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Shot down Auster

Old 10th May 2002, 09:41
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Shot down Auster

Has anyone got any gen on a pilotless Auster that was shot down by the RAN and failed to be shot down by the RAAF. I think Meteors and Sea Furies were involved.
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Old 10th May 2002, 17:43
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Bankstown some time in the 50s.

Teacher with PPL prop starts Auster with throttle open.

Auster takes off by itself.

Circles up over Sydney gradually getting higher and circles getting bigger. It was 'coasting out' about Manly and 'coasting in' about Bondi apparently

Powers decide to shoot it down into the sea.

Wirraway 'scrambled' from Williamstown with an erk sitting in rear cockpit holding a Bren Gun.

When they finally catch up to Auster they are over 10000' and it's getting bloody cold

Erk's hands sticking to Bren and too cold to shoot anything

Wirraway returns to Willytown.

Sqdn Leader Max Holdsworth scrambled in Meteor from Willytown.

Finds said Auster......lines it up in his sights and........all four cannon jam after about 1 round each. Tries to tip it over a la V1 flying bomb with no success. Runs low on fuel and RTB.

2 Sea Furies scrambled from Nowra, flown by RN exchange fellas apparently, MANY firing passes later Auster rolls over and dives into the sea.........probably committed suicide

MANY, MANY questions asked in Parliament

footnote: Max 'The Axe' did my Instructors Rating Check ride in the 80s.........he was a gruff old coote and failed me He firmly believed a % of us young blokes must fail and found fault with an explanation for stalling that had been drilled into me by the CFI and which, while not 100% aerodynamically correct was an easy way for new pilots to grasp the concept.........and had been accepted by Oz examiners for over a decade that this CFI had been putting up candidates........CAA admitted the mistake but too tough I must do the test again.....following week again with Max and I'm so nervous I stuff the briefing completely......fly ok and Max passes me with the comment "You'll be an excellent teacher"

footnote 2: Recently met a friend of my mothers who flew P40s with Max in PNG......77 Sqdn from memory. Seriously wonderful old guy who, in his 80s, has a memory as sharp as a tack and lots of good stories.......some about Max Totally agrees that he is a grumpy bug-ger and was when he was young too.

Still anybody who survived in P40s against Zeros.......and triumphed often enough in P40s against Zeros is a cool dude......I 1/2 regret the time I yelled out to him(long after the IR Test) "hey Max.......I heard your weapon didn't work" .........He smiled and gruffly told me to "FARK OFF"
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