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RAF strength 1953

Old 23rd Apr 2022, 21:05
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Further to the losses reported in my post # 55 above. It was discussed in detail seventeen years ago on PPRuNe here: Meteor Accident Statistics.

The book "Broken Wings" published by Air Britain, written by James J Halley MBE (ISBN 9780851302904), has an extensive record of RAF post war losses including the following:
1945 592 a/c lost 638 fatalities
1946 1014 677
1947 420 176
1948 424 205
1949 438 224
1950 380 238
1951 490 280
1952 507 318
1953 483 333
1954 452 283
1955 305 182
1956 270 150
1957 233 139
1958 128 87
1959 102 59
1960 80 46
1961 74 55
1962 68 50
1963 60 41
1964 62 33
1965 46 71
1966 62 33
1967 60 60
1968 51 43
1969 31 22
1970 36 25
1971 40 72
Quite remarkable figures, but take into account the fact that in the early to mid 1950's the RAF strength was, I believe, just over 6,000 aircraft.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 21:29
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Originally Posted by By George View Post
In the first photo, top back row, there is even a Bristol 170-31 Freighter, you can just make out the round nose. At the very back out of sight is a good choice in my opinion.
A RNZAF example - probably left for the UK when the King's death was announced to make sure it got there in time..........

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Old 24th Apr 2022, 07:22
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which King?
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Old 24th Apr 2022, 12:10
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
which King?
George VI

Anticipation of an upcoming Coronation Review and a long time to get there.......
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Old 24th Apr 2022, 12:40
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which King?
Your usual level of sarcasm, I see!
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Old 24th Apr 2022, 18:00
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Brakedwell,
Thanks for putting me straight on the Hastings, it didnt get there on its looks poor old soul. As I said in my post I have nothing but respect for those of you flying in that era , the long list of RAF aircraft lost in that one year in mind blowing . I know we laugh at health and safety today but its clearly better than the alternative. The losses on Meteors are probably more than if they had actually been in a modest combat .
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Old 24th Apr 2022, 19:23
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Accident figures for RAF Write-offs, 1953.


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Old 24th Apr 2022, 21:09
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I think the actual number for that year was around 150 (still a lot, though!).
Close enough for a cigar, I think, if only I smoked ...
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 07:00
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IIRC the first "fly by" on that day was of a Tiger Moth piloted by a young Quentin Oswell on a qualifying cross country. Later a Wing Commander, "Q" will be remembered fondly by many..
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 07:03
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"which King?
Your usual level of sarcasm, I see! "

Moi????????
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 09:50
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That era is abit early fro mass air travel but fast forward to early 60s and some years are really alarming for passenger travel , some years see several 707s/DC8s crash, sometimes two or more from the same airline, Pan Am had a very bad spell around them. Add the aging prop jobs to the not fully understood jets a month without a major plane crash was unusual.

I imagine its the same with RAF and other airforces that the mix of fledging jets and aging props was pretty deadly.
As scary as our figures are the USAF crew must have been a dangerous occupation back then. Throw in the additional hazards of Carrier Ops and the situation was possibly even worse for naval aviation, I believe some types like Seahawk and Sea Vixen were very deadly.

One can only image what it was like in the Russian air force where political pressures more intense and media coverage close to nil.

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Old 25th Apr 2022, 10:02
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Originally Posted by CAEBr View Post
A RNZAF example - probably left for the UK when the King's death was announced to make sure it got there in time..........
Wouldn't have been this one, too late I suppose!

NZ 5906 at Gan
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 11:07
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"That era is a bit early fro mass air travel but fast forward to early 60s and some years are really alarming for passenger travel , some years see several 707s/DC8s crash, sometimes two or more from the same airline, "

Flying Magazine 2017

"over the last 5 years flying is 8 times safer than the 10 years before and 20 times safer than 20 years ago"
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 11:32
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Originally Posted by Warmtoast View Post
Wouldn't have been this one, too late I suppose!

NZ 5906 at Gan
No, it was NZ5909 of 41Sqn
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 13:00
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
........I believe some types like Seahawk and Sea Vixen were very deadly.....
.
For the period 1951 to 1962 Seahawks crashed /written off - 93
For the period 1958 to 1970 Sea Vixens crashed./wriiten off - 52

One type of training during the 1950s that sounds highly dangerous was night aerobatics.

An instructor based at Cranwell, flying Vampires, recalls "that night aerobatics were a feature of the training syllabus of those days.....in their final night test the cadets would strive to outdo one another.....as a flight commander I spent many a final night test being alternatively blacked out and/or terrified by some of their efforts....."
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 16:49
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The totals I find surprising are for the lighter types such as the Auster, Chipmunk and Proctor. Even the poor old Tiger Moth had 8 accidents. Was there a common cause for these? Possibly there are reasons in the civil world but in a professional Air Force?
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 18:49
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I hope that in introducing this theme I made it clear I did not think this was in anyway unique to the RAF because that si certainly not the case. Doing a little research on military accidents of the time the USAF which at the time must have been an immense organisation , had some nightmarish spells, occasions where for several days in a row there were fatal accidents involving USAF /USN aircraft. They had two fatal B47 accidents on the same day in the late 50s

Of course tragic as it was these people seldom died in vain because engineers and aircrew learned lessons and over time things improved radically as has been pointed out earlier. the B47 definitely seems to be the plane to avoid if you wanted along life and I suppose the combination of size, sharply swept wings, low power low reliability engines (with 6 to go wrong per ship) and primitive ejection seats was something of a perfect storm when knowledge and experience of these innovations was in its infancy.
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Old 25th Apr 2022, 21:16
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Originally Posted by CAEBr View Post
No, it was NZ5909 of 41Sqn
You mean this one:

NZ5909 with Sgt Henry Moon


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Old 25th Apr 2022, 21:26
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Originally Posted by VictorGolf View Post
The totals I find surprising are for the lighter types such as the Auster, Chipmunk and Proctor. Even the poor old Tiger Moth had 8 accidents. Was there a common cause for these? Possibly there are reasons in the civil world but in a professional Air Force?
Re Tiger Moths: Like here at RAF Thornhill, S. Rhodesia in 1951.



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Old 26th Apr 2022, 09:00
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Brakedwell - re. your #60 - I remember your friend from my time on Bevs. He was, indeed, constantly bemoaning his fate as a Bev 'co-joe'. It was the time before the right-seaters had 'leg-and-leg' privileges and the 'agriculuiral' nose-wheel steering extension. Do you recall his culinary preference ? Processed pea and sugar sandwiches ! Our AQMs raised eyebrows at that !
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