Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

RAF Leuchars - Ejections

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

RAF Leuchars - Ejections

Old 26th Nov 2006, 17:46
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: England
Posts: 15
RAF Leuchars - Ejections

Dear Forum members,
Did any of you serve at RAF Leuchars and have memories of any of the losses that involved ejections, sucessful and unsuccessful?

I am especially trying to locate aircrew pilots, navigators and who may be able to add a photo of the crews involved. Also would like to hear from armourers responsible for the maintenance of the ejection seats about their "successes"

Lastly can anyone provide me with scans from the Base Newspaper or local newspapers of any ejection incident reported. Any help very much appreciated (and also will be acknowledged on the website)

You can view the page through the link on the home page at www.ejection-history.org.uk

I don't claim it to be 100% accurate or complete - but hope that I have not misrepresented any historic details and will endeavour to correct any errors

With respect
Mike Bennett
mikebennett is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2006, 14:28
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Back in the UK from the Sunshine Island for the last 8 years.
Posts: 90
Lt Cdr Carl Davis ejected at low level at Leuchars in the late 60's or early 70's and was injured but survived; his looker details not known.
sailor is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2006, 17:44
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: England
Posts: 15
RAF Leuchars - Ejections

Thanks for the confirmation of ejection - the details I had were not clear whether Cdr Davis had remained in the aircraft or ejected

12th May 1978 Phantom XT868 c/n 8703/2602*892 Sqn
'008/R
starboard wingtip hit ground, cartwheeled on approach Leuchars
Pilot Cdr C Davis seriously injured
observer Lt J Gavin ejected but killed

Regards

Mike Bennett
mikebennett is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2006, 21:37
  #4 (permalink)  
Tabs please !
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Biffins Bridge
Posts: 719
A former colleague ejected from a Canberra after an undershoot at Leuchars many many years ago, the interesting part was that the aircraft was on the seabed at the time and his survival was nothing short of a miracle.

Edited to include that he was in the Met Research Canberra that crashed in 1962. His injuries were substantial and I recall he was given the last rights but he survived. His name was Alan ??????

Last edited by B Fraser; 28th Nov 2006 at 21:43. Reason: just read the website
B Fraser is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2006, 21:53
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: England
Posts: 15
RAF Leuchars - Losses

Thanks for the reply,

The only details I have showing a Canberra loss at Leuchars are

21st February 1962
Canberra B2
WJ582
Met R 1
Flew into sea on approach to Leuchars

Crew names ???

Any further help appreciated

Mike
mikebennett is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2006, 22:09
  #6 (permalink)  
Tabs please !
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Biffins Bridge
Posts: 719
Yup, it was a Met Research Canberra and the cause was attributed to a wrongly aligned navigation aid that displaced the runway threshold to some point offshore. The ejection was made some twenty feet below sea level.
B Fraser is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2020, 11:21
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Fife
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by B Fraser View Post
Yup, it was a Met Research Canberra and the cause was attributed to a wrongly aligned navigation aid that displaced the runway threshold to some point offshore. The ejection was made some twenty feet below sea level.
I'm familiar with this accident as my late Father, M/Plt Carl Stubbs was flying one of the Whirlwinds, scrambled to winch the three crew members from the Canberra.
He was interviewed re the rescue and said sea conditions were flat calm with no wind, which wasn't ideal for a wet winch. I found this account elsewhere on the internet.

On 21 February 1962 the Canberra B.2 aircraft WJ582 used by the Meteorological Research Flight (MRF) crashed into St Andrews Bay, while on approach to RAF Leuchars. On board this flight were the pilot, Flying Officer Herbie Marshall, the navigator Flight lieutenant Don H Gannon, and Allen Lock, a civilian member of MRF staff.

The aircraft was returning from a flight up to 70 degrees North, examining stratospheric warming at altitudes of up to 48,000ft. On the return to RAF Leuchars, the crew was advised of bad weather so Lock moved from his normal seat to the ‘rumble seat’ to provide additional navigational guidance to the pilot on the approach. This was normal procedure in such conditions
.
On the first landing attempt, they passed through cloud base at 200 ft having over-shot the runway. The pilot then climbed up and went around for another attempt. On this second attempt, the aircraft passed through cloud base over St Andrews Bay with no sign of the runway. The pilot attempted to pull up, but the aircraft’s tail caught the water, causing it to break off, throwing the rest of the aircraft into the North Sea.

The plane reached the sea bed (40 ft underwater) and the pilot ejected. Somehow Lock was caught up in the pilot’s ejector seat and was carried out with him. This was incredibly lucky as the rumble seat where Lock had been sitting was not an ejector seat. Following the ditching, the pilot inflated the dingy and made his way to the navigator (who was clinging to the wreckage of the aircraft) and to Lock. While the crew was wearing survival suits to protect against the cold, Lock recalls that his hand was badly cut and the North Sea in February is a cold place to be!

The crew was in the water for about 30 minutes while two helicopters were scrambled from RAF Leuchars to rescue them. After being rescued, Lock spent six months in Bridge of Earn hospital in Perthshire, before being transferred to RAF Headley Court in Surrey for a further ten months until June 1963. Lock then returned to work with MRF, but didn’t undertake any more research flights.
Carl Stubbs is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 15:38
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Anglia
Age: 74
Posts: 189
Three Leuchars Lightning ejections for you, all F6s:

7/9/67 XR766 Failed to recover from a spin. Successful ejection
4/3/70 XS918 Engine fires. Successful ejection but pilot drowned due to unofficial mods to his safety equipment
28/4/71 XS938 Engine fires immediately after T/O. Successful ejection

The only current survivor is No 3. PM me if you would like his name.



nipva is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 17:03
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,042
4/3/70 XS918 Engine fires. Successful ejection but pilot drowned due to unofficial mods to his safety equipment
IIRC the pilot had the rubber socks removed from his immersion suit because they made his feet uncomfortable.

He survived the ejection but died from hypothermia owing to seawater filling his suit.
Fareastdriver is online now  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 17:06
  #10 (permalink)  
wub
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,097
A Tornado F3 from Leuchars crashed into the sea off St Andrews in October 2005. The back seater was an RAF sergeant who had been given the flight to mark his retirement from the service.
wub is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 17:53
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Anglia
Age: 74
Posts: 189
'IIRC the pilot had the rubber socks removed from his immersion suit because they made his feet uncomfortable'.

He had replaced his rubber socks with wrist seals fitted tover his ankles. In turn these were fitted over his socks i.e.not next to the skin. Moreover his wrist seals and neck seal were also worn over the top of his undergarments, again not next to the skin. These three then acted as huge wicks to soak up the water. However he drowned, primarily as I recall, because he had not fitted his lifejacket properly so that, when he became unconscious due to hypothermia, the lifejacket could not keep his head out of the water.

This wasa major wake-up call to the correct use of safety equipment and led also to some significant design changes to the lifejacket and the SARBE radio fit.. Sadly this was a totally avoidable death.
nipva is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 18:09
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,479
Originally Posted by wub View Post
A Tornado F3 from Leuchars crashed into the sea off St Andrews in October 2005. The back seater was an RAF sergeant who had been given the flight to mark his retirement from the service.
Investigation report, makes interesting reading:

Attached Files
File Type: pdf
ZE962 Accident Report.pdf (522.7 KB, 97 views)
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 19:22
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South East of Penge
Age: 71
Posts: 1,493
Originally Posted by nipva View Post
'IIRC the pilot had the rubber socks removed from his immersion suit because they made his feet uncomfortable'.

He had replaced his rubber socks with wrist seals fitted tover his ankles. In turn these were fitted over his socks i.e.not next to the skin. Moreover his wrist seals and neck seal were also worn over the top of his undergarments, again not next to the skin. These three then acted as huge wicks to soak up the water. However he drowned, primarily as I recall, because he had not fitted his lifejacket properly so that, when he became unconscious due to hypothermia, the lifejacket could not keep his head out of the water.

This wasa major wake-up call to the correct use of safety equipment and led also to some significant design changes to the lifejacket and the SARBE radio fit.. Sadly this was a totally avoidable death.
I was working in the IAM Farnborough post this accident and was a guinea pig being dunked in a tank in "modified" immersion suits. I came close enough to drowning without any hypothermia complications. One of our Aviation Docs visited the station in question and was astonished at the attitudes of some who were wrongly suited. " I do not have the slightest intention of coming down in the North Sea" being one gem.
Haraka is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 21:08
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,042
I used to describe that ejection as an example to my co-pilots on the North Sea when they would climb in with their immersion suit undone down to the waist.
Fareastdriver is online now  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 22:41
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,914
Seeing as the thread has been revitalised I'll offer this one, F-4 XT866 July '81:

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/82599


" I do not have the slightest intention of coming down in the North Sea"
Neither did I....
wiggy is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2020, 22:50
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 2,090
Lightning F6 - late 1966; engine fire after relight - one shut down for low level PIs

Flt Lt Ron Blackburn; night pick up by 22 Sqn. IIRC, doc sat him down asked him to remove his boots - success; therefore back is OK, 'have a wee dram'.

Ron flew again next day before HQ could impose grounding etc.

and I had just taken over the Squadron inventory that morning - 'boss, how do we write an aircraft off charge?' Reply "What else can we write off.'

and for whoever left 938 'E' in the Firth of Tay (last Lightning for the RAF), it still had my name on it !
safetypee is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2020, 08:43
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,042
I held the aircraft inventory for 110 Sqn in Changi. In 1970 Whirlwind 10 XD195 had an engine failure and ended up in some palm trees in reasonable order. It was then taken off to the MU at Seletar to be repaired.

A few months later I contacted the MU to ascertain when it would be back to be told that it had been disposed of and was now an airframe repair trainer with the Singapore Armed Forces.

Arrive at SCAF with inventory paperwork an explained what had happened. The glow from their eyes lit up the room. This was the time that Changi was approaching closure and a lot of inventories were going to need tidying up.

I believe that there were some large chunks of Shackletons, Hercules and other types in the cabin including all my flying clothing except, regrettably, my watch.
Fareastdriver is online now  
Old 9th Apr 2020, 11:40
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 1,033
Re the Canberra crash at Leuchars

The navigator's name rang a bell ( Flt Lt D H Gannon ) - he was the nav' of the PR Canberra that won the London to NZ Air Race in 1953. An ex-Pathfinder nav who survived numerous sorties in WW2, and lived until the ripe old age of 83.
I found his DT obituary courtesy of Google.
Brian 48nav is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.