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Flying under bridges, what & where?

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Flying under bridges, what & where?

Old 29th Apr 2008, 17:17
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Flying under bridges, what & where?

I found this image on pixdaus and couldn't identify the aircraft, looks like an early jet trainer but not one I am familiar with.

Any idea what it is or even where it might be, the bridge doesnt look too high!

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Old 29th Apr 2008, 17:26
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L29 Delfin.......... (could almost be a Pucara minus engines)
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Old 29th Apr 2008, 17:46
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Under the bridges.

Ref the above ... see the 'Rotorheads' forum for a best ever piccy of dear Ray Hanna taking his Spit under the bridge. An absolute classic. God bless you up there Ray.

While on the subject, does anyone have a picture or information on the Gloster Meteor Mk 1V that did the Clifton Suspension Bridge in February 1974. It was the same day that Bill Pegg put the Bristol Britannia down on the mud flats after losing all four engines.

I was based at 209 AFS Weston Zoyland at the time, and remember how another pilot attempted the same stunt a few months later in a Vampire. Must have flown down from Valley.

Sadly he didn't quite get it right and failed to pull up before the curve in the river and struck the side of the gorge.

Safe flying to all out there.

DRK
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Old 29th Apr 2008, 18:11
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I thought that the Vampire was from the RAF Auxiliary squadron based at Filton. It was the last day of flying operations for the Auxiliary squadrons. One imagines that the pilot had spent many years looking at the Clifton Suspension bridge and this was his last chance to do it.

A sad day for many reasons.
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Old 29th Apr 2008, 18:46
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Re. Photo at original post, have a look at this clip, link below (I hope), is it the same bridge ?? If so it is at Szolnok, Hungary ?? Keith.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/475642...idge_inverted/
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Old 29th Apr 2008, 20:59
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I thought that the Vampire was from the RAF Auxiliary squadron based at Filton.
It was and took place on Sunday, 3 Feb 1957 as this contemporary press cutting shows:

JET PILOT KILLED IN AVON GORGE - VAMPIRE FLOWN UNDER BRIDGE -
UNITS FINAL PARADE

An hour before the Duke of Gloucester was due to take the salute at the disbandment parade of 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, at Filton, Bristol, yesterday [Sunday, Feb 03, 1957], a Vampire jet fighter attached to the squadron crashed into a bank of the River Avon after having flown under Clifton suspension bridge.

The pilot, Flying Officer J. G. Crossley, aged 28, was killed. The suspension bridge spans the Avon Gorge and carries a road 245ft. above the river. The aircraft narrowly missed the bridge, according to eye witnesses, and dived into a steep slope on the Somerset side of the river, near Pill, about two miles from the bridge. The impact caused a slight landslide which almost reached a railway line below. No trains were run on the line, which connects Bristol and Portishead, for several hours. The wreckage of the aircraft caught fire and Bristol and Somerset firemen had to lay a hose for more than a quarter of a mile across the hillside. The body of the pilot was found among the wreckage.

Flying Officer Crossley, a single man, was employed by the flight test department of a subsidiary of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. He lived in Bristol, but his home was at Blackburn.

Mr. William Rodgers, prospective Labour candidate in the forthcoming by-election at Bristol West, said last night that he was admiring the view from the suspension bridge when he heard the scream of jet engines. “The aircraft came in very low” he said. He watched it disappear up the gorge and round a bend. There was a loud explosion and immediately smoke billowed up."

Mr. A. H. Fenn, proprietor of a kiosk on the bridge, said: “There was a strong wind, and as the aircraft continued up the gorge it appeared to roll or bank to the left I imagine the strong cross-wind must have caught him as he was banking."

Squadron Leader M. C. Collings, officer commanding the squadron, said the aircraft was being tested as a reserve for the parade fly-past No route had been laid down for it, but the pilot had not permission to attempt to fly under the bridge.

The Duke of Gloucester, who is honorary Air Commodore of the squadron, knew nothing of the crash until after the parade He was told of it by Air Marshal Sir Thomas Pike, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief. Fighter Command.

ROYAL TRIBUTE
At the parade, the first to be held by a Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron since the recent disbandment announcement, the Duke said: The reasons for the Government’s decision have been given and we must however difficult it is, loyally accept them. I can only say that I fully understand and sympathize most sincerely with your feelings at this moment. The fame of your squadron and of the rest of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force will, I know, live on long after disbandment.”

He recalled that 501 Squadron went quickly to France when the last war began and one morning “bagged” 18 enemy aircraft before breakfast. Later the squadron played a distinguished part in the Battle of Britain, and it was Sergeant James Lacy, a member of the squadron, who shot down the Heinkel which bombed Buckingham Palace.

The parade included both personnel of 501 Squadron and of 2501 Field Squadron. Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment. A solitary Vampire jet fighter flew past as the Duke took the salute.

PILOT’S FLIGHT WAS “UNAUTHORIZED”
Flying Officer John Greenwood Crossley, aged 28, the pilot who crashed and died in the Avon Gorge after flying a Vampire aircraft under the Clifton suspension bridge last Sunday, was on an unauthorized flight, it was stated at the inquest yesterday at Flax Bourton, near Bristol.

Corporal Robert Charles Troll, of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, stationed with 501 Squadron at Filton, said that at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday he saw Crossley sitting in a Vampire starting the engines. “He then climbed out, dashed round to the starboard side, disconnected the starting appliance, and then climbed back into the aircraft as if he was in a hurry. ... I made signs to prevent him from taking off because the nose wheel chock was behind the wheel and danger might ensue. He ignored me completely”

The inquest was adjourned until February 26.

Last edited by Warmtoast; 30th Apr 2008 at 09:05.
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 06:46
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While on the subject, does anyone have a picture or information on the Gloster Meteor Mk 1V that did the Clifton Suspension Bridge in February 1974. It was the same day that Bill Pegg put the Bristol Brittannia down on the mud flats after losing all four engines.
DennisK,

Probably just a typo, but I think you mean February 1954 for the Bill Pegg Britannia incident.
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 10:22
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Keith,

It certainly looks very similar to the bridge in the picture, and bearing in mind the type, now confirmed as a Delphin, it would seem likely to be the same bridge.

Paul
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 10:54
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here you go http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_OF0v1...eature=related
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 13:04
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"Engines" - plural, on a Vampire ? No wonder it was unauthorised.

It's amazing how many authors - even ones who make big money - seem to count the intakes !

On the A30 In Hampshire there is a roundabout with a nameplate 'Spitfire Bridge', so named after a pilot flying under the bridge in WW2 ( successfully ); I read that the aircraft in question was in fact a P-40, but to Joe Public watching I suppose everything was a Spitfire...

Then again wasn't there a chap in a Hunter who made an impression by flying under Tower Bridge ? I'd imagine that had a remarkable effect on his carreer, I hope for the better.
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 15:14
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The king of bridge flying must be Derek Piggott who flew under a railway bridge while filming 'The Blue Max' in Ireland. I have read somewhere he did something like 30 times. I saw the bridge a while ago. I for one would not like to have flown under it once, never mind thirty times.

Can't find a youtube video of it though.
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 18:02
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The king of bridge flying must be Derek Piggott
There wasn't much clearance (five feet each side?) between the wingtips and the brickwork!

Buy the film (The Blue Max) or the book (Delta Papa by Derek Piggott). Neither will disappoint you, especially the film if you like Ursula Andress!

PS, Double Zero, do a PPRuNe search on Hunter and Tower Bridge within the AH&S forum for more gen on that episode. Well worth it for some authoritative opinion!
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Old 30th Apr 2008, 19:16
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Re. the Vampire, a QFI of the era told me that the pilot hadn't even been strapped in....

Not thought to be suicide, more a last chance to do something he'd always fancied trying.

Personally I feel that the RAF has never recovered from the infamous Sandys 1957 White Paper.
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Old 1st May 2008, 03:06
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More up to date bridge flying, when I worked at the Lazy B I was told that the usual last flight for a retiring A-6 driver from NAS Whidbey Island was under the Deception Pass Bridge - now that's low!
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Old 1st May 2008, 11:17
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Post RE:

Doesn't the Vampire have a twin-boom tail configuration? I might have seen wrong, but the aircraft in the image looks like it has a conventional tail.
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Old 1st May 2008, 11:44
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Dan,

The aircraft in post #1 is identified as a L29 Delfin in post #2. The DH Vampire mentioned in other posts refer to a different 'flying under bridges' event.
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Old 1st May 2008, 11:52
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Meteor & Clifton Bridge.

For spekesoftly.

Yup ... you'll have to make allowances as the memory cells fades somewhat.

1954 it was of course, and how can one's brain let slip two decades ... I ask myself.

Interested pruners might like to check the adjacent thread on what one local newspaper headlined ... The Night it Rained Meteors.

Sadly it was that year at Weston Zoyland. I was on a night flying exercise when four Meteors were lost along with two pilots who were diverted to nearby Merryfield as fog closed Weston Zoyland.

Having been held in the overhead position for 30 minutes, my aircraft ran out of fuel and I was more than lucky enough to complete a forced landing.

Any other pruners have info on that happening.

Are either Brian Armstrong or Bunny Austin still around?

Take care all,

Dennis Kenyon.
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Old 1st May 2008, 12:50
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Can anyone point me in the right direction for the photo of Ray Hanna flying under the bridge that DennisK mentions please. Had a bit of a look in Rotorheads but couldn't find it.

Thanks
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Old 1st May 2008, 13:35
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Ray Hanna

Here it is:-

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpos...&postcount=192
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Old 1st May 2008, 13:57
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Beagle,

Thanks for the tip re. Hunter & Tower Bridge.

I reckon everyone here feels the same about Duncan Sandys, 'Dr.' Beeching too for that matter; they knobbled Britain way beyond Goering's wildest dreams - ***** agreed.

I'd love to invent a time machine just to go back and lump them one !

I might have been tempted to suppose modern pilots wouldn't attempt such things as flying under bridges; but having seen an F3 blowing away turf about 6' under the nozzles as it climbed ( and I must say, skidded forward a good deal at an elaborate A of A ) plus a GR5 putting a wingtip between hangar gutters at a Scottish range, I think the spirit remains.

I did photo' a pass by a Seajet on delivery, I was on a platform about 20' or a bit more high - as the a/c passed ****** fast I couldn't help thinking the platform's poor lateral support couldn't take it; I have a copy of the video taken by the guy alongside me, which basically goes: very loud & powerful Jet efflux, then audible eddies, then my voice saying " Holy **** ! "
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