View Full Version : Auster munched by hungry herd

31st Aug 2004, 06:49
From The Telegraph today:

The farmer's field near Hereford seemed a perfect landing spot for three aircraft enthusiasts and their 1948 Auster J1-N plane at the weekend.

But when they returned from dining at a nearby pub they discovered that their cherished flying machine had itself been lunch for a herd of Herefordshire bullocks who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage by chewing a large hole in the fuselage.

Mike Jones, 66, a former police officer from Bristol, said: "We usually land in farmers' fields, but this is the first time something like this has happened. When the farmer found out he put up barbed wire to protect the plane from further damage, but the cows broke it down to eat some more.

"It might have been the white colour that attracted them. The wings are covered with chemicals, so maybe all these cows were on a high."

The other two enthusiasts on the trip were Lisa Kingscot, 42, a businesswoman from Oaksey Park near Cirencester, Glos, and Tony Cooper, 55, who is retired, also from Oaksey Park.

The plane had to be dismantled and taken home on a trailer.

Ex Oggie
31st Aug 2004, 19:59
Although it sounds like this Auster had been recovered in recent years, I recall there was something in the older fabric and dopes that actually attracted herbivours, a sort of fast food for cattle. Anybody know any more???


Genghis the Engineer
31st Aug 2004, 20:22
I must admit, I thought that the inestimable Miss Kingscott was about 10 years younger than that. If I were her I'd sue for either libel or breach of confidentiality.

On the other hand, I'm amazed that anybody who routinely flies fabric covered aeroplanes was unaware of the remarkable affinity of cows for covering fabric - or for that matter any other part of an aeroplane. I parked one in a field once, managed to tuck the wing over a hedge away from them, came back to cow-slobber all over what had been an incredibly hot exhaust when I left it. That must, I imagine, have stung a bit. The edge of the prop tape was full of hairs as well, so presumably it made a good scratching post too.


31st Aug 2004, 22:37
While we were flying the other day, a sheep decided that the stabiliser/elevators of a friend's Ultimate Biplane was rather tasty.

(It is only 56" span though so I don't know if that counts:\ )

31st Aug 2004, 23:00
Not for the fabric covering...but for the dope; bovines love it (like a salt lick).

Mind you, at least the Orster structure should survive the experience...a lighter constructed airplane might not.

2nd Sep 2004, 14:50
herd of Herefordshire bullocks

Handley Page Herefords?

6th Sep 2004, 14:02
I wondered where I'd find this on Pprune, whilst not invloved in the trip in question I own a share in XU. I think that Lisa and Tony had popped into a newly opened farm strip and so believed that the cows were not in the field.
I have been sent a couple of pictures of the damage and I have to say I'm impressed by the detructive power of a hungry cow. If some one tells me how to post the pictures I will.
It looks like XU (to be renamed Daisy) may well be written off but hopefully the group will be able to restore her for next years flying season.

A_Pommie Off to buy some steak