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Canberra Bomber

Old 17th Oct 2011, 18:03
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Lukeafb1 - you could be right - I was airborne at the time and was diverted to Marham. Certainly the seat landed near the OM, which ISTR was also near the sports field.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 08:40
  #42 (permalink)  

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Wander00,

You were also presumably at Watton when on an asymetric approach, a B6 hit the side of the runway and two of the three crew perished. I knew the pilot well, but can't recall his name at this distance in time.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 09:01
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Just before I got there, April/May 66 I think. ISTR AEO was Ken Topaz who ejected outside the seat envelope, and was shot across the airfield. About a year later he walked out of RAFH Ely. Sadly the other two crew died. RIP

I wonder what the casualty rate for "real" v "practice" assymetric was on the Canberra.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 09:53
  #44 (permalink)  

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I remember Ken Topaz's ejection (although I didn't know him). He came out sideways and as you said, shot across the grass. His seat, with him still in it, finished in an upright position some distance from the runway. Nothing deployed (drogue, chute etc.).

I was told many years ago, that practice asymetrics accounted for more accidents than real ones. And yet strangely, little was, to my knowledge, discussed about it in crew rooms. But I seem to remember that a PPRuNe topic a few years ago discussed the problem in quite some detail and figures were bandied about.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 12:24
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Wanderoo...I wonder what the casualty rate for "real" v "practice" assymetric was on the Canberra.
There probably were not many 'real' assymetric landing accidents,but as we know unfortunately there were many practice accidents.

There was a spectacular series of pics taken at Marham in 1978 when WJ753 cartwheeled onto the threshold with a crewmember hanging out the door (I believe...have not seen them for years)
They were returning from cyprus with 2 crews on board (as opposed to 2 crew !) with one crew mwmber sitting on rumble seat -and ISTR that after a run and break they were a little hot on finals and closed the throttles but then I think got a little low/slow and on opening the throttles rapidly got assymetric spool up which rolled the wingtip into ground contact...I cannot find a link to the photos but they were astounding
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 12:39
  #46 (permalink)  

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Longer Ron,

Did any crew get out?
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 14:55
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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From UK serials...


19/06/1978 WJ753 L Canberra B2 100 Sqn During an overshoot at Marham, Norfolk the pilot allowed the engine rpm to drop below the recommended rpm levels. The engines spooled up unevenly during the subsequent throttle up causing a severe asymmetric condition resulting in near vertical bank with the port wingtip striking the ground to the left of the runway. During the ensuing cartwheel, the cockpit section was removed from the fuselage, breaking between the pilot and navigator's seats. The pilot suffered serious leg injuries but the two rear crew were miraculously relatively unscathed
Does not mention rumble seat occupant,perhaps somebody on here could confirm.

Not long before this accident I used to work at the Canberra OCU line which was pretty close to this accident scene !
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 15:09
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Ken Topaz

This is from the ejectionsite...

There are some photo links as well

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sou...M030hsNk-IutSw


Once we had settled down onto the radar approach I busied myself with my pre-landing checks, making sure that all my equipment was shut down correctly, this procedure which also entailed my tightening my harness for landing usually took about a couple of minutes.

I heard the radar controller announce "you are one mile from touch down, look ahead and land" this was standard patter. At this point the navigator who was sitting close by on my left drew my attention to the air speed indicator which was reading 85 knots and falling rapidly (at this weight we should have been doing about 110 knots. Nothing was said because at the same time the pilot applied full power to both engines very rapidly, I was looking forward and saw the RPM gauges winding up, but the starboard engine (which had been set to zero thrust for the asymmetric practice) must have flamed out as the RPM unwound. The aircraft, which was very low by this time, rolled very rapidly to starboard and then flicked back to port, the port wingtip struck the ground as the aircraft rolled almost vertical, cartwheeled and destroyed itself just to the left of the main runway.

Between the time that the wingtip hit and the nose of the Canberra struck the ground, both the navigator and I ejected (again not a word was said!) As the ejector seats in the rear of the Canberra are side by side the seats are angled slightly to ensure that the seats separate as they leave the aircraft. The navigator being on the port side effectively ejected into the ground and died shortly after. Myself, being on the starboard had a degree of upward motion and separated from the seat (at what height no one knows but speculation is about 20 feet) Although not fully conscious due to the acceleration of the seat, I was immediately fully aware as I hit the ground. It would appear that I landed on my feet with absolutely no forward motion whatsoever as I was able to stop myself toppling with just one hand on the ground on which I now found myself sitting, or rather on my still fully packed parachute.

The precise time of impact was 10:44 as the first thing I did was look at my watch, seems strange but it seemed important at the time.

The first person on the scene was my Squadron Commander who appeared out of the smoke, he paused for a moment and then ran past me, I didn't realise that the Navigator was just behind me and obviously looking a lot worse than I did. The next person was the Station Dentist, who had been driving around the peri track, he appeared on the scene waving a knife with which, despite my protestations about the destruction of government property,he proceeded to use to cut me out of my harness. "I've been carrying this thing for years," he said, "and am determined to use it now!" As you can see from the cut cords on the parachute he did a good job.

I suppose I must have been in shock,but at no time did I feel any pain and the worst part of the incident was the ride in a rather bumpy ambulance to the R.A.F.Hospital at Ely,it seemed to take an awfully long time.

The pilot had stayed with the aircraft and was killed instantly in the wreck.

I sustained two broken ankles, a broken right hip joint,
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Old 24th Oct 2011, 05:52
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I was in Hanoi over the weekend and I took the opportunity to re-visit the Air Force museum after a gap of many years. I'll post my pictures in the museums thread once I've edited them, but I thought Canberra fans might like this picture and the caption.



There's not much excuse for thinking it is on a carrier, but unless you've seen a cartridge start before, it is quite reasonable to assume it is on fire!

Did RAF Canberras do simultaneous starts? It is such a long time since I've seen one that I cannot remember.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 08:41
  #50 (permalink)  
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Canberra story;

A friend recently showed me her Dad's logbook from his time as an RAF navigator. He had done a tour on Canberra's which included an exchange with the RAAF.

One flight somewhere remote, but I can't recall the exact location has a comment in the remarks column "hatch blew out and lost at altitude."

The following flight says in the remarks column "sent to retrace route and look for missing hatch"

Must have been a shock losing the hatch, which I assume was the entry door on the right side, but a boss with a sense of pragmatism, nay even humor? i.e. You lost it, you find it!

Modern day boss equivalent; 1. Suspension until inquiry. 2 Fill out health and safety risk assessment form. 3. Fill out environmental impact statement as a result of said lost hatch. 4. Fill out countless requisition forms for new hatch. 5. Attend hatch loss training course as refresher training. 6. Fill out and collect witness statements etc. 7. Subject crew to hatch closing and operating procedure check. 8. Grudgingly release crew to return to service after several months.

I think I've just finally achieved cynical, boring old fart status with this post, but hey, I do miss the simpler life.

Meanwhile, back to Canberras. They were beautiful weren't they?


Cheers all,

BSD.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 00:38
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Beautiful? The Canberra?

Asymmetric deathtrap more like!

To my generation of aspiring aspiring hole in the sky punchers it was THE posting you did not want after Valley. We hankered after the shiny new Phantoms, Buccaneers or Harriers. The odd weirdo wanted Lightnings, but who wants to spend 20 minutes with your face glued to a rubber visor for a living? No, we wanted the new breed, anything but that jet engined Blenheim that was amazingly still in service as a front line bomber facing Mig 19's, 21's, SAM 2's and numerous other nasties. That would have been like Battles facing ME109's and Flak 88's all over again. ANYTHING but the V Force of course...
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 14:33
  #52 (permalink)  

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On the subject of design, why were the engines so far apart?
... was it not also because at some stage of design or development a turbo-prop version was considered?

Or is that just an urban myth??? Or was it just the Meteor???? [see below]

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Old 26th Oct 2011, 14:53
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I had a pax flight in a Canberra from St Mawgan whilst on my Pilots OT course at BRNC Dartmouth (or was it later whilst holding between courses?) anyway it was 1977 or 1978

It was one of the target towing variety and I was seated on the lower starboard side of the aircraft without a proper window- think there was Pilot plus one plus me.

Despite a rather limited view of the world it was an enjoyable flight and I feel privileged to have flown in such a classic.

What exact version of the Canberra was this? Recall it had yellow/black stripes painted under the wings.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 15:31
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst Googling the still images of a Canberra incident mentioned in a post above from longer ron I came across a grainy clip of what is claimed to be a RAF Canberra crashing after take off following "catastrophic" loss of power. There appears to be no attempts to eject before impact.

BUT..I wonder if it was some sort of unmanned experimental flight-this somehow rings a bell to me???

Its on Liveleak.com - search Canberra.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 17:35
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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@ Pr00ne

I sympathise with your feelings about your choices for postings after training - by that time it had clearly been "relegated"after a much longer career than anyone could have thought of back in 1952 when it came into service (I'm not being patronising, you understand).
You at least had some interesting possibilities before you, which hardly existed "way back when" after the TSR2 fiasco - Tim McClellan among others has much to say on this, but what even he (ISTR) didn't mention that the idea of having all the magic Kit for all its intended roles fully singing and dancing from EIS was another factor in the failure of the "Canberra replacement" programme.
The Canberra actually "grew" into its various roles over a longish period as its potential versatility was realised (I know that the PR3 was almost contemporary with the B2).
I agree that by the '70s, it was quite likely to suffer a "Batlle -or Blenheim - vs Me 109s et al" if things got really hot, but that wasn't the fault of the aircraft, rather the impractical start its intended successor had, before the almost incredible MOD/Industry/politicos/Navy tangle set to work.
I hope you got your preferred choice - lots of people a few years earlier didn't have that luck! (and preferred to (re)join the civilian world than continue being ****ed rigid from a*****les to breakfast time.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 19:13
  #56 (permalink)  
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I had a pax flight in a Canberra from St Mawgan whilst on my Pilots OT course at BRNC Dartmouth (or was it later whilst holding between courses?) anyway it was 1977 or 1978

It was one of the target towing variety and I was seated on the lower starboard side of the aircraft without a proper window- think there was Pilot plus one plus me.

Despite a rather limited view of the world it was an enjoyable flight and I feel privileged to have flown in such a classic.

What exact version of the Canberra was this? Recall it had yellow/black stripes painted under the wings.
That would have been a TT18 operated by 7 Squadron. I had a trip with them too and was able to get out of my seat next to the nav and go and lie in the nose and stand next to the pilot.


Last edited by wub; 27th Oct 2011 at 14:14.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 19:14
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Or was it just the Meteor????
IIRC those were the original Trent engines.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 19:24
  #58 (permalink)  
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Whilst Googling the still images of a Canberra incident mentioned in a post above from longer ron I came across a grainy clip of what is claimed to be a RAF Canberra crashing after take off following "catastrophic" loss of power. There appears to be no attempts to eject before impact.

BUT..I wonder if it was some sort of unmanned experimental flight-this somehow rings a bell to me???
It was indeed unmanned, it was a drone at Woomera in Australia
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 23:27
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Don't forget that the Tornado was originally the MRCA. (Multi role combat aircraft). It really stood for Must Refurbish Canberra Again! It could give the Tornado a run for its money, look at the performance of the PR9. Queen of the skies.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 00:47
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Get me some traffic,


The Canberra could give the Tornado a run for it's money?

Perhaps the most ridiculous statement I have ever seen on this site, and THAT is saying something!

Mike Ramsden in the Straight and Level page in Flight was the originator of the Must Refurbish Canberra Again joke, along with Mother Rileys Cardboard Aeroplane.

No radar, no ejection seat for the nav, no gunsight, no defensive aids and slow. To think that deathtrap was in front line service in RAFG in 1972!

It was a disgrace in my F4 days when we took over from them, to compare it to the Tornado is just bizarre!
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