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Information on Victor XA929 crash in Cyprus 16th June 1962

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Information on Victor XA929 crash in Cyprus 16th June 1962

Old 28th Sep 2010, 01:34
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Information on Victor XA929 crash in Cyprus 16th June 1962

All

I am trying to find out any information i can on the above incident as my grandfather was one of the crew members killed on board. Ive been reading lots of mentions of this and would be MASSIVELY grateful of any help in finally piecing together this incident in full.

Many thanks
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Old 28th Sep 2010, 05:29
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On PPRuNe, here, is some information on the loss of a Victor ar Akrotiri, plus more at this site.

HTH
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Old 28th Sep 2010, 09:25
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There is a report at The National Archives, Kew:

http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/catal...ue&j=1#summary

I have an 'S' report for the crash of XD-864 which came as part of an 'RAF Court of Inquiry into an Aircraft Accident' for that aircraft which was at Kew as BT233/439. This latter document was around 100 pages plus with about twenty photos of the crash site. The 'S' report is three pages. I've no idea if a full Court of Inquiry exists for XA-929 (if you use the 'search' on the National Archive page, no report comes up for XA929 or XA-929 - it does for XD864).

The RAF Museum, Hendon, have Crash Cards, literally a card with the basic details of the crash.

To give you an idea of what these look like, here is the Court of Inquiry for XD-864:

http://zkt.blackfish.org.uk/XD864/BoI.pdf

On page 93 is the 'S' report, and page 110 the crash card.
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Old 28th Sep 2010, 12:26
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Colin Cummings book Category Five

This book (a catalogue of RAF aircraft losses 1954 to 2009 and in my experience a very reliable reference ISBN 978-0-95266-19-7-9) quotes the following

16 June 1962
XA929 Victor B1
10 Sqn
RAF Akrotiri Cyprus
An incorrect flap reading led to the wrong selection of flaps on take off. By the time the pilot had realised the possible reason for the aircraft not becoming airborne it was too late to avoid the crash. The co-pilot ejected shortly before the crash but the ejection was outside the design limits of the seat and he did not survive.


The entry also lists all the crew members. If you would like these details pm me.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 00:43
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Final Closure

Thankyou to all that have replied. I finally got confirmation of what actually happened today after contacting the MOD Air Historical Branch. I understand from scouring the internet that there is still an interest in this crash. I know there are lots of accounts, not all completely factual. Here is an extract of the report.............

R/T procedures were normal and the captain, who had been given choice of take-off direction, taxied to the marshalling point for Runway 11. Although he had been cleared as No. 1 for take-off he elected to let a Meteor take-off first on Runway 29, after which he lined up on Runway 11 and started his take-off run. The latter appeared normal until the aircraft had run some 5,500 – 6,500 feet when the air traffic controller and the deputy SATCO thought that the nose should have been raised and because of this, the aircraft’s progress was watched closely. With about 1,200 feet of the runway left, the starboard wheel passed on to the runway shoulder but after travelling 200 feet in this position, it looked as if the aircraft would become airborne as the nose wheel was not in contact with the ground and the main undercarriage bogies were in the ‘free in air position’ trailing the ground. However, with only 650 feet of the runway left, the port wheel also passed on to the runway shoulder and when almost opposite the runway controllers’ caravan the tail parachute came out, did not properly deploy and left the aircraft immediately. The aircraft then ran for 450 feet with all wheels making contact with the ground but all wheel marks ceased just before the aircraft crossed the taxiway adjacent to the end of Runway 11. Victor XA929 was clear of the ground for a distance of 100 feet before both main landing gears touched on the far side of the taxiway. From this point it careered through the overshoot area brushing a barbed wire fence and undergrowth with, at times, all wheels clear of the ground until finally it struck the ground in a nose-down attitude with the starboard wing slightly down, some 1800 feet beyond the end of the runway. The aircraft broke up rapidly starting with the undercarriage, front radome, main flap and cockpit. Break up of the fuselage continued and finally the separated main planes, engine and tail unit came to rest some 1600 feet from the first impact, 3,400 feet beyond the end of Runway 11. Shortly after the first impact fire broke out which rapidly spread from the wreckage trail to the surrounding scrub and trees. No further R/T calls were made after take-off clearance had been obtained.


Crew were:


Flt Lt G Goatham. 27. Captain/Pilot
Flt Lt D Brown. 28. Co-pilot
Flt Lt J Gray. 36. Navigator
Fg Off A Mitchell. 21. Co-Navigator
Fg Off A Pace. 24. Flight Engineer
Master Tech D Smith. 40. Crew Chief

Their names are forever imortalised in 3 locations. Dhekalia Military Cemetary -Cyprus (where they are buried), RAF Cottesmore station church and The National Memorial Arboretum - Staffordshire.


"Lest we Forget"
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Old 1st May 2012, 20:37
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Victor XA929 Crash June 1962

I was a Junior Technician (Instruments Gen) at RAF Akrotiri when Victor XA929 crashed. I saw the aftermath briefly as a station emergency call was made for all available personell to make their way to crash site.

I was at the rear of E&I section at the time take-off commenced. My Section Commander had killed a cat on his way to work that morning and asked me to help bury it.

Whilst doing this I heard the engines going to full throttle and then the engine note changed and appeared to throttle back. I immediately commented that the Aircraft was in trouble. It was said at the time that a flash-call had been to the Control Tower because hydraulic fluid had been seen coming from underneath the aircraft. Throttle was then clearly re-applied and it was obvious to me that the aircraft was in trouble, A remark I made to my boss. The sirens started and PA call was made. It was patently obvious when we arrived at the crash site that there was little anyone could do and I recall there was a countermand to all non essential personnel to return to work.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family despite the 50 years since it happened.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 22:23
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XA929 crash 1962 more info

Jtbeaky

Thanks for the reply, apologies for the delay, I haven't logged on since! The fact you were burying a cat at the time made me roar with laughter!

I'm in the RAF Myself now, have been since 2002 for my sins. Unfortunately I wasn't clever enough to follow in my grandfathers footsteps and be a Nav! Although I'm thankful now as loads of them have been laid off!

An add on (which I'm sure you are aware of anyway) is that the Co-Pilot (who was actually the more experience of the pilots) banged out when the aircraft was obviously in trouble but obviously the ejection seats aren't designed to be used that close to the ground so he died on impact with the runway. The pilot didn't eject (to his credit) and obviously the guys in the back (my grandfather included) couldn't get out.

Many people wonder why there was in fact 6 people on board when usually there are only 5 crew on board is that this aircraft was on a Lone Ranger mission to the Middle East (RAF Khormaksar, Aden)

The outcome of the inquest was that the Station Commander recommended that the question of monitoring aircraft at the start point as well as on the approach should be examined by the Directorate of Flight Safety. In the meantime, photographs of all V-Bombers and big RAF Transport aircraft in the correct take-off configurations were obtained by RAF Akrotiri for the education of the runway controllers. Whenever possible these aircraft were to be monitored at the start of their take-off run.

Regards

Alison
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Old 11th Jun 2014, 01:53
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There was a publication issued in about 1985 (roughly) called 'Last Look Checks' which depicted how particular types should be configured for takeoff. Our copy at Farnborough was quite bulky due to the multiple types operated from there.
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Old 11th Jun 2014, 07:48
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I used to work on XA 929 on 10 Sqn at RAF Cottesmore.

The Co Pilot Dave Brown was an Olympic runner and Crew Chief Smith was the best chiefy on the Sqn. A lovely bloke he went to Cyprus instead of another Chief who cried off with a cold.

It was a black day for 10 Sqn.
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Old 12th Jun 2014, 19:13
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A lovely bloke he went to Cyprus instead of another Chief who cried off with a cold.
It seems as though a Crew Chief getting a cold/flu was an ill omen on the V-Force

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...am-1959-a.html

My worst day in the service.
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Old 20th Jun 2014, 09:52
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Further to that Ian, it seems to me that in many V aircraft fatal accidents there has been a crew chief on board (the Vulcan at Luqa even had a 7th seat occupant). I dont think there is any significance in this, just tragic coincidence.
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Old 20th Jun 2014, 10:19
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TTN said:
it seems to me that in many V aircraft fatal accidents there has been a crew chief on board
If a Crew Chief was on board, it indicated that the trip probably wasn't a normal 'out and back to base' flight, but a trip that involved landing away from base, and also probably at least a night stop away from base. For the married guys, away from family with all that was entailed.

Makes me wonder if this just might of been a factor that affected the minds of all concerned? Maybe not 100% thinking about the job of preparing and flying the a/c.

Is this just the meandering mind of a senile old man?
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Old 21st Jun 2014, 06:30
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It might be of passing interest but this accident happened a few days after another Victor loss from the same pair of sqns - 10 & 15.


On 14 Jun 62, Victor XH613 lost all four engines on approach to land, apparently due to disconnection of leads within a moveable tray.


The captain, who was 15's CO, ordered everybody out and this they did successfully with one man leaving the trace of boot leather along the fuselage side as he exited.


In 1973, whilst my wife was stationed at Biggin Hill, we were invited to drinks with the co-pilot - by then a Wg Cdr. When I politely enquired about whose 21st birthday cards were on display on the mantlepiece, he replied that they were his and this was his second celebration of the event! He then explained their significance.


Old Duffer
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 17:45
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I've only just come across this forum and feel obliged to reply even though it is a bit late.

On that fateful day I was in the R.A.F. Police at Akrotiri in a land rover en route to the guardroom with three or four others on board. I did not see the crash but heard it and saw the large pall of smoke as it ignited off the end of the runway in the 'bondu'

We went straight to the scene and were among the first there. Obviously the scene was one of utter devastation with the Victor completely broken up and burning furiously. There were still minor explosions taking place and the sound of shrapnel whistling through the air which I assume was from gas oxygen bottles or the like.

I took charge of the of the bodies of the six poor souls who had been on board all of which were completely burned beyond recognition and there is no doubt that death would have been instantaneous.

Once the bodies had been placed in ambulanced and remove from the scene I played no further pard. I hope this id of interest.
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Old 5th Apr 2017, 14:29
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Victor Crash

Like the previous entry I have only belatedly found this forum. I was a radar fitter doing pre-flight checks on B15 Canberra's of 73 Squadron when I saw the Victor on the runway. I remember the power dropping, then the brake parachute streaming and very quickly being released. The power appeared to increase and it started to lift off but very near to the runway threshold it hit the ground, crashed and burst into flames. As soon as it was possible together with other people from the squadron we walked in a line along the path of the crash. We found some of the bodies which were very badly burned. Unfortunately when I close my eyes I can still them.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 10:28
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I’m not sure if this is still a live forum. I have read with interest that you were in The RAF police at Akrotiri at the time of the plane crash. I believe that this is the same plane crash my brother attended, he was also in the RAF police. I realise it was many years ago, but do you recall by any chance Colin Cearnes? I do know that he was on the runway soon after the crash and had to help clear away mail etc that had been on board the plane.

Many thanks.

Brian C
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 21:00
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XA929

Originally Posted by AllyG113 View Post
Jtbeaky

Thanks for the reply, apologies for the delay, I haven't logged on since! The fact you were burying a cat at the time made me roar with laughter!

I'm in the RAF Myself now, have been since 2002 for my sins. Unfortunately I wasn't clever enough to follow in my grandfathers footsteps and be a Nav! Although I'm thankful now as loads of them have been laid off!

An add on (which I'm sure you are aware of anyway) is that the Co-Pilot (who was actually the more experience of the pilots) banged out when the aircraft was obviously in trouble but obviously the ejection seats aren't designed to be used that close to the ground so he died on impact with the runway. The pilot didn't eject (to his credit) and obviously the guys in the back (my grandfather included) couldn't get out.

Many people wonder why there was in fact 6 people on board when usually there are only 5 crew on board is that this aircraft was on a Lone Ranger mission to the Middle East (RAF Khormaksar, Aden)

The outcome of the inquest was that the Station Commander recommended that the question of monitoring aircraft at the start point as well as on the approach should be examined by the Directorate of Flight Safety. In the meantime, photographs of all V-Bombers and big RAF Transport aircraft in the correct take-off configurations were obtained by RAF Akrotiri for the education of the runway controllers. Whenever possible these aircraft were to be monitored at the start of their take-off run.

Regards

Alison
Hello Alison (AllyG113)

I was a co-pilot on 10 Squadron in 1962. The Akrotiri crash was a couple of weeks after I joined the squadron and made a deep impression.
I have only recently followed this thread. I am a member of the 10 Squadron Association and actively interested in the circumstances of the crash.
I understand that you are related to one of the crew and offer my belated condolences to your family's loss.

Kind regards,

John
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 20:37
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Originally Posted by Rattenj View Post
Hello Alison (AllyG113)

I was a co-pilot on 10 Squadron in 1962. The Akrotiri crash was a couple of weeks after I joined the squadron and made a deep impression.
I have only recently followed this thread. I am a member of the 10 Squadron Association and actively interested in the circumstances of the crash.
I understand that you are related to one of the crew and offer my belated condolences to your family's loss.

Kind regards,

John
Alison's grandfather was one of the navs.
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