On Monday July 24th 2017 a 1970s-vintage BAC-167 Mark 80A Strikemaster jet, serial number G-27-225 and US registration number N605GV, crashed after attempting to take off from runway 17R at Henderson Executive Airport (KHND) in Henderson, Nevada. The aircraft came to rest about half a mile south of Volunteer Boulevard near Via Inspirada south of the airport. The single pilot, whose name has not yet been released, evidently rode the aircraft all the way to a stop because the ejection seats in his aircraft were “cold.” He then exited the wreck with minor injuries which were treated at the site. The forward half of the aircraft was consumed by fire after the crash. There were no passengers in the jet or injuries on the ground and no other damage. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash. Here is some raw footage of the crash scene posted by the Associated Press.
The Strikemaster was operated by Blue Air Training and was departing Blue Air’s facility at KHND bound for a United States Air Force (USAF) training exercise for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) taking place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma in Washington state. These highly-trained JTACs require certification before being able to deploy with their units overseas. Blue Air Training’s role in this training is to simulate close air support aircraft dropping BDU-33 practice bombs and shooting 2.75” live-fire rockets tasked by the JTACs from the ground. Blue Air operates BAC 167 Strikemaster jets, IAR-823 Brasov trainers, AH-6 Little Bird assault helicopters, and a variety of single engine light aircraft used to simulate various US and foreign combat aircraft for training of these JTACs as well as other American military personnel.
The Strikemaster that crashed on Monday was built by British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Saudi Arabian Air Force in 1972. After serving with the Saudis until 2001 under serial number 1114, the aircraft made its way onto the civilian market initially as G-BZYH and was later registered as N605GV. The jet was one of four Strikemasters operated out of Nevada by Blue Air Training. This was the first accident involving any of the company’s Strikemaster jets. The Strikemaster is a development of BAC’s Jet Provost intermediate trainer. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the total of 146 Strikemasters built by BAC were operated by Botswana, Ecuador, Kenya, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore, South Yemen, and Sudan. Blue Air is the only military contractor currently utilizing Strikemasters as simulation aircraft.
Bonus Video: Here’s a video of a Strikemaster flying around the air patch uploaded by blizzardthewatcher
Bonus Video #2: Another video of a Strikemaster in action uploaded by Historical Aviation Film Unit