RAF Harrier crashes in Cyprus

By Niall O'Keeffe

Two crew members were forced to eject when a Royal Air Force BAE Systems Harrier trainer crashed on the runway at Akrotiri air base in Cyprus on 9 February.

The UK Ministry of Defence says the accident happened during a training sortie, and that both crew members "ejected safely" from the aircraft. An investigation team is being set up to determine the cause of the mishap.

The RAF established a base at Akrotiri on the southern peninsula of Cyprus in 1955, and the site currently hosts approximately 850 service personnel. It is also used by the RAF's Red Arrows display team as a winter training ground.

Forming part of the UK's Joint Force Harrier organisation with the Royal Navy's 800 Naval Air Squadron, the RAF had a training inventory of five Harrier T10s and four Harrier T12s prior to the accident, according to Flight's MiliCAS database. The majority are assigned to the service's 20 Sqn operational conversion unit.

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