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Old 10th Feb 2014, 20:48
  #17 (permalink)  
longer ron
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westnoreastsouth
Posts: 1,349
originally posted by ColinB (2008)

The Night 57 sqn lost a canberra

J/T John Seville ?,d.ZGU

Over the next couple of days Fingers considered his situation not only with the police of two nations but also his current problems with his girlfriend and decided drastic problems merited drastic solutions and he decided he would borrow a Canberra.
His master plan included taking off from Gutersloh, flying to Dishforth in Yorkshire, landing on the North/South runway parallel to the to the A1, taxiing to the boundary fence and jumping over it to hitch a lift to North of Manchester where his family lived. It should be piece of cake really he had a key for Canberras and had studied the Pilot Notes.
In the early morning of 15th October 1957 he went out, taking with him a suitcase and small pack, onto the airfield to the 59 Sqdn line and removed all of the covers and external attachments of Canberra XH204. He set up all of the necessary switches to start up on internals, did not arm the ejection seat and at 6:30 pm when Reveille sounded he threw the master battery switch thereby masking the noise of start up.
When the canopy had de-misted and the engines settled at 2700 revs he released the parking brake and started to move forward. He immediately found difficulty in steering with the engines and toe brakes but was making good progress until approaching Runway 09 when the combination of a slight slope and a curve in the track caused him to swing onto the grass and bogging down. Now panic set in and he thought there would be a hue and cry so he decided to abandon the aircraft and run to the boundary fence which he scaled and a German on a moped gave him a lift to Herzebrock Station.
He did not need to hurry because it was almost 2 hours after start up before the missing Canberra was discovered by the Control Tower and 59 Squadron initially denied they had lost it.
When they entered the Canberra cockpit and discovered the suitcase, the police quickly put two and two together and decided the documents in the case may lead to the identity of the tyro aviator.
These events led to a major investigation with more snowdrops on the ground than at Kew in January
This was the beginning of a bizarre and at times python-esque series of events with a surprising ending.
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