ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 240097
Last updated: 24 October 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Fairey Gannet AS.1
Owner/operator:820 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: XA390
MSN: F.9260
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:HMS Bulwark, North Channel, Bangor Bay, Northern Ireland -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:HMS Bulwark, Bangor Bay, Northern Ireland
Destination airport:RNAS Eglinton (HMS Gannet), Eglinton, County Londonderry
Fairey Gannet AS.1 XA390: Built by Fairey Aviation at Stockport, and First flown at Ringway, Manchester 10/1/1956. Delivered to the RN FAA (Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm) at RNAS Anthorn RDU 14/2/1956. Transferred to RNAY Donibristle for modifications 31/5/1956. First issued for service to 820 Squadron RN FAA at RNAS Eglinton on 4/7/1956 as "322/B"

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 5/7/1957: Broke out of the catapult while being prepared for launch from HMS Bulwark while operating in the North Channel, off Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. The aircraft ran off the deck into the sea but the pilot and two others on board were rescued by a passing civilian boat

Crew of Gannet XA390:
Lieutenant G.L.P.Steer, RN (PO (EL))
G.S.F. Chilcott (A/LAPM)
J.M. Williams

According to an eyewitness report "We were at anchor in Bangor Bay, Belfast, and there was a very strong was a typical dull grey windy North of Ireland day. They decided that because of the strong wind, it was like cruising into wind for normal take off or launches. The Gannet was on the Port catapult and applied normal full power for launch. The strop broke prematurely during the runup and she went off the end at slow speed. The Gannet just missed a civilian sailing dinghy that was racing around....the crew of the dinghy (a husband and wife) recovered the crew, and they came back alongside. The crew of the aircraft were unhurt, and the crew of the dingy were given a gift of safety equipment".

The wreckage of Gannett XA390 was recovered one week later (12/7/1957) by HMS Barrington from where it crashed and sank (see photos - links #4, #5, & #6)


1. Fleet Air Arm Fixed Wing Aircraft Since 1946 (Ray Sturtivant et al, Air Britain, 2004 p.313)
4. Wreckage of Gannet XA390 being recovered 12/7/1957 (#1):
5. Wreckage of Gannet XA390 being recovered 12/7/1957 (#2):
6. Wreckage of Gannet XA390 being recovered 12/7/1957 (#3):

Revision history:

16-Aug-2020 14:14 Dr. John Smith Added
16-Aug-2020 21:04 Angel Dick one Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description