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Air Ferry DC-4 Crash 3 June 1967

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Air Ferry DC-4 Crash 3 June 1967

Old 10th Feb 2008, 11:31
  #21 (permalink)  
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My post was really referring to sentiment, rather than factual analysis. It was the press that found the 'link' between these two incidents to have been the elderly airframes involved. Whilst I agree that the other factors you mention were instrumental in the change to jet fleets, I still feel that weekend in June 1967 changed the way the public felt about 'old' piston-engined aircraft.

You also mention that British Eagle's demise removed a number of Britannias from the market. On the contrary, those aircraft were bought by the likes of Monarch, Lloyd International and Donaldson who continued to fly them on IT charters, although not for many years.
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 16:34
  #22 (permalink)  
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a very intreresting post

i just finished the book about the history of air ferry and the author mentions that there were a series of accidents into that region around perpignan over those 10 years claiming over 600 lives...
the book is a good read
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Old 2nd Apr 2008, 22:19
  #23 (permalink)  
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Re the Derby Aviation Crash


I have been told (by the daughter of one of the victims of the Derby Aviation crash) that a possible cause for the crash was magnetic interference caused by unique geological conditions in the area. This may conflict with the findings of the inquiry but provides an interesting theory. Perhaps the two incidents could be connected?
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Old 2nd Apr 2008, 22:43
  #24 (permalink)  
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I doubt it's anything magnetic, more likely "just" the terrain. Before moving down here (I live not far North of Andorra) I imagined the Pyrennees were little more than a bit of a ridge but on arriving here for the first time I was seriously impressed by the terrain. The highest, Aneto is over 3400 metres and the whole ridge has some significant peaks such as the aforementioned Canigou. The range often spawns some ferocious thunderstorms, with all the associated hazards ( turbulence, icing) , and even in clear weather there can be some pretty significant Clear AIr Turbulence.
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 13:40
  #25 (permalink)  
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Air Ferry

I recall Air Ferry's DC-4 G-ASOG crashing on approach to Frankfurt in January 1967 with the loss of the crew. It may have been a freight flight. I used to pass the crash site just north of the then main road from the city to the airport. Black days indeed for operators of pistons.
Hope you find the memorial.


Last edited by atb1943; 9th Nov 2009 at 20:24.
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 14:58
  #26 (permalink)  

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there's quite a bit about G-ASOG on a thread a couple of years ago here where I too was trying to find out about a (very loose) acquaintance.

Disregard the thread title - I thougth at first it was a Vanguard or Viscount - but AH&N did an epic job in no time flat!
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 20:42
  #27 (permalink)  
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Piston transports needed a fair bit more 'management' then their jet counterparts, especially fuel systems.
The DC-6B for example had either eight or ten fuel tanks, requiring dedicated attentiopn by the Flight Engineer for optimal operation.
This, together with shifting blowers, modulating oil shutters and cowl flaps (not to mention the ignition analyzer) kept him fairly busy.

In the end, this one Douglas piston transport was certainly the most reliable, and had the lowest operating cost of any.
The DC-4 wasn't bad, either, although just a tad underpowered.
OK, except for the engines, which seemingly had a mind of their own...failing PRT's with uncommon regularity.

1649 Constellation?
Very complicated, but a good performer...typical Lockheed.
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Old 30th May 2008, 11:45
  #28 (permalink)  
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crash site found!!

hi speedbird.
i was contacted a couple of months ago by another person from england whose parents were killed in the june 3 air ferry crash on mt canigou. since my husband and i were in france we contacted the village of Py and we managed to put this lady in touch with a retired english teacher living in the village. she also met a local who was there the day of the crash and remembers it well! She was then taken to the actual site where a small piece of the engine still remains. she placed some flowers there. She is the only relative of any victims who has visited the village that they can remember and they are keen to set up some sort of memorial.
so thanks for your help and also for the PPRuNe site!!
robb arrieula
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Old 17th Jun 2008, 20:48
  #29 (permalink)  
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I was in the area of Mt Canigou last August and wondered exactly where the crash site was. The accident has strong resonances for me, not because of any personal involvement but because, at about the time the aircraft crashed, I was at Manchester Airport watching the Argonaut that crashed the next day at Stockport being loaded for its outward journey.

Next morning I woke to news of the crash in France not realising I was about to escape being involved in the Stockport crash by a matter of less than five minutes.

I ran a hiking club and that Sunday we had booked a coach to take a group of us from Stockport to Edale. We picked up at various locations, the final pick up being at Hopes Carr where the last of our party, joining from Bredbury, were dropped off by the father of one of the girls. We then set off again, turned left at Hillgate and then joined the A6. Approaching Stepping Hill Hospital we were surprised to see no less than six ambulances, sirens blaring, rushing towards Stockport. We thought nothing of it until we reached Edale and someone with a transistor radio heard the news on the Light Programme.

The exact location of the crash was unknown to us until we tried to leave the girls for the father to pick up.

Hopes Carr was full of literally hundreds of spectators, at least two ice cream vans and a hot dog vendor, not to mention TV crews and the press - by this time it was around 19.30 hrs.

When we found out the time of the crash, linked it to the ambulances we had seen and the time we were at Hopes Carr, we worked out that our coach had stopped no more than 12 feet from where the tail of the Argonaut landed and we had departed about three minutes before the crash.

The press made much of the precision of the Captain in putting the aircraft down "on the only patch of greenery in a built up area", totally overlooking the fact that Hopes Carr is a very small ravine, only about as long as the Argonaut, and that the aircraft had just flown over the copious greenery of Vernon Park and the fields below the park.

Unlike in France, there is a memorial at Hopes Carr which goes in someway to make up for the ghoulishness of the local populace who remained in their hundreds until late in the evening.

The two crashes happened a month before my 20th birthday and though I had witnessed the Viscount (G-ALWE) disappear from view followed by a column of smoke at Manchester in 1957 and have unfortunately seen a few accidents since, those two events, with very similar aircraft so close together in time, prompted my interest in airliners to to widen to include a detailed interest in air safety and flight deck procedures - what is now called crew resource management - long before NASA became interested and invented the term.
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Old 18th Jun 2008, 00:01
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philbky - I have only known one person who saw Viscount WE crash in '57 - he was returning from primary school for lunch and saw the whole thing.

Where did you see it from?

I cycled from home (sale then) to Stockport next day to see the Argonout. My dad was involved in the insurance assessment of the TV aerial company the aeroplane came down on, so I got to go on site later that week. I was amazed how old-fashioned were the now-exposed cockpit controls even for 1967 - looked like a WW2 aeroplane.
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Old 18th Jun 2008, 08:35
  #31 (permalink)  
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I think your friend would have been returning to school from lunch as the crash was at 13.46.

I was at St Winifred's Primary School, Didsbury Rd, Stockport which is at the top of the escarpment to the north of the Mersey valley with a view across the Cheshire plain.

We were kicking a ball about when the Viscount flew down the approach. A few of us were interested in aircraft and invested 2/6d in J W R Taylor's ABC Civil Aircraft Markings every year. Movements at Manchester were comparatively sparse in 1957 so we stopped and looked.

As the Viscount flew past, we were whistled into line to go down a path to a football field at a lower level for the afternoon games session.

From our vantage point, aircraft disappeared from view at a point which I was later to learn was overhead Heald Green railway station.

As we started down the path to the field the aircraft disappeared. Seconds later a large column of smoke appeared close to the point we had last seen the aircraft. As nine and ten year olds we were curious about the smoke but did not link it to the aircraft until we were told, on the return to the classroom, that the aircraft had crashed.

Had the wind/atmospheric conditions been right we would have heard the impact as, in the right conditions, it was possible to hear aircraft engines at take off and full power whilst on the ground and, some years later the sound of Vanguards taxying was plainly audible.
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Old 12th Jul 2008, 12:35
  #32 (permalink)  
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Air Ferry DC-4 crash 3 June 1967

I seem to remember that the faulty heater in this aircraft was a Janitrol. At that time I was a 1-11 line captain with BUA. The captain of the DC-4 had been a F/O with us but was offered a command elsewhere and so left. I had known him earlier in Silver City and Britavia and, knowing him to be very competant, was surprised that this tragic accident should have occurred to his aircraft until learning that he and his co-pilot had suffered from CO poisoning.
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Old 27th Jul 2008, 06:02
  #33 (permalink)  
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Silver City...Britavia

Hallo Skybird,

Magic words those! Blackbushe was my local airport, as kids we were taken up there on our trikes from where we lived in Fleet by our granddad, who had a horse in a field just below Cats Farm Hill. We were always wandering around your aircraft, and those of Eagle too, and I distinctly recall the feeling of walking up a studded floorway to the nose of what turned out to be their Halifax.

Along the side of the Silver City hangar and out-buildings there used to be several foreign aircraft parked, but I can only recall one bearing the name 'Zambesi', later to be identified as a Catalina. You wouldn't happen to have any photos of the general area would you...?

Somewhat later, I took some very unidentifiable photos myself in your hangar with a simple box camera, but all you can recognize is the glazing of a Bell 47!

During the Farnborough show of 1957 I happened to be there when the Seahawk crashed quite close to your out-buildings, and was the first one to reach the pilot, who had come down with I believe a broken ankle. A very good friend took the quite famous photo of its plunge to earth with about a yard to go, and I am to be seen about to take off over the A30 in its direction. Had the Seahawk not corkscrewed in its dive, it would have come down on us at the terminal building. We were watching it come at us, fascinated and rooted to the spot...

Some years later, as a clerk at FUDC I'd have dealings with the father of a schoolchum, Les Painter was his name, and he used to be a general factotum at Eagles as far as I recall. Son's name was Doug.

A friendly police motorcycle patrolman used to call in for a coffee and we got to know him quite well. In fact he arranged for us (spotters) to get a flight in Eagle's Viking G-AMGG.

Some ten years later I'd be working on their Britannias at Heathrow...

Happy days!

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Old 27th Jul 2008, 06:09
  #34 (permalink)  
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I have just read and re-read your previous posts, for which many thanks!

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Old 31st Jul 2008, 10:58
  #35 (permalink)  
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Let's not forget two other terrible CFIT accidents involving turboprops belonging to British IT charter airlines in the 1960's and early 1970's: British Eagle Britannia G-AOVO near Innsbruck in winter 1963/64; and the Invicta Vanguard G-AXOP near Basel in April 1973. CFIT accidents were all too prevalent in those days, and certainly not restricted to piston-engined aircraft.

The Invicta accident was especially notorious, and apparently involved a significant amount of spatial disorientation on the part of the crew, while attempting an NDB approach to minimums in a snowstorm. This accident was especially tragic as the aircraft was chartered on behalf of a group of country ladies from Somerset for a day visit to Basel, most of whom had never flown before.
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Old 27th Dec 2008, 22:37
  #36 (permalink)  
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Mt. Canigou

I am hoping to receive a reply from this mail.

One of the crew members on board was Captain Isaacs - did you know him?

Many regards,
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Old 27th Dec 2008, 22:40
  #37 (permalink)  
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Mt. Canigou

Dear Sir,

I am looking for old Air Ferry colleagues of Captain Edward Isaacs, who died at Mt. Canigou 1967.

I am hoping to hear from you.
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Old 28th Dec 2008, 10:27
  #38 (permalink)  
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Dear abt1943--somewhat off topic but Catalina was VP-KKJ.....early 50s?
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Old 4th Jan 2009, 17:15
  #39 (permalink)  
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Thank you very much - that is definitely the one.. Looking at the photo in Airliners.net was very evocative.

Somehow though I don't think she was called Zambesi, more like Kilimanjaro, which my grey cells had somehow switched over the years.

Anyway, much appreciate your help, and have a happy new year.

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Old 30th Aug 2009, 07:24
  #40 (permalink)  
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hi there,

i posted earlier here last year and this is a very interesting post.
i remember at 10 years old the 2 crashes on the same weekend involving IT charters, air ferry and BMA at stockport.
i am in perpignan soon and hope to try to visit the crash site,
subject to the weather etc (late sept)

the nearest village is py and i understand from others here that its possible to get up there...
any contacts or help would be appreciated.
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