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Photograph by Godfrey Mangion
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One of the very last photographs taken of Avro Vulcan B2 XM645 of No IX Squadron before touching down short at RAF Luqa and subsequent crash on 15 October 1975. 645 was transferred to the Akrotiri Wing in March 1974 and returned with IX Squadron to Waddington in January 1975. In common with several aircraft that served in the Akrotiri Wing, 645 has an interim paint scheme of white/camouflage gloss but with no white in the national markings. After touching down short, the left leg was torn off. Still under control, the captain elected to take off rather than continue with the landing. Whilst flying an emergency pattern, the aircraft blew up. The pilots ejected but the other five members of the crew (including two crew chiefs) were killed as was a woman civilian on the ground.

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© Godfrey Mangion. Robert Camilleri Collection

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