BAE Hawk XX193

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BAE Hawk XX193

Both crew members of Hawk XX193, Squadron Leader Micheal Andrews (38) and
Flight Lieutenant Stephen Todd (28) were killed when their jet crashed at the village of Shap in Cumbria, October 22 1999.

The original photos of the crew are from the Northern Echo.


Hawk XX193 was taking part in a combat exercise, feigning low level attacks on a formation of three other Hawks from RAF Leeming.

After the second attack over Sedburgh, 16 miles to the south east of Shap, the formation turned roughly north west, following the line of the M6 Motorway. Some 5 miles from Shap, the defending formation turned west towards the Lake District. Following them, XX193 also made the turn, but was too low and hit some trees before crashing to the ground at the northern end of the village.

An eyewitness called Clive told us that the jet clipped the chimney pots of his house, veered to the right and crashed into the bridge carrying the A6 over the main London – Scotland railway line, demolishing a barn. Clive said that the entire bridge was on fire.

There was just one civilian casualty, a Mr Colin Murray aged 38 who was driving his van across the bridge. He was lucky to escape shocked but uninjured. He told the BBC “As I went over the railway bridge, the windscreen of the van exploded, showering me in debris, bricks, rubble, dust, debris of all descriptions… I shielded my face with my arms as best I could and the van eventually came to a halt.”

Photo of Mr Murray’s van from the BBC

The Ministry of Defence report states that the Hawk entered a gentle descending roll to the left, which makes sense if the formation it was shadowing was heading west. However travelling northwards a left roll would have taken the Hawk away from the impact point. Possibly the Hawk was turning to follow the formation when it struck the trees and out of control heeled over to the right. The report notes there were no column control inputs during the last 18 seconds of flight.

A house as now been built on the spot where the barn stood and a memorial to the men placed in a wall at the front of the house.

Memorial at the crash site.

There was very little left of the Hawk, it hit the ground with such force it disintegrated completely. A wallet belonging to Squadron Leader Andrews was found and a fragment of Flight Lieutenant Todd’s credit card was also recovered by the salvage team.

As is usually the case when an aircraft crashes in a populated area without the loss of any persons on the ground, a story emerges whereby the pilot heroically struggled to avoid hitting a school or houses etc. This is a common phenomenon and one generally not replicated when people on the ground are killed. I wasn’t there so I don’t know, but it seems unlikely, the crash would have happened in an instant, and the report concluded there was no sign of the jet being in trouble prior to the crash. Nor does the report refer to the pilot taking such evasive action. But those on the ground seeing the Hawk turning to the left may have reasoned that the jet was avoiding the village.

In November 2002 an inquest heard evidence to suggest that fatigue from over work may well have been a contributory factor, Sqn Ldr Andrews having to work 12 hour shifts. As a result of the crash, ground proximity warnings and voice recordings were to be fitted to Hawks, though the inquest – which took place 3 years after the crash – heard that still hadn’t happened.

MOD Accident summary pdf…

A low flying Hawk of 100 Squadron on Cazflypast’s photostream.
100 Squadron Hawk

36 comments on “BAE Hawk XX193
  1. pasujoba says:

    Excellent work Ian , some terrific research and the presentation is top drawer. Certainly made a mess of that van , the driver was very lucky to survive .

  2. andyholmfirth says:

    I remember this one.All the sadder really being so recent.

  3. cgullz says:

    wow. incredible story and interesting reading. very sad for the families of the crew, even sadder if it was pure fatigue and the fact that they had no GPWS!! i’m not a military pilot but man these guys fly at some amazing speeds at so low to the ground i’m surprised to find they didn’t have any warning reference system!

  4. amyrey says:

    Tragic. Too young!

    Great research as always Ian.

  5. SolarScot. says:

    what a story! its funny we get jets flying over us most days and i think only once has one crashed in the area but you still cant help feeling ,what if? they complained about them flying over the local school for that reason

  6. Richard Tierney says:

    Super as per Ian…

    Every time I travel up the M6 around this area I look out for RAF low flying jets…. always remember the few that did not go home at the end of the day.. Lucky van driver and the village, could have been a disaster.. Surprised they operated so close to the village though.

  7. Ian D B says:

    As ever, many thanks everyone.

    I was surprised to read that too, and indeed, that by 2002 BAe Hawks still weren’t fitted with ground proximity warnings. The pilot would have had an altimeter but they were intentionally flying low, so really the warning was what was needed. In spite of some witness reports saying the aircraft was obviously in trouble, the report and the inquest seems to conclude both crew were just doing their job, there was no problem until the last instant when the Hawk got a bit too close to the trees.

    Yeah I can imagine the schools complaining. But I suppose the risk of crashing is the reason why they usually train over less densely populated areas.
    Still on for this week btw, though I don’t reckon I’ll be bivying up in them there hills. Shoulda known better than plan a bivi during Wimbledon week!

    Cheers Richard. As above, I reckon they can’t help but fly over some populated areas, otherwise they’d have a very erratic route at very high speed. Shap is a small place too, as you know. End to end about a mile? Maybe 300 yards across at its widest point? Still, the formation of other Hawks made their turn a few miles south of the village… The outcome of the investigation seems to suggest the crew took their eye off the ball at a critical moment and that was that. One tiny error in two long and promising careers… Whether these guys tried to avoid the village or not, any man or woman who puts on a uniform and is prepared to die in combat or in training for combat is a hero in my book.

  8. f3liney says:

    How weird is that!! I grew up in Shap.
    I remember my mother ringing me up in Norfolk, to pre-warn me that there’d been a fatal jet crash at Shap and it would be on the news, but that no villagers were hurt.
    My best friend’s house only just missed being hit, but there were ‘bits’ in their garden apparently and a window got broken.
    It was interesting to read your comment about supposedly avoiding the houses and school – which was exactly what the RAF PR drone churned out in the local rag afterwards.
    At 400mph, you wouldn’t have even spotted the school (which is nowhere close to their track anyway).
    A tragic loss of this crew.
    It could have been so much worse though, especially if an intercity train had been on the line.

  9. bazylek100 says:

    A sad history. I’m surprised modern military jets still can be not equipped with ground proximity warnings!
    Obviously, such systems shouldn’t be overestimated and they alone will not prevent aircraft crashes, as it was proved in the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash. The pilots ignored all the TAWS warnings, and being annoyed with the continous ‘PULL UP! PULL UP!’ voice message they just switched the system off shortly before losing one third of the left wing while hitting the birch tree. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

  10. Ian D B says:

    I know. That sound sends a shiver down your spine. I wouldn’t need telling twice. I suppose though that pilots (in the case you describe) trusted their own intuition over the systems they had on board.

  11. *Ian says:

    I was the No.4 that went home early after a birdstrike. I was not the bounce only after flipping a coin with Toddy. I will always wonder what would have happpened if I not he was in the aircraft with Mike, but that is simply what I have to do.
    Per Ardua Sans Peur

  12. Tony Parrini says:

    I was the Regional Community Relations Officer (RCRO) based in Penrith when the crash happened and was the first representative of MOD on the scene. Its a day I’ll never forget, being the worst day of my 42 years in the RAF and as a Retired Officer in the RCRO post. With the 20th Anniversary in October 2019, perhaps we should organise a memorial event at lunchtime on Tuesday 22nd October? Anyone interested in helping or with contact with 100 Squadron?

  13. Ian D B says:

    Blimey Colin! Good to hear from you. What a thing to go through. Don’t expect you will ever stop thinking about it, or the men who died.

  14. Linda James says:

    I remember this crash being on the local news but was never aware of the pilots’ names. A couple of years ago, I tried looking up one of my friends from my University days. His name was Mike Andrews and he was already spending most of his weekends flying. Needless to say I was heartbroken to read a Northern Echo report that popped up. I couldn’t sleep that night. I would love to come to a memorial service if one is being arranged. I’d also like to meet any of Mike’s family to share some happier memories.

  15. Neil Curry says:

    I was on aircraft refuelling that day. I remember returning to the section to be told the news that one of the aircraft I refuelled had crashed at Shap. A massive feeling of loss, guilt and upset, a truly sad event.

    RIP Squadron Leader Andrews and Flight Lieutenant Todd

  16. Simon says:

    I was a C130 pilot tasked with collecting friends and colleagues from around UK RAF bases for the funerals.

    Steve was a pal. I met Mike on expedition in France. A sad loss and I miss you Toddy.

  17. June J says:

    I was born & brought up in the village but I live in another part of Cumbria now. I visit from time to time as my parents are buried there. I alway visit the site where the memorial is on the crash site. We owe a lot to these young men & now women who put their lives at risk for our safety. Unfortunately, from time to time there are accidents which results in the loss of life while training. When I see one of the jets flying over the Lake District or on the M6 I always give a wave & say thank you guys. I just thought it is a little sad that the memorial is a small hole in a wall with no where to leave flowers except on the floor. I would love to see a proper memorial to these 2 young men. A friend, a local lad called Tony Martin was a Pilot in The RAF & sadly died at the age of 20/21 from cancer in 1967. The village has quite a few lads who joined the service so I am sure they would welcome a more fitting memorial, with somewhere to leave flowers as I do not know how often their parents manage to make the long journey to Shap.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks June. Please let me know if ever there is a plan to create a new memorial?

      • Charlesworth Chris says:

        Please let me know if you are any one do a new memorial. As have organised the memorial events for the crash 10 and 20 th anniversary s

        • Tony Parrini says:

          Hi Chris, I’ve posted an entry offering to help organise the 25th Anniversary this October. Give me a call perhaps. on 07809 154999
          Tony Parrini

  18. Colin Murray says:

    Coming up to the 21st anniversary of the tragic accident . Still think about it and what could have happened to me being the van driver.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Colin, good to hear from you. Thank you for the reminder of the anniversary. Hope you are well?

      • C Murray says:

        Hi Ian hope you are ok just looking at the site saw the piece about your dad and his war experience amazing.My uncle got sunk twice in a day during the evacuation of Crete then died at a very young age of a heart attack in 1948 .I am ok decided to take early retirement from Royal mail was hgv driver at the end ,never worked as hard since I finished.

        • Ian D B says:

          Thanks Colin. Crete, 1941? The Allies took a bashing then. Your uncle must have been very young?

          My dad had what might be called a ‘good war’, if you know what I mean.

          Always good to hear from you, hope you and your family have a nice Christmas. Last year we were putting our hopes in 2021… Fingers crossed for a better 2022.

  19. Tony Parrini says:

    We are coming up to 25th Anniversary of this tragic accident. As the RAF Community Relations Officer at the time, I was the first representative of MOD at the scene. Despite the impact of the incident on Shap Villager, I remember vividly how supportive the residents were towards the RAF over the following few weeks during the clearing up and since. I’d be happy to help organise any event being held to mark the anniversary.
    A L PARRINI, MBE, RAF Retired

  20. Brian Canfer says:

    Two RAF Mountain Rescue Teams, Leeming Stafford attended the crash site for ‘Post Crash Management’ duties which includes the grisly task of mapping the crash site, recording in detail the pieces of wreckage and human remains. The RAF Leeming MRT is still operational & may be interested in attending any anniversary event.

  21. Colin Murray says:

    Would like to know if there will be a 25th anniversary of this tragic event.Didnt know about the 20th anniversary event.Would like to attend being the driver of the van involved.

    • Ian D B says:

      Be nice if there was. Are you in any local facebook groups Colin, they might have something? Let us know if there’s anything planned? Thanks,

      • Colin Murray says:

        Hi Ian not really into technology so don’t know.One interesting fact is my wife was in Lockerbie the night of the pan am disaster so crazy as it sounds we have both survived aircraft crashes.Hope you are ok.

        • Ian D B says:

          Blimey, that’s a huge coincidence Colin! How bizarre. I remember that well. I got a job at Heathrow shortly after working for Pan Am security when they suddenly started recruiting after the disaster. A couple of years later, I was walking in Scotland, was in Glenshee and having a drink with some lads from Lockerbie. One was telling me how he’d been at home the night of the crash with his headphones on listening to Metallica on full volume. He said he heard a boom and assumed it was someone’s boiler or something. He said only realised the horror of what happened and how close he had been when he turned the music off and switched on his TV and saw it all on the news.

          I have just been googling round and looking on facebook, nothing leaping out at me about a memorial service for the crew of Hawk XX193. I note one person commented a couple of years ago and someone else had emailed me privately asking if I knew of anything. I have messaged someone from 100 Squadron Association, he might know? I’ll keep an eye out and email you or contact on this page if I hear of anything.

          Best wishes Colin, always good to hear from you.


  22. Tony Parrini says:

    I have alerted Shap Parish Council, RAF Leeming and RAF Spadeadam of the 25th Anniversary of the 1999 Shap Crash and will use this web page to keep people informed.
    Formerly – RAF Regional Community Relations Officer (Cumbria and Tynedale) –

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