Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor ZU-NIP (ex XW986)

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ZU-NIP - Ian Pringle (airworthy, for sale), Thunder City, Cape Town, South Africa

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Buccaneer S.2B ZU-NIP at Kemble, 20th March 2002; author

XW986 is an ex-RAE aircraft (hence the paintscheme) and was bought by Delta Jets when it left service. At the time of sale, the aircraft was not in great condition with the tailplane removed and other parts missing. It lived at Wellesbourne Mountford next to Vulcan XM655 for a while, but when Delta moved to Kemble in 1996, XW986 went with them, and was restored to near-perfect condition. Efforts to fly it in the UK were frustrated by the CAA for a long time and just when there seemed a glimmer of hope for the aircraft she was sold to Ian Pringle in South Africa. Permission was granted for some test flights here in the UK and on Friday 29th March 2002 she flew for the first time in 9 years. She sadly departed these shores a few weeks later and was then based at Mike Beachy Head's Thunder City operation. Unfortunately with Thunder City being effectively shut down by the CAA after identifying various maintenance failings that cost pilot Dave Stock his life in the crash of their Lightning ZU-BEX, that meant ZU-NIP was grounded. She was put up for sale by auction in November 2011 but so far no news has come out regarding the outcome of the sale.

Information on this page current as of 13/01/2012

Find other photos of ZU-NIP on the following sites:

Air-Britain - Airliners.net - Airplane-Pictures.net - flickr.com - WorldAirPics.com - JetPhotos.net - PlanePictures.net - Blackburn-Buccaneer.co.uk