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Old 28th Feb 2009, 20:36
  #42 (permalink)  
Geehovah
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 543
Oh dear! Just when you thought it was safe your memory banks are fired up again by a post! Wildenrath 1978 ish.....I remember one evening in winter It was just about dark and we had an F4 returning from Deci. We were on the westerly runway. The aircraft was just about down when the reheat came on and it did a very slow overshoot. The pilot had taken the steel hawser that was the upper cable of the barrier across both his main wheels and actually pulled out one of the stanchions. The reheat set fire to the vertical strips as he climbed slowly towards the flats on the Wassenberg road. We thought he was going straight for the Heinsberg ejecting area but he called for an undercarriage inspection and turned downwind. As he came by the tower nice and slow and low we lit the FGIs for a better look. I remember seeing the aircraft coming up the taxiway past 60 Sqn hangar with one of the steel hawser ends whipping along the taxiway creating a load of sparks and a met man running out of the met office towards the taxiway for a better look. He obviously decided, quite late, the he didn't want to be decapitated and and ran back to the relative safety of the Ops building. As the aircraft came by the tower we got a good look at the mess around the wheels and informed the pilot of the situation. Give him his due - he seemed pretty sanguine about it and went off towards the east - we thought to eject. Not so - he dumb-belled back and took the downwind cable! A good end. There was some discussion for a few weeks after the event that they had considered jumping over the side but the nav was festooned with train sets from Deci and couldn't do it. Pure speculation I suppose. At the subsequent Inquiry blame was initially laid completely on the controller for raising the approach barrier into the standby position. However, the pilot did not see any red light showing into the approach that would identify the barrier was up. He was adamant that the barrier was down and was indicating down in the tower. Anyway, to cut a long story short the finding was reviewed because the was a spate at the time of several incidents notified with barriers self raising into the standby position. Anyway, just another F4 musing.............
Interesting to hear but just to put the record straightand not getting into the blame game - it was about 1980. The upper barrier cable lodged over the top of the gun. Luckily most of the ironmongery burned off as the burners went in and most of the concrete fell away. I know because it nearly landed on my moped at the 09 threshold. BTW the jet was on recovery from an Ample Gain and the boxes were merely "cabin baggage". I won't name the Nav

The sad sequel is that the pilot was Hylton Price who died recenlty in the Grob crash in Wales. A better feat of airmanship we'll never see. RIP Hylton.
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