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UPDATED - Lightning crashes in South Africa

One of Thunder City’s English Electric Lightnings has crashed at Overberg Airshow.

14-Nov-2009


XS451/ZU-BEX is nearest the camera in this Thunder City publicity shot.

November 14: South African media reports say that one of Thunder City’s English Electric Lightnings has crashed at Overberg Airshow, killing the pilot. No-one on the ground is reported as being hurt.

The aircraft is one of four ex-Royal Air Force Lightnings operated by Mike Beachy-Head’s Thunder City operation at Cape Town International Airport. The aircraft involved is thought to be Lightning T5 ZU-BEX, previously XS451 in RAF service until 1988. Witnesses at the airshow say the aircraft seemed to lose control before crashing into the ground near the edge of Air Force Base Overberg, used by the Test Flight and Development Centre of the South African Air Force.

November 15: News24.com has revealed the pilot as being Dave Stock, 46, a South African industry test pilot.

Filed Under Airshows News.

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4 Comments

Dave Sadler said on the 15-Nov-2009 at 17:36

A double whammy. The tragic loss of an historic aircraft and more imortantly of the pilot.

As a long standing fan of the Lightning my sympathies at this time are with the relatives of the pilot and all those involved at Thunder City. This accident illustrates the risks that are taken. Let us hope that in the aftermath Thunder City will continue to display these fine aircraft as a tribute to the pilot.

Richard Albone said on the 17-Nov-2009 at 12:57

Very sad to hear the loss of this pilot. My symphaties go out to his relatives and all involved at Thunder City.
It has been an ambition of mine to visit Thunder City to watch the fantastic aircraft they fly and i hope this will not affect the rest of the Lightnings continuing to Fly. From what i have read so far it seems the pilot took corageous steps to ensure no one else on the ground was hurt.

graham tagg said on the 21-Nov-2009 at 23:55

i dismantled and rebuilt this aircraft 9 years ago.i am devastasted by the death of dave stock .

keith bennett said on the 30-Nov-2009 at 16:34

Sad news indeed, our prayers are for the family and loved ones of the pilot. I flew with Mike in the other T5 nine years ago. His is a fine operation (31 years RAF service entitles me to say so) I hope he keeps the rest of the fleet going, as a tribute to the pilot if nothing else.

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