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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56116
Last updated: 6 July 2020
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Date:07-JUL-1979
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic A10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II
Owner/operator:81st TFWg USAF (81st Tactical Fighter Wingg United States Air Force)
Registration: 77-0253
C/n / msn: A10-0178
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RAF Chicksands, Bedfordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk
Destination airport:
Narrative:
A-10A, 77-0253/WR, 81st TFW: Written off 7/7/1979: crashed at RAF Chicksands, Bedfordshire.

The pilot was Colonel Tommy Thompson. He was the 81st TFW Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations (ADO). He was also the USAFE A-10 Aerial Demonstration Pilot. The accident occurred at RAF Chicksands during an air demo. Col Thompson was killed in the accident. Later investigation revealed evidence of a sideways ejection.

This accident along with a slew of other accidents and mishaps was most likely the result of Foreign Objects being left in the “White Area” of the A-10 at the factory – a supposedly sealed area in the cockpit where the normal hydraulic operated flight controls met with the manual reversion flight controls.

After another two A-10 air demo accidents at Nellis in 1981 there was an incident at Bentwaters where a pilot from the 510th TFS experienced flight control binding, that locked the aircraft into a dive. Luckly this pilot had enough altitude and strength to break the flight controls free. The airplane was grounded after landing, and a pen was found in the White Area. This led to a grounding of the entire A-10 fleet, where all White Areas were reinspected and several other foreign objects were found that could be traced to the Fairchild factory.

A number of A-10 accident widows sued Fairchild over the deaths of their husbands

Sources:

1. http://www.scramble.nl (Scramble 256)
2. http://warthogaircraftdatabase.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/fy-1977-aircraft.html
3. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1977.html
4. http://web.archive.org/web/20171019033444/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/Aircraft_by_Type/A-10_Thunderbolt_II.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-May-2013 21:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Dec-2013 03:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Narrative]
27-Dec-2014 12:19 davemartin88 Updated [Narrative]
26-Feb-2015 06:32 Davemartin88 Updated [Narrative]
11-Apr-2018 05:53 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
12-Jun-2020 15:54 AlLach Updated [Operator, Operator]

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