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What’s that in your backyard? Is it a fighter plane?
SATELLITE views of the earth used to be reserved for high ranked military and political personnel but now with the help of Google the average citizen can pinpoint where he lives and works or can help him look into his neighbour’s premises.
If you live in the area of Strakka between Lakatamia and Kato Deftera you might be forgiven for thinking that someone at Google was playing a practical joke, as one residence clearly has a Harrier Jet parked in the backyard.
The decommissioned plane is the property of pilot Yiotis Ioannides, husband of Maria Yiorkadji, sister of Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis.
It is believed the British Sea Harrier Jet model ZH808, which was built in 1997, was sold in 2005 after it was damaged due to a hard landing in an exercise at RAF Akrotiri where it was on a visit. It was sold to a scrap metal dealer in Kalo Chorio for 600 Cyprus pounds (€1,000) before being purchased by enthusiast Ioannou for 3,000 Cyprus pounds.
Harrier’s are famous for their vertical take-offs and landings with the former often causing irreparable damage to the landing suspension.
Sea Harriers served in the Falklands War, both of the Gulf Wars, and the Balkans conflicts. On all occasions they mainly operated from aircraft carriers positioned within the conflict zone.
They were withdrawn from service in 2006 and the last remaining aircraft from 801 Naval Air Squadron were decommissioned on March 29, 2006. The plans for its retirement were announced in 2002 by the British ministry of defence.