Mr Wallace Cubitt and his Hawker Hunter T Mk.7 G-BTYL (formerly XL595)

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Mr Wallace Cubitt and his Hawker Hunter T Mk.7 G-BTYL (formerly XL595)

Mr Cubitt had bought his jet from the RAF. A very experienced pilot, he was attempting to fly to an airshow near Preston from East Anglia in June 1993.

The Hunter had nose dived out of the sky and hit the ground with such force that recovery attempts proved impossible, and Mr Cubitt and his aircraft remain buried beneath the moor.

Pat Cunningham in his book Peakland Air Crashes – The North speculates on the cause of the crash. He says that the RAF had imposed conditions on the sale of the jet including not flying above 10,000 feet and only in good weather.

10,000 feet is the point at which supplementary oxygen is needed. Cunningham suggests Mr Cubitt encountered cloud, tried to climb up and out of it but passed out through lack of oxygen, leaving his jet to plummet to the ground.

The impact crater is surrounded by fragments of debris from the aircraft.

Photo of this particular Hawker Hunter in RAF colours;…

accident report on

20 comments on “Mr Wallace Cubitt and his Hawker Hunter T Mk.7 G-BTYL (formerly XL595)
  1. Tech Owl says:

    Wonderful shot – colourful and poignant at the same time

  2. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Thats some final resting place, the story adds to the desolate appearance of the place. 30 feet….wow.

  3. Tony-H says:

    A watery grave certainly. Somehow I think some sort of technical failure failure is more likely. Hunter crashes in civilian use are certainly not rare.

  4. Ian D B says:

    Perhaps Tony, we’ll never know. Cunningham knows his stuff, but there are all kinds of possibilities I suppose. It’s clear that the jet nose-dived into the ground, as evidenced by the even shape of the crater. I’d have expected a crash caused by aircraft fault to be scattered over the moor as the pilot tried to wrestle back some control? G-BTYL went straight down.

  5. pasujoba says:

    Remarkable shot and story . The Hole certainly does resemble what you would expect from a near vertical straight down crash at speed .
    Its very odd that in this day and age that someone wouldnt want the pilots body pulling out for a more formal burial .
    I assume his family wanted it like this .
    Is there some form of memorial on site, Ian ?

  6. Ian D B says:

    Hi Paul, I will e-mail you about this. There is no memorial at the site. Ian.

  7. Richard Tierney says:

    The air accident board report stated that no apparant mechanical or structural failure was apparant. Cockpit Instruments ( recovered from the crash site ) show pre crash, an altitude readings some height above the moor. The time to react to the barometric sensors and alimeter display was unable to "keep up" with the actual height/rate of descent, leading one to assume it was descending at such a rate that the aircraft must have been in a near vertical dive. There was rain and thunderstorms in the area at the time. Mr Cubit had been warned by Waddington ATC to avoid the area. Speculation is that he was making a turn to the SW to avoid ( seen on radar ) and lost orientation in the cloud and dived into the ground. Very sad… this crash site is nto known by many outside the interested parties such as us.. moorland walkers comign across it would be non the wiser to the tragic events that transpired here… Perhaps it is tie for a memorial to be erected… Mr Cubit was a very accomplished display pilot and was a loss to the display circuit. RIP

    • V Willard says:

      Wally Cubitt was my late father’s close friend. My dad was supposed to fly with him that day, but he walked out onto the runway and Wally made an excuse and put him off. A few weeks after Wally’s death, his widow asked my dad and his wife to be witnesses at her wedding.

      • Tracey Bushell says:

        Yes I remember my mother saying something about this, Wally used to take my brother and I flying from little Snoring or from our fields when we were young he was great, and a friend of my Mum and Dad

  8. b00gal001 says:

    Wally was also a very good crop spraying pilot who went on to run his own company, Norfolk Aerial Spraying Ltd. I was fortunate to work for him in the spring/ summer of ’77. He is sadly missed. R.I.P. Wally my friend.

  9. roy freezer says:

    wallace was in my class at school all he ever wanted to do was fly he was a lovely boy and verry talented flyer RIP

  10. paul says:

    I worked for wally in 79/80 loads of great memories even had an hour with him in his harvard and in the tank of whatever we were spraying with We built his bungalow out of season, builder as well as pilot.

  11. Graham Redfern says:

    This was a sad day for me, as I knew Wally well, he taught me to fly the Tiger Moth.He was a superb Pilot and had many hours crop dusting, though on this occasion made a mistake. R.I.P.

  12. Jed Stoner says:

    A family friend , we lived near each other in Little snoring in the 1950’s . My sister stills go out with his sister and they have been friends all their lives . Very nice boy loved his motorbikes as well . Hung out with the Fakenham rockers in the 1960’s .

  13. James Gosling says:

    I was a Jaguar pilot at RAF Coltishall where Mr Cubitt departed from for this flight which ended so tragically. I was walking near the flight line and saw the Hunter taxi past. I was very sorry to hear what later happened. I did hear that the met officer had advised that the weather could cause problems in the area of the accident. I visited the AAIB later that year on a formal squadron visit and in the hangar were many wrecks, including part of the fuselage of the Pan Am 747 from Lockerbie. Also there was a line of broken bits which I thought were from this Hunter accident. I remember at the time thinking that I’d seen the aircraft taxi past me. I could be mistaken, it’s just that the report here says that the aircraft and pilot are still at the crash site.

    My sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the deceased.

    James Gosling

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi James, it may well have been that was what you saw. My understanding is that much of the aircraft remains on site, and tragically Mr Cubitt’s body could not be recovered at all. But I imagine a lot of the aircraft survived the impact, was removed from the site at the time and that is what you saw.

  14. James Gosling says:

    Hi Ian,

    I’ve just used the link above to the official accident report which confirms your assumption that some of the wreckage was recovered; that’s what I must have seen at Farnborough. The investigators were able to establish important facts about the serviceability of the aircraft from the evidence recovered. The Met-office were able to confirm that there were thunder storms in the area of the accident.

    My sincere respects to Mr Cubitt’s family and friends.

    James G

  15. Andy Hunn says:

    Wally Cubitt was my PPL flight test examiner in the 80’s out of Swanton Morley at the Norfolk and Norwich Flying Club. My instructor had not taught me departure stalls (power on clean wing) so when Wally asked me to do one during my flight test I messed it up. Wally said “OK I am going to demonstrate one and then you have a go”, I did an OK job and he passed me, and then when we got back he had a word with my instructor. Log book shows G-AWTX on 26 Aug 1988, RIP Wally, the Aviation world is less without you.

  16. Glen Clark says:

    I did a tailwheel check out with Wallace in his Texas tail dragger.He Also checked out the Pitts Special I bought based on his advice.I flew passenger with him in a Pitts S2B that he displayed.

    I got to know him quite well and often called him on the phone for advice.I was after advice when I last called and Judeth informed me of his accident.

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