McDonnell Douglas Phantom F.G.R. Mk.2 XV434 / J of No.29 Squadron, RAF, crashed on Buckden Pike near Walden Head, North Yorkshire, 7th January 1986

Phantom F.G.R. Mk.2 XV424, RAF Museum, Hendon


Ian Keith Ferguson Flight Lieutenant Pilot Survived
Stephen Charles Williams Flight Lieutenant Navigator Survived


The crew were on a low level inception exercise from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire with 3 other aircraft, they were in the attacking pair. After an interception of the target pair the control column moved forward with the aircraft pitched down, the pilot attempted to recover the aircraft but the aircraft began oscillating violently. With virtually no height in which to recover the pilot ejected and shortly after the navigator did the same. Both received severe injuries during their ejections, including broken bones and in the case of the navigator burns when the aircraft impacted the ground ahead of him and he was briefly enveloped in the resulting fireball.

Fragment of magnesium casting at the crash site of McDonnell Douglas Phantom F.G.R. Mk.2 XV434 in the Yorkshire Dales
The aircraft was completely destroyed by the crash as it struck the ground at around 600mph.
Most of what remains at the crash site are tiny fragments such as this fragment of magnesium casting.
Wreckage at the crash site of McDonnell Douglas Phantom F.G.R. Mk.2 XV434
Further tiny pieces of Titanium and Stainless Steel litter the area.
Fragment of Rolls Royce Spey engine turbine blade from Phantom XV434 on Buckden Pike near Walden Head in the Yorkshire Dales
One of the larger pieces was this item, the base of a turbine blade from one of the aircraft’s Rolls Royce Spey engines.