routledge(killed)

20.04.76    

Trojan
R3425

Motoko area
Engine failure at night
      Air Lt I. Sheffield
10.06.76    

Hunter
R1280

Near Thornhill
Bullet severed hydrauklic line
      Flt Lt. T. M. Thomas
15th June 1976
RhAF
Hunter FGA9 R1280
XE548
 

 Bullet severed hydraulic line. Crashed near Thornhill

Flt. Lt. T. M. Thomas   Martin-Baker
18.07.76    

Allouette III

Tech killed by ground fire      

Flt Lt M. Borlace

Sgt J. P. Graham (killed)

25.07.76    

Allouette III
R5076

Near Rutenga
Aircraft hit trees
Photo
      Flt Lt M. Borlace
Sgt Graydon
01.09.76    

Allouette III

Tech killed by ground fire      

Flt Lt I. M. Harvey
Sgt H. F. Belstead (killed)

02.09.76    

Lynx
R3413

NE Mozambuque Border
Aircraft hit by ground fire
     

Air Lt. H. W. H. Stevens (killed)

19.10.76    

Allouette III
R5723

Fort Victoria area
Tail rotor failure
      Flt Lt M. Borlace
Sgt Davel
21.10.76    

Vampire
R1833

QueQue area      

Flt Lt R. R. Hulley (killed)

21   oct   1976   133/1833   Vampire FB9   V0533   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
04.11.76    

Beech Baron
R7310

Buffalo Range
Undercarriage collapse
      Flt Lt M. J. Russell
22.12.76    

Allouette III
R7524

Malapati area       Flt Lt V. B. W. Cook
Sgt M. Upton
06.01.77    

Dakota
D7034

Buffalo Range area
Aircraft flew into overhead wire
     

Sqn Ldr P. A. Barnett (killed)
Flt Lt D. E. Mallett (killed)
Cpl A. Bradley (army)(killed)

                 
07   jan   1977   7034   C-47B   16799/33547   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
12.01.77    

Canberra B2
R2514

Malvernia area
Bom bay hit by ground fire
     

Flt Lt I. H. Donaldson (killed)
Air Sub Lt D. Hawkes (killed)
Capt R.S.S. Warracker (army) (killed)

13th January 1977
RhAF
Vampire FB 52 81318  2 Sqn Engine failure. during training flight forced landing carried out which destroyed the aircraft, near Thornhill. He  a   Pilot Air Sub Lt Nigel Lamb uninjured    
13.01.77    

Vampire T11
R1318

Gwelo area
Engine failure
      Air Sub Lt N. Lamb
                 
18   jan   1977   131/1318   Vampire FB9   V0668   Zimbabwe AF/8s   w/o    
14.03.77    

Lynx
R4311

Motoko area
Aircraft crashed on take off at night
      Air Lt J. Kidson
Lt Col B. Robinson (Army)
17.03.77    

Allouette III
R5172

Mrewa area
Aircraft hit wires
      Flt Lt M. Mulligan
Cpl Fletcher
04.05.77    

Lynx
R4306

Umtali area
Aircraft flew into rising ground
      Air Sub Lt R.H. Griffiths

AC C.W.D. Brown (killed)

17.05.77    

Allouette III
R5725

Aircraft hit by ground fire       Flt Lt R. J. Watt

SAC R.G. Nelson (killed)

31.05.77    

Dakota
R3702

Mapai area
Aircraft hit by RPG on take off
     

Flt Lt B. Collocott (killed)

Flt Lt. G. Lynch

                 
02   jun   1977   702/3702   C-47B   13865/25310   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
23.08.77    

Allouette III
R5713

East Grand Reef area
Aircraft hit by ground fire
      Flt Lt G. A. Oborne
Sgt Robinson
02.09.77    

Lynx
R3042

Umtali area
aircraft flew into ground
     

Air Lt D. L. du Plessis (killed)
Sgt J. S. Underwood (killed)

10.10.77    

Allouette III
R5176

        Air Lt. I. Peacock
SAC Watt
23.11.77    

Vampire
R1386

Motoko Area Hit by ground fire.      

Air Lt. P. W. Haige (killed)

                 
23   nov   1977   136/1386   Vampire FB9   V0673   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
12.01.78    

Allouette III
R5757

Mtoko Area. Hit by ground fire      

Flt Lt Maasdorp
Flt Sgt H. A. J. Jarvie (killed)

12.01.78    

Allouette III
R5701

Mtoko Area. Hit by ground fire.       Air Lt Goatley

Flt Sgt A. I. Flemming (killed)

15.02.78    

Islander
R3718

Dorowa Airfield. Failed to take off       Flt Lt. B. van Huysteen
28.07.78    

Allouette III
R5177

Chioco area. Hit by RPG 7      

Air Lt. G. H. F. du Toit (killed)
Sgt K. P. Nelson (killed)

22.08.78    

Allouette III
R5773

Bindura area. Hit by ground fire       Flt Lt G. A. Oborne
Sgt B. Booth
20.10.78    

Allouette III
R7531

Zambia. Hit by cannon fire.       Air Sub Lt. M. Dawson
Sgt P. Oelofse
07.12.78    

Vampire
R8034

         
                 
04.01.79    

Allouette III
R5170

Gwenora Dam area. Mid air collision      

Flt Lt. K. J.Fynn (killed)
Cpl A. H. W. Turner (killed)
Capt. D. Havnar (killed)

04.01.79    

Allouette III
R5701

Gwenora Dam area. Mid air collision       Flt Lt R. Bolton

Cpl B. N. Cutmore (killed)

09.02.79    

Bell 205
R6807

Melsetter. Tail rotor drive failure       Air Lt. B. Cockcroft, Keiron Meakin
Photo & Details
03.09.79    

Bell 205
R6098

Mazambique Hit by RPG 7      

Flt Lt R. Paxton
AC A. J. C. Wesson (killed)

03   sep   1979   609/6098   Bell 205A   4051   Zimbabwe AF/8s   w/o    
04.09.79    

SA330
SAAF 164

Mozambique. Hit by RPG 7      

3 crew & 12 pax killed

26.09.79    

Allouette III
R5705

Umtali Area. Hit power lines      

Flt Lt. P. M. Bate (killed)
Sgt G. R. Carter (killed)

Capt B. Snelgar

03.10.79    

Canberra B2
R5203

Mozambique. Hit by Ground fire.      

Flt Lt. K. Pienke (killed)
Flt Lt. J. J. Strydom (killed)

03.10.79    

Hunter
R1821

Mozambique. Flew into target      

Air Lt Gordon (killed)

19.10.79    

Allouette III
R5723

Hit by ground fire.       Air Sub Lt. Middleton
Sgt J. Dent
25.11.79    

Genet
R9092

Gwelo. Fuel starvation.       Wg Cdr H. C. S. Slatter
11.12.79    

Bell 205
R6805

Tail rotor failure       Flt Lt R. Skinner
23.12.79    

Genet
R6330

Todd's Motel. Crashed on convoy patrol.       Air Sub Lt S. Tickle
25.12.79    

Allouette III
R5876

Mt Darwin area      

Flt Lt A. J. Senekal (killed)

5th November 1980
Rhod/Zim
Hawk Mk.60A       ??? ejected   Martin-Baker
??? ejected   Martin-Baker
                 
18   dec   1980   711/3711   C-47A   12049   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
25th July 1982
Rhod/Zim
Hawk Mk.60A 601 2 Sqn ????      
     
25th July 1982
Rhod/Zim
Hawk Mk.60A 602 2 Sqn ????      
     
                 
10   jul   1986   712/7312   C-47A   9492   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
                 
19   jun   1989   1805   Hunter FGA9   S4U-3357   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
                 
12   jun   1990   650   AB4212     Zimbabwe AF/8s   w/o    
                 
12   jan   1993   548/5748   SE3160   1396   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
                 
07   oct   1993   600   Hawk T60   312248   Zimbabwe AF/2s   w/o   313  
7th October 1993
Zimbabwe
Hawk Mk.60A       ???   Martin-Baker
???   Martin-Baker
 
Zimbabwe
             
                 
06   apr   1994   504/5074   SE3160   1038   Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
                 
14   nov   1994   700   F-7II     Zimbabwe AF   w/o    
                 
14th November 1994
Zimbabwe
F-7II            
27th February 1995
Zimbabwe
F-7            
February 1995
Zimbabwe
Hunter              
1st March 1995
Zimbabwe
J-7            
12th August 1996
Zimbabwe
Alouette 3     damaged      
13th June 1997
Zimbabwe
???            
22nd August 1998
Zimbabwe
???            
13th December 1998
Zimbabwe
Alouette 3            
13th December 1998
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
11th January 1999
Zimbabwe
Casa-212M-200 802 3 Sqn        
15th February 1999
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
18th February 1999
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
17th March 1999
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
23rd March 1999
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
31st May 1999
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
31st May 1999
Zimbabwe
F-7M            
31st May 1999
Zimbabwe
MiG-21            
6th December 1999
Zimbabwe
SF260TP            
7th December 2000
Zimbabwe
F-7II-N            
30th December 2000
Zimbabwe
F-7II-N            
January 2001
Zimbabwe
Hawk              
21st/22nd January 2001
Zimbabwe
Shenyang F-7     Pilot Wing Commander ????? became disoriented at night while on way to take part in flypast at Laurent Kabila's funeral ejected. He was found alive in the jungle by Zimbabwean troops five days later     JALI
Tuesday 22nd January 2001
Zimbabwe
Shenyang F-7     Pilot  part in flypast at Laurent Kabila's funeral couldn't land as preceding jet had crash landed and blocked the runway.     JALI
February 2001
Zimbabwe
F-6            
February 2001
Zimbabwe
F-6            
February 2001
Zimbabwe
F-6            
25th February 2005
Zimbabwe
Casa-212M-200     Crashed during take-off at the Harare International Airport      
Wing Commander Lysias Charuka
killed
Air Lieutenant Aletini Silaigwana
killed
 
1st April 2005
Zimbabwe
SE3160
Helicopter
    Crashed soon after take-off in Gokwe, pilot tried to avoid telephone lines All four onboard survived    
Friday
5th September 2008
9 am

Zimbabwe
K-8 Karakoram   No 2 Squadron
Thornhill Airbase
Training for Independence Day air display. Crashed into Block 1 Married Quarters flats at Thornhill Airbase in Gweru      
Killed Killed  
                 
                 
 

HARARE - Zimbabwe's state media says two air force jets sideswiped each other during a state funeral flyover, dropping some metal wreckage but landing safely.

Chinese-built K8 jets flew in formation over the funeral of retired Gen. Solomon Mujuru on Saturday. Broken metal pieces from the two colliding jets fell near a sports stadium across the highway a few hundred meters (yards) from the cemetery where Zimbabwe's political leaders and more than 40,000 mourners were gathered, military spokesman Col. Overson Mugwisi told the state Sunday Mail newspaper. There were no reported injuries.

Witnesses told the newspaper that one of the jets rolled over in the air twice before the pilot regained control and veered off toward the nearby Harare air force base.

In fighter jet forums, most pilots are not satisfied with the the Chinese K-8 and there is widespread information that export versions have an upgraded engine which the Chinese have never used.

However, it is said, Zimbabwe imported dodgy spare engines from Ukraine and the are supposed to have 12 K-8s or Zimbabwe might have imported the aircrafts withour engines and bought engines seperatelly, hence the mounting problems endangering the lives of pilots.

Zimbabwean Airforce has suffered in recent times due sanctions and cash shortages as a result of economic problems.

Mourners who thronged the national shrine looked in shock as two pieces peeled off one of the planes forcing it to temporarily lose balance mid-air.
It quickly changed direction soon after the collision going north while the other two continued east.
The two later changed direction to follow the plane that looked very unstable and appeared to be tumbling in mid-air, with mourners fearing that it would not make a safe landing.

“This was going to be a disaster,” said one Air Force of Zimbabwe official who also witnessed the near mishap. “How can they embarrass the President like this? They will definitely be in trouble.”

One of the officials said it was going to be a disaster had the plane plunged into the estimated 50 000 people that thronged the national shrine or had the two pieces fallen into the crowd.

Most mourners including officials from the Air Force of Zimbabwe suspected that the plane would make an emergency landing at Charles Prince Airport just outside Harare or at the Harare International Airport.

But some Air Force of Zimbabwe officials later said the plane made a safe landing at Thornhill Airbase in Gweru.

The officials said this was not the first time that the pilots and the controllers have bungled the fly-past.

Air Force of Zimbabwe public relations officer Tobias Madenhe denied that it was an accident saying it was a “break formation.”

The burial was attended by people from all walks of life, some who walked from the nearby suburbs of Warren Park, Kambuzuma, Kuwadzana and Mabelreign.

Most of the senior officials from the three political parties that form the inclusive government attended the burial.

Among them were Vice President John Nkomo, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his two deputies Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara as well as renowned singer Oliver Mtukudzi.

Mujuru, the first black commander of the Zimbabwe National Army after independence died on Tuesday when fire gutted his farm house in Beatrice.

The suspicious death has fuelled tension with some speculating that he was assassinated as part of Zanu PF’s factional wars.

Police say they are still investigating the cause of the fire with initial reports indicating that a maid had left a candle burning in the house.

Those doubting that the fire was an accident argue that Mujuru must have been able to escape from the fire since windows at the house do not have burglar proof bars.

Mujuru was said to be leading a faction in Zimbabwe that was locked in a bitter war with another one led by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

His wife Vice-President Joice Mujuru appealed for calm and discouraged people from speculating about the cause of his death.

Zanu PF banned its officials from commenting about the death save for party spokesman Rugare Gumbo after speculation intensified that the former general was murdered.

 

 
http://www.rhodesianforces.org/PilotTrainingCourses.htm

Airforce pilot steers stricken jet away from primary school



By Tichaona Sibanda
8 September 2008

An Airforce of Zimbabwe fighter pilot used his last moments to steer his
stricken jet away from a primary school situated within Thornhill airbase in
Gweru and managed to avert a major disaster.

The K-8 jet, a two-seater basic trainer and light attack aircraft finally
hit two high rise flats, and then plunged into a house, which was empty, and
burst into flames killing the two pilots instantly on Friday.

During its final few seconds, the pilot also avoided a children's playing
field inside the base's married quarters. The US$20 million jet that carried
no armaments had taken off from the airbase for a training exercise. It's
believed the two-man crew were part of a group of airmen from the airforce
who were going to take part in an airshow in South Africa later this month.

Witnesses told Newsreel the pilot must have known he was going down but
wanted to make sure he didn't hit the school or hit the more densely
populated areas of the airbase.

The pilots, well known figures in the base were praised for steering the jet
clear of the school moments before it crashed. The jet is thought to have
developed power loss as witnesses on the ground reported it lost altitude
while flying over the base.

It skimmed over trees and houses as it headed for the school before turning
sharply and smashing into two high rise residential flats as witnessed by
the horrified residents. In one flat, there were two children who escaped
unhurt. The two flats and the house were extensively damaged.
Debris was scattered across the housing estate and witnesses said it was a
miracle that there were no deaths on the ground. The crash happened in the
morning when children had gone to school and most adults were at work.

"If it had been early or late evening or on a weekend, we could be talking
of a different story. But those guys could have ejected from the stricken
jet but they stayed with the plane to prevent it from crashing into
heavily-populated areas. They are heroes," said one distraught witness who
knew both the pilots.
 

 

 

                 
                 
Date
 
Type
 
Place
     
Crew

The following table lists the major incidents and accidents between July 1968 and January 1980.
http://www.rhodesianforces.org/AircraftIncidents.htm

                 
Date
   
Type
Place
     
Crew
in Gweru on Friday, September 5, 2008

MDC sought army hand in 'power transition' - court told

Chinese ship unloads in Angola, no sign of arms

China may recall arms ship

Zambia calls on African countries to repel Chinese ship

US bids to block Chinese ship from unloading

Chinese weapons ship sails to Mozambique

SA union refuses to unload arms shipment

Chinese vessel carrying Zim arms docks in Durban

Chinese vessel delivering arms to Zimbabwe - claim

Karoi army 'war' drill raises crackdown fears

Zimbabwe's security chiefs issue threats on election eve

Army threatens coup if Mugabe loses

Civil servants strike looms as soldiers get windfall

Police ask for more time in coup plot trial

Kidnappers seize army commander's baby

Zim prosecutors 'not ready' for coup trial

New wheels for army, police bosses

'Coup plotters' have case to answer - court

Mugabe hails army loyalty

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 11/12/2009 15:59:02
AN Air Force of Zimbabwe jet crashed early Friday killing two pilots during a training exercise over the Midlands town of Gweru, military officials confirmed.

The Chinese-made K-8 Karakoram training jet came down near the Thornhill Airbase in Zimbabwe's Midlands town of Gweru during a "routine training sortie", an army spokesman said.

The names of the pilots were withheld until their next of kin are informed, but the Air Force confirmed there were no civilian casualties in the 9AM crash.

"The two pilots were on a routine training sortie when tragedy struck," Air Commodore Shebba Shumbayawonda, the AFZ's Director General (Operations) told reporters.

Shumbayawonda said the two pilots attached to No 2 Squadron were being trained in performing fly-past stunts which are normally performed during national events such as Independence Day.

An investigation has been launched into the crash.

Zimbabwe’s ageing military hardware has not been spared by the economic downturn. The Air Force is hard hit as it struggles to get spare parts for its jets – some of which were manufactured by Britain which has imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is believed to have, among its fleet, around 10 Hawk jets, bought from the UK in the early 1980s.

In 2006, President Robert Mugabe’s government splashed on 12 K-8 training and fighter jets bought from China at an estimated cost of US$200 million.

Accidents involving military jets are rare in Zimbabwe. In 2005, a Cassa 212 military transport plane came down during take-off at the Harare International Airport, killing two pilots -- Wing Commander Lysias Charuka and Air Lieutenant Aletini Silaigwana.

An Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter came down in April of the same year moments after take-off in Gokwe as the pilot tried to avoid telephone lines. All four onboard survived

Aircraft losses

Exact figures for the Air Force of Zimbabwe's aircraft losses have not been publicly published. It is believed four Hawks were lost, three F7s and several helicopters.

  • Michael Enslin, 21 years of age the time, was shot down in a BAe Hawk at 1000 feet while recovering from a dive. He survived for 5 days in the bush until he was rescued. He was the third pilot to be shot down.
  • SF.260MC flown by Sqn.Ldr. Sharunga crashed in bad weather, killing the pilot.
  • The Pilot Wing Commander became disorientated at night while on the way to take part in a flypast at Laurent Kabila's funeral, and the pilot ejected. He was found alive in the jungle by Zimbabwean troops five days later.

[edit] Notable incidents and accidents

  • The Air Force suffered a major setback on 25 July 1982 when four of their eight ordered Hawks were damaged in a sabotage attack a few days after their arrival at Thornhill. 602 was written off, 601 was kept in Zimbabwe for repairs, whilst 600 and 603 were shipped back to British aerospace for repairs to airworthy status.
  • 22 July 1985, a UFO was witnessed by dozens of persons on the ground and in the control tower at Bulawayo international Airport. The air traffic controllers watched it hover and tracked it on radar and two BAE Hawk jets were scrambled to pursue it and the pilots described it as incredibly shiny, reflecting the colours of the sunset they estimated that the UFO was travelling at twice the speed of sound.
  • More than 20 airspace intrusions were reported in the first nine days of October 1992. The violations appeared to be in the vicinity of Thornhill air base and the violators are believed to be South African transport planes on their way to Angola.
  • 21/22 January 2001, an unnamed pilot also wing commander flying a Chengdu F7 became disorientated at night while on the way to take part in a flypast at Laurent Kabila's funeral. He ejected and was found alive in the jungle by Zimbabwean troops five days later.
  • 22 January 2001, a Chengdu F7 pilot participating in a fly past at Laurent Kabila's funeral couldn't land as a preceding jet had crash landed and blocked the runway. The aircraft crashed and he ejected safely.
  • In 2005, a CASA C212-200 Aviocar military transport plane came down during take-off at the Harare International Airport, killing two pilots – Wing Commander Lysias Charuka and Air Lieutenant Aletini Silaigwana.
  • A helicopter came down in April of the same year moments after take-off in Gokwe as the pilot tried to avoid telephone lines. All four on board survived.
  • 5 September 2008, a K-8 Karakoram training jet came down near the Thornhill Airbase in the Midlands town of Gweru during a routine training sortie.[11]
  • On 22 September 2010 K-8 serial number 2021C piloted by "Venom" practising for the Africa aerospace and defence 2010 display burst a tyre on landing and rolled to the end of the runway at AFB Ysterplaat, Cape town. It took some time to get the runway open again and aircraft in the air at the time diverted to Cape Town International Airport.

 

                 

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Webmaster
rhodesianforces.org