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1948 Viking accident

Old 27th Feb 2005, 17:09
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: UK
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1948 Viking accident

BEA Viking mishap 1948
We all know that over a long time, memory can play tricks, but I recall this incident......Maybe someone was, or knew someone who was involved, and could throw some light on it.
In 1948, when I was around six years old, we lived between Breakspear Rd and Swakelys Rd Ickenham, and on the final approach path to the South Easterly runway Northolt. One day that year, a BEA Viking crashed, or possibly crash landed, in our neighbour's field. The impression that remains is that there was no significant fire damage ( ? ) and that the rear fuselage was detached and inverted - the foreward section was roof up. For a brief period, access to the partially intact wreck was somehow not denied, and naturally enough was a huge exitement to us children. ( probably not to our parents and the older generation who had seen their fill of drama and tradgedy during the recently finished war ) One of my older brothers retrieved a couple of charts from the cockpit, and another made us all gloves from scavenged insulation. There was clear evidence of the human trauma, which in retrospect, and rather troublingly so, doesn't seem to have worried us much. I wonder what became of the occupants, and if the cause was established?
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Old 27th Feb 2005, 21:19
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The only details I can find for a Viking at Northolt in 1948 is for G-AHPK of BEA which crashed on 6th January 1948 sadly with the loss of two lives.
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 15:13
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1948 Crash


According to BEA AN Illustrated History G-AHPK crashed on the 6th Jan at finebush lane Ruislip whilst attempting to land at Northholt in fog. 1 killed and injured another 8.

mikedurward is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2005, 16:30
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Found this link with brief details

foxile is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2005, 14:42
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Thanks for those three replies and the useful lead to the reference archive sites. As it happend my next close encounter with a Viking also involved a non-standard arrival technique. During the early fifties, and as one of a regular bicycle owning group of youthful assorted enthusiasts/anoraks/reggie spotters who used to hang around Blackbush. This time, I think it was Airwork. I'm fairly certain that nobody was hurt , (bound to be a " see me " from the Chief Pilot though ) but this Viking slithered awkwardly into the gravel overrun at the Eastern end. If memory serves, the gear was up at that point, but we were shooed off by the normally friendly US Navy MP's, who pitched up sharpish in a jeep muttering about fuel leaks or somesuch.

For those who may read the above, but are unfamiliar with postwar UK aviation, Blackbush was London's third airport, and useful diversionary for Heathrow and Northholt. I guess seasonal vis problems in those days close in to London ( smog ) were likely to be worse than Blackbush, which early on may well have had a petrol burning flarepath system available for foggy emergencies. As well as being home to Airwork, and used by various Charter companies plus BOAC and BEA crew circuit training, the US navy had a base on the Northern side, and in those gentler days were sometimes happy to show young visitors around the hanger, and on a good day, the aircraft. There were Neptunes, Connies - including an occasional Awac version - and even a Catalina or two.

Later, as a pilot, I worked with a lot of US and Brit crew from that era. My own 40 plus years tearing around the sky - from various props, vampire, to 747-400 always, ( and thankfully ), seemed dull by comparason.

Certainly a new thread by someone who was posted to Blackbush in the US navy could be interesting.
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Old 20th Mar 2005, 09:17
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Cally Pilot
Just checked out your biography-Fascinating! What did you fly with Air Links? Hermes or Argonaut? & I guess Brits when Air Links changed to Transglobe.
Any chance you could expand on the above?
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