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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 56497
 
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Date:30-APR-1976
Time:
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: XR983
MSN: FL580
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Brithdir, near Dolgellau, Gwynedd -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Valley (HLY/EGOV)
Destination airport:RAF Valley (HLY/EGOV)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Narrative:
On the 30th April 1976 two Folland Gnat T.1 trainers (XP536 and XR983) flying from 4 FTS, RAF Valley collided over the village of Brithdir with the loss of the 2 crews of each aircraft

Flt. Lt. Kenneth Graham Ivell
Flt. Lt. David James Mather
Flt. Lt. Ian James Sanford
Capt. David Kiefer U.S.A.F

(It is not clear who was in which aircraft). The two Gnats (XR983 and XP536) were taking part in a larger formation marking the retirement of a squadron commander at Valley. One of the crews reported a Phantom aircraft close by and as one of the pilots was intent on spotting this aircraft his plane struck the underside of the other Gnat.

Flt. Lt. David James Mather was considered an expert in low level navigation and a trophy donated by his widow to 4 FTS is awarded in his honour to students who attain the high standards required

Sources:

1. http://web.archive.org/web/20121025182700/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/Aircraft_by_Type/Folland_Gnat.htm
2. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1976.htm
3. http://wrecksiteuk.blogspot.com/2010/10/gnat-collision-xp536-and-xr983-30th.html


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