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"6 Hunters ran out of fuel" 1956

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"6 Hunters ran out of fuel" 1956

Old 3rd Apr 2015, 10:48
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West Raynham Incident


I completed the Fighter Command Instrument Rating Examiner's course in June 1955 and had been briefed on the GCA procedures employed there.. As I remember them the GCA was manned by a director and two talkdown controllers. When high intensity recoveries were in progress the talkdown controllers were each dealing with two units, i.e. the first and third for one and second and fourth for the other, spacing having been arranged by the director. Because in the event of a missed approach the normal short pattern GCA would not be able to fit into the recovery stream the brief was to climb straight ahead to 1200/1500ft and call Marham GCA. The Marham runway is more or less in line with West Raynham's at a distance of about fifteen nautical miles, a flying time in a Hunter of about four minutes. The best laid plans etc. don't work when the Marham GCA crew are not in their caravan.


I subsequently did the Day Fighter Leader's Course in July 1957. By this time the aircraft was the Hunter F6 with a little more fuel but still some exciting returns to base happened - a couple of flame outs taxying in come to mind. It was considered more or less normal in those "press on regardless" days.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 11:22
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We had a similar "crash diversion" plan Watton to Lakenheath, but I hated Lakenheath's high intensity strobe lead-in lighting
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 21:51
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David Watkins' Vampire history also makes passing mention of 'Black Monday' in Germany on 3 Dec 51. He doesn't tell the full story though... maybe because the pilot who stayed low, did very low level circuits and landed (Black 4?) - rather than baling out - was a Sgt rather than one of the officers?
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 20:09
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To me it sounds like the consumption problems of the ME262 weren't solved eleven years later and the Hunter actual had the same risk of being hunted down by piston-fighters on the return flight as the Messerschmitt :-o
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Old 5th Apr 2015, 11:16
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The Hunters in question were:

WT629 - Sqn Ldr W Ives
WT639 - Lt Cdr N R Williams
WW603 - Flt Lt B Watford
WW633 - Flt Lt J A MacPherson
WW639 - Flt Lt M J Norman
WW635 - Sqn Ldr Richard John Tumilty 31 killed
WW609 - is also recorded as a loss but details were not confirmed

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Old 25th May 2015, 22:39
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Vampire Flats

Dear Sir,


My father was the photographer aboard the Vampire T11 XD539. He just turned 90 years of age and we are in possession of numerous photos and some documents relating to the crash.


I am working on scanning the these materials and would appreciate learning anything you may know about Vampire flats. Thank you.


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Old 25th May 2015, 22:41
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Vampire Crash

Dear Sir,


My father was the photographer aboard the Vampire T11 XD539. He just turned 90 years of age and we are in possession of numerous photos and some documents relating to the crash.


I am working on scanning the these materials and would appreciate learning anything more you may know about the incident. Thank you.


RAMyers
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Old 26th May 2015, 11:16
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RAMyers

In the listing of RAF Cat 5s from 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings, all that is recorded on the accident is that the aircraft was Odiham based XD539 pilot
Fg Off P A Swoffer and the aircraft was abandoned because it ran out of fuel.
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Old 26th May 2015, 15:34
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R A Myers: I am interested in why your father was detailed to accompany Fg Off Swoffer on the particular sortie as he is not listed on the aircraft's Accident Record Card; was he a photographer with the USAF? Also, what was his Christian name?

Thank you.

DW
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 11:37
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Hi, I know this thread is pretty old but my Grandfather was 1 of the 6 Hunter pilots on that day. Unfortunately he was the pilot killed crashing into the field, Sqn Ldr Richard John Tumilty, Which is in fact my name also, obviously named in his memory. Ive known about the story of how he died but only recently felt the need to find out more about him and his story, This thread is so very interesting I just wanted to say thanks for posting all the info you have.
Richard Tumilty.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 08:44
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Many light years ago --

We did a practice air day demo for all at Lossiemouth in our Royal Navy T8 Hunters. This involved two passes and a landing from the second one which used up a lot of fuel. On very short finals we were ordered to go around. Our Leader said we needed an immediate landing which we did. It transpired that the go around was an order from the top brass who wanted to see the display again ! We might have equalled the RAF in the stats.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:23
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As far as I'm aware my Grand Father said that they shouldn't go up because of the weather, anyone could see that it was coming in yet they were forced by the top brass to go up and minutes later it all went wrong! Shocking really!!
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 15:33
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Richard, My mother and your grandfather Dick were first cousins. Her father John Leonard Flynn was the brother of your great grand mother Margaret. I never realised what a total shambles led to the death of Richard. My mother often spoke about him (and his brother Bill). I think his death had quite an effect on the family. It would be nice to hear from you. My email is [email protected].


Mick Daly


Hope this is not a miss use of the forum.
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