Yorkshire's East Coast

The crash of Hunter XE604

Click the image above for the Aviation Safety Network entry (opens in a new window).
Further reading indicates that SNEB rockets were only introduced to the Hunter in 1967....it is likely therefore that this Hunter was firing the older 3" rocket.

"Dave", a Hunter Test Pilot makes the following comments:

On the Tac Weapons Unit course that I did, we fired rockets in a 15° dive at 400 KIAS and then did a 6g recovery. The Hunter has a very low short period pitch oscillation (SPPO) frequency and a very powerful elevator with low forces. Therefore, 'g' overshoots are common and overstresses on the range common (and even more so for strafe). Therefore, if slow I could envisage the potential for an accelerated stall but in an accelerated stall it has an excellent progressive buffet margin and by the time you reach the stall (and the Cl vs alpha curve is very prolonged around Cl max) you cannot read the instruments and your teeth have fallen out!

So saying, the biggest risk of departure is if you get a wing drop and let the rudder float but if you restrain the rudder the stall is not departure prone at those speeds. However, if there is any lateral fuel asymmetry then wing drop can be severe and there are circumstances where there is lateral control authority. So, if he had not been monitoring the fuel system and one underwing tank was hanging up …. To add to this, not all underwing tanks were gauged. ATAC lost one a few years ago through this (lost lateral control in the finals turn to land.