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In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

Article about: I know this is modern non World War related aviation archaelogy post but i helped research this incident with some aircrash researchers from Newcastle back in early 2000 and corresponded reg

  1. #11

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Quote by m3bobby View Post
    Quote :

    Furthermore a Tornado airframe tech said that one of the small pieces of wreckage Glyn and Jim found and photographed at the crashite was NOT from a Tornado and must have come from another aircraft. Of course there was only this guys word that he was a Tornado tech, we had no proof he was and it may have been a wind up, we will never know as this guy did not get in touch again.

    Unquote.

    Do you still have a photo of said part? I know a lot of Ex Tornado A/F mechanics who work on Typhoons and I'm no expert but I think I'd recognise most external surfaces.

    ATB, Chris.
    The following part is the piece we thought was from ZD809 and found at the crash site but was told by the Tornado Tech that it was not from a Tornado. It seems pretty uniform in colour etc to the other parts but let me know what you think. Regards, Tim.

  2. #12

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    looks like part of a control the the thread goes up to a rounded end i have some of these i have dug but they are ww2 i know this as they are from a ww2 airbase dump i dig on.I have no idea if this type of item is used on todays aircraft would be interested to know myself.

  3. #13

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Quote by airwarrior View Post
    looks like part of a control the the thread goes up to a rounded end i have some of these i have dug but they are ww2 i know this as they are from a ww2 airbase dump i dig on.I have no idea if this type of item is used on todays aircraft would be interested to know myself.
    Good point mate! I have looked very closely on the Tornado walk-around websites and there are parts in the wheel bays which look consistent with this piece, it could be part of a control unit or a hinge of some kind. I dont think ZD809 collided with any other aircraft as it would have almost certainly meant disaster for the other party and there were no other aircraft reported as damaged or having to emergency land etc in that area that day. Either way it will be interesting to see what those in the know make of this piece in the photo and confirm what component it is.

  4. #14

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    I dont think its a control rod item. It looks like a strengthening rod that can be adjusted for manufatring tolerances, or for adjustment. In fact thinking about it, it looks like the Harmonisiing adjuster in the Gun bay for attaching the Mauser 27mm and its painted white, just like the piece in the photo.

  5. #15

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Quote by m3bobby View Post
    I dont think its a control rod item. It looks like a strengthening rod that can be adjusted for manufatring tolerances, or for adjustment. In fact thinking about it, it looks like the Harmonisiing adjuster in the Gun bay for attaching the Mauser 27mm and its painted white, just like the piece in the photo.
    Thanks as thats usefull piece of info and really appreciate all the input on this one. We did try to ID some of the electronic components found at the crash site but when Glyn phoned one manufacturer clearly named on a computer chip-he was told "Sorry dont know what you mean" and they hung up on him. Can only assume much of Tornado's electronics might still be classified, even down to the smallest parts. Some were made by Dowty others Raychem who specialise in fire retardant electrical wiring. Regards, Tim.

  6. #16

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Both Dowty and Raychem make alot of the A/C parts including weapon systems. The reason I dont think its a control rod is that theres no bearing at the end. Usually a control item moves and it therefor has a bearing at the end (Or what looks like an eye).

  7. #17

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Quote by m3bobby View Post
    Both Dowty and Raychem make alot of the A/C parts including weapon systems. The reason I dont think its a control rod is that theres no bearing at the end. Usually a control item moves and it therefor has a bearing at the end (Or what looks like an eye).
    Heres some more pictures of pieces of wreckage found at the site back in 1999. First was thought was thought to be a wing tank/ordnance jettison cartridge but has no priming element so again a mystery part to be Id'd if poss. Second item thought to be a piece of cockpit hinge as it was chunky and quite hefty lump with grey paintwork on outer, this view shows inner with purple coloured rivets. Last piece thought to be right wing leading edge part and this had a small PANAVIA data plate attached to it. Any ideas would be most welcome.

  8. #18

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Its hard to tell in the first photo if its solid or hollow, do you have any other photos? If its a form or cartridge I'll recognise it. Could be a Martin Baker Ejection seat cart.

    Picy 2, is this part symetrical? It dosnt look it so Im thinking intake ramp or air brake hinge (Dosnt look strong enough for a airbrake). If it is symetrical it could be a panel hinge.

    Picy 3 looks like the leading edge of the refueling probe fairing.

  9. #19

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Quote by m3bobby View Post
    Its hard to tell in the first photo if its solid or hollow, do you have any other photos? If its a form or cartridge I'll recognise it. Could be a Martin Baker Ejection seat cart.

    Picy 2, is this part symetrical? It dosnt look it so Im thinking intake ramp or air brake hinge (Dosnt look strong enough for a airbrake). If it is symetrical it could be a panel hinge.

    Picy 3 looks like the leading edge of the refueling probe fairing.
    The item which looks like a cartridge was i beleive round but had been squashed in the impact. It was hollow and there was a screw in the base and the other end open and was encased in a kind of anodised aloy. The hinge piece was "L" form and not flat sided and it had purple colouring to some of the rivets. The last piece does look like its a part from the in-flight refuelling probe fairing. Sadly these are the only photographs of the pieces of wreckage that were taken. After they were cleaned and photographed the pieces were packed into heavy duty plastic bags and then into a large plastic container and then buried in the wood where they were found. This was done specfically to prevent these items being collected and then sold as souvenirs. A that time in 1999 there were one or two very notable so called aviation archaeologist/relic dealers (no names mentioned here!) who had searched the crash site of another military jet that crashed prior to ZD809 up north and had collected pieces of electrical wiring that they found and probably the only things left by the recovery team, which were then offered for sale in one of their catalogues. One of these characters had twice broke the Protection of military Remains Act and on both occassions went to court where both attempts at securing a prosecution failed. We did not want such individuals to desicrate ZD809 and her crew in that same way just to make a quick buck. The idea of using a large industrial hard plastic drum to bury the pieces in was not only to ensure they would be preserved but also to render metal detectors useless as they would not be able to detect the metal items through the thick guage hard plastic. A GPS reading was taken and a record kept of where the pieces were buried.

  10. #20

    Default Re: In Memory of the Crew of Tornado ZD809 Crashed 14th October 1999.

    Quote by Falschirmjager View Post
    I know this is modern non World War related aviation archaelogy post but i helped research this incident with some aircrash researchers from Newcastle back in early 2000 and corresponded regularly with the wife of the Navigator who very kindly helped out by giving information we would never have known including providing a handfull of photos of one of the crew of this aircraft-her husband. The details are as follows:

    Panavia Tornado GR.1 serial number ZD809 of 15 Reserve Squadron RAF based at RAF Lossiemouth UK. On 14th October 1999 she was crewed by 30 year old pilot Flt.Lt Richard Ashley Wright and his navigator Flt.Lt Sean Patrick Casabayo also aged 30. The sortie that morning was to the Spadeadam bombing range on a Forward Air Control excercise as part of a Qualified Weapons Instructors course. ZD809 ran into poor weather conditions in an area near Newcastle airport and was unable to set course for Spadeadam in the deteriorating weather conditions and was forced to fly back to the coast as was the correct procedure. ZD809 returned to the coast and again attempted to set course for Spadeadam. Again ZD809 headed into the bad weather which had not been in their original area weather briefing. Again as ZD809 neared Newcastle airport airspace she was forced to pull up and out of the bad weather to avoid the airports airspace during the crucial seconds which followed ZD809 was forced to pull a hard left turn in which the nose of the aircraft dropped significantly and the rudder became inoperable for a few seconds, a normal event under such circumstances. The pilot did not have these crucial seconds to spare and without the full use of his rudder ZD809 broke cloud and ploughed into open farmland between the villages of Ingoe and Kirheaton some 15 miles outside Newcastle Upon Tyne. Neither crew had time to eject and were killed instantly in the crash and the explosion that followed. In accordance with such accidents the area was sealed off from the public and a team of investigators arrived on the scene to find the aircrafts CVR (cockpit Voice Recorder) and black box. These were recovered along with remains of the two man crew within the first day of the investigation. A team of recovery experts spent the next three weeks collecting and cataloguing wreckage from the Tornado. Three weeks later with the land opened to the public again a local group of aircraft crash investigators went to the site to take photographs to add to their online database detailing all wartime and post war aircraft crashes and crash sites in the north of England area. The first visit yielded very little in the way of pieces of wreckage from ZD809. A depression in the ploughed field in front of a pine plantation marked the point of impact and a search of the woods revealed only small pieces of sharp metal fragments imbedded in some of the trees. Two weeks later the group went back after some pretty heavy snow and winter storms and in the woods were then found quite a number of parts from ZD809. The group were right in thinking that when ZD809 struck the ground the explosion blew many pieces of wreckage into the trees which the recovery team did not see and were later dislodged by winter storms and winds. One such piece was seen hanging from a branch so one of the guys climbed up to get it and see what it was. It turned out to be a part of fuselarge bearing part of the Tornados serial number ZD809-the "D" and part of the "8" were clearly visible in large black lettering. Lots of engine parts and wiring were also found. These were photographed and to prevent them being taken away by souvenir hunters the group packed the pieces of wreckage into plastic bags, sealed them up with heavy duty tape and buried them in a 4ft hole in the woods where they were found and a GPS reading taken. The group then left the site. My job was to make contact with any relatives or family of the two crew. I made contact with Julie Casabayo-wife of the navigator who at the time of the crash was six months preagnant with her son William. It is thanks to Julie who was also serving in the RAF at the time she lost Sean that we gained at least one photograph of a crew member of ZD809. Naturally, the MOD blamed the crew for the accident stating incorrect low level abort procedure, bad weather and poor crew resource management were the factors in the loss of ZD809. I was told later that the pilot Richard Ashley Wright felt he was being put under too much pressure during the course though the official report stated that this sortie was not unduly testing! ZD809 had served in the 1991 Gulf War as "Awesome Annie" with 617 Squadron and flew 33 bombing missions without receiving any damage. May she and her crew rest in peace-forever remembered. The photographs here were obtained either by myself or Glyn Towers during our time working on the data for the memorial website which sadly no longer exists. I hope this goes some way to put the loss in peoples minds again. Thankyou for looking.
    With reference to: ZD809 had served in the 1991 Gulf War as "Awesome Annie" with 617 Squadron and flew 33 bombing missions without receiving any damage. She flew with XV Sqn at Muharraq, hence why she was christened 'Awesome' as part of the name and nose art. I feel very awkward giving this rather impersonal information, given the circumstances. But it gives a bit more background history. Never had any problems with her except a slow-leaking emergency undercarriage blow-down bottle and also being told by the flight...on several occasions...to refrain from painting flowers on her fin. Best Regards, Keith.

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