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J35 Draken

Red11 down at Cranwell

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From the BBC website..

A Hawk jet has crash landed in the car park of the RAF Cranwell airbase in Lincolnshire.

Two people on board the jet were injured when the plane landed next to the air traffic control tower.

The crew members ejected from the jet, but it is believed they were not seriously injured.

The RAF confirmed the jet came down within the bounds of the airfield. Around 20 firefighters have been sent to the scene.

An RAF spokesperson said: "Both crew ejected safely and are currently being assessed medically.

"The Civilian Air Ambulance is at the scene along with a RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter.

"We do not know what caused this incident, however, a Board of Inquiry is being established to investigate all aspects of the crash.

"The next of kin have been informed."

The airmen were being taken to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) for treatment following the crash which happened at 1405 BST.

However, it is believed that the aircraft touched down on the runway and then an undercarriage leg collapsed, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway and into the ATC carpark.

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Not a good day :fraidnot:

Fingers crossed the crew are OK....

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So? - A fairly normal hazard of military aviation, typically either due to mechanical or finger trouble. Ok, not as common as it once was, admittedly. Sounds as if the crew are fine. (Probably worrying more about the enquiry by now!) Normal habit to checka ndassess after ejection - it's a fairly major belt even if all goes well.

Hawks had a problem with brakes in their very earliest days in service - I wonder if that is still an occasional weakness. Could the u/c failure be related to that - unlikely I guess. Getting quite long in the tooth those beasties now.

Much more serious, a Spanair machine crashed on take-off at Madrid today. Sounds much worse - and no quick Martin Baker way out either!

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So? - A fairly normal hazard of military aviation, typically either due to mechanical or finger trouble. Ok, not as common as it once was, admittedly. Sounds as if the crew are fine. (Probably worrying more about the enquiry by now!) Normal habit to checka ndassess after ejection - it's a fairly major belt even if all goes well.

Hawks had a problem with brakes in their very earliest days in service - I wonder if that is still an occasional weakness. Could the u/c failure be related to that - unlikely I guess. Getting quite long in the tooth those beasties now.

Much more serious, a Spanair machine crashed on take-off at Madrid today. Sounds much worse - and no quick Martin Baker way out either!

Hydraulics failure is a good bet, hope the crew are OK.

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Hydraulics failure is a good bet, hope the crew are OK.

Good point - not funny at their landing speeds & no brakes etc - Does Cranwell have a barrier? I guess it probably doesn't.

Edited by John B (Sc)

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If as I suspect the Reds have as qualified and top notch a maintenance crews as do the T-Birds and Blue Angels, an accident in/on one of their birds will be extremely rare. Materiel failure is more likely the cause of them losing an aircraft, and that being something the fixers couldn't see. As said before some hawks are getting long in the tooth. Main thing is the human assest is basically unscathed. Though I imagine some what in need of a stiff beverage to help calm the nerves.

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So? - A fairly normal hazard of military aviation, typically either due to mechanical or finger trouble. Ok, not as common as it once was, admittedly. Sounds as if the crew are fine. (Probably worrying more about the enquiry by now!) Normal habit to checka ndassess after ejection - it's a fairly major belt even if all goes well.

Hawks had a problem with brakes in their very earliest days in service - I wonder if that is still an occasional weakness. Could the u/c failure be related to that - unlikely I guess. Getting quite long in the tooth those beasties now.

Much more serious, a Spanair machine crashed on take-off at Madrid today. Sounds much worse - and no quick Martin Baker way out either!

It's still news though isn't it? As Angels49 said, it's pretty rare for any incident involving the Reds to happen. You could see the crew were ok just from the title so you didn't have to read it if it was just going to annoy you! Just because there's been one big incident in Spain doesn't mean the rest of the worlds aviation news has to be put on hold..

And I don't know whether Cranwell has a barrier but the aircraft ended up hitting the air traffic control tower and some cars that were parked near it.

Edited by J35 Draken

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I don't think John meant it quite that way Dean, although it doesn't read too well, his later comments back up that he does have concern for the Hawk crew, just more for the poor souls on the Spanair plane. Some awful headlines on that subject today :(

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I don't think John meant it quite that way Dean, although it doesn't read too well, his later comments back up that he does have concern for the Hawk crew, just more for the poor souls on the Spanair plane. Some awful headlines on that subject today :(

Thanks Mike, for interpreting. Sorry Dean if it upset you - I wasn't trying to be rude - simply that these things happen fairly routinely, especially in the military. Part of the risks of the game, which the participants understand and accept.

It's a bit of an old story. All flying gets routine or even ~boring at times. then suddenly things go twang and it's all far too 'exciting', too quickly ! I do sympathise with the Hawk crew. Most pilots will immediately picture themselves in that pickle. (cries of Aargh, whoops, or oh s***, etc.)

(Incidentally the tendency amongst many pilots, providing the crew survived, is to sound quite casual and even almost critical of the bad luck or errors of other pilots, then do the sympathetic bit! The participants usually also try to sound laid back about it all, even make it a joke. Silly?, but human nature.)

I do get more than a tad irritated at media attempts to make a drama out of every crisis, which is probably what prompted the 'So?' comment. They, usually ignorantly, ask the wrong questions, don't listednto the answers (because they aren't dramatic enough), emphasise the wrong things, and as a result get our usually equally poorly informed political masters doing silly knee jerk stuff. One reason flying is becoming such a pain in this country is the combination of biased media reporting, and ill informed MPs / civil servants applying ridiculous so called Health & Safety rules to avoid absurd litigation claims.

(A good clue - if ANYONE says to you 'Safety is paramount' - walk away. He's an idiot. If safety is paramount, don't get out of bed. Life is obviously far too dangerous. Certainly don't fly aeroplanes.)

Bah humbug ...Soap Box off...... Old somewhat exasperated pilot who remembers the rather freer days of yore !

Cheers,

John

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Speaking as an airsofter, who regularly (health permitting) goes out with the knowledge he's going to get stung by fast moving little pellets and carries "fireworks" (flash-bangs & smokes) in pouches attached to his person, I say safety is common sense... Health & Safety (note capitals) is litigation avoidance! :mental: I wear a pair of shooting glasses when I skirmish, but some H&S bod will one day notice that there's a small gap between the lens & my face that could conceivably allow a BB to strike my eye under extremely unlikely circumstances. To me that's an acceptable risk because goggles steam up, but to them it's a H&S issue... :doh:

Common sense - superceded by Health & Safety, and becoming less common as a result. :(

Anyway - we digress. Any news on the crew & bystanders of this incident?

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Thanks Mike, for interpreting. Sorry Dean if it upset you - I wasn't trying to be rude - simply that these things happen fairly routinely, especially in the military. Part of the risks of the game, which the participants understand and accept.

No worries John, totally understand :) Last I heard were the crew had some minor back injuries from the ejection but that was all.

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Good point - not funny at their landing speeds & no brakes etc - Does Cranwell have a barrier? I guess it probably doesn't.

I suspect that it does (but can exactly remember), purely due to the relatively large number of Hawk movements, and the fact of course that at one stage it was the Reds base.

Mind you, in this instance, I think it wasn't much use!

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Yes. Skidding off the runway due to u/c collapse does make it difficult to use!

I have a memory of an incident years ago just after emergency barriers became fairly common, - at Leeming I think? One of Leeming's JPs - it was that long ago - had brake failure and realised rather too late to be able apply power and go around safely. (the early JPs were quite marginal flying machines.)

Cry from aircraft heading rapidly South was " Barrier, barrier", tower immediately responded "Negative barrier" (push button, oops no response) followed by a looong expensive graunching noise as the gear was retracted and the aircrft skidded off stage left, through the far hedge into a field. No-one hurt but a rather surprised pupil as they ended up 'aux vaches' - not quite the emergency response he had expected. Quick reactions from the instructor, though probably not the standard drill. General amusement afterwards.

The microswitches designed to stop an on-ground retraction were apparently foxed by a quick heave on the stick, momentarily taking the load off sufficiently. They aren't a good thing to rely on anyway.

The Cranwell pilots are lucky to get away with mild? back injuries. A last minute exit like that would be quite hard to brace properly for, especially if it is a command ejection system (I don't know if the Hawk has that, expect it will.). At least modern seats are a bit gentler that the early ones. It was said you ended up significantly shorter after each ejection, and three was the absolutely maximum to avoid terminal spinal damage - lack of clearance betwen vertebrae due to compression. So goodbye fast jets. Mind you you'd think after three you'd want to find another game anyway!

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Speaking to my bro yesterday about this incident, he didn't know the cause, but apparently it was "almost" a reds jet. It had been picked up from another base (will try and find out and update) by the new Reds Wing Commander, with one of the team engineers in the back. It was being flown to Scampton to be modified/painted etc as a new Reds mount. Will update with more info later once bro has snooped a little more.

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The Hawk was on delivery from storage at Shawbury ,where by chance I was on camp with the cadetsand taking pics when it took off so here are the last photos of the aircraft before it crashed.

SHA08a388.jpg

SHA08a389.jpg

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I have seen some close up pics of the crash, and luckily the Hawk missed the tower itself but took out the Pyrotechnics shed (fortunately not setting any off!) and a few cars. Not sure what the "official" cause was, but I notice that the gear doors were not open, maybe someone had a sticky undercarriage lever........

Cranwell does have a barrier at each end of the main runway, which would not have helped in this case.

Just glad I'm not there anymore, the insurance claim forms would have been a bugger to complete!

Edited by rafalbert

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