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Status:Final
Date:Sunday 3 June 1984
Type:Silhouette image of generic NIM model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
British Aerospace Nimrod MR.2
Operator:Royal Air Force - RAF
Registration: XV257
MSN: 8032
First flight:
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Spey 250
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Land's End (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Newquay-St Mawgan RAF Station (NQY/EGDG), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Newquay-St Mawgan RAF Station (NQY/EGDG), United Kingdom
Narrative:
The Nimrod aircraft took off on an exercise Search and Rescue (SAR) sortie from its base at RAF St Mawgan. It was carrying in the bomb bay, as part of the SAR equipment, a normal load of 5 inch reconnaissance flares. In accordance with normal practice, the first navigator switched the flare's release units to live shortly after takeoff. Some 30 seconds later a cockpit indicator warned the crew of a fire in the bomb bay. The captain immediately instructed the co-pilot to fly the aircraft back to base while he transmitted a MAYDAY call and informed the rest of the crew.
During the return flight ground witnesses saw the Nimrod trailing smoke, with several burning flares, a parachute and other objects falling from the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely. Although the fire services quickly extinguished the intense fire, the aircraft was extensively damaged.

Probable Cause:

CAUSE: "The accident was caused by a reconnaissance flare becoming detached from its carrier and subsequently igniting in the bomb bay . How it came to be released could not be positively determined."

Classification:
Inflight fire
Forced landing on runway

Sources:
» Broken Wings : Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents / James J. Halley
» UK Ministry of Defence MAAS 20/85


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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