Westland Gazelle XX401

Balnakeil, Durness, Sutherland

 
     
 
lefttop
 

 

 

Advertisements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: A British Army Westland Gazelle AH1 (Aérospatiale SA 341B) helicopter during exercise "Checkered Flag '83" at Ahlhorn air base, Lower Saxony, Germany, on 25 May 1983. [Wikipedia]

 

British Army Westland Gazelle AH.1 helicopter

 

Photo: 1983 TSgt. Dennis Plummer, U.S. Defenseimagry.mil

 

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

 


 

BELOW: Main control panel of a Gazelle SA 342M liaison helicopter of the French Army's Light Aviation (ALAT).

 

Westland Gazelle flight controls

 

Photo: 2001 Eric Gaba (Sting - fr:Sting)

 

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

Army Air Corps (Aérospatiale) Westland Gazelle AH.I *  /  XX401

 

* Army Helicopter Mark 1

 


 

The Aérospatiale (formerly, Sud Aviation) Gazelle was manufactured in France. It was a single turbine engine lightweight general purpose helicopter with five seats. The aircraft was also manufactured under licence in the UK as the Westland Gazellethe type featured on this page.

 

The Gazelle designed included a Fenestron (fantail) instead of the more conventional tail rotor. In addition, the rotor blades were composed of composite materials.

 

The Westland Gazelle served with the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy (including the Royal Marines), and the British Army. The Gazelle AH.1 variant was customised for use by the [UK] Army Air Corps.

 

At the time of the accident, the Gazelle featured here was based on HMS Intrepid (since decommissioned)a warship which was capable of carrying 5 Westland Gazelle helicopters.

 


 

BELOW: Picture of HMS Intrepid (L11) taken in Hong Kong in 1968. HMAS Perth (D38) in background.

 

HMS Intrepid

 

Photo: 1968 'Nogginnog'

 

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Nogginnog at the wikipedia project. This applies worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details                      

 

Westland Gazelle XX401 was operating from the warship, HMS Intrepid. The helicopter was engaged in the exercise 'Teamwork 80' which involved service personnel from the Army Air Corps, the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and other service units.

 

However, while the aircraft was flying over Sutherland in northern Scotland, it crashed into a hill near the village of Balnakeil.1 The three Royal Marine personnel on board the helicopter died in this incident.

 


 

Footnote 1:

 

Balnakeil was built in the 1950's by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as an early warning station against nuclear attack. However, the station was never commissioned. In 1964, the ex-military buildings were made available for civilian use. Balnakeil is now a craft village.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Those who lost their lives in this incident were:

  • Lt David C Dunn, RM,  N021199B, 45 Commando.

  • Lt Paul A T Farley, RM, N023318W, 45 Commando.

  • Lt Andrew P J MacDonald, RM, N019715T, 3 Commando Brigade HQ.

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

Photo Request

 

If anyone is able to provide photos of this crash site  these would be much appreciated.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP OF PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Date / Site

 

 

Accident Date: 15 Sep 1980

 

Accident Site:

Balnakeil (hill in this vicinity)

 

Region: Highland (Sutherland)

 

Nearest town or village:

Durness

 

Nearest large town:

None in this general area.

 

OS Grid Ref: N/A

 

GPS Ref. N/A

 

Present Condition: No known remains.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: XX401

 

Operator: Army Air Corps (3 CBAS / 670 Sqdn "C1" Eagles)

 

Operating Station: HMS Intrepid.

 

Operating Station Location: Mobile (RN warship).

 

Current Station Status: HMS Intrepid decommissioned. Scrapped in Liverpool in 2008.

(Had been built 1962-64 by John Brown and Co., Clydebank.)

 


 

Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields

 

 

 

 

Hill Walking Links

 

(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 

 

Other Outdoor Activities

 

Backpacking and Backpackers

Backpacking in Britain

Backpacking Lite

Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)

The Backpackers Club

UK Backpacking Websites

 

 

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)

Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)

Sea Kayak Scotland

 

Mountain Biking

H and I Adventures (Mountain bike holidays in Scotland).

Mountain Bike Trails (Forestry Commission Scotland)

Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

Mountain Biking in East Scotland.

Scotland Cycle Routes.

Trail Scotland (Scotland's mountain bike community).

 

Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Abseiling in Perthshire

Abseiling Scotland (Various venues)

Climbing, Scrambling and Abseiling Scotland

Mountain Sports Courses and Paddle Sports Courses at Glenmore Lodge

Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)

Rock Climbing in Scotland (Rock Climbing Areas)

UKClimbing.com (UKC) (Includes Abseiling / Rappelling)

 

Trekking and Hiking

Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)

Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)

Ramblers (UK)

Ramblers (Worldwide Holidays)

Trekking Britain

Walking and Hiking

 


 

Emergency Services Link

Register for Text 999 Emergency Service

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.

 

 

 

 
righttop