Sea Fury T.20 VX281 Update
From the Navy Wings website:
Pilots Unhurt after Skilful Handling of Emergency Landing
Navy Wings Hawker Sea Fury T20 G-RNHF (VX281) was forced to conduct an emergency landing in a field close to RNAS Yeovilton earlier this week following a problem with the engine. Both pilots escaped injury but unfortunately the aircraft has been severely damaged.
The Sea Fury, which was on a routine training flight, suffered a significant drop in engine oil pressure shortly after taking-off and climbing away from the airfield. The pilots, both highly experienced former naval pilots, immediately carried out the appropriate drills and transmitted a PAN call.
They turned back and lined themselves up perfectly up for a precautionary landing on Runway 04. However, shortly before reaching the runway on close finals, the engine stopped, changing the speed and angle of glide of the approach dramatically, and they were forced to put the aircraft straight down into a field just outside the airfield boundary.
“The pilots’ skilful execution of an extremely hazardous situation was exemplary,” said Commodore Jock Alexander CEO of the Charity.
“We are all extremely relieved that they are safe and well. RNAS Yeovilton Air Traffic Control reacted immediately, and the Emergency Fire and Medical Services were very quickly on the scene. The support of the Air Station has been outstanding.”
The aircraft wings and engine detached during the impact and the fuselage rolled upside down but both pilots were able to escape unaided. They were taken to Yeovil hospital as a precautionary measure, and one was retained overnight for observation.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have been informed and investigations have begun into the causes of the accident.
“The Sea Fury is a classic and much-loved Fleet Air Arm aircraft, and the accident has been a shock to everyone in the Navy Wings community,” said Jock Alexander. “It is too early to say whether it is feasible to rebuild her and if she will ever fly again.”
The Charity’s Chief Engineer Jim Norris said “Great skill and calm was shown by everyone in the post-crash management team. We are grateful for the overwhelming support we have received. The aircraft will be recovered to the Navy Wings Heritage Hangar for the investigation.”
Although the Sea Fury T20 has been a favourite on the air show circuit, Navy Wings has worked hard in recent years to build greater resilience into the flying collection so that when the unexpected happens the Charity always has other aircraft that can continue to display to the public.
The Navy Wings collection also includes a Sea Fury single seat FB11, two Fairey Swordfish, the Sea Fury’s successor, a Sea Hawk and a growing number of other heritage aircraft, allowing these wonderful examples of our national aviation heritage to operate in the skies of the UK for many years to come.