1981 F-111 Crash

On the 25th of March
1981 Lt Collins and Capt Miglin took off from RAF Fairford in an
F-111E, serial number 68-082.  They were assigned to the 79th
Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at
nearby RAF Upper Heyford and had diverted into RAF Fairford the
previous day before due to bad weather.
 

The
aircrew planned to leave RAF Fairford, climb to FL180, proceed to
Upper Heyford and then land when enough fuel had been burnt off. 
Pre-flight checks, engine start and taxi were all normal and even
during take off everything was as expected, until the lift off.  At
that point the stall warning horn was heard causing the pilot to
check the Angle of Attack indicator which gave a reading of 20
degrees.  Here he decided to abort the takeoff and put the aircraft
back on the runway, the aircraft touched down with approximately
3800 feet of runway remaining.  The throttles were put to idle,
brakes applied and even the tail hook put down, even though the they
knew there was no arrester gear.  Even with both crew members having
applied the brakes it was clear the aircraft wasn’t going to stop in
time and the aircraft left the concrete runway surface and
eventually stopped 400 feet past the runway overrun. 
 

The aircraft was
still travelling at a high speed when it left the concrete overrun
which caused the nose gear doors to be ripped off along with landing
lights, hatches and panels from the aircraft. Nose wheel tyre tracks
could be seen 23 feet beyond the overrun, a deep gouge started there
and ran for another 50 feet when the nose gear collapsed and the
aircraft had slid on its nosecone.

 
Unofficial reports
said that the Angle of Attack probe became blocked during take off
which caused the aircraft to declare a stall and the pilot to abort
the landing. The aircraft was eventually sent back to the States
where it was rebuilt and put back in service a while later.

 


   

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