Aerobatic Teams

Red Arrows
Losses and Ejections
Photos of pilots and ground support crews mentioned below appreciated

List being compiled - more to add

 
Date Air Force A'cft Unit - Serial

based

crashed crew photo seat
26th March 1969
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XR573
on loan to Red Arrow
RAF Kemble Flew into trees/ground during practice while attempting to rejoin the formation . Flt Lt Jerry Bowler
no ejection

killed
  Folland
Flight International 3rd April 1969
page 531


Red Arrows' Loss

A REGRETTABLE LOSS was suffered by the Red Arrows on Wednesday of last week, March 26, when a member of the famous aerobatic team was killed in a crash near RAF Kemble. He was Fit Lt Jeremy Bowler, who had joined them this year. No details had been released at the time of going to press, other than that the accident occurred during a routine training flight in which nine aircraft were airborne.
 

13th June 1969
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XP501 RAF Fairford Undershot runway following hydraulic failure. Unknown   Folland
16th December 1969
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XR992 Red Arrow
CFS
aircraft abandoned after erroneous call that engine was on fire - fire warning was given to XR995. Cirencester, Gloucestershire SqLdr Richard "Dickie" Duckett
ordered to eject - minor injuries
also ejected from a No 1sqn Harrier on 21st September 1979
Folland
16th December 1969
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XR995 Red Arrow
CFS
Engine Fire aircraft abandoned following report of engine fire. Kemble, Gloucestershire Fl Lt Jack Rust ejected - minor injuries Folland
13th November 1970
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 RED 1
XR994
Red Arrow
CFS
Engine failure during aerobatics practice - Red Arrows RAF Kemble Sqn Ldr Dennis Hazell ejected
injured
Folland
20th January 1971
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 RED 6
XR986
Red Arrow
CFS
Mid-Air Collision between synchro pair. Wings clipped  during an opposition manoeuvre `Roulette'   no ejection
Flight Lieutenant Euan Perreaux  killed  Flight Lieutenant John Lewis killed no ejection
20th January 1971
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 RED 7
XR545
Red Arrow
CFS
RAF Kemble
  no ejection
Flight Lieutenant John Haddock
killed
Flight Lieutenant Colin Armstrong
killed
no ejection
 

PLEASE CONFIRM CREW PAIRINGS - ALSO SEEN AS
FLT LT HADDOCK WITH FLT LT LEWIS
and
FLT LT PERRAUX WITH FLT LT ARMSTRONG

13th December 1971
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XR567   Crashed on approach to RAF Upper Heyford      
 

FURTHER DETAILS APPRECIATED

16th February 1976
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XP531 RAF Kemble Struck cable and made emergency landing. Damaged beyond repair ??   Folland
?? June 1876
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XR987 RAF Kemble Back setaer ejected during check flight   no ejection - landed aircraft
pilot Flt Lt Dudley Carvell
[Corvell ?]
Cpl Ginger Whelan ejected through the canopy from the back seat when he thought  control of aircraft had been lost. "No-one was hurt and we had the aircraft flying again the next week" Folland
24th June 1976
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 RED 1
XS111
RAF Kemble Wheel brake failure during landing. SqLdr Richard "Dickie" Duckett
unhurt
no-ejection
3rd March 1978
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 RED 4
XR981
Red Arrow
CFS
RAF Kemble. Red Arrows - Struck ground whilst practising Vic rollback aerobatics   no ejection
Pilot Flt. Lt. Stephen Edward Noble
killed
Wg. Cdr. Dennis George Hazell AFC
killed
no ejection
Feedback ".   .   .   XR981 happened during pre-season practice, specifically while the team were practicing roll-backs at low altitude. The aircraft ended up inverted and neither occupant left the aircraft. One seat fired, but I can’t remember which, but couldn’t go anywhere. Steve Noble survived initially but died later that day."
Feedback


"3 Mar 1978, in the footnote you are not sure which ejector seat fired. It was the rear seat (Wg Cdr Hazell). The aircraft had hit the ground and then bounced back into the air, one wing then dug in and the aircraft cartwheeled eventually ending up upside down. During this time it was still travelling at some speed and as the rear seat was a little higher and the canopy was broken, it made contact with the ground pulling the top handle of the seat and setting off the ejection sequence, but as you say the seat could not go anywhere and so the seat rails came out through the bottom of the floor.

Sadly I witnessed this crash from start to finish, with many others, as it was a families day for the Red Arrows and many people were there to watch the practise."

Regards
Dave Dale
Red Arrows ground crew Oct 77- June 83
in email 27th August 2011
 

22nd May 1979
RAF
Folland Gnat T1 XP539
 
CFS Fuel blockage caused engine problems and aircraft abandoned. RAF Leeming, Yorks Wing Commander Ernie Jones ejected OK Folland
     
FEEDBACK XP539 actually belonged to the Red Arrows, but was a  reserve ship not fitted with smoke. It was flown by , our CO, Wing Commander Ernie Jones, who was the only person on board, and was visiting Training Command HQ. The accident was due to asymmetric fuelling of the aircraft – when one side ran out of fuel the flow proportioner, which equalised usage from both sides, cut the fuel flow off from the other side. Lots of red faces.
17th  May 1980
RAF
CFS
Red Arrows
Crashed into the sea off Brighton after colliding with a yacht's mast which had ignored a sailing ban during the display
Squadron Leader Steve R. JOHNSON
ejected at mast height
 Martin-Baker Mk.10

Hawk T.1 RED 7
XX262
21st April 1983
RAF
Hawk T.1 RED 6
XX227
CFS
Red Arrows
Wirestrike during cross country near Culachy, Scotland      
FLt M Henry de Courcier
landed the aircraft safely
Sgt Paul Inman
ejected
injured
Martin-Baker
FEEDBACK

".   .   .  Paul Inman ejected after the cable strike because he thought HdC was dead or injured, the high tension cable had damaged the comms and at low level he had very little time to decide what to do. There were two cable that struck the aircraft, one was at eye level of the pilot in the front seat and it was reasonable to think the pilot was injured or dead, so Paul banged out. His injuries were quite serious, damaging both his knees very badly on landing.

I remember this due to the fact I was due to go on that trip and Paul took my place at the last minute."

Regards
Dave Dale
Red Arrows ground crew Oct 77- June 83
in email 27th August 2011
 

21st March 1984
RAF
Hawk T.1 RED 7
XX251
 CFS
Red Arrows
RAF Akrotiri Cyprus 
Hit the ground during display practice (opposition loop) at Akrotiri, Cyprus

The impact forced the ejection seat through the canopy and deployed the chute dragging the pilot out

Flight Lieutenant Chris Hurst
Inadvertent ejection
injured
  Martin-Baker
 

Displays lost after Red Arrow crash

AKROTIRI ~

The crash of a Royal Air Force Red Arrows Hawk T.1 in practice has forced the team to cancel the first 16 displays of its 1984 schedule. The accident occurred during pre-season work-up training at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, on March 21. One of the two synchro-pair Hawks, flown by Fit Lt Chris Hurst, crashed during an opposition loop. The other aircraft was not involved. Hurst ejected, sustaining slight injuries.

To avoid delaying the team while Hurst recovers and is passed fit for flying, a new pilot has been recruited. Fit Lt Gordon Hannam, a Jaguar instructor with solo aerobatic experience, has joined the team and takes the Number Three slot, while Ted Ball moves from Three to Five, and Ross Boyens from Five to seven, the latter slot doubling  as one of the synchro pair.

RAF Support Command says that the team will now give its first show at Hanover on May 26, but hopes to fit in some of the missed venues towards the end of the season. Displays affected are at Blackpool and Biggin Hill on May 19, and at RAF Kemble and Biggin Hill on May 20.

Flight International 14th April 1984 p.1002

31st August 1984
RAF
Hawk T.1 RED 8
XX257

Red Arrows

Suffered failure of a rotor blade in the low pressure

compressor while taking part in a display -top of the 'Vixen' loop over Sidmouth, Devon

Flt. Lt. Peter D. Lees
flew the aircraft out to sea where he ejected
Martin-Baker
  IT was the day Sidmouth will never forget. The day a brave young pilot ditched his million pound jet into the sea as thousands on Sidmouth's Esplanade watched in horror. A silence fell over the sea front, until the news that the Red Arrow pilot, 28-year-old Peter Lees, had ejected and escaped serious injury. For Flight Lieutenant Lees, it was the moment every pilot dreads. His intense training was put to the test - and he came through with flying colours. Today, we salute Peter Lees.
3rd November 1986
RAF
Hawk T1A RED 7
XX297
CFS
Red Arrows
RAF Scampton
Engine
surged and cut after the aircraft flew into the jet wash of the leading aircraft. Unable to relight the engine During a display practice at Scampton, Lincs
Flt. Lt. Dan Findlay Martin-Baker
16th November 1987
RAF
Hawk T.1 RED 2
XX241
 4 FTS [on loan] This was the  first "Red Arrows" Hawk crash where two of the planes had a wing tip collision which caused them to plunge to the ground in the village of Welton near Lincoln
five miles east of Scampton, Lincs. during practice aerobatics
Sqn Ldr Tim Miller
ejected
injured
Martin-Baker
16th November 1987
RAF
Hawk T.1A RED 1
XX259
Red Arrows Flt. Lt. M. J. "Spike"  Newbury
[Newbery ? spelling]
ejected
injured
Martin-Baker
22nd January 1988
RAF
Hawk T.1
of the Red Arrows
RED 8
XX243

Red Arrows
RAF Scampton
Flew into ground during a practice manoeuvre at RAF Scampton Flt Lt Neil "Clachy" MacClachlan
killed
  Martin-Baker
Flight International 30th January 1988
page 3

Red Arrows pilot killed
RAFSCAMPTON ~

Fit Lt Neil MacLachlan, of the Royal Air Force aerobatic team the Red Arrows, was killed during practice on January 22, at the team's base at RAF Scampton. Neil MacLachlan joined the Red Arrows last October. He had previously flown Lightnings and was married, with a two-week-old child.

The accident occurred while six aircraft (one side of the usual nine-ship formation) were practising a manoeuvre known as the roll back. In this sequence, pairs of aircraft pull up in turn, from a vie flying straight and level, to barrelroll outwards and then rejoin  the formation. The Hawk crashed on the snow-covered airfield while performing this low-level, medium-speed manoeuvre. This was the second accident with the current team. On November 16 two Hawks collided at Scampton and both pilots ejected. Sqn Ldr Tim Miller, the new team leader, suffered back injuries, and Fit Lt Spike Newbery broke a leg. One of the Hawks demolished a house and a civilian was treated for shock and minor injuries. Miller recovered, but Newbery was replaced by Fit Lt Dom Riley. The Royal Air Force says that there is "no question whatsoever" of the team being disbanded, but adds that it might not be possible to work up a full nine-ship team before the season starts in May. The main limiting factor is availability of pilots with Red Arrows experience who could slot back into the team within the limited time available. Should no former pilots be immediately available the team would continue for this season with seven-ships.

 

24th June 1988
RAF
Hawk T.1
of the Red Arrows
RED 4
XX304

Red Arrows
RAF Scampton
  Crashed on take-off  at about 140 knots from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.
 
Sqn. Ldr. Pete J. Collins
deputy leader
ejected suffered back and facial injuries
Martin-Baker
17th October  1998
RAF
Hawk T.1
of the Red Arrows
RED 2
XX252

Red Arrows
RAF Scampton
Landed short at RAF Scampton following practice flight.
also seen as Cranwell
CONFIRM
Flt Lt R. Edwards
ejected
  Martin-Baker
10th September 2003
also seen as 9th CONFIRM

RAF
    Red Arrows veered off the runway at Jersey Airport    
pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jez Griggs not injured engineer Corporal Harry Harrison not injured no ejections
?? ?? 2007
RAF
Hawk     Minor mid-air during practice flight near RAF Scampton. Both aircraft landed OK      
Wednesday 20th August 2008
14:05 BST

RAF
Hawk XX320
[callsign Red 11]

Red Arrows
RAF Scampton

Lincolnshire
Crashed into the ATC car park of RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire following landing problems. Martin-Baker Mk.10
Wg Cmdr David Wigglesworth
ejected
Chief Technician Dan Platts
ejected from ground level, sustained major back injuries
Martin-Baker Mk.10
Both taken to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) for treatment
Tuesday 23rd March 2010
RAF
Hawk RED 6
XX233
Hellenic Air Force Base Kastelli, Crete

RAF aerobatic team, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire

Training exercise. Mid air collision off the coast of Crete during pre-season training in Crete and crashed onto the air field. The other aircraft involved  landed safely at Iraklio Airport with the other aircraft Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling
ejected
 sustained dislocated shoulder
Martin-Baker
Tuesday 23rd March 2010
RAF
Hawk RED 7
XX253
Hellenic Air Force Base Kastelli, Crete

RAF aerobatic team, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire

Training exercise. Mid air collision off the coast of Crete during pre-season training in Crete. The aircraft  was further damaged when it landed safely at Iraklio Airport with the other team aircraft. The other aircraft in the collision crashed onto the air field pilot ejected.

Flight Lieutenant Dave Montenegro
landed safely with no injuries

Martin-Baker
Saturday 20th August 2011
RAF
Hawk T.1
RED 4
XX179
**

Red Arrows
RAF Scampton
Took off from Bournemouth Airport. Crashed during air show in Bournemouth FLIGHT Lieutenant Jon Egging
33
killed
Martin-Baker Mk.10
updates **Flt Lt Egging was not flying his usual Hawk T.1 XX308 - entry amended 25th August 2011
Tuesday 8th November 2011
11:00

RAF
Hawk T.1  
Red Arrows
RAF Scampton

Lincolnshire
Pilot ejected from one of the jets while on the ground and his parachute did not deploy.      
Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham
was ejected at ground level
died of  injuries
Martin-Baker Mk.10
                 
                 

Acknowledgements

 

FEEDBACK


 

I was senior engineer with the Red Arrows from 1974-79 and I can add a bit to the Gnat accidents over that period.

 

I was also at RAF Valley from 1965-67. In the midair collision, which occurred during formation practice the solo student’s aircraft decelerated into the one behind containing a student and instructor. Of these two, the guy in the front seat was not able to eject but the back seat pilot did. The solo student in the other aircraft unaccountably attempted a wheels-up landing back at Valley, much too fast. The aircraft started to roll on the ground and he ejected – but horizontally so did not survive.

 

see 22nd april 1965 -

XS108 Gnat T1 4fts VALLEY Flg. Off.  Gavin Darrell Priest killed in collision with XR950

XR950 GNAT T1 - CARMEL SOUTH OF CAERNARVON

FLIGHT LT. TIMOTHY FRANCIS HAUGHTON MERMEGAN KILLED

 

What is bizarre with hindsight is that at the time these accidents seemed so routine.

  I was going through your Folland ejection pages and have some additinal
names/details you might want to add.

I was a member of the Red Arrows ground crew for some 10 years (1967 to
1977) and was with the Team for these events.

XR 573    Fl Lt Jerry Bowler - Team 1st loss    - Kemble

XR 992    Fl Lt Dickie Duckett ordered to eject – See XR995

XR 995    Fl Lt Jack Rust ejected at Kemble – Engine Fire.

XR 994    Sqn Ldr Dennis Hazell ejected at Kemble – Engine failure

As to the loss of XR 981, I don't know if there was an attempt at using the
ejection seat - the story I was told that Dennis Hazell was leaving the
country on a posting as an Air Attache and had called in a Kemble on his way
to Heathrow. As a former leader (and succesful ejectee - although he broke
his thigh on ejection), he went for a practice flight with the Team. The
aircraft crashed at Kemble.

in email 24th February 2007_
 

_____Mike,

Another update for you, to fill you in on the background to a loss of a
Gnat:

XP501 was a Red Arrows 'Tinship' - a normal Gnat with no smoke sytem
installed (ie it was able to hold a full fuel load), but painted in Red
Arrows colours. There were, at most, a couple of these aircraft that were
used to fly urgent spares to the Team, etc.

On 13 June 1969, XP501 was kitted out as the CFS Commandant's aircraft, ie
it had 'Star' side panels fitted - to show it was carrying the CFS
Commandant - Air Commodore Ivor Broom.

We had an Senior Aircraftsman (SAC), Robin Williams, who was leaving the
team and emigrating, with his mother, to New Zealand, who had always wanted
to fly in a Red Arrow before he left the RAF.

Now it was usually quite difficult to get a flight with the Team during a
Display Season for someone who was not part of the 'Flying Circus' of the
Teams Groundcrew - as these engineers were required to service the Team
aircraft after a transit flight, to make them quickly available for a
display. By this method we were able to find any defect that required
attention before the support aircraft arrived, and with it the main part of
the Teams Groundcrew, and with the aircraft spares.

So it was decided that we could kill two birds with one stone - we needed
someone to fly with the Commandant, and with Robin's request it was easy to
pair them together.

XP501 took off before the Team - we were transitting to Germany for a series
of displays, when the Commandant reported difficulties with the aircraft. He
was advised to land at RAF Fairford, with it's long runway, as a precaution.
It was on approach to Fairford that the aircraft crashed and Robin was
responsible for pulling the Commandant from the burning aircraft on the side
of the runway. The Commandant broke a foot and one toe, I believe, and Robin
was burned around the face.

As an aside on this crash, Air Commodore Broom, making use of the 'Old Boy'
network, was able to arrange for Robin, and his mother, to fly all the way
out to New Zealand - with their full household goods and chattals, and they
were able to stay in accomodation in New Zealand until they were able to
settle where they were going to stay.

This story, and others is covered in a recent book, (on Page 177),  called
'RAF Little Rissington, the Central Flying School Years, 1946-1976'
published by Pen & Sword Books Limited - ISBN 1 84415 1381 9.

Keep up the good work, I've still not had an update from Terry Whelan, yet,
but the aircraft was XR987.

Cheers, Brian
in email 8th March 2007_________________________________________________________

Serials , Sqn. photos, further details amendments appreciated

 Below are temporary  links to specific Aerobatic Teams and their Losses and Ejections - All are considered works in progress and addition material / amendments welcomed - and acknowledged


Blue Angels

Red Arrows

Snowbirds
 Frecce Tricolor
Green Falcons

 

page last amended / updated

Thursday, 14. March 2013 21:21