Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor ZU-ATH (ex XL598)

T.8C ZU-ATH - Hangar 51 Aviation, Cape Town, South Africa

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Hunter T.8C ZU-ATH at Thunder City, 31st October 2012; Francis Wallace

XL598 first flew in 1958, after retirement she was sold in an auction and was assigned the registration G-BVMG and flown to Classic Jets Aircraft Company in Exeter in 1994. A year later, she was sold to Mike Beachy Head who cancelled the registration G-BVMG and exported the aircraft to his Thunder City collection. After it arrived in Cape Town, she was given the serial ZU-ATH and went back flying after some restoration work. Sadly in 2009, their Lightning XS421 crashed, costing Dave Stock his life, resulting in the fleet being grounded and the SA CAA investigating Thunder City. Once the collection got the go-ahead to fly again, they no longer advertised back seat flights and only carried out private flights instead. ZU-ATH never returned to the skies again, unfortunately. With Thunder City closing its doors around 2016, the aircraft was placed in storage and put up for sale.

In late 2021, Hangar 51 Aviation purchased the aircraft in the hope to get a handful up in the air again!

Information on this page current as of 15/01/2022, last updated by Jake

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