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.