A privately-owned Lightning fighter jet has crashed, killing its pilot, at an airshow at the Overberg Air Force Base east of Cape Town.
According to news reports, the aircraft was in the middle of a display sequence when it crashed about 5km north of the airfield, starting a massive fire.
The airshow was halted after the crash.
The English Electric Lightning, a Cold War-era fighter-interceptor, was one of a handful of airworthy examples of its type left in the world.
The aircraft was owned by Cape Town-based company Thunder City which operates the world’s largest privately-owned collection of ex-military jets.
PICTURE: A Lightning from Thunder City during a flypast at an airshow at AFB Ysterplaat in 2003. PHOTO: Paul Ash
A very sad day.
A family has lost a father / husband.
I saw the Lightning fly many times at Ysterplaat AFB and was in awe of it’s abilities and power as well as the pilots skill.
My thoughts go out to the family
RIP Dave ……
How sad – Dave Stocks was a wonderful man – my thoughts are with his family.
He flew me in BEXY – exceptional pilot flying an exceptional aircraft.
Deeply saddened to hear this news. I never met Dave, but he was one of a team of fantastic guys down at Thunder City, doing a brilliant job of keeping these beauties flying. I was lucky enough to be flown in ZU-BEX by Dave’s colleague Mike ‘Beachy’ Head in April 2006. My heart & thoughts go out to all at Thunder City.
Are there any more EngElec Lightnings still left flying in SA? Or was that the last one?
What a tragedy! I flew with Dave in ZU-BEX in March 07. He was instrumental in giving the most incredible day in my life. My condolences to Thunder City and Dave’s family. He will be truly missed but he’ll never be forgotten by the people he helped live out their ultimate dream. Thanks, Dave
Not sure how to ask this but…I hope it wasn’t ZU-BEX that was involved. Does anyone know which of the 4 Lightnings crashed?
It was the silver Lightnig that went down. I was there and it was sad seeing this Super Jet going down. I was entered into a lucky draw to fly in this baby yesterday afternoon. My thought are with Daves family. I am lucky to have the last flight on video.
I saw thhis plane many a time at AFB Ysterplaat. What a sad, sad day for aviation and his family. Rip.
A truly sad day for avid aviation enthusiasts. Our thoughts go to Dave’s friends and family.
Iain: it was ZU-BEX that went down.
Very sad news indeed. I was watching a programme “Thunder & Lighnings” yesterday with my uncle who used to be ground maintenance crew at BAC Warton in the 1960s, he was reminiscing of the flight testing of the aircraft. I was shocked to hear that Thunder City had suffered a fatal crash whilst we were watching the film. Its a tragedy to lose one of these magnificent aircraft, but an even greater tragedy to lose an experienced and respected pilot as Dave Stock. RIP
Roger, Many thanks for the sad confirmation that it was indeed MY T-5. Best regards, Iain
I am very sad to hear that a respected and well loved pilot, Dave Stock died in a Lighting aircraft.Hopefully now somebody in authority will do something about the non-existant Enlish Electric Lighting, licensed engineers at thunder city still using outdated and unserviceable equipment.Hence the result.
Just so sad for the family and friends a man living a dream. Also sad that one of the few Cold War Icons has gone down….Anonymous needs to remember the age of these aircraft, kept superbly airworthy by a team of dedicated engineers, I suppose anonymous was critical when Concorde crashed, why not ban all aircraft then.
I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Anonymous. The aircraft at Thunder City are meticulously looked after by a very professional group of people and have a excellent safety record. I have spent my life trying to get into aircraft that are long out of production. I’ve been lucky enough to fly in many older types. B-17, B-24, B-25, P-51 and T6. Recently I got into a 70 year old Beech Travelair! These types are generally better maintained and looked after by people who are part of these aircraft. I have worked in the aircraft industry for 48 years and flown in many, many different types. Wasn’t a pilot, I took the notes and made the things happen at the right time. Flying is a mixture of getting on a school bus or getting into a Veyron. Stuff happens and it happened at Overberg last Saturday. If I could turn back time and get into ZU-BEX again, would I do it? YES!
REST IN PEACE DAVE
I did not know Dave, but my heart
goes out to his family & friends.
What a horrific way to die …
Rest in peace
I was fortunate to have a flight in this particular aircraft when it was on our squadron inventory in 1972. This episode reinforces the reason why the CAA in the UK still refuse to grant permission for this aircraft type to be flown.
The premise used for operating when I was in the RAF, was 100 hours of engineering for 1 hour of flying serviceability. A very intensive aeroplane where a second chance is rare.
Condolences to his family.
I knew Dave as a pilot from 1 Squadron, AFB Hoedspruit and then as a Test Pilot at TFDC. A good man and respected by all the ground crew. I was at the Airshow and saw it happen, a very sad day. My sympathy to his family and fiancée. SAAF Armourer.
Enjoyed the display at the Mess the night before the Rugby
Very sad indeed to loose Dave Stock. Sympathy to all those who were close to him.
I have photograhs of XS 451 when it was laying in bits at Cranfield and have one of the original control columns.
Very sad day for all, will miss the displays that Dave Stock has given us over the years. Our thought go to his family, his flying friends and to all at Thunder City.
May he fly on above us forever. From Sue and Adrian also Warren Curtis
Very sad to hear of this tragic loss to the aviation world my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
I do hope that the rest of these wonderful aircraft are kept flying by the hard working people who have given there all to allow us the pleasure to see these aircraft fly again .
I havent bee so sickened since i canr reember.
There is an investigation going on and we mus all sit on our fingers and await its findings.
hopefully dave and Brian Carrol have found one another and watching over us all.
Hell of a business we are sending condolances from the team hand of beara in weeks time.
Hang in there you guys at Thunder city and the rest remember this is no time to go poking the finger.
something of an expert on Lightning.
I would like to pass on my condolences to all of Dave Stock’s family and friends. I never knew Dave personally, but did get to fly in ZU-BEX in 2000. It is a great loss in every aspect. I am deeply saddened to hear such tragic news. RIP Dave Stock. Died doing what he did best. Flying.
I can’t watch this. My heart broken into pieces. RIP Dave.
Dave flew me in ZU-BEX on 13th January 2005. It was unforgettable and priceless: ten seconds of vertical assent from Cape Town airport for a view of Cape Point, the sky starting to appear black at 50’000 feet, 1’190 km/hr (Mach 1.1), weightlessness during dive, 4-g during pull out, taking the control just above the waves. Such an experience enables me to wake up excited about every day, enthusiastic for life. Thank you Dave . RIP
ps Thunder City closing must please be temporary.
sorry, it was 2004, (not 5)