Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Cabaret time

Old 15th Jul 2015, 11:18
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Cabaret time

The two events I am about to relate were certainly aviation close calls so in that respect they qualify for this forum. However the stories offer no information that could possibly be of use to other aviators so I thought three times about posting them. Anyhow here goes.

When something happens in this life which cannot be explained by ‘normal’ analysis then it is usually termed ‘para-normal’. My attitude to the para-normal is that it is the height of arrogance on our part to deny that something could happen just because we can’t explain it. However I realise not everyone shares that view.

The first event goes back to the late 50s just after I had got my wings on the Vampire T11 and when I was a new student on the Hunter 4 OCU at Chivenor. Because the two seat Hunter 7 was yet to happen we were given a dual Vampire T11 instrument ride with an instructor, then a dual sector recce where “sir” pointed out local area features and diversions. We then did a solo T11 sector recce before being fired off in the Hunter. I was briefed for my solo sector recce and told to be back in the overhead at 10,000ft with 1000lb of fuel to do a QGH (controlled descent through cloud). For a QGH one was given R/T steers to base and when the approach controller saw your bearing flick round on his radio direction finder screen (no radar in those days) he gave you an outbound heading to start the descent. As I reached the overhead the fuel gauge read exactly 1000lb. “What an ace you are” went through my head. Then as the controller said “check again for overhead” I saw the gauge move smartly almost to zero. Now gauge failure was not that uncommon on the T11 and pre wings I had a gauge go to zero on a dual sortie just after take-off. On that occasion when I pointed this out to my “sir” he said that we either had a massive fuel leak or a gauge failure “…and we shall know which in a moment Farley so carry on with the climb”. At the top of the climb he said “We will do 40 minutes instead of the usual 50 just to be on the safe side”. So I knew about fuel gauge failures.

Now for the point of this story. When I saw the fuel gauge collapse at the start of the QGH I had what I can only describe as a totally overwhelming sensation that the engine was about to stop. It was so overwhelming that I closed the throttle, called “Over to tower” to the surprised approach controller and spiralled steeply down through the cloud. I broke out on the downwind leg among several Hunters going about their normal business and turned tight onto finals calling that I was “three greens short”. Not surprisingly this unannounced arrival on finals resulted in several reds being fired from the caravan, but despite this I continued and threw it on the runway passing a poor bloke taking off in an Anson in the process.

In dispersal the refuellers arrived as I climbed out and went to the line hut to sign in. On my way back to the crew room I asked them how much they had put in. I can still see the expression on the lad’s face when he replied “We have put in 328 gallons and it’s not full yet”. The tank capacity was 330.

Back in the offices of course all hell had broken loose on account of my arrival behaviour and I was quickly bounced up the chain of command. My description of the gauge behaviour as a reason for the mayhem seemingly cutting no ice. The only reason I continued on the course was because the next day a signal came in not to refuel T11s in the rain because it could cause some of the new capacitance gauges (introduced to replace the older ones that kept failing) to over-read in mid-range. Mine had the mod and was refuelled in the rain before my trip.

Some fifteen years later, out of the blue and with no abnormal cockpit indications, I again suddenly had a totally overwhelming sensation that my engine was about to stop. This time I was in a Harrier and doing some conventional manoeuvres, prior to the V/STOL stuff, during what was an important overseas sales demonstration.

It was a lovely blue sky day so the marketeers had asked me to include a vertical zoom from a high speed pass until I was nearly out of sight - not a problem of course. However to come back down for the V/STOL I decided to put the gear and full flap down and do a very steep and prolonged noisy slow descent above the airfield in full reverse thrust. Since no other fighter could descend very nose down without building up speed I figured this would make a point! It was during this descent that I got that feeling again. My reaction to the sensation was to immediately close the throttle, abandon the demo and roll the thing onto the runway. The marketeers were not happy.

Later, back in the UK, I went and saw the fuel system designers and told them about the prolonged nose down manoeuvre I had been doing. Their response was that it would have stopped all fuel transfer to the booster pump tanks and the engine would have stopped after some 30 – 40 seconds of such prolonged nose down.

So what is the explanation for these overwhelming feelings that led me to such extreme actions? All I can offer is that a few months before the first story I was out with my girlfriend in Holyhead when she said that her parents ran “spooks evenings” and that the night before “Henry” had “come through” saying that he had seen her out with me and to say that he would look after me. I asked who Henry was and was told that he was a decorated WWI pilot relative who had died in a crash just after the war. I asked what he flew and she said “I think Camels”. I said thank you but hoped he was checked out on jets.

Google Henry Fox Russell.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 12:11
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So what is the explanation for these overwhelming feelings
After reading John Farley's fascinating story above, it reminded me of the time I was flying an RAAF Lincoln on a low level maritime navigation exercise over the Coral Sea. We had been airborne for many hours and the crew was tired. We were heading home for our base at Townsville. I was very weary and slipping the co-pilot into the left seat I went down the back for a 30 minute nap knowing we had a reliable navigator.

We had been cruising at 1500 feet over the sea for the whole trip and the sun was coming up on the horizon. It was damnably uncomfortable between the main and rear spar using my parachute pack as a pillow. The noise of four Merlins was quite soporific and I quickly fell into a deep sleep.

I don't know for how long I was asleep but something woke me and clear as a bell I felt impending danger and quickly scrambled over the main spar to get up front. I then realised both the signaller and navigator were slumped over their desks asleep. The co-pilot in the captain's seat was asleep as well. I saw we were in IMC (fog) at 1500 feet. By now I was standing in the aisle next to the captain's seat and was able to lean over the sleeping co-pilot, disconnect the autopilot and haul back on the control column while at the same time pushing all four throttles and pitch levers to climb power. Within seconds we were out of the top of the fog into sunlight.

Ten miles dead ahead was Palm island with its jungle clad peak at 1800 ft sticking up through the low cloud and fog. . If a sixth sense hadn't awoken me a minute earlier we would have hit the island in cloud 300 feet below the top.

Last edited by Centaurus; 15th Jul 2015 at 12:25.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 17:39
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Great stories, please keep it up. That is what this forum is all about. As one old ornery captain told me once.

“What don't kill us, we learn from and know not to do that again, cause next time we may get lucky and kill ourselves.”
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 09:55
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John Farley, Thank you for recounting these experiences.

Do you happen to know if any corrective action was taken subsequently, apart from the order not to fill in the rain, to make capacitance fuel gauges less susceptible to misread due to rain in the tank?

Presumably water from other sources, such as condensation, could have a similar effect?
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 10:22
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It's always good to see you on here, John, and long may it continue.

I think we've all had that feeling, at times, that all is somehow not well, and, wherever it may come from, we ignore it at our peril.


MJ

Ps. Centaurus

I've also woken up next to a sleeping co-pilot, after weeks of constantly disrupted rosters and flight on the edge of the FTL.

Although our situation was less threatening than yours, It was a sobering experience, and reminded me just how insidious a thing fatigue is.

Last edited by Mach Jump; 16th Jul 2015 at 10:40. Reason: Added Ps.
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 10:48
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Do a Hover - it avoids G
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Mechta and Mach Jump

Thanks for your comments.

Re the T11 gauge history I have no idea. It was 58 years ago and my only aim in those days was to pass the course - not to sort out the engineering of wot I was given to fly!

JF
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Old 26th Jul 2015, 16:18
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Mechta, water in the tank is always going to give a false reading in a capacitance system due to the two liquids having different dielectric values. The only pilot I know who had a problem with water in the tank said the gauge went to a max reading ie showing full tank.
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Old 26th Jul 2015, 23:14
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Mechta, water in the tank is always going to give a false reading in a capacitance system due to the two liquids having different dielectric values. The only pilot I know who had a problem with water in the tank said the gauge went to a max reading ie showing full tank.
Megan, if water in the fuel is always going to give a false reading on a capacitance gauge, I can't help wondering if this could have been a contributing factor to the Glasgow Police helicopter accident?

John Farley, fair point re passing the course!
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Old 27th Jul 2015, 06:43
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water in the tank is always going to give a false reading in a capacitance system due to the two liquids having different dielectric values. The only pilot I know who had a problem with water in the tank said the gauge went to a max reading ie showing full tank.
But with modern multi sensors in each tank the error is reduced so a max indication is not always the case, the type I fly has 14 sensors per tank and even with considerable water in a tank the over reading is minimal.
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Old 27th Jul 2015, 11:50
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Above The Clouds, whilst that may be true for fixed wing*, the helicopter (EC135) in the Clutha crash had only two capacitance sensors in the main tank and one in each of the engine feed tanks (the red warning sensors are heated wires which only show if they are in the fuel or ullage). See the tank diagram on the page linked below:

http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/528...w-pub-148.html

*Fixed wing aircraft often need multiple sensors in the wing tanks due to dihedral and the wing section leaving sensors fully submerged or fully dry. Three partially immersed sensors are needed to show a fuel surface plane, from which a fuel volume can be computed.
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Old 27th Jul 2015, 12:51
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Some dielectric values (at about 70°F)

Vacuum 1
Jet Fuel 1.7
Air 1.00058986
Water 80.4
Petrol 2.0

You can see the high value for water will basically cause a vast over read, being 47 times the value of jet fuel. In the case I mentioned previously, the tank was about half full, yet indicated full. A helo with single probe system.
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Old 4th Aug 2015, 08:41
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On the subject of strange feelings which you feel compelled to follow....

As a very new R22 pilot, I was doing some aerial sightseeing with a pilot friend as a passenger. Suddenly I suddenly got a strong feeling that I wanted to go back to the airfield, now! Despite my friend's protestations that there was no rush, the weather forecast was good, we had plenty of fuel etc, I flew hell for leather (as much as one can in an R22 ) back to Halfpenny Green.

About two minutes after we landed a huge unforecast thunderstorm hit the airfield. It lasted for ages; had I not got back when I did, we'd probably have been sat in a field somewhere all afternoon waiting for it to pass. At least you can do that with a helicopter, but you'd always rather not.

I later told this story to the very down-to-earth flying school owner - it was their R22 - half expecting to be laughed at. I still remember his reply: "That's good. Always take note of those types of feelings and follow them. They may save your life someday".
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Old 4th Aug 2015, 11:23
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One evening, I had arranged to take a colleague up to look at his house from the air. We had to wait for the C172 to return from Jersey which it did eventually. One of the passengers on the incoming flight was one of my old instructors and he was enthusing about the wonderful conditions despite the black sky to the east, the direction of my planned flight.

The crew of the incoming flight were having a problem locking the luggage door and I told them not to worry, I would sort it out. Fifteen minutes later, the door would still not lock and it started to rain. The rain got heavier and, eventually, sheltering under the wing was not enough, we had to get into the aeroplane to keep dry. The apron was awash and I was realising how lucky I was not to be up in the air wishing I was down there.

As soon as the rain stopped, I said to my colleague that the door would lock now, and it did. We went for a pleasant evening flight wondering why that door would not lock until the rain had cleared. Perhaps it had a better sense of preservation than I did.
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Old 4th Aug 2015, 12:59
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Sometimes these things happen the other way round – one should never tempt fate.

Back in 1966 I was the co-pilot of a VC10 on a flight from New York to Prestwick in Scotland. The crew consisted of the captain, a wartime ex-RAF bomber pilot; a senior first officer, ex-RAF national service and short service commission; a senior engineer officer whose background I can’t remember and me - the junior first officer, ex-Hamble with all of three and a half years in BOAC. As was usual in those days, I navigated the outbound Atlantic sector and was due to sit in the right hand seat on the return.

The night before the flight in question, and this is eerie, I was discussing flying experiences with the S/F/O in a bar in New York, saying I was still wet behind the years, nothing much had ever happened to me. He described a couple of very close shaves he had had, and I clearly remember saying that I had never had any kind of emergency or anything frightening happen to me in an aircraft and that one part of me hoped it would, just so I would know how I would react and whether I could cope. I am not superstitious, but as events turned out…… I never said such foolish things ever again.

Next evening we made a normal max weight take-off from 31L, turning out over Jamaica Bay and climbing to altitude over Long Island Sound heading towards Newfoundland and the Atlantic. The night was clear, with no significant weather problems. At some stage during the climb we started to smell a hot burning smell that seemed slightly electrical, but none of us could really put our finger on it. The S/F/O went back to see if the stewardess had burnt the first class hot towels, a not unusual occurrence as they used to be warmed in the galley oven and sometimes forgotten – but that was not the cause. The smell became slightly stronger and the engineer went back to see if there was anything wrong in the galley because it really did smell electrical, and we also looked around the cockpit – but there was nothing. I can clearly remember switching off the aileron upset at 24,000ft., so I know that we were just above that altitude when it happened. Suddenly, from all around, from under the instrument panel, from above my head, from behind my seat thick smoke poured out completely blocking all visibility. Someone shouted; “Get on oxygen” the autopilot come out and the captain shouted we were on fire and must make an emergency descent and depressurise. Whether he disengaged the autopilot or it fell out I will never know. At this stage visibility in the cockpit was down to about six inches.

Then someone shouted that he thought we should kill the radio master switches. It seemed a good idea at the time. BIG MISTAKE. On the VC10 these also switched off the main flight instruments (Horizon, Compass and Altimeter).

Everything was happening very fast, I have no idea of the timescales, but the next thing I was aware of was the captain shouting that he could not see his flight instruments and the high speed warning horn going off. Whether the sequence was in that order or whether the captain shouted he could not see his instruments before the radio switches were switched off, or whether it was all at the same time I do not know. What I do know is that I put my chin on the top of the control column, pressed my forehead hard against the coaming and could just see the horizon and the other instruments, but only one at a time as I moved my head around. I clearly remember seeing the warning flags on the horizon, on the compass and on the altimeter but did not associate these with having switched off the radio master switches. What did chill me was the altimeter stuck at 18,000ft., and the VSI pointer on the stops pointing down at over 6000ft/min and thinking at any moment; ‘There is going to be a bloody great bang’ and then thinking you can’t just sit there – you have to do something. I shouted I could see my instruments and started to try to fly the aircraft too.

By this time I could see the airspeed needle somewhere on the right hand side of the ASI, I could see the VSI needle on the stops down, I could see the turn and slip (I think it must have been showing a hard left turn because in my memory all I can remember is turning the control wheel to the right) as I realised we were in a spiral dive. I shouted: “I have it, I can see my instruments” but I am sure the captain did not relinquish control, so I suppose we both flew it out. I knew I first had to get the turn needle into the centre, and only then pull back until the VSI started to come back to a normal reading, and to very carefully check the airspeed so as not to overdo it. I don’t remember the high speed warning horn stopping, but it must have. Gradually the smoke began to clear and I became aware of the S/F/O lying across the centre console and that we were climbing gently (he said later he had had his head up against the standby horizon so that he could call out the attitude, but I was totally unaware of that). He also told me the G forces had pinned him there but, again, I don’t remember any G forces.

At some stage the engineer must have switched on the radio master switches and I became aware of ATC calling us. The captain asked for an immediate return and that we would land overweight without dumping fuel because we were still convinced we had a fire somewhere on board. ATC were excellent, they had cleared all the other traffic off the frequency, they asked about the nature of the problem, and I can remember saying something about smoke and that we thought we were on fire, and they gave us vectors to 31L that were exactly right – neither too rushed nor too long, I felt so grateful to that controller. The approach and landing was normal, but at a suitably faster speed. The aircraft stopped with lots of runway to spare, and then we were surrounded by fire engines. As there was no sign of fire it was decided to taxi in without evacuating the passengers.

When on stand, the local manager and ground engineer piled onto the flight deck and there were a lot of other people around, but I do not remember much as I think I was just doing a normal shut down checklist probably taking refuge in a normal activity. The passengers were offloaded, one was a priest who made a sign of the cross and blessed us; another man was on his first flight and said he would never fly again – I don’t blame him.

Next morning I went for a walk in Central Park and have never seen the world looking so beautiful before or since. We had made lots of mistakes – BUT – it changed my attitude to aviation and I vowed never again to tempt fate.
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Old 4th Aug 2015, 19:17
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Do a Hover - it avoids G
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Bergerie1

Golly what a story.

Did you ever find out what caused the smoke?

JF
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 11:48
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First of all, thanks you for your brilliant story, Bergerie 1. Frightening stuff. What a stark difference between the flying skills displayed in that situation and the deadly instances of automation addiction or dependency that have been factors in loss of control in IMC where jet transports have crashed because their pilots simply couldn't fly.
............................................................ .......................................

I was taught to fly in the RAAF. During low flying practice at 200 feet it was considered good airmanship to climb to a safe height of 1500 feet if changing over fuel tanks. Any mishandling of fuel tank selection, or air in the lines in single engine aircraft, leaves no room for error at 200 feet. One dark night over the Arafura Sea, that general SOP saved one Lincoln crew from a disaster. It happened like this:
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On 29 May 1955, my crew took part in an anti-submarine exercise in the Arafura Sea between the Darwin on the north coast of Australia and East Timor. With the exception of the navigator, Flight Lieutenant Warren Agnew, the rest of our ten man crew were non-commissioned officers (NCO’s). In April 1943, Warren “Bunny” Agnew had previously flown as a Beaufighter navigator on operations against Japanese enemy forces in East Timor during WW2. Twelve years later he was back flying in the same general area; but this time in peacetime.

Two submarines and three frigates of the Royal Australian Navy also took part in the maritime exercise which was named Operation Anzex. Our job was to hunt the RAN submarines, while their job was to attack an imaginary convoy of ships escorted by the frigates. Our search pattern took us within 50 miles of East Timor.

There were several Lincolns involved, one of which was flown by Flight Lieutenant Ricky Tate. Ricky was my instructor on Lincolns based at Townsville. He had flown Mustangs just after the war and was also a Wirraway instructor during the time I had been a student on course.

Besides wing tanks holding 2850 imperial gallons of fuel, the Lincolns were equipped with two 400 gallon long range fuel tanks hung in the bomb bay, and giving the Lincoln 14 hours endurance. The bomb bay tanks required fancy plumbing and it was the job of the duty signaller to keep an eye on the bomb bay tank gauges which could not be readily seen from the pilots’ position. When required, the signaller would be called upon by the captain to manipulate the various cross-feed cocks under the main spar next to his radio operator position. On the occasion of this flight, and unknown to the crew at the time, an oversight by the ground staff at Darwin, meant the bomb bay fuel tanks had not been not filled up.

As mentioned earlier, the RAAF considered it good airmanship if flying at low level, to climb to 1500 feet before changing fuel cocks to a fresh tank. For this reason, at midnight during his patrol off the coast of Timor, Ricky Tate increased power on all four engines and climbed to 1500 ft prior to having the signaller switching on the bomb bay fuel tanks. Without any warning, one engine stopped, quickly followed by the remaining three engines. The captain called that all four engines had failed and ordered his crew to take up ditching stations.

Meanwhile, the Lincoln rapidly became a 30 ton glider and began to lose height towards the unseen sea. Sergeant Jim Chataway, the second pilot, who had been on rest beside the signaller, leapt to his feet and headed to the cockpit where Ricky Tate was trying to restart the engines and preparing for ditching. Behind the captain's position was the navigator and radar operator. Flight Lieutenant Ray Parkin (former wartime signaller) was the radar operator. To view the radar screen the operator had a large canvas cover over his head like those old time photographers. Before Ray could emerge from under his canvas cover to take up his ditching position, he found his face un-ceremoniously pushed into the radar screen by Chataway’s size 10 flying boot.

Chataway managed to turn off the bomb bay tank switches situated on the side wall of the fuselage next to the fuel contents gauges and which were out of reach of the captain in the left hand seat. Meanwhile, Ricky Tate attempted to re-start the engines. This was extremely difficult since the engine start buttons were on the co-pilot’s side and almost out of reach from the captain’s seat. The situation being that Tate was trying to fly the Lincoln glider with his left hand on the control wheel while stretching right over to the co-pilot side and trying to press 12 buttons with his right hand. There were three buttons for each engine for starting. One for priming, one for the starter and one for the high capacity spark booster. All this was happening in pitch dark and on instruments.

Once the bomb bay fuel pumps been turned off by Chataway, each engine slowly came back into life; the last engine coming alive at 500 feet above the waves.

No one knew why all four engines had failed and it was a relieved crew that finally touched down at Darwin, two hours later. An Inquiry later revealed that the two bomb bay fuel tank contents gauges were unserviceable with their needles stuck at full on the gauges.

When the ground staff went to fill the fuel tanks prior to the flight, they first checked the fuel gauges in the cockpit. On seeing the bomb bay tank gauges indicating full capacity, they decided the tanks must have already been filled. In fact, both tanks were empty, and the engines had failed when air from these tanks was drawn into the system by the bomb bay fuel tank switches.

The RAAF general advice on climbing to a safe height if fuel tank selections were needed while low flying, proved to be a wise policy.

As a humorous postscript to a serious story, I should add that the signaller had been true to the Annals of the Service. Later, over beers in the Darwin Sergeants Mess, he said he knew something was wrong when through his tiny observation window he saw the exhaust glow from one engine fade followed by a second engine. Then silence; apart from the whistling of air past the gliding Lincoln.

When he heard the captain ordering the crew to ditching stations, the signaller stayed at his post to tap out an SOS with his Morse Code key. He then locked down the key which sent out a steady signal to HF stations listening on his frequency. Then in his signaller’s log, he found time to scrawl the words “All engines failed – ditching – ****s are trumps”.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 13:13
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JF,
It was air-conditioning smoke. The VC10 did not use bleed air but had mechanically driven blowers on each engine. A gear box seal in the number 4 blower failed dumping all the gearbox oil into the compressor part of the blower where it was instantly vaporised. Fortunately the smoke, though very thick, was non-toxic and non-irritant otherwise we wouldn't have lived to tell the tale.

The flight engineer managed by feel to dump the cockpit air supply (see:- IFR conditions on the flight deck

It is interesting after such an event to compare memories. No-one really knows the overview and each of us had peculiar snapshots of bits of what happened.

What I do know is that that incident made me obsessive ever after about trying to know every facet of the aircraft I was flying.
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 17:14
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Centaurus.

Thank you for another fascinating story.

Bergerie1

Thank you for the info.

What I do know is that that incident made me obsessive ever after about trying to know every facet of the aircraft I was flying
I think many of us would be with you on that.
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 20:30
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 02:50
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See, John F. You really started something when you got this thread going. Old farts like me come in spinner with our stories.
During our training at No 1 OTU at RAAF Base Williamtown in 1953 we went straight on to Mustangs for gunnery, rocketry, formation stuff and all that.
The course included one hour of night flying in the Mustang.

Two courses earlier, one "student" (he was a Sergeant then but became an Air Marshal eventually) lost control as he got the tail up in the take off run. I am not certain of this but I believe he tried to force the tail up in the Mustang to get a quicker view of the runway during the early part of the take off roll and was slow to contain the ensuing swing. He left the runway and went through trees shedding the wings on the way. He was unhurt but the Mustang was a write-off.

Months later I was on course and was briefed for our night flying. I think there was about five Mustangs flying that night. We were briefed to climb to 5000 ft and do a patrol up and down the coast for half and hour then return to the aerodrome and do some circuits (touch and goes).

The night take off in the Mustang was no fun as the glare from the Merlin exhaust stacks a few feet in front of the pilot affected vision and because of the long nose you could only see one flare in front of you on either side until you got the tail up. If you switched on the landing light which was situated in the wheel well its beam reflected off the propeller arc straight back into your eyes. If you were a short-arse like me there was a great incentive to get the tail up quickly so you could see where you were going.

The bloke that had pranged his Mustang on his night take off a few months earlier was a six footer and even he couldn't stop the swing with his long legs. In my case I had the choice of raising the pilots seat and seeing over the top earlier but then lacking the long legs could only get partial rudder on -or - lowering the seat and getting more rudder at the expense of forward vision until the tail was up. I have always believed the Mustang was built for six-footers. I needed a cushion behind my back to get full rudder control.

Anyway, I kept straight on my first take off at night and soon reached 5000 ft and went on patrol. I was quickly conscious of heat coming from the instrument panel on the left side and found it extremely uncomfortable. Even though I was wearing flying gloves my left wrist was hurting because that was where the throttle was and I couldn't afford to take my hand off the throttle. I thought I had better get on the ground quickly because I was concerned that maybe a fire was going to start up.

After rejoining the circuit I landed safely and after switching off, reported the problem. An airman shone his torch towards the area where I explained the heat was coming from and said "You had the cockpit heat lever full on". With only a few hours on Mustangs I didn't know the cockpit layout all that well and one knob I didn't know about was the position of the cockpit heat lever. I felt such an idiot. But it was a good excuse not to go out and complete the mandatory touch and goes as I was dreading those
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