View Full Version : Daily Mail Air Race & Jet Provost

7th Feb 2015, 12:50
Among the number of contestants in the Daily Mail London-Paris Air Race on 12 July 1959 was a pre-production Jet Provost T Mk.2, G-AOUS. Can someone please tell me who flew the Jet Provost and what position did he come in the race?

Thank you in advance


7th Feb 2015, 14:05
Sorry cannot really help you. However Hunting Test Pilots in 1959 included S.B. Oliver and Jack Overbury - so a couple of names you can check out. Sadly Jack Overbury was killed in 1960 in this same aircraft which became uncontrollable after a panel or undercarriage door (can't remember exactly what!) came adrift.

7th Feb 2015, 16:33
My father was very much involved in the inquiry into Jack Overbury's accident, having done the repair scheme for the centre section of G-AOUS following a belly landing on an overseas sales tour.
Jack was coming out of a loop when one wing failed ( upwards). The other subsequently failed ( downwards) . Haraka Senior spent many sleepless nights as it was obvious where some of the initial suspicions lay.
A couple of boy cubs then found the nosewheel doors up in trees in a copse some way from the wreckage.
This put focus on the nosewheel bay, when it was ascertained that a solid grease accumulation had caused the noseleg to come out of the uplocked position in the 'g' of the pull out. The nose doors consequently started to open and this caused a rapid pitch up sufficient to break the main spar. The doors then fluttered down away from the rest of the aeroplane.
Tests were subsequently done building up the external profile of the doors with wood on flight test, revealing the consequent increasing pitch instability.

7th Feb 2015, 18:49
Gentlemen, thank you for your input. Although it doesn't answer the original question this is this is a brief summary of the accident:

On 16 November 1960, G-AOUS was written off when the nose wheel was inadvertantly lowered during a routine test flight, leading to a complete disintegration of the airframe; it crashed at Langford Common, three miles south of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, killing company test pilot, Lt-Cdr J R S 'Jack' Overbury.


8th Feb 2015, 10:31
Some searching on the net suggests Captain Roderick Bamford-Walker as the JP pilot but the helicopter types don't quite match. Flight Archive is a good place to start, but the trail there then stops quite abruptly.

8th Feb 2015, 17:09
This press cutting is from The Times.
Many of the competitors in the race did the running, motoring etc. getting to the airfield, but left the piloting of the aircraft to others.

I would assume that Capt Walker of 23 SAS, like many of the race competitors was a Pax rather than the pilot of the JP. His flight was on the first day, the race went on for a further 10-days.


8th Feb 2015, 20:56
The singular of pax was always pap, in my experience, and I did say 'suggests'... He may still have flown the helo, at least on the outbound leg (the two glasses probably advise that he didn't operate the return sectors).

The fundamental finding from this little dialogue must be:

Wasn't aviation in Britain utterly spellbinding in 1959? How has it gone so far wrong since?

8th Feb 2015, 22:19

Some searching on the net suggests Captain Roderick Bamford-Walker as the JP pilot but the helicopter types don't quite matchFlight Global shows him in a launch approaching "his" Sycamore on a floating platform here:
1959 | 1870 | Flight Archive (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1959/1959%20-%201870.html?search=Daily)

So I doubt he's the JP pilot who's details are sought by Vampiredave in post #1.

9th Feb 2015, 01:56
His Skeeter, I think. And if they got that wrong, what else might be iffy about that Flight article? The Times article does suggest he was a passenger in the JP...