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Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

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Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by gvla on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:53 am


Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF ScamptonAdvertisement
Capt Simon Blake said the pilot was ejected from the aircraft while the aircraft was on the ground

A Red Arrows pilot has died after being ejected from an aircraft at the aerobatic team's base in Lincolnshire.

The RAF confirmed the pilot was ejected from a Hawk T1 jet while it was on the ground at RAF Scampton.

The Military Aviation Authority is carrying out an independent inquiry to determine the cause of the incident.

The RAF said its thoughts were with the pilot's family. Red Arrows training has been suspended but the RAF's other Hawk T1 jets will continue to fly.

Speaking about the inquiry, Gp Capt Simon Blake, from RAF Scampton, said: "It would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of the incident until that inquiry is complete. The investigation will determine the facts.

"The pilot's next of kin have been informed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot's family and friends at this difficult time."

East Midlands Ambulance crews were called to the scene at about 11:09 GMT, along with the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Chris Boatman, who lives nearby, said he heard a "massive bang" from the base.

A number of Red Arrows Hawks parked side by side were visible from the edge of RAF Scampton earlier, one with the front part of the canopy smashed. This was later covered with a tarpaulin.

Winter training

The incident comes a few months after Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging died from injuries he suffered when his plane crashed near Bournemouth Airport.

A post-mortem examination showed the cause of death was multiple injuries.

Flt Lt Egging, who grew up in Southam, Warwickshire, joined the RAF in 2000 and served with IV (AC) Squadron, based at RAF Cottesmore, flying the Harrier GR9 in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Since his death, the team has performed in an eight-strong "missing man" formation.

In 2010, the Ministry of Defence suspended Hawk T1 flights across the country for nearly a week when a potential problem was detected with ejection seats.

The Red Arrows team was formed in 1965 and has completed more than 4,300 displays in 53 countries.

The team completed its final display of the season in September and was currently carrying out its winter training at RAF Scampton.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15640104

The second death in 3 months.....RIP
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by Elfot on Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:11 am

Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, 35



RIP Crying or Very sad



Last edited by Elfot on Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by Elfot on Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:15 am

In this picture you can clearly see the shattered front canopy and deployed ejector rack
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by mp210 on Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:55 am

Still the cause of the ejection is unknown?

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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by Elfot on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:26 am

Yes, we'll wait for the official report.
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by phantomphlyer on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:40 am

OMG...I red this yesterday and I couldn't believe it!
What a bad luck for the Reds, these few months...it's like someone cursed them! Sad
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by tasoscorsair on Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:37 am

here are the seat's spesifications: http://www.martin-baker.com/products/Ejection-Seats/Mk--10.aspx

p.s. isnt it the same seat used in Mirage 2000?
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by gvla on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:39 am

It is with sadness that the MOD must confirm the death of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (the Red Arrows). Flight Lieutenant Cunningham was killed when he was ejected from his Hawk T1 aircraft on the morning of Tuesday 8 November 2011. A full Service Inquiry will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.


Red 5 – Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, 35, was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to the UK in 1986 at the age of nine. Although a profession in football was a possibility, Sean followed his dream to become fast jet pilot in the Royal Air Force. Sean attended Ernesford Grange School in Coventry during which time he qualified for his Private Pilot Licence at the age of 17. He went on to read Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Nottingham Trent University and completed his Elementary Flying Training as a member of East Midlands University Air Squadron.

Joining the Royal Air Force in 2000 Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham was selected for Fast Jet Training. On completion of his flying training, Sean was posted to the Tornado GR4 aircraft serving on 617 ‘The Dambusters’ Squadron at Royal Air Force Lossiemouth. During his three years on the Squadron, Sean completed several operational tours of Iraq as part of Operation TELIC, flying close air support missions for Coalition ground forces. After completing exercises in America, Canada, Romania and France, Sean joined XV (R) Squadron as a Qualified Pilot and Tactics Instructor. Sean continued his instructional role when posted to the Weapon System Officer (WSO) Training Unit at 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force Leeming before being selected to fly for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (the Red Arrows) 2010.

Flight Lieutenant Cunningham’s family, Father Jim, Mother Monika & Sister Nicolette said: “Sean was first and foremost a much-loved son and brother who will be dearly missed by all of his family, and his many good friends. Since his childhood Sean had dreamed of flying fast jets in the Royal Air Force; through his hard work and dedication he achieved that dream, and the pinnacle of his career was to fly in the Red Arrows. Sean loved his flying and we hope that his life will be an inspiration to all those who share his dreams. His fun-loving nature has never failed to put a smile on the faces of those who knew and loved him; this is how he will be remembered. We ask that the media please allow us the time and space required to come to terms with what has happened”

The Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Defence said: “It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham. He was clearly a gifted pilot who served his country with honour and distinction throughout his career in the Royal Air Force. As a Red Arrow, Flt Lt Cunningham was regarded as among the most talented aviators in the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this terrible time."

Air Officer Commanding Number 22(Training) Group, Air Vice-Marshal Mike Lloyd said: “The Red Arrows personify the teamwork, professionalism and excellence that is common-place throughout the Royal Air Force and Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham demonstrated each of these values on a daily basis. His contribution to the Service as an aviator in the Tornado GR4 Force, as a Red Arrows Pilot and as an officer has been outstanding. Sean will be missed by all and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Group Captain Simon Blake, the Commandant of the RAF's Central Flying School, said: “Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham joined the team in October 2010 and flew for his first year as Red 3. This year, Sean had commenced training as Red 5 and was the senior member of the ‘front 5’ affectionately known as ‘Enid’, and thus had the unofficial mantle of ‘Uncle Enid’– a key position in mentoring and helping to train the new pilots to the team. His constant smile, energy, and joie de vivre was infectious and he will be sorely missed by his fellow pilots, the entire Red Arrows team and his many colleagues and friends in the wider Royal Air Force. Our heartfelt sorrow and sympathy go out to his family and all those whose lives he touched”.


http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/archive/red-arrow-pilot-named-09112011
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by Elfot on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:57 am

tasoscorsair wrote:here are the seat's spesifications: http://www.martin-baker.com/products/Ejection-Seats/Mk--10.aspx

p.s. isnt it the same seat used in Mirage 2000?

Yes, it is
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Re: Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

Post by Mix on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:04 am

Engineers and mechanics of Sebian air foce say that according to their info and epirience using MB Mk10 seat that this accident happend because of human error and negligence of some basic rules for operating aircraft with that seat
Further they say that procedure is compleetly different on Hawk and G4 Supergaleb airplanes.
-On G4 pilot is allowed to remove safety pin from the seat only when he is compleetly straped and then only person who can step near cockpit is weapon mechanic who is in charge for seat inspection
-Hawk rules are compleetly different, pilot first remove safety pin and then enters in the cockpit(so he can activate the seat with his legs) and that is most probable cause of accident
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