1973 losses

09/01/1973 XD219   Scimitar F1 RAE During braking trials at Farnborough, Hampshire it failed to engage the arrestor gear at 100 kts. It struck a concrete block which removed the nose wheel causing the aircraft to break its back. This was a non flying aircraft with the outer wings removed
24/01/1973 XW535   Buccaneer S2B 16 Sqn Control was lost after the pilot took evasive action to avoid a collision. The crew ejected and it crashed at Minden, West Germany
06/02/1973 XL110 T Whirlwind HAR10 84 Sqn Crashed at Nicosia, Cyprus after the main rotor seized in a hover
06/02/1973 XT127 V Sioux AH1 3 CBAS Flew into the New River estuary, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, USA during a familiarisation flight as part of an exercise with the USMC. Allocated to the AETW Middle Wallop
27/02/1973 XT836 E Sioux AH1 661 Sqn Despite being warned, the aircraft entered cloud on take off from Detmold, West Germany. It crashed after the pilot became disorientated while in a turn due to the snow covered ground. He received major injuries
27/04/1973 XG256 P Hunter FGA9 229 OCU Hit the stays of a TV mast on Caradon Hill, near Liskeard, Cornwall and crashed. The pilot ejected
03/04/1973 XS934 B Lightning F6 56 Sqn Crashed into the Mediterranean Sea two miles off Cyprus after the pilot ejected following vibration and an engine fire
06/04/1973 XG135 B Hunter FGA9 45 Sqn Crashed near Wittering, Cambridgeshire when the pilot ejected after being advised that the aircraft was on fire
10/04/1973 XV276   Harrier GR1 HSA Crashed onto a farm at Cranleigh near Dunsfold, Surrey after the pilot flamed out the engine due to a throttle maladjustment. The Swiss pilot who ejected at 300ft was evaluating the type for possible sale to the Swiss AF
12/04/1973 XV343 R-033 Buccaneer S2 809 NAS Crashed on approach to Honington, Suffolk. Both crew ejected but the navigator was killed when his seat failed
15/04/1973 XN237   Cadet TX3 618 GS Crashed onto the airfield soon after launch from West Malling, Kent killing the student and instructor
16/04/1973 XN310 LS-10 Whirlwind HAR9 Lee-on-Solent SAR The engine surged when computer control was selected forcing it to ditch into the Solent in 80ft of water one mile south west of Gilkicker Point, Gosport. The three were picked up by a civilian helicopter but the Whirlwind was not recovered
18/04/1973 XT174   Sioux AH1 666 Sqn Hit telephone lines at Caledon, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It crashed and caught fire but the two crew were able to escaped safely
05/05/1973 XT503 Z Sioux AH1 3 CBAS Control was lost when the main rotor struck an aerial while attempting to land on HMS Bulwark. The pilot was rescued after ditching into the Mediterranean Sea off Crete
07/05/1973 XR647   Jet Provost T4 6 FTS XR647 crashed onto a tractor at Norton-Le-Clay, near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire killing two farm hands. It had collided with XS216, during a formation flying exercise. The crew ejected safely. XS216 landed safely but was later declared a write off and was allocated to ground instruction at Finningley
07/05/1973 XS216 Q Jet Provost T4 6 FTS
10/05/1973 XL230   Victor SR2 543 Sqn At the end of a night sortie the crew commenced a briefed asymmetric landing at Wyton, Cambridgeshire. Due to low altitude an attempt to overshoot was made but power increase on the two idling starboard engines took longer than the port engines. This required strong application of rudder and aileron to counter the starboard wing drop which was increased by the strong cross wind. The wing struck the ground causing the aircraft to cartwheel, become inverted and to break up and burn out. All six crew were killed
19/05/1973 XP229 R-043 Gannet AEW3 849 NAS Ditched into the South Atlantic Ocean after engine failure while operating off HMS Ark Royal
23/05/1973 XJ781   Vulcan B2 9 Sqn Landed on a foam carpet at Shiraz, Iran when one undercarriage leg failed to lower after a training flight. The remaining undercarriage legs were sheered off by a storm drain as the aircraft slowed down and veered off the runway. The crew and Iranian air force observer suffered only minor injuries
31/05/1973 XW850   Gazelle AH1 1 FTU Stalled and crashed near Fordingbridge, Hants during trials. A wiring fault caused the control system to alternate between powered and manual flight each time the anti-collision beacon flashed
01/06/1973 XV397 K Phantom FGR2 17 Sqn Crashed near Kempen, West Germany after the crew ejected when the aircraft entered a steep dive due to instrument failure. The navigator was killed when he ejected into the pilots canopy
05/06/1973 XG169 N Hunter FGA9 229 OCU/79 Sqn Crashed at Bideford, North Devon after engine failure. The pilot ejected
05/06/1973 XM988 988 Lightning T4 226 OCU Crashed into the North Sea 23 miles N.E of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk after entering an uncontrollable spin. The pilot ejected safely
25/06/1973 XV440   Phantom FGR2 31 Sqn Flew into the North Sea at night off Vlieland, Netherlands. Both crew were killed
05/07/1973 XS783   Basset CC1 26 Sqn Crashed into a railway cutting four miles from Valley, Anglesey shortly after take off after both engines failed due to the fuel tanks having been filled with jet fuel. The navigator was killed. To Wyton fire dump
07/07/1983 XT238   Sioux AH1 15/16th Queens Royal Lancers Crashed at Aldridge, Staffordshire during an attempt to free a parachutist trapped on power lines. The rescue rope caught on the power lines and the tail rotor struck the rope. The two crew and the parachutist were injured
09/07/1973 XV791 W Harrier GR3 20 Sqn Crashed at Westphalia after take off from Wildenrath, West Germany following a multiple bird strike. The pilot ejected
25/07/1973 XT871 R-007 Phantom FG1 892 NAS Suffered an engine failure on take-off from HMS Ark Royal and ditched into the Firth of Forth near the Isle of May, South East Scotland
27/07/1973 XF420 29 Hunter F6 229 OCU/234 Sqn Crashed near Chawleigh, North Devon after the pilot had ejected following a spurious fire warning. Allocated to Chivenor fire dump
28/07/1973 XR993   Gnat T1 4 FTS Damaged beyond repair in an emergency landing at Lee-on-Solent, Hants following a bird strike. Allocated to Culdrose as A2677. Later became N3XR in the USA and crashed on 19th January 1991
30/07/1973 XV805 Z Harrier GR3 20 Sqn Crashed at Coesfeld, West Germany after the engine failed due to damage from a loose bolt. The USMC pilot ejected
02/08/1973 WJ674 Y Canberra B2 231 OCU Yawed during a practice asymmetric approach to Cottesmore, Leics. The crew ejected, the aircraft crashed at South Witham near the Fox Inn. The pilots chute did not deploy and he was killed
22/08/1973 XV427 X Phantom FGR2 17 Sqn The aircraft had fallen out of a four ship formation during a turn. The pilot had attempted to rejoin by ‘cutting a corner’ but flew into high ground at Arfeld, Bad Berleburg, West Germany. The crew did not eject and were killed
06/09/1973 XV750 X Harrier GR3 20 Sqn The pilot ejected following engine failure over Roermond, Netherlands near Wildenrath, West Germany
06/09/1973 XP508 21 Gnat T1 4 FTS Crashed into the sea shortly after take off from Valley, Anglesey after the crew ejected following loss of power
10/09/1973 XV198   Hercules C1 LTW Went into a flat spin and crashed during a three engine climb out from Colerne, Wiltshire when the remaining engine on that wing failed. All five on board were killed
16/09/1973 XT185 W Sioux AH1 3 CBAS Damaged beyond repair in a heavy autorotation landing at Nicosia, Cyprus after engine failure
19/09/1973 XT830   Sioux AH1 655 Sqn The cockpit bubble began to break up after striking power cables at Oberweis, West Germany. The aircraft crashed into a river bed and caught fire. Both crew were killed
21/09/1973 XJ476   Sea Vixen FAW21 A&AEE Both mainwheel tyres burst on landing at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire due to excessive braking. The brake units disintegrated causing damage to both wing undersides which was not repaired. Used for spares until being scrapped during May 1974. The nose is preserved at Southampton Hall of Aviation
24/09/1973 XV739 V Harrier GR1A 1 Sqn Crashed at Episkopi, Cyprus in the climbing transition from the hover during a display rehearsal. The pilot ejected
05/10/1973 XW194   Sioux AH1 658 Sqn Crashed after the tail rotor struck a tree at Kassel, West Germany following a sloping ground take off. The pilot was uninjured
15/10/1973 XT869 R-002 Phantom FG1 892 NAS Crashed into Tentsmuir Forest while on approach to Leuchars, Fife after both engines shut down. The crew ejected safely at 400ft as there was insufficient height to relight them
02/11/1973 XL596 90 Hunter T7 4 FTS Flew into trees at Besford Wood while on approach to Shawbury, Shropshire. Both crew were killed
06/11/1973 XP954 753 Sea Vixen FAW2 FRADU Crashed at Ashington, near Yeovil, Somerset. after double engine failure. The civilian crew ejected but one was injured
13/11/1973 XA234   Grashopper TX1 Air Cadets Damaged beyond repair after suffering a heavy impact with the ground
20/11/1973 XP896 Y Scout AH1 663 Sqn Suffered engine failure during take off from Armagh, Northern Ireland. It then struck a recovery vehicle during the subsequent forced landing in a vehicle park. The five crew were injured
21/11/1973 XL900 CU-590 Whirlwind HAR9 Culdrose Station Flt Rolled over after an emergency landing onto the runway at Culdrose, Cornwall after tail rotor gearbox failure. It broke up but the four crew escaped safely. To Lee-on-Solent AIU then to Fleetlands for components removal
27/11/1973 WF411 18 Varsity T1 CFS Overshot the runway at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire after an aborted take off. To the fire dump at Little Rissington
07/12/1973 XP809   Beaver AL1 669 Sqn Struck two trees and crashed on take off from Munsterlager, West Germany after the wrong flap setting was selected. The pilot and passenger escaped uninjured
10/12/1973 XP738 E Lightning F3 111 Sqn Written off when the undercarriage collapsed on landing at Wattisham, Suffolk. Stripped for spares and placed on the dump there
12/12/1973 XT442 453 Wasp HAS1 829 NAS HMS Eskimo Flt While on loan to the BRNC and at 500ft the main rotors struck the tail boom. The trail rotor drive shaft failed and it crashed into a stone wall near to the Norton Heliport, Dartmouth, Devon and burnt out. All four crew were killed

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