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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 58357
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Time:11:33 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic HUNT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hawker Hunter F Mk 1
Owner/operator:Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS)
Registration: WT628
MSN: 41H-665464
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Southwood Farm, Cove, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Farnborough, Hampshire [FAB/EGUF]
Destination airport:RAF Farnborough, Hampshire [FAB/EGUF]
Squadron Leader F.H. Zaher, an Egyptian Air Force pilot attached to the Empire Test Pilots' School at Farnborough as a student, was flying Hawker Hunter WT628 (code "26") on the 18th July 1955. Regarded as a steady, competent pilot, Zaher had been briefed to carry out a series of high-speed runs at 30,000 ft. This he did, and at 11.20 GMT he called for a controlled descent. At 11.33 he was over the runway threshold when he reported that he was overshooting due to misting.

As he overshot he retracted his undercarriage at 100 ft, and ground observers heard his engine start to surge. Zaher turned sharply to port, straightened out, then turned to port back onto the airfield at 150 ft...all engine noise ceased, and the Hunter sideslipped and plunged into the ground at Southwood Farm, Cove, Hampshire.

Squadron Leader Zaher had run out of fuel. He was recovered from the wreckage and placed in an ambulance that was quickly on the scene, but died a few minutes later without ever regaining consciousness.

The Court of Inquiry found the pilot responsible for the accident. As a footnote, they brought up the fact that "helmets (protective) are to be worn at all times when flying in high speed aircraft." Squadron Leader Zaher had been issued with one but was not wearing it at the time. The Court did not think that a helmet would have saved his life, but recommended that the order be strictly implemented in future.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.172 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 96)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.144
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/273:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/34/S2767:

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

8 Feb 1956 WT629 CFE DFLS RAF 0 Great Thornes Farm, 2 miles NW of Swaffham, Norfolk w/o

Revision history:

10-Jan-2009 11:55 ASN archive Added
03-Dec-2011 14:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Dec-2018 10:09 Nepa Updated [Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Operator]
14-Jan-2020 17:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Jan-2020 19:40 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
21-Feb-2020 14:24 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]
23-May-2020 22:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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