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  Airbases: RAF Leuchars

Losses & Ejections
RAF Leuchars

Please note that for the next few weeks losses where there was no ejection will be listed - mainly for the purpose of ensuring that I have listed all known losses with aircraft fitted with ejection seats and not omitted any ejections

Date Air Force A'cft Unit - Serial


crashed crew photo seat
28th August 1964
Lightning F3 XP704 74 Sqn Spun Into ground during aerobatic display practice Flight Lieutenant Glyn Owens ejected at too low an altitude outside the seats envelope   Martin-Baker
19th January 1951
Meteor F8 VZ469
43 Sqn
aircraft struck the ground North‑east of RAF Leuchars returning from a sortie at very low height at dusk no ejection
Flying Officer Malcolm Frederick Danton killed
29th June 1951
Vampire F3  VF341 608 Sqn Probably  dived into the sea at high speed and at a steep angle off RAF Leuchars  no ejection
Sergeant Eric Thompson Yarrow
17th August 1952
Vampire NF10 WM663 151 Sqn struck the sea during a low level practice interception at night no ejection
Pilot Sergeant Nicholas Ian Howe killed
no ejection
Navigator Sergeant Esmond Henry George Brookes
8th July 1953
Meteor T7 WA735   hood opened fully as the pilot was attempted to land near Leuchars no ejection
Group Captain Norman Arthur Napier Braydec killed
24th July 1954
Meteor F8 WE897
43 Sqn
involved in a mid air collision with WL114  1 miles north west of RAF Leuchars no ejection

Flying Officer Hugh Johnstone Gourley killed
24th July 1954
Meteor F8 WL114
43 Sqn
involved in a mid air collision with WE897 1 miles north west of RAF Leuchars Flying Officer F R Bennett ejected safely through the canopy   Martin-Baker
22nd October 1954
Hunter Fl WT590
43 Sqn
struck the ground after the engine failed on the approach no ejection
Pilot ???
16th November 1954
Hunter F.1 WT589
43 Squadron
Engine flamed out at 1,500' after pilot  completed a QGH approach to Leuchars. aircraft crashed into St.
Andrew's Bay 6 and a half miles east of the airfield
Sgt. Pilot Walter Alfred

              via Ben Wilding
Martin-Baker Mk.2H
14th June 1955
Hunter Fl WT644
43 Sqn


the ground West of air base

no ejection

Pilot Officer John Stephan Murray killed
12th July 1955
Hunter F1 WT581
43 Sqn

ran out of fuel at the end of andair test including aerobatics and manual landings

Flying Officer Alan MacKillop Watkinson ejected at low altitude and did not separate from the seat.   Martin-Baker
19th April 1956
Hunter F1 WW599
43 Sqn
Nosewheel problems so was returning to circuit. Engine failure crashed near air base Flying Officer J A H Anderson ejected about 300 feet safely   Martin-Baker
19th January 1956
Hunter Fl WT623
43 Sqn
Disappeared from radar
Pilot Officer William Sutherland Carmichael killed no ejection ??  
25th March 1957
Hunter F4 WV388 222 Sqn During night flying disappeared from the radar and crashed into the sea, 11 miles east of Leuchars Flying Officer Raymond John Davidson killed no ejection ??  
28th June 1957
Hunter F.4 XF997 RAF Leuchars Emergency landing Flt Lt Heron stayed with the plane and was not injured
no ejection

Ref Hunter F.4 XF997

I saw your web site  and this one caught my eye. In 1957 I was eleven and used to visit my sister who lived in ERROL

As you probably know there is a disused airfield there.  I was walking from Errol towards the airfield when I noticed a Hunter had invaded the orchard at the east end of the airfield. I didn't get a close look so I dont know if wheels were up or down. The Hunter was finally lifted off on the back of a lorry. The pilot was I believe unharmed

Hope this is of use to you

Enjoy your site

in email 18th December 2007


Re Hunter F.4 XF997 from RAF Leuchars which put down at the disused drome at Errol, just across the River Tay from its base, the pilot stayed with the plane and was not injured. His name was Fl Lt Heron, as I recall from newspaper reports.

Ron Ross
in email 8th February 2008

21st February 1962
Canberra B2 WJ582 Met R 1 Flew into sea on approach to Leuchars Pilot Fg Off H Marshall details of escape appreciated - Martin-Baker
Nav Flt Lt D H Gannon  
AMO Alan Locke  

A former colleague ejected from a Canberra after an undershoot at Leuchars many many years ago, the interesting part was that the aircraft was on the seabed at the time and his survival was nothing short of a miracle.

He was in the Met Research Canberra that crashed in 1962. His injuries were substantial and I recall he was given the last rights but he survived. His name was Alan ??????
B. FRaser
in a reply from PPRuNe 28th November, 2006



MRF Canberra that crashed at Leuchars in 1962.

Crashed Leuchars 21 Feb 1962. Pilot Fg Off H Marshall, Nav Flt Lt D H Gannon (Wartime Pathfinder Mosquito Nav and Canberra London New Zealand Air Race Record Holder, died 2006), AMO Alan Locke
Wg Cdr J V Squires AE (ex MRF AMO)
RAF Scampton

in email 5th March 2007


19th August 1964
Javelin T3 XH437 23 Sqn Caught fire during start up no ejection
pilot egressed safely
28th August 1964
Javelin FAW9 XH845 23 Sqn Caught fire after engine failure on take off ??????   Martin-Baker
7th September 1967
Lightning F6 XR766 23 Sqn failed to recover from spin, crashed51m East‑north‑east of air base Squadron Leader Ron Blackburn ejected   Martin-Baker
11th October 1966
Javelin FAW9 XH958 2280CU Undercarriage jammed. Crashed on landing fate of pilot ???   Martin-Baker
29th November 1968
Lightning XM174 TTF  Engine fire. Crashed near Leuchars Flight Lieutenant E C Rawcliffe ejected
[second ejection]
5th March 1970
Lightning F6 XS918 11 Sqn in flight fire. 9m E RAF Leuchars  Flight Lieutenant Anthony David DOIDGE ejected but died of exposure   Martin-Baker
28th April 1971
Lightning F6 XS938 23 Sqn Fuel fire after take off, 12m East of RAF Leuchars Flying Officer Scott Mclean ejected   Martin-Baker
15th October 1973
Phantom XT869
c/n 8704/2623
892 Sqn
crashed in Tentsmuir Forest near Leuchars Lt .TJ. I. Hooton ejected at 400 feet slightly injured   Martin-Baker
Lt D Lortshek USN ejected at 400 feet slightly injured   Martin-Baker
4th March 1977
Phantom V588
c/n 9342/3346
892 Sqn
Caught fire on pairs take‑of, ran into overrun cable, F/Lt S Riley RAF ejected, minor injuries   Martin-Baker
F/O T Newby RAF ejected, minor injuries   Martin-Baker
21st November 1977
43 Sqn
Flt. Lt. Steve W. Gyles
Flt. Lt. Andy Moir
12th May 1978
Phantom FG.1 XT868

c/n 8703/2602
892 Sqn
 starboard wingtip hit the ground , cartwheeled on approach Leuchars during last Naval flight of a Phantom at
Leuchars, Fife. One crew member was killed in the crash
Cdr. C. C. N. Davies ejected
seriously injured
observer Lt J Gavin

Click here to see the FEEDBACK ON THIS MISHAP


23rd November 1978
Phantom FG1 XV598
111 Sqn
Flew into sea during approach no ejection
Flight Lieutenant Christopher John Jones killed
no ejection
Flight Lieutenant Michael Hardy Stephenson killed
9th July 1981
Phantom FG1 XT866
43 Sqn
ADI failed on finals at night Squadron Leader Ray Dixon ejected safely   Martin-Baker
Flying Officer Matt Syndercombe ejected safely   Martin-Baker
Sunday 19th August 1984
Phantom FG1 XV569 'Q'
111 Sqn
Suffered a nose wheel steering malfunction and departed the runway. Pilot was able to take off and eventually land at RAF Lyneham.     Martin-Baker Mk.7
Flg Off Dave Harvey
No ejection
Flt Lt Pete Humphreys
43 Sqn
ejected at low level


"I came accross your site recently and found it really interesting since I flew the F4 on 111 Sqn at RAF Leuchars between 1984-7.  You may be interested in the following regarding the take off incident at Bournemouth on 19 August 1984.

I was flying the spare aircraft for the display crew, Sqn Ldr Simon Lloyd-Morrison and Flt Lt Gary Hewitt, that weekend.  

During a pairs take off on the Sunday morning to depart back to Leuchars my aircraft, XV569 'Q', suffered a nose wheel steering malfunction and departed the runway.  Pete ejected in accordance with our pre take off emergencies brief and I took off from the grass, eventually landing into the approach cable at RAF Lyneham.

The attached photo shows the aircraft just getting airborne in a high nose attitude and leaving a trail of burning grass in its wake.  The picture was taken by Bill Turner and should be credited to him if published. "


Dave Harvey
in email 19th February 2011


20th April 1988
Phantom FG1 XT860
43 Sqn
Flew into sea during Exercise Elder Forest no ejection
Flight Lieutenant Philip Donald Clarke killed
no ejection
Flight Lieutenant Kevin John Poysden killed
Friday 14th October 2005

Tornado F3 ZE962 / XC

nr 35

111 Sqn
crashed into the sea off the east coast of Scotland shortly after taking off from its base     Martin-Baker 10A
Flt. Lt. Sam Cowan ejected Sergeant Iain Logan ejected Martin-Baker 10A