ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56495
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:Silhouette image of generic GNAT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Folland Gnat T.1
Owner/operator:4 FTS Royal Air Force (4 FTS RAF)
Registration: XR996
MSN: FL590
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near RAF stn Shawbury, Shropshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Valley, Anglesey
Destination airport:RAF Shawbury, Shropshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Crashed while on approach to Shawbury, Shropshire. Both crew were killed

I had flown this aircraft at 8am the same day. The sortie profile was to familiarise students with the primary diversion from Anglesey. It was flown later in the morning by John Grzybowski who had in the front Ashley Smart ,a good student . The Gnat was not to be manoeuvred in a tight turn when it was heavy. John had not flown swept wing aircraft previously. He demonstrated to the student a circuit which was not part of the syllabus. There was a mild tightening crosswind on finals. John over-banked and had no concept or appreciation of what was happening. He should have immediately gone to full power but instead he tried to fly the aircraft out of the sink with fatal consequences. Two days later I gave evidence at the Board of Inquiry as the pilot who had flown the aircraft on the previous sortie. The President with respect was understandably not interested in the shortcomings of John who had himself been a victim of the flawed theory that to take a piston engine pilot to being a fast jet pilot all you had to do was make him a flying instructor.All those who were in a position to recognise John was spending 95% of his time flying the aircraft with little or no capacity to instruct failed him ,Ashley Smart and their respective families.


1. I was there


Gnat T.1 XR996 when with the "Red Arrows" in June 1968

Revision history:

16-Jul-2011 12:04 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Jun-2012 13:13 ray pilley Updated [Source, Narrative]
06-Jan-2013 14:49 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
22-Jun-2013 20:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-Sep-2014 05:34 oldnav Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2022 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314