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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. #21

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

    Quote by Keith mckinlay View Post
    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.
    Hi Keith, its been ages since i last visited this ZD809 thread and have just read your interesting piece. Was there any particular reason why flowers were not permitted to be painted on her fin??? I hope to write an article on her soon for a militaria magazine-more as a tribute to her crew than anything. Best Regards, Tim Heath.

  2. #22

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

    Hi Tim

    I believe that the flowers were deemed 'unwarlike.' About as 'unwarlike' as wearing green dp's in a predominantly sand-covered environment?! ( I was tempted to buy two large cacti to carry about with me so that i would at least blend-in with something.)

    I have attached some photos that i found recently. First night, away on a mission with 'lesser' guided bombs...etc. Unfortunately, i am in most of them (as you do at the time.) I don't know if any of them would be of any use to you?

    Gulf Air left only three pots of half-dried paint in their locker when they disappeared prior to hostilities, hence why Annie seems a bit pale.

    Good luck with your article.

    All the best. Keith.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture AA5.jpg   AA1.jpg  

    AA2.jpg   AA7.jpg  

    AA3.jpg   AA8.JPG  

    AA4.jpg   AA6.jpg  


  3. #23

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

    Quote by Keith mckinlay View Post
    Hi Tim

    I believe that the flowers were deemed 'unwarlike.' About as 'unwarlike' as wearing green dp's in a predominantly sand-covered environment?! ( I was tempted to buy two large cacti to carry about with me so that i would at least blend-in with something.)

    I have attached some photos that i found recently. First night, away on a mission with 'lesser' guided bombs...etc. Unfortunately, i am in most of them (as you do at the time.) I don't know if any of them would be of any use to you?

    Gulf Air left only three pots of half-dried paint in their locker when they disappeared prior to hostilities, hence why Annie seems a bit pale.

    Good luck with your article.

    All the best. Keith.
    Thanks so much Keith as your information and input with the photos is most welcome indeed and id like to include them in any article i write and full recognition will be given to you for the use of your superb photos. The story of ZD809 really fascinated me from the start and its seems sad that an aircraft which served with such distinction would be destroyed in an accident some years later-the only traces of that airframe now are in the parts the recovery team failed to collect. In all the recovery was done very well but the treetops were not searched properly and winter wind and snow had dislodged many more parts and pieces of wreckage which appear in the old photos i posted-these are the only remnants of her plus the photographs. It was a great shame for the crew losing their lives and i was able to learn much via Julie Casabayo the Navigators wife. She said that the pilot Richard "Dicky" Wright had felt that he was being put under too much pressure during the QWI (Qualified Weapons Instructor course). During the last fatal flight i learned that Sean Casabayo the navigator had began to lose his temper with Dicky over the problems in the bad weather they encountered in the Newcastle area. This was possibly the last bit of pressure he was ever under as to avoid straying into Newcastle airports airspace for a second time Sean shouted "Pull hard left-hard left" seconds after the aircraft broke cloud and crashed into a ploughed field with an explosion like an atomic bomb according to one witness. Very sad indeed and i would like to keep this thread going and will add anything more i can come up with. I have not been in touch with Julie Casabayo for some years now and maybe its for the best to let her live her life out from the shadow of that dreadfull day back in October 1999. This is the only tribute and resource currently on the net regarding ZD809 as far as i know and id like to keep it going especially as Tornado now faces retirement from its years of service in the RAF. With Best Regards, Tim.

  4. #24

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

    Quote by Falschirmjager View Post
    Thanks so much Keith as your information and input with the photos is most welcome indeed and id like to include them in any article i write and full recognition will be given to you for the use of your superb photos. The story of ZD809 really fascinated me from the start and its seems sad that an aircraft which served with such distinction would be destroyed in an accident some years later-the only traces of that airframe now are in the parts the recovery team failed to collect. In all the recovery was done very well but the treetops were not searched properly and winter wind and snow had dislodged many more parts and pieces of wreckage which appear in the old photos i posted-these are the only remnants of her plus the photographs. It was a great shame for the crew losing their lives and i was able to learn much via Julie Casabayo the Navigators wife. She said that the pilot Richard "Dicky" Wright had felt that he was being put under too much pressure during the QWI (Qualified Weapons Instructor course). During the last fatal flight i learned that Sean Casabayo the navigator had began to lose his temper with Dicky over the problems in the bad weather they encountered in the Newcastle area. This was possibly the last bit of pressure he was ever under as to avoid straying into Newcastle airports airspace for a second time Sean shouted "Pull hard left-hard left" seconds after the aircraft broke cloud and crashed into a ploughed field with an explosion like an atomic bomb according to one witness. Very sad indeed and i would like to keep this thread going and will add anything more i can come up with. I have not been in touch with Julie Casabayo for some years now and maybe its for the best to let her live her life out from the shadow of that dreadfull day back in October 1999. This is the only tribute and resource currently on the net regarding ZD809 as far as i know and id like to keep it going especially as Tornado now faces retirement from its years of service in the RAF. With Best Regards, Tim.
    Forgot to mention that regarding the pieces of wreckage we made sure as a group of responsible aviation researchers that they should not fall into the wrong hands-as there were a couple of dealers back then who had visited such crash sites and collected parts to sell on their lists at 5 a bag for mainly small components and wiring remains etc. Both had been taken to court on numerous occasions for this but were never prosecuted. The sizeable piece bearing part of the ZD809 serial number in particular no doubt may have made a good few quid for such a dealer so all the bits found were buried safely with documentation stating their details etc where they will lie undisturbed but protected for a lifetime in a watertight and rustproof plastic industrial container-the sat/nav location where the parts were buried were then erased. Many photographs were taken of the parts prior to burying them and i will try and post more when i sort the photographs out. Regards Tim.

  5. #25

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

    Hi Tim

    Very upsetting circumstances prior to and after the incident, especially those who attempt to profit from such a tragic event.

    I shall be blunt. I have only recently discovered that i have been suffering from ptsd/ocd since returning from the Gulf. This in turn lead to chronic fatigue. I was retracing my foot steps to 'the scene of the crime' when i found your site.

    My 'relationship' with my aircraft was obsessive in itself for crew safety, where my bomb mission markings were my 'home and safe' markings and i was even always touching-up the paintwork on top of the servicing. I 'detached' myself however when i was loading the bombs underneath and i would usually write 'harmful if swallowed' on the bombs (another 'make a joke out of it' situation.)

    Gulf Air was not too keen on their name being used on the side of the aircraft, given the circumstances, and so it was removed.

    I remember after the jp233's and lgb's that the 8 x 1000 lb bombs we initially loaded onto twin store carriers then changed to single / 4 x 1000 lb due to the crews complaining that the twin store interfered with precision due to 'wobble' caused by the twin store carrier. (We were just as quick at loading as the armourers too...always got to have a dig at the armourers.)

    A very reliable aircraft with a brief undercarriage problem fixed (hence on jacks in previous photos.)

    I am still digging out the past but do not hesitate to ask for information and i shall try to help.

    Kind Regards

    Keith

  6. #26

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

    I visited this site as today whilst walking around the churchyard at St Mary's Albrighton nr Wolverhampton I came across the military gravestone for Flt/Lt Richard Wright BSc. As the first two lines of 'High Flight' were inscribed on the stone I thought he would have been aircrew so I set out to find out how he died and eventually came to this site. Although it is a standard military gravestone with the RAF emblem at the top it is in amongst the civilian graves for that period. Albrighton is near to RAF Cosford which was a wartime airfield and on the other side of the village pond is another church St Cuthberts which has a large military section going back to 1939. I presume therefore that he was given a family funeral as oposed to a military funeral. I intend to go back to the churchyard to take a photograph of the gravestone which I will add to the forum if that is acceptable.

  7. #27

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

    These days you can have a Military funeral at the location chosen by the family. As he died on active service (Even though it was peace time, he died whilst serving) his family were entitled to have the MOD pay for his funeral to what ever extent the family wished.

  8. #28

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

    Quote by flingstop1 View Post
    I visited this site as today whilst walking around the churchyard at St Mary's Albrighton nr Wolverhampton I came across the military gravestone for Flt/Lt Richard Wright BSc. As the first two lines of 'High Flight' were inscribed on the stone I thought he would have been aircrew so I set out to find out how he died and eventually came to this site. Although it is a standard military gravestone with the RAF emblem at the top it is in amongst the civilian graves for that period. Albrighton is near to RAF Cosford which was a wartime airfield and on the other side of the village pond is another church St Cuthberts which has a large military section going back to 1939. I presume therefore that he was given a family funeral as oposed to a military funeral. I intend to go back to the churchyard to take a photograph of the gravestone which I will add to the forum if that is acceptable.
    A photograph of the grave would be a great addition to the thread and please add one when you get around to taking one as i would any material added to this thread. Its certainly the most comprehensive collection of info and data currently on the web. Its sad that this crash, photos and data have still not been listed on the former NEEACR group website, one of the reasons i was determined to try and load everything i had onto this thread. I still hope to obtain a photo of Flt/Lt Richard "Dicky" Wright at some point and might write to his parents via the RAF Personnel Management Agency who can do this for you. As this is only a tribute to the two men i dont think it would take any dignity from either to have their pictures here. I did write to the CO at Lossiemouth but as expected got the wall of silence. The only person connected with the crew who helped unconditionally was Julie Casabayo Sean's wife. Last time i spoke with her she was preparing to take on the MOD for compensation and was dreading it terribly as in order for her to be granted compo it was said that Flt/ Lt Wright would have to be implicated as the cause and blamed for the crash-something she did not want to do as both she and Sean were very fond of "Dicky" as he was known. Last i heard from Julie was that she had moved to Saltash in Cornwall near to where Sean's parents were living. Regards, Tim.

  9. #29

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

    Hi Tim,
    in 1985 I witnessed Tornado 4145 crash at Stannersburn and exactly the same as at your site after the winter snow we found tons (literally) of wreckage that had fallen from the trees. After the winter snow we even found the navigators bag full of NATO documents which the MOD were very glad to have back, we used to call them regularly to collect parts that we found until they said they no longer wanted anything for the investigation so it was all left, the pic below is just some of it. Many years later Jim Corbett got in touch with me and I showed him the site and the remaining wreckage in the trees which he photographed for his book.
    This sad accident is what triggered my fascination into old wreck sites, we have loads in the Scottish borders and due to the remote locations much of the wreckage is still on site.

  10. #30

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

    A photograph of the gravestone for Flt Lt Richard Wright BSc RAF . This was taken at St Mary's churchyard Albrighton near Wolverhampton 31st August 2011.

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