2003 losses

22/03/2003 XV650 L-183 Sea King AEW7 849 NAS While operating in the Arabian Gulf off Kuwait one Sea King had taken off after refuelling from HMS Ark Royal. It headed towards the coast in the early morning darkness. Five miles from the ship it collided with the other Sea King which was en-route back to the ship. Both aircraft exploded killing the six British and one American on board. Both aircraft were being used to support Royal Marines who were moving into Iraq's Fao Peninsula to secure oil fields
22/03/2003 XV704 L-186 Sea King AEW7 849 NAS
23/03/2003 ZG710 D Tornado GR4 13 Sqn The aircraft was on approach to land back at its base at Ali Al Salem, northern Kuwait after returning from a successful combat mission to bomb Baghdad, Iraq. A US Patriot missile was fired at it from within the base as it was thought to be an  incoming missile. The aircraft was destroyed and both crew killed. Inadequate training of the US missile crew and poor communication were blamed
18/04/2003 ZH658 106 Harrier T10 20(R) Sqn Force landed after suffering engine failure on take off from Wittering, Cambridgeshire and caught fire. It was not repaired and in June 2005 went to St. Athan for removal of the rear fuselage. The rest of the airframe is used for ground instructional at Cottesmore
01/06/2003 XF516 G-BVVC       19 Hunter F6A Private Plunged into the Dyfi Estuary near Aberdovey, mid Wales after the pilot had ejected while retuning to Exeter from Northern Ireland. The aircraft's two electrical generators failed which resulted in the engine flaming out. Unable to re-start the engine, the pilot attempted to glide to Llanbedr Airfield. He realised that the aircraft would not make the airfield so he turned the aircraft towards the nearest shoreline and ejected. He was rescued from the water after 30 minutes by a Sea King helicopter and was taken to hospital in Aberystwyth having suffered two broken vertebrae
11/06/2003 ZH805   Sea Harrier F/A2 FAA Ditched into the sea a mile from Lee Bay, Ilfracombe, Devon during a test flight from St. Athan. The pilot ejected safely and was rescued by a Sea King scrambled from Chivenor
12/07/2003 WB271 R-204 Firefly AS5 RN Historic Flt Crashed into a wheat field on the eastern side of the M11 motorway after rolling inverted and failing to recover during an air display at Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Both crew were killed
23/07/2003 XX183   Hawk T1 208(R) Sqn The pilot ejected after a suspected bird strike during a routine training flight from Linton-on-Ouse after an overnight detachment from Valley. The aircraft crashed onto a disused railway line at Dawson Wood between Pickering and Sinnington, North Yorkshire. It caught fire and was destroyed. The pilot was taken to Scarborough hospital by a Sea King helicopter having suffered minor leg and back injuries
08/09/2003 XH168   Canberra PR9 39(1PRU) Sqn Damaged in a landing accident at Marham, Norfolk. Repairs were not completed and it was spares recovered during February 2005. The airframe was then put up for disposal
09/10/2003 ZA608   Tornado GR4 15(R) Sqn Suffered a bird strike which resulted in extensive damage to the right hand engine and intake. Made an emergency landing back at Lossiemouth, Morayshire after a bird strike. The aircraft was dispatched to St. Athan on 28th November 2003 for repair having suffered CAT 3 damage. Repairs were not completed and in May 2009 it was dispatched to Shawbury for storage
11/2003 XZ309 C Gazelle AH1 6 Flt During routine maintenance at Middle Wallop, Hampshire it was found to have a cracked frame. Repairs were deemed to be not cost effective and it was withdrawn from use. Sold to Air & Ground at Hixon, scrapped by 2010
22/12/2003 ZB676 C Gazelle AH1 665 Sqn Crashed near Londonderry, Northern Ireland  killing both crew on board. The aircraft was hovering at about 800 feet when it was seen by eyewitnesses to drop nose down and spiral into the ground, crashing on Londonderry Rugby Club ground. After a lengthy investigation the board of inquiry were not able to establish the cause of the crash and returned a finding of ‘Not Positively Determined’

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