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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 15:07 GMT
Bird strike blamed for jet crash
RAF Jaguar bomber
The Jaguar crashed after hitting a flock of birds
A bird strike has been confirmed as the cause of an RAF plane crash in south-west Scotland last year.

The Jaguar jet, from RAF Coltishall in Norfolk, plunged into a field near Lockerbie at about 1100 BST on Friday 27 October 2000.

The pilot - who was on exchange from New Zealand - ejected and survived, although he sustained serious injuries.

A Ministry of Defence board of inquiry found that the plane flew into a dense flock of birds causing catastrophic failure of both engines.

Locator map
The crash happened near Lockerbie
The inquiry also commended the pilot for making sure the Jaguar crashed in open countryside.

At the time, local farmer John Kerr described how the bomber plunged into a field only 300 yards from the shed in which he was working.

Mr Kerr was feeding cattle when the jet crashed in a field at his 240-acre dairy farm near Shieldhill Village, Lochmaben.

The farmer said he saw the pilot going down in a parachute seconds after he was given the "shock of his life" by the plane impact.

He told how he headed to the scene of the impact in his tractor and met people, who had witnessed the crash, running from their cars.

Mr Kerr then alerted local police who sealed off the scene before Ministry of Defence officials arrived to begin their investigation.

Ambulances were also rushed to the area where paramedics treated the pilot before he was taken to Dumfries Royal Infirmary.

The accident happened a short distance from the small Scottish town of Lockerbie where 270 died when Pan Am Flight 103 crashed in 1988.

See also:

27 Oct 00 | Scotland
Narrow escape as jet crashes
27 Oct 00 | Scotland
Military aircraft crash
20 Jul 00 | Scotland
Jaguars high-tail it to new home
21 Oct 99 | Scotland
Jaguar crash pilot is base commander
03 Sep 98 | UK
Jaguar pilot survives crash
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