That Time When a Harrier Fighter Jet Crashes at the Lowestoft Air Show

That Time When a Harrier Fighter Jet Crashes at the Lowestoft Air Show
Credits: Youtube screenshot

On August 2, 2002, spectators received the shock of their lives when part of the Air show went wrong.

An RAF Harrier jet performing at the Lowestoft air show crashed into the sea off the Suffolk coast. The jet was coming to the end of its display – when it bows to the crowd, before flying off.

The accident happened in front of thousands of holidaymakers at the Lowestoft Air Show. The pilot Flight Lieutenant Tony Cann ejected shortly after the engine failed.

Thankfully, Flight Lieutenant Cann suffered only minor injuries, but his £15 million jet was ruined.

A few days later, the aircraft was retrieved from the sea bed and an investigation was launched.

Here is the video of the crash:

In December 2003, 16 months after the crash, an RAF board of inquiry established that Flight Lieutenant Cann had accidentally operated the controls for the throttle and nozzle direction lever at the same, causing the aircraft to plummet 50ft.

The Lowestoft Airshow was one of the most popular events on the Suffolk coast and saw hundreds of thousands of people flock to the UK’s most easterly town for the annual display.

Over 16 years, between 1996 and 2012, Vulcan Bombers, Hawker Hurricanes, and, of course, the famous Red Arrows, were among the aircraft to have put on a show for spectators at the seafront festival.

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