1991 losses

08/01/1991 XV462 G Phantom FGR2 19 Sqn Entered a roll while in a left hand descending turn from which the pilot could not recover. Both crew ejected safely and it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea twenty miles south of Limassol, Cyprus
10/01/1991 ZB675   Gazelle AH1 AAC Gulf Det Crashed into the desert in Saudi Arabia after the main rotor struck the ground during an unauthorised display
13/01/1991 ZD718 BH Tornado GR1 14 Sqn During a training flight the aircraft struck the desert 140 miles west of Masirah, Oman after the pilot had attempted a steep turn while at very low level. Both crew were killed
16/01/1991 XW886 48 Gazelle HT2 705 NAS Crashed into a field in the Goonhilly Exercise area, near Predannack, Cornwall after the pilot lost yaw control during a semi-wing-over manoeuvre when avoiding another Gazelle. He escaped from the wreckage but was seriously injured. Recovered by a Sea King and sent to the AIU at Lee-on-Solent by road. The aircraft had been flown into an undefined area of the flight envelope known as the Fenestron Vortex. The Fenestron, a shaft driven 13 blade fan, replaces the conventional tail rotor. This was the twelfth accident to a British Forces Gazelle attributed to this effect. 
17/01/1991 ZD791 BG Tornado GR1 14 Sqn A SAM hit the right hand engine on the aircraft during a low level ground attack mission about 50 miles from an Iraqi airfield. Both crew ejected but were taken prisoner and later released
17/01/1991 ZA392 EK Tornado GR1 15 Sqn Flew into the ground near Shaibah, Iraq probably after being hit by a SAM some three minutes after completing a JP233 low level ground attack on the air base there. Both crew were killed
19/01/1991 ZA396 GE Tornado GR1 20 Sqn Both crew ejected after the aircraft was hit by a SAM while on a low level ground attack mission on Tallil airfield, Iraq. They evaded capture for three days before being taken prisoner. They were released at the end of hostilities
20/01/1991 ZD893 AG Tornado GR1 9 Sqn Shortly after take off from Tabuk, Saudi Arabia for a ground attack mission severely restricted movement of the control column was encountered. External stores were jettisoned and two approaches back at base were abandoned due to difficulty maintaining directional control. Both crew were therefore forced to eject
22/01/1991 ZA467 FF Tornado GR1 16 Sqn Flew into the ground during an eight ship low level ground attack mission on Ar Rutbah radar site, Iraq. Both crew were killed
24/01/1991 ZA403 CO Tornado GR1 17 Sqn A 1,000 lb bomb exploded immediately after release while on a mission over Iraq. Both crew ejected and were taken prisoner. They were later released
14/02/1991 ZD717 CD Tornado GR1 17 Sqn Hit by two Iraqi launched SAMs during a laser guided bombing mission on Al Taqaddum airfield, Iraq. The pilot ejected, but the navigator was killed
19/02/1991 XP909   Scout AH1 658 Sqn The aircraft ran out of fuel short of its base on the Yakama range, Washington, USA. It struck the ground heavily at the bottom of a deep canyon, bounced and came to rest 70 ft up the side of the canyon. Both crew received major injuries
18/03/1991 WJ877 BG Canberra T4 100 Sqn/231 OCU Control was lost during a simulated engine failure on take off from Wyton, Cambs. It struck a road sweeper, destroyed a small garage and broke up. Wreckage was spread over the A141 road. All three crew were killed. Caused by mishandling of the aircraft by the pilot who was the station commander at Wyton
10/05/1991 ZD609 R-006 Sea Harrier FRS1 801 NAS Suffered a pitch control restriction probably caused by a foreign object while acting as No 2 during a three aircraft low level loose tactical formation flight. The pilot ejected at 100 ft and three seconds before impact. This changed the centre of gravity of the aircraft and it climbed clear of the ground. The No 3 aircraft who’s radio had failed joined up with the pilotless aircraft thinking it to be the leader. He followed it through a series of manoeuvre’s for two minutes until it crashed into Wentwood Forest near Penhow, Chepstow, Gwent
10/05/1991 ZA376   Tornado GR1 20 Sqn During a bounce manoeuvres with two other Tornados the pilot over banked while in the decent and control was lost. At 200 ft the pilot felt that he was regaining control but the navigator selected command ejection and exited both of them from the aircraft. It crashed near Lubberstedt, Germany
29/05/1991 ZG473 CA Harrier GR7 4 Sqn Crashed six miles south of Gutersloh, Germany after the pilot ejected at 2,000 ft. Arcing had started a fire which caused an electrical failure while inverted at 15,000 ft. Several similar but not so serious incidents with GR7s caused the grounding of the type while wiring looms were altered
01/06/1991 XZ577 138 Sea King HAS5 826 NAS Control was lost after striking the flightdeck nets during an unauthorised high speed pass over RFA Fort Grange. It ditched into the Bay of Bengal off Coxs Bazaar, Bangladesh ahead of the ship, sank and was not recovered. The three crew and four passengers were rescued. It had been taking part in cyclone relief operations in Bangladesh. The First Pilot had vacated his seat for a ships officer and so was unable to supervise or take control. Both pilots were Court Martialed
24/06/1991 XW215 R Puma HC1 230 Sqn Spiralled into the English Channel and sank approximately thirty miles off Margate, Kent and fifteen minutes after take off from Manston. Caused by failure of the tail rotor control rod possibly as a result of sand contamination following operations in the Gulf.. The crew were rescued safely. It was recovered and sent to Yeovil for possible repair. However it later passed on to Westlands at Weston-super-Mare where parts from it were used to rebuild XW210. This aircraft was damaged when it over turned and caught fire when the main rotors struck a hangar at Gallon Jug airstrip, Belize on 21st May 1992
29/07/1991 ZD353 H Harrier GR5 233 OCU The pilot managed to return to Wittering, Cambridgeshire after suffering  an in-flight fire due to an electrical fault. It suffered severe damage and was transferred to Brough pending a decision on a rebuild. It was however deemed to be damaged beyond economical repair. Due to this and other incidents concerning electrical faults on Harrier GR5/7s the entire fleet were grounded on 30th July until 16th September
08/08/1991 ZA941   Puma HC1 RAE Entered an uncontrollable turn to the left during a post maintenance flight and crashed nose down into trees in a valley one mile south of Camp de Canjeurs air base France. It burst into flames on impact killing two ground engineers that were on board. The two pilots were severely injured. The aircraft was detached to Camp de Canjeurs for anti tank weapon trials
12/08/1991 XV438 T Phantom FGR2 56 Sqn Both aircraft landed back at Wattisham after XV473 had collided with XV438. XV438 lost the top of its tail and with the withdrawal of the type it was not repaired. It was allocated to the dump at Wattisham and was scrapped during September 1992. XV473 was only slightly damaged and flew again. See also 15th July 1992
12/08/1991 XV473 N Phantom FGR2 56 Sqn
29/08/1991 XX843 GT Jaguar T2 54 Sqn The Jaguar collided with the Cessna over Carno, Powys at between 300 and 400 ft. The Jaguar crew ejected, but the pilot was killed. The Cessna pilot was also killed. It had taken off from Halfpenny Green on an aerial photography flight but was operating in a military low flying area without authorisation
29/08/1991 G-BMHI   Cessna 152 Private
10/09/1991 ZD631 266 Sea King HAS6 814 NAS Suffered main gearbox failure due to loss of oil after take off from HMS Invincible. It ditched into the Atlantic Ocean thirty four miles north west of Esha Ness, Shetland in heavy seas and sank. The four crew were rescued. Recovered and allocated to ground instruction at Yeovilton as A2621
12/09/1991 ZA540 JQ Tornado GR1 27 Sqn The crew ejected after loss of both fly by wire and manual controls. The aircraft crashed into the Bristol Channel south of Steep Holm Island. Only small pieces of wreckage were found. The probable cause being a fire at the base of the fin started by a gas or hydraulic leak
25/09/1991 XZ147 S Harrier T4A 233 OCU The pilot was struck in the face by a Black Headed Gull following a bird strike at 250ft near Great Driffield, North Humberside. The rear crew member was a female University Air Squadron cadet and she became the first woman to eject from a British aircraft when she followed the pilot out. Both crew were badly injured, the cadet landing in the burning wreckage of the aircraft. She was pulled clear by the pilot
30/09/1991 ZD412 AH Harrier GR5 3 Sqn This was the first occasion that the squadron had operated with 1,000 lb bombs. The pilot abandoned a conventional takeoff from Gutersloh, Germany after mistakenly believing that the aircraft was not becoming airborne. He was unable to stop before it engaged the barrier and he ejected. The aircraft continued through the barrier and the perimeter fence and ended up in the river Ems. Allocated to Brough as a test rig
30/10/1991 XV421 FF Phantom FGR2 1435 Flt Control was lost during ACM with another Phantom over the Falklands. It disappeared into cloud and was not seen again. A five day search recovered only small amounts of wreckage in the  Atlantic north of McBrides Head, East Falkland. It was concluded that the crew became disorientated while in cloud, neither ejected and both were killed
14/11/1991 XZ186   Lynx AH1 655 Sqn Suffered a bird strike while operating in Northern Ireland. It crashed during a forced landing at Gorton, County Tyrone after the main rotor struck a hillside. One soldier on board was killed and nine were injured
16/11/1991 ZH210   Vigilant T1 643 VGS Crashed at Binbrook, Lincolnshire while attempting an emergency landing following engine failure due to corrosion which caused fuel problems. The crew were unhurt.  Sent for repair but these were not carried out and the aircraft was sold back to the manufacturers at Grob. It became D-KSMU with a German gliding school. In 2002 the RAF ordered four additional Vigilants. Of these four D-KSMU became ZJ960 and so returned to the RAF

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