View Full Version : Tornado Crash Memorial at Wolferton / Sandringham, Norfolk???
I have seen a couple of referances to this memorial but I have no idea if it exists and where it is. There is nothing on the web that I can find. The details I have are;
Sqn Ldr M Stephens of 9 Sqn flying a Tornado
Crash happened on Tuesday 27th September 1983
I assume the other crew member survived?? Can anyone help with info and a location?
This was the first RAF Tornado to crash, ZA586 from 9 Sqn at Honington. I knew Mike and his wife Heather very well.
The aircraft suffered total electrical failure at medium altitude and the crew decided to abandon the aircraft (the electric jet does not fly very well without any amps and volts). The navigator initiated the ejection sequence and safely abandoned the aircraft. For some reason Mike failed to abandon the aircraft (command ejection was selected off) and was killed when the aircraft plunged vertically into the ground on the Sandringham Estate. The accident happened at about 10.00 pm during planned night flying.
I visited the scene the following day. It was dank, wet and misty and there was a huge hole in the middle of a field. The crash and smash boys were unable to recover much of the aircraft and to be frank, I'm not sure if they were able to recover any of the remains of the pilot. About ten years later I was invited on to the Estate and was able to view a magnificent young oak tree and a small memorial tablet to commemorate the memory of Mike, which The Queen had allowed to be established in a corner of the field where Mike died. The tree must be 25 years old now and I am sure that it will be looking magnificent.
There is no public access to the memorial location. I was allowed to take photographs during my visit, but only on the understanding that they would not be published. I cannot breach that promise I made.
Hi WJT, thanks for that and for recalling the story.
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