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What happened to G-ARFY

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What happened to G-ARFY

Old 20th Sep 2011, 13:38
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What happened to G-ARFY

I'm living in Australia now but grew up flying with my father B G Halpin and his friend Sean Henessey in the late 50's and early 60's out of Eastleigh, Southampton. Dad's office was at the Supermarine Works at Southampton and I have vivid memories of the place. I remember two aircraft - Saab Safir G-ANOK and a Commanche G-ARFY. Did G-ARFY crash? Dad died before I was old enough to ask these interesting questions. I so appreciate finding little snippets on this forum. Love to hear any news of those days. Mum's still alive at 80+ and would also be thrilled with any news. She was a mad keen pilot in those days. Cheers
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Old 20th Sep 2011, 13:56
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Google is your friend...

Be careful with search terms:<"g-arfy" accident 1964> produced several results, notably:

piper comanche | 1965 | 2907 | Flight Archive
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Old 20th Sep 2011, 14:00
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According to the CAA website GARFY was destroyed on the 8th August 1964 whilst registered to B G Halpin of Halpin house, Southampton.
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Old 20th Sep 2011, 14:09
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Thanks for that

Talk about prompt reply! I knew it was still registered to Dad but no idea what actually happened. G-ARFY was in the process of being sold at the time. The police came to the house to say Dad was killed but he was home alive and well. Any idea of why it crashed or who was involved?
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Old 20th Sep 2011, 14:21
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Taken from Flight Global archives

piper comanche | 1965 | 2907 | Flight Archive


Comanche Accident at Cork The report has now been published*
of investigations into the accident at Cork Airport last August 8
involving Piper Comanche G-ARFY, in which the private pilot,
Mr James Coupe, and three passengers were killed. The aircraft
had taken off normally at the start of a local flight when, at about
100ft, a stream of black smoke was seen issuing from below it.
The pilot called the control tower and said he wished to "cut back
to the field." As the Comanche was being positioned for an
approach the smoke appeared to get thicker; during a steep turn
it ceased and the engine stopped or lost power completely. The
aircraft slipped out of the turn and crashed.
The inspectors considered loss of control during the turn to have
been the probable cause of the accident, though engine malfunction
as a result of an over-rich mixture was adduced as the contributory
cause. AH the sparking plugs were found to be heavily sooted and
some badly oiled. On dismantling of the carburettor the mixture
control was found stuck in the rich position and very difficult to
operate; and the accelerator pump delivery restriction valve was
stuck open by foreign matter. The air intake was badly crushed
by the impact and it was not possible to determine if the vanes
had been removed in accordance with Piper recommendations
This points you to the accident reports.

Browse the collection | The National Archives

Hope this is of interest to you.
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Old 20th Sep 2011, 14:31
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Thanks

Most helpful. Sounds tragic. Really good of you to find this record for me.
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 00:57
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Thanks

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 19:58
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Foxtrotoz.......

Seeing your thread enquiring about the fate of Comanche G-ARFY brought back some memories for me.

I attended Eastleigh Tech College between Sept 62 and Aug 64. During that time used to hang around the Aero Club, working in the hangar at the weekends. I remember meeting your Dad and Shaun Henessey at the Blackbushe Airport re-opening celebration Airshow on 06 Oct 62. They were kind enough to offer me a flight back to Eastleigh. The following April I flew with Shaun to Blackbushe again, this time via Kidlington, flying back later in the day.

Sad to see the aircraft destroyed and four folk loose their lives.

I have a B&W photo of RFY. I can scan and e-mail you a copy. Not sure where it was taken but do not think it was while your Dad owned it: the distinctive ADAS aerial not visible on the cabin roof. Also have colour slides of RFY and the Safir NOK. Cannot easily scan these but will see if I can find a way to get you copies if you are interested.

Thanks for reviving some memories !!!

Planemike

Last edited by Planemike; 22nd Sep 2011 at 20:04.
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 10:54
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Great to hear from you Planemike

Many thanks for your kind offer to send on photos. I know Mum has a photo of the Commanche 'foxtrot yanky' in pride of place on her photo shelf. She looks very glamourous standing there after her first solo flight at Eastleigh next to a big hangar. That plane was her pride and joy. Hearing how sad its demise was explains why she can't mention it. Dad died when she was only 50 and it took her over 20 years to put his photo on display. It was all too sad so the family doesn't usually bring the past up. But... I told her of your earlier posts mentioning Dad and I could see she was thrilled someone remembered!!

So thanks for the offer but it was actually your earlier posts that got me thinking I'd join this forum and find out more about those days. I think one reason I have such vivid memories of those days is that life was so interesting hanging out with such a fun bunch of pilots! Who could forget? Every flight is etched in my memory form age 3 onwards. But I only recently learned that others are fascinated by that era too. I was talking to local (Australian) radio hams recently for whom the history of radar and the Super Marine works are still of immense interest. So much of Dad's early life was 'secret' so he couldn't say most of it. His journey in the war as an RAF radar instructor led to his business in Southampton - but ruined his health.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated!!! Cheers
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 18:53
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Foxtrotoz..........

Thanks for the reply. Yes there are a few of us around on here who remember Eastleigh in the 50s and 60s. Take a look through these and you will find a number of shots that may interest you. Rather a lot in the first one, mainly modern but go through it and you will find a number of older ones.

Seems G-ANOK Safir may yet be living on in Scotland, see below.

Air-Britain : Search Results (Eastleigh) (SOU / EGHI)&u=location
Air-Britain : G-ANOK
Air-Britain : G-ARFY

When I have mine copied I will be back in touch and you can let me know if you would like copies.

Planemike
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Old 23rd Sep 2011, 00:40
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Planemike

Thanks for these leads. Really great old photos. What a terrific resource. I recently was fortunate enough to witness the historical air pilgrimage celebrating the RAAF's 90th anniversary that flew into Ballarat Victoria. What a stunning show with hardly any crowds. Lots of pilots beaming with pride at their beautifully kept old planes. The Roulettes did a show. I took a few photos and now I wish I taken more. Jogged me into asking a few questions about the past. So glad I did. Good for you - Planemike!!
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