|RAF Digby : 15 Jun 1964 Jet Provost Mk 3 XN580|
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Updated: 28 Oct 08
XN580, Jet Provost Mk3, crashed on 15 Jun 1964.
The crash happened when the crops were high which complicated recovery of the wings until harvest time.
The aircraft was on an air test when it declared an on board fire. The crew abandoned the aircraft which consequently conducted some unmanned high-G manoeuvres causing the wings to break off.
The fuselage screamed across RAF Digby camp and just cleared the roof of Number 2 Hangar which was housing Ground Radio and Aerial Section. It crashed into the fields just outside the camp boundary.
A Sam Armstrong and another aerial erector were on the hangar roof fixing some aerials for GRSF at the time of the crash and had to return to their rooms and change their underwear.
As is the case today, fire cover at Digby was rather limited, so they and others from Cranwell, Waddington and the local Lincoln civil fire service attended.
Apparently the total claims against the RAF by the local farmers were larger than to be expected as the Cranwell and Waddington crews could see the smoke from the crash site but not being familiar with local roads and paths just drove straight for it across all the fields, through fences etc leaving further trails of damage.
Aircraft was XN580.
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