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Jaguar at RAF Finningley 13/14 September 1984

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Jaguar at RAF Finningley 13/14 September 1984

Old 2nd Mar 2018, 23:00
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Jaguar at RAF Finningley 13/14 September 1984

Hi, a bit of a long shot here but on the 13th September 1984 a Jaguar from 31 Squadron landed at RAF Finningley, stayed the night and left the next day. I'm just wondering if by any slim chance somebody took a photograph of it, being an unusual aircraft there I thought that someone may have.
Regards Paul
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 09:22
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Wot? Wocket? It does sound like him.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 09:26
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Hello Jenkins. Yes it was, I was just hoping there was a photo out there somewhere of it before it left.
Regards Paul
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 10:00
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Not XX977, see below taken from this link:

UK Military Aircraft Losses

After encountering poor weather during a low level sortie the pilot was late in deciding to pull out and, as he climbed, cloud obscured hills ahead of him. The aircraft struck cables supporting the Charwelton Radio Tower near Daventry, Bedfordshire 380ft from its base ripping off approximately 5ft from the port wing. The pilot transmitted a mayday and made an emergency landing at RAE Bedford. On 7th December the airframe was transported to Shawbury but was deemed to be damaged beyond economical repair. Allocated to BDRT at St. Athan as 9132M
Cannot see reference to any othe Jaguar around that time frame.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 11:08
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Hi Exrigger, YES it was XX977, although after reading the official accident report and a personal report from the pilot it did not strike cables but the main mast (not even sure that tower has cables). Nitpicking maybe but just trying to keep the online record accurate.
Jenkins, I'm disappointed to hear of the reaction, I would have assumed a different response from fellow aircrew.

Still hoping for a 'before' photo.

Regards Paul
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 12:35
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Fair enough PaulC, I mearly thought that the link provided saying that the pilot transmitted a mayday and made an emergency landing at RAE Bedford meant it did not land at RAF Finningley, I did not know that this was incorrect and posted in good faith.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 12:42
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He took off that morning from Finningley and later landed at Bedford.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 13:03
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Was that the incident that prompted the IFS statement (it must have been around that time) as to the wisdom of using masts as turning points?
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 14:43
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Interesting that.

The Jaguar airframe and its wings were managed as different assemblies and were frequently changed over. The wing change, if I recall correctly, required four bolts and a shed load of other stuff to be disconnected and the wing could then be lifted off as a single piece.

If this aircraft was written off, one presumes there was other significant damage in addition to the loss of a chunk of wing.

Old Duffer
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Old-Duffer View Post
Interesting that.

The wing change, if I recall correctly, required four bolts and a shed load of other stuff to be disconnected and the wing could then be lifted off as a single piece.
That's right. We used to remove them at Abingdon for modification work. As you said, four bolts and some pipes, rods and wiring on the spine. Not quite as quick as a Harrier wing removal but not a big job at all.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 21:03
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Originally Posted by Old-Duffer View Post
Interesting that.

The Jaguar airframe and its wings were managed as different assemblies and were frequently changed over. The wing change, if I recall correctly, required four bolts and a shed load of other stuff to be disconnected and the wing could then be lifted off as a single piece.

If this aircraft was written off, one presumes there was other significant damage in addition to the loss of a chunk of wing.

Old Duffer
I think that the whole wing was pushed back over a foot down the spine of the fuselage.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 21:03
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Originally Posted by Chris Kebab View Post
Was that the incident that prompted the IFS statement (it must have been around that time) as to the wisdom of using masts as turning points?
I was once joed to 'nav' a baby pilot (he had wings) from Coningsby to St Athan in the Chipmunk. He had already planned the trip but I think my boss had second thoughts and wanted a little more experience in the cockpit. I had a look at his route. Mast hopping all the way as they would be easy to see. Thankfully it was cancelled.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 20:46
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Couple of pictures of it here, although not at Finningly on that day.

XX977 (cn S99) Sepecat Jaguar GR1 Photo by Alex Staruszkiewicz | AIRFIGHTERS.COM
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 10:35
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iirc there was a lot of concrete shrapnel damage to the fuselage, only the crutching mechanism of the port drop tank remained and the port intake was split in two where a whip aerial on top of the boxed yagi (sp?) aerial had hit it, causing the port engine to surge. The boxed yagi was knocked off its shelf. The crash mag cover photo showed a scrape mark on the concrete mast that went through the ladder used to change the red light on top. I think there was a hydraulic failure too.

A very lucky outcome....
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 11:57
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Ah i see why you are interested in this particular one Jaguar GR1 XX977 cockpit SEPECAT Jaguar in detail You could have mentioned the full story...
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Old 6th Mar 2018, 02:33
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Hi everyone, thanks for the replies, as always any information, insight or photos are greatly appreciated.

beardy - the wing was indeed pushed back leaving witness marks in the fuselage however it sprung back roughly into position.
60024 - pretty much everything you say is true, except the port intake wasn't split open, it definitely has some dents from the whip aerial still visible though, in addition fuel was pouring out and it barely had enough to make Bedford. A very lucky pilot.
hoss183 - yes I own the cockpit section, I didn't mention it as I wanted to try and focus on seeing if anyone had a photo rather than diverging into the actual accident. I have spent a lot of time on it and have nearly everything electrical operational and even have the hydraulics to the AAR working so it will cycle in and out.

Cheers Paul
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Old 6th Mar 2018, 05:46
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Barely enough fuel to get to Bedford for an approach to go around followed by his, this time, successful approach. The weather was below low flying limits, which is why he pulled out of low flying and why he didn't see the mast.
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Old 6th Mar 2018, 09:15
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Hi beardy, you know a lot about this particular incident so I am surmising you know or have spoken to the pilot, he has been a tremendous help to me in my quest for information and I am very grateful for it.
Paul
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Old 6th Mar 2018, 17:15
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Yes I do know him and I was at Finningley when he arrived, left and subsequently returned. I am pleased that he has been of help to you.
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Old 6th Mar 2018, 19:59
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Hello Paul.. I think the wing ended up at Sproughton and Bentwaters as well.. Think it is still there. Will have to check up on my next trip. Might have had the odd bit off it for XX741. Al.

6 attachment points, main bolts at Fr 25, rear ones aft at Fr30 (or close to it) and forward links at Fr 20. Frame 25 bent, aircraft would be Cat 5 BER.
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