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TOR / C152, en-route, Mattersey Nottinghamshire UK, 1999

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Summary
On 21 January 1999, a UK Royal Air Force Tornado GR1 and a private Cessna 152 collided in mid air, at low level in day VMC with the resultant loss of both aircraft and the death of all occupants.
Event Details
When January 1999
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Human Factors, Loss of Separation
Day/Night Day
Flight Conditions VMC
Flight Details
Aircraft CESSNA 152 Aerobat
Operator Private
Type of Flight Private
Origin Retford-Gamston
Intended Destination Retford-Gamston
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Manoeuvring
MNV
Flight Details
Aircraft PANAVIA Tornado
Operator Royal Air Force
Domicile United Kingdom
Type of Flight Military/State
Origin RAF Cottesmore
Intended Destination RAF Cottesmore
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Manoeuvring
MNV
Location
Approx. near Mattersey, Nottinghamshire
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General
Tag(s) Flight Crew Training,
Aircraft-aircraft collision
HF
Tag(s) Distraction,
Ineffective Monitoring,
Manual Handling,
Procedural non compliance,
Violation
LOS
Tag(s) See and Avoid Ineffective,
Required Separation not maintained,
Released to Own Separation,
Mid-Air Collision,
Military Aircraft involved
Outcome
Damage or injury Yes
Aircraft damage Hull loss
Fatalities Most or all occupants (4)
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) Air Traffic Management
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Description

On 21 January 1999, a UK Royal Air Force Tornado GR1 and a private Cessna 152 collided in mid air, at low level in day VMC with the resultant loss of both aircraft and the death of all occupants.

Investigation

According to the Report of the Investigation carried out by the UK AAIB, the Cessna 152 was most probably engaged in aerial photography while the Tornado GR1 was on a routine training flight that included low level flying.

The mid air collision occurred at a height of 655 feet above ground level. It was concluded that neither of the pilots had seen the other aircraft in time to take avoiding action.

The Investigation considered that the Cessna was operating at a height known to be vulnerable to an encounter with military fast jets and, by not using the UK Civil Aircraft Notification Procedure (CANP) or informing any ATC Unit of his location and intentions, had degraded the potential of other traffic to locate and avoid him.

The Tornado student pilot was conducting operational checks, head down, and the instructor pilot in the rear seat had a limited field of view ahead of the aircraft.

Further Reading