[History of the JP5] [Back to the known survivors table]

Jet Provost XW302 was built by the British Aircraft Corporation at Warton, and was released for RAF service on 30th January 1970. Three days later, it was assigned to 1FTS (Flying Training School) at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and remained with the Unit as a training aeroplane for next four years as '61'. On 20th June 1974, XW302 was transferred onto the strength of the RAFC (Royal Air Force College) at Cranwell, where it continued its training role. On 21st March 1975 it was on the move again, this time to 3FTS at RAF Leeming for a 9-month period.

Not selected for upgrade to T.5A specification XW302 joined 6FTS at RAF Finningley on 21st December 1975, its fourth RAF posting. Assigned the code 'T', it was used for navigation training for the remainder of its RAF career, aside from a short spell in store (July-September 1979) and a loan spell with the RAF St Athan Station Flight (October-November 1986).
On 21st September 1993, with the retirement of the Jet Provost from RAF service, XW302 was placed in store at RAF Shawbury pending disposal.

In February 1994, XW302 was one of 65 Jet Provosts acquired by Global Aviation Ltd, but did not move to its new home at Binbrook until October. Following restoration to flying condition at Binbrook, it was offered for sale and subsequently bought by an owner in the USA. It was dismantled and shipped out by sea to its new home in October 1995. It was registered N166A and was regularly flown by its owner until it was bought by a UK-based owner in 1998.
XW302 travelled back 'home' by sea, and was re-assembled at Swansea Airport before a move to North Weald occurred in 1999. Placed on the civilian register as G-BYED, it was re-finished in a civilian black colour scheme with a yellow stripe applied from nose to tail. It then moved to its new home at Eglinton, Northern Ireland.

Unfortunately on 12th February 2001, G-BYED suffered an engine failure at 700ft on final approach to Londonderry Airport. The pilot transmitted a mayday call and retracted his flaps and landing gear, in readiness for a forced landing on mud flats in the Loch Foyle estuary. A successful landing followed with minimal damage to the underside of the fuselage. All systems were shut down and the pilot was lifted clear by an Army helicopter within moments.
An RAF Chinook helicopter later recovered the aeroplane, but it had unfortunately suffered a sizable amount of damage caused by several tides in the estuary.

G-BYED was later acquired by North Wales Military Aviation Services based at Hawarden, who surveyed it for possible restoration to flying condition. This plan was later abandoned, and the aeroplane was spares recovered and the cockpit section offered for sale.
During 2006, Dave Balicki acquired it and it was moved by road to its new home close to RAF Cranwell, a short walk away from where it was once based.

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