Harrier GR.Mk 7  ZG861

Gelston, Dumfries and Galloway













Aircraft Type Photo


Pre-Crash Photos


BELOW: BAe Harrier II GR.Mk 7s.


This was the same variant as that featured on this page.


harrier gr.7


Photo: 2008 Eimann.


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.



BELOW: A later variant of the BAe Systems Harrier. This is a  GR.Mk 9.


a bae systems harrier gr.mk.7


Photo: Wallpapers10.net






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF BAe / McDonnell Douglas Harrier II GR.Mk 7  /  ZG861



Ground Attack / Surveillance / Reconnaissance (V/STOL close support) Aircraft.



The GR. Mk 7 variant featured here was built by BAe Systems of the UK in co-operation with McDonnell Douglas of the USA (since merged with Boeing).


The intention was to produce a Harrier version with improved range/payload capabilities over the AV-8A and GR. Mk 3 Harriers used by the US Marine Corps (USMC).


The GR. Mk 5s and 7s were designed with a wider (composite) wing than their predecessors. They were also equipped with more advanced avionics, including a moving map. Externally, wing pylons were added for Sidewinder missiles.


Other armaments included two 25mm Aden cannon, provision for AAMs, ASMs, freefall or guided bombs and other weapons.


The aircraft was powered by one Rolls Royce Mk 105 Pegasus vectored-thrust turbofan capable of reaching 1065km/h (661 mph) at sea level. It had a service ceiling of more than 15,240m (50,000ft).



[Above data based on information contained in the book: Attack and Interceptor Jets by Michael Sharpe © 2001 Grange Books.]






Aircraft Accident Details


Together with two other aircraft, Harrier ZG861 had taken off from RAF Honington in Suffolk when an engine compressor blade failure resulted in the loss of the turbofan engine.


As he was losing altitude rapidly, the pilot decided to eject. The aircraft continued its descent until it crashed in a wooded area a few miles from the town of Newton Stewart.






Aircraft Crew Survivor


The pilot ejected safely from the aircraft. After landing, he was taken by 819 Naval Air Squadron Westland Sea King helicopter to a hospital in Newcastle.






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: Harrier ZG861 crash scene near Gelston, Dumfries and Galloway.


Harrier ZG861 aircraft crash scene


Photo: 1997, source unknown.



BELOW: Fragmented wreckage from Harrier ZG861.


Upfront Controller (UFC), Master Warning and Master Caution lights panels that sit in front of the Head Up Display. [This information kindly provided by Kirk Daly.]


(See avionics system).



Photo: © 1997-2013 RAF Mountain Rescue Team (MRT)
via Neil Daniel.
























Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 3 Jun 1997


Accident Site:

Gelston [map]


Region: Dumfries and Galloway.


Nearest towns or villages:

Castle Douglas (N), Dalbeattie (NE) or Kirkcudbright (SW).


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Refs: N/A


Present Condition: Recovered from site. No known remains.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: ZG861


Operator: RAF (3 Squadron)


Operating Station: RAF Honington.


Station Location: Honington, Suffolk, England.


Current Station Status:

Operational Military Station (RAF Regiment).


Current Station Name: RAF Honington.




Related Links



Accident Specific Links


Aircraft wreckage photo at UK Serials



Harrier Aircraft Links


Harrier Jump Jet at Wikipedia.


McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II at Wikipedia.


The Harrier Jump Jet at Tehnology Student.com



RAF and Related Links


3 Squadron


Harrier low level flying in Wales. (YouTube cockpit video / no sound.)


RAF Harrier GR7/7A


RAF Honington




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