Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor ZU-ATH (ex G-BVWG, XL598)

T.8C ZU-ATH - Privately owned, Unknown location

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

XL598 first flew in 1958, and once retired was sold at an auction in 1994, to Classic Jets, based in Exeter, receiving her new civil serial G-BVWG.

Mike Beachy Head acquired the airframe in 1995, which was later transported to his Thunder City collection based at Cape Town International Airport in South Africa. After it arrived in Cape Town, she was given the serial ZU-ATH and went back flying after some restoration work, where it could be seen displaying on the airshow circuit in South Africa. Sadly in 2009, their Lightning ZU-BEX crashed whilst display at an airshow, costing Dave Stock his life. This resulted in the Thunder City collection being grounded, with the SA CAA investigating both the crash and the facility. Once the investigation closed, the CAA approved for Thunder City to carry out private flights. ZU-ATH never returned to the skies again and can be seen in the above image in 2012, getting some attention. Thunder City sadly closed its doors for the last time around 2016, with the airframes going up for sale.

As to what happened to ZU-ATH next is unknown, however, it seems as though she is no longer based at Cape Town International Airport.
If anyone has any updates regarding ZU-ATH, please do get in touch.

Information on this page current as of 24/11/2022, last updated by Jake

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