Sixty-eight years after Royal Norwegian Air Force Spitfire LFIX MK997 crashed into the Samsjøen lake, west of Trondheim, the substantial remains of the fighter were recovered on 13 August. The Spitfire will now be restored to fly for eventual operation with the Norwegian Flying Aces organisation at Notodden Airport, in the Telemark area of western Norway.
MK997 was originally delivered to No 1 Squadron, RAF at North Weald on 16 April 1944. Following its RAF career, it became one of 32 MkIXs selected for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, being delivered to Norway on 1 May 1948. It was allocated to 331 Skvadron at Værnes in February 1950, but that August, while being flown by 2nd Lt Finn Torstensen at low level over the Samsjøen lake, it struck the surface, the pilot being killed instantly as the aircraft broke up. In 2009 airline pilot and historic aircraft owner/operator Øyvind Munch Ellingsen received permission to recover the wreck from the family of Finn Thorstensen and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
For more information, see the October issue of Aeroplane.