The Cutting-Edge Eurofighter Typhoon that Crash Landed at China Lake

crashed-eurofighter-typhoon-ZJ943-china-lake (Image: UK Serials Resource Centre, reproduced with permission)

Even the world’s most cutting-edge planes can fall victim to mechanical mishaps (or perhaps digital ones) as was the case with Eurofighter Typhoon ZJ943, which was written-off in a wheels-up landing at NAWS China Lake, California, in 2008.

crashed-eurofighter-typhoon-ZJ943-china-lake-2 (Image: Steviejaws, reproduced with permission)

The RAF’s latest multi-role combat aircraft had been involved in a military exercise at the US Naval Air Weapons Station. But when the pilot selected undercarriage down on approach to the runway, the faulty switch failed to lower it.

crashed-eurofighter-typhoon-ZJ943-china-lake-3 (Image: Steviejaws, reproduced with permission)

According to UK Serials, the pilot didn’t notice the cockpit warnings indicating that the wheels had failed to extend. As a result, the 11 Squadron Typhoon landed on its belly, causing major damage to the airframe as it tore along the asphalt.

crashed-eurofighter-typhoon-ZJ943-china-lake-4 (Image: Steviejaws, reproduced with permission)

The above photos show the damaged, dismantled fighter on arrival back at its home base at Coningsby in Lincolnshire. Coded ‘DK’, the aircraft had been in RAF service less than four months when it crash landed on April 23, 2008.

crashed-eurofighter-typhoon-ZJ943-china-lake-5 (Image: Steviejaws, reproduced with permission)

With all usable parts removed, the gutted fuselage is stored in a disused hardened aircraft shelter within the 11 Squadron complex. Its current use is unclear, though it may serve as a ground training aid for Typhoon crews.

Keep reading – visit 30 Crashed, Derelict and Destroyed Aircraft Across the World


About the author: Tom





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