View Full Version : Victor Crash, Cyprus.

3rd Aug 2002, 14:31
When I was a small lad back in 1961 or 62 I saw a Victor crash taking off from RAF Akrotiri. I was very, very close to it. All on board were killed.

Anybody know any details about what had happened ?

Mr G.

3rd Aug 2002, 16:01
Only hearsay I'm afraid, from a former technician on the service pals site. he might be wrong. Quote:

"The one in Cyprus where the aircraft veered off the runway and subsequently broke up I seem to remember that it was the result of Flap mis-handling. It seems a 'local' saw the take-off run and described the flaps as being in the landing configuration. Another aircraft was positioned and the flaps operated to various positions while the guy watched. I believe that he pointed to the flaps being in the landing configuration as being what he had witnessed".

Service Pals (http://www.servicepals.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=29643#post29643)

3rd Aug 2002, 18:18

Thanks. What you say fits in with my recollections. I was a Cub Scout at the time and we were camping at the end of the runway. (Sensible) Do you know what I mean by a lone ranger aircraft ? The phrase seems to stick in my mind but I don't know why. Was it an aircraft that had no base as such but was on constant QRA anywhere in the world ?

I am writing an autobiography, 32 years as Civil ATCO plus childhood recolections of aviation incidents living in Cyprus, Bahrain, Aden, Kenya etc.

Havn't had time to read all of Service Pals yet, but I will do.

This is just a draft copy of my thoughs about the Akrotiri crash.

We set up camp about 300 yards north of the threshold of runway XX. Twelve cubs, three leaders. After setting up camp on Friday evening at about 6 pm, we all stopped to watch a Victor land. It was a magnificent sight and still a comparatively rare visitor to Cyprus. I was to learn much later that this was a lone ranger aircraft. Next morning, inevitably, everybody was up very early. By 8am fires were lit and the bake beans were burning, breakfast was well advanced. At about 8:30 we could hear the 4 Bristol Siddeley Sapphires starting up. Excitement grew because with a southeasterly wind our leader had assured us that the Victor would take off from the opposite end of the runway and we would have a grandstand view of its departure. The aircraft taxied out to the end of the runway. It was barely visible to us upwind, but we could see the smoke and haze generated by the engines. The Victor had been cleared for take off and commenced its run. As it got closer we were able to make out its shape, a giant white monster, but of course we could not really here its engines. It continued down the runway. It is strange now that after all these years I can still recall knowing that something was not quite right about this takeoff. I had watched hundreds of aircraft take off and despite being only 9 years old, I knew something was wrong. I watched this Victor and I held my breath. It did not seem right. The engines suddenly throttled back as if the crew knew they were not going to get airborne. Arrestor barriers at the end of the runway suddenly sprung up, activated by Air Traffic Control in the tower. The Victor of course was going too fast and simply crashed through them. By now the aircraft was abeam us. We were all stood in a long line waiting to get a good look as the plane passed over our heads. Instead it ploughed into the approach lights hurling them high into the sky like matchsticks. Somebody shouted get down and we all instinctively threw ourselves on the ground but we were in no danger. At this point the Victor simply exploded. Not a loud bang. More a muffled crump. I felt the heat. The aircraft continued its forward motion for some hundreds of yards belching flames from the wings. Then mushrooms of smoke. Not just any kind of smoke but sometimes blue then a small explosion and green smoke then black. Fantastic pyrotechnics. Within minutes a rescue Sycamore was on the scene but there was nothing for it to do. Five souls had perished. The wreckage smouldered for about 6 hours. Some RAF uniforms came to see us and asked what we had seen but there seemed to be no special urgency so we packed up camp and went home early. We had all lost the appetite for a fun weekend.


Mr G.:)

3rd Aug 2002, 21:22
Lone Ranger (http://www.redsaway.co.uk/BlackOxygen.htm)

4th Aug 2002, 05:41
That aircraft was either 10 or 15 Sqn, both at Cottesmore at the time. Another crashed on approach to Cottesmore 1961-62, but made history as being the first V crash where all five crew survived. It lost power on all four engines due to a fuel problem, and came down near Stretton on the A1.

4th Aug 2002, 14:53
Victor Crash


Thanks for that. I'll follow it up.

Are you ex Victor Sqd.? what the hell are you doing in NZ ?


Mr G.

5th Aug 2002, 07:14
No, but I was at Cottesmore 1960-62 where there were two Victor 1 Sqns, and one Victor 2 trials unit with four aircraft:[ "C" Sqn/Flt?]

Great climate, beautiful country, best wines in the world!


Cornish Jack
5th Aug 2002, 11:45
Might be worth re-checking the "rescue Sycamore". I operated on Sycamores in Aden in '56 but their limitations were fairly obvious then and I would have thought that the Whirlwind might have been phased in by '61/2. Only a couple of years later, at Tern Hill, the Sycamore had been replaced as a basic training machine by the 'Clockwork Mouse'. :confused:
Should be an interesting read but a good proof-reader could be a good investment. ;)

5th Aug 2002, 12:58
Cornish Jack.

Thanks for your reply.

I am of course drawing on my memory some 40 years back.
I lived at RAF Akrotiri 1959-62. Sycamores were there. I have cine film taken by my father of them. But yes, I might be wrong about the crash. But I don't remember any Whirlwinds to be very honest !!


Mr G.:)

5th Aug 2002, 13:08
A little less tragic was the Victor that went in from Cottesmore after a control problem; the NCO's all baled out and found themselves by the 'Ram Jam Inn' on the A1 (It's still there)

The landlord invited them all in for drinks while waiting for the rescue party.

The captain and no.2, having kept the aircraft stable until the rest of the crew could get out, then made their escape, and walked back across the fields towards civilisation. Coming across the Ram Jam, they knocked on the door, and the landlord wouldn't let them in because he didn't like officers!

5th Aug 2002, 20:01
Nice story Nopax, but totally apocryphal I'm afraid, because I wasin attendance at that crash, and in fact all five crew were collected from the various paddocks and taken to the Sick Bay at Cottesmore for initial assessment.There were no serious injuries.

The scene was in fact some miles from the Ram Jam Inn.

The aircraft had a fuel switch problem which starved all four engines of fuel, and as it was on finals the Captain immediately ordered out the back-seaters, all of whom were Officers. The Captain and Co then ejected, by which time the aircraft was at about 4-500 feet.

The only beer consumed was by the crash crew at the scene, and that was provided in a milking bucket by a Police Sgt! It was a very hot day in June.

5th Aug 2002, 20:06
Sam, you spoilsport, you!

6th Aug 2002, 03:12
No way! Have you seen the size of those milking buckets? Ruddles Ale never tasted better!

I can confirm the Ram Jam Inn is still there, and I can also confirm that it takes approximately two hours to walk back to Cottesmore through the short-cut in the village church-yard! You might be able to do it in less time sober!

8th Aug 2002, 19:21
Thanks, ORAC, Samuel, Cornish Jack and Nopax thanx.

Your replies have been very useful. As a result I have been able to ident. the A/C, Sqd. Names of POB etc. It was a Lone Ranger, unfort. 6 on board of course not 5. So sad even after all these years. I will be posting again on this Forum soon ref a Vulcan incident at Scampton in 1969. Hope you can help me again.

Thanks again,

Mr G.:) :)

John (Gary) Cooper
14th Aug 2002, 13:21
16/06/1962 Victor B1 XA 929 of # 10 Squadron from RAF Cottesmore crashed at Akrotiri.

Taken from Form A1180 'Overshoot, abandoned take-off, broke up and caught fire' tragically 6 died extracted from J J Halley (Jim) book 'Broken Wings'