Sunday, December 10, 2023

Here’s a Hawk fighter jet that went down – pilots have had to eject before


The downed HW-320 jet over Kairu may be the first of its kind to be rescued twice during the aircraft’s lifetime.

An Air Force Hawk jet fell in Kairu on Monday afternoon.

The aircraft was taking part in a maneuver with another aircraft. The machines practiced retaliatory combat.

Aviation journalist and author Kyosti Partonen told Ilta-Sanom in Kaiuru that the HW-320 Hawk is special because it has previously been shielded from ejection seats.

In 1988, the landing gear of the aircraft failed after landing. The crew had to use an ejection seat to escape the burning aircraft as it skidded onto the runway. Partonen also writes about this event in the Lentoposti publication.

According to Air Force air accident statistics, the crashed plane landed in difficult weather conditions.

This may also be the first time in the world that in real situation the same aircraft had to be rescued twice.

– I dare not say for sure, but very rarely, says Partonen Ilta-Sanom.

Read more: Defense Force: It is known from the crash of Hawk in Kairu

Also in 1988 two pilots were rescued from the plane. So a total of four crew members have been rescued from the crashed aircraft in Kairu.

After the 1988 incident, the machine was repaired and returned to service.

– at least for us, it was considered a good, reliable machine and really pleasant in its control characteristics. Partly because the fins were able to influence the characteristics of the aircraft in the test flight phase.

Partonen photographed the fighter that crashed in Keroua at the 2021 Cavopuisto air show. The aircraft can be identified by the registration number HW-320 found on its bow as well as the number 20 seen on its rudder.

According to Partonen, the BAE Systems Hawk Mk.51 jet trainer has been rated as good and reliable.

According to Partonen, the BAE Systems Hawk Mk.51 jet trainer has been rated as good and reliable. Photo: Kyosti Partonen

As the name suggests, this is the BAE Systems Hawk Mk.51 jet trainer. It can be equipped with Sidewinder AIM-9M missile warhead. The missile under consideration is suitable for engaging slow targets like helicopters, attack aircraft and drones.

The crash in Kaiuru was the 12th incident of Hawks falling from the sky in Finland. The previous one was in 2013, when two Hawks collided, resulting in the death of the pilot of one of the jets.

According to Partonen, there is no more danger in the plane itself.

Military aviation has its risks. However, we go with slightly harder risk levels.

Partonen would not speculate on the cause of Hawke’s fall on Monday. According to the Air Force, vibrations were reported from the crashed aircraft before it fell.

This should not be a typo.

– They have been quite isolated cases where we have lost them, says Partonen.

The Hawk was fitted with Martin-Baker Mk.10 ejection seats. It’s a so-called zero-zero ejection seat, which means you can still use the seat to eject yourself when the plane is on the ground. The same happened in the previous accident of HW-320 aircraft.

When ejecting, the ejection seat has a stabilization umbrella that stabilizes the fall. After that, the seat separates from the operator and the actual shade opens.

– This is a good bench, concluded Partonen.

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