Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet - Survivor XA334

AS.1 XA334 - Camden Museum of Aviation, Narellan, New South Wales, Australia

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Gannet AS.1 XA334 at Narellan, August 2001; Bob Lawson

XA334 was severely damaged when it collided with the safety barrier when operating from the RAN carrier HMAS Melbourne in June 1967. After a catapult launch on a routine exercise, power was lost on one of the twin power pack Double Mambas. The pilot declared an emergency and obtained permission to fire the eight rockets carried on the wings. Being still in the take-off configuration, the rocket blast blew off both outboard flaps and severely damaged what remained of the flaps. This necessitated a
higher than normal landing speed and the arrestor hook failed to pick up an arrestor wire and the aircraft crashed into the Safety Barrier. The extensive damage was not economically repairable resulting in the aircraft being withdrawn from service. The Museum replaced the spinners, propellors, fin, rudder, tailplane, elevators and outer mid wings.

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