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LABS system trials

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LABS system trials

Old 13th Jan 2008, 22:00
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LABS system trials

On behalf of a relative I have been asked to find out some information on a test flying accident to a Buccaneer at West Freugh in 1966. I have found most of the info I need but the purpose of the flight is given as LABS system trials.

Would anybody be able to tell me what this was.

Thanks

g45
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Old 13th Jan 2008, 22:16
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LABS stands for Low Altitude Bombing System or Lob Bombing for delivering a nuclear weapon.

The A/c approached the target at low altitude and at a pre-determined point pulled up sharply. At a given point in the climb the bomb is released and is lobbed towards the target. The A/c continues to climb executes a roll out at the top of the climb and heads off back the way it came thereby escaping from the effects of the bomb.
I'm sure Pilots who carried out this manouvre will give you more details.
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 11:50
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grow45 perhaps you could share what info you have managed to glean about the accident. I was at West Freugh that day preparing for a WE177 trial and although the Initial speculation was that the pilot got a seagull in the face, we never did hear the result of the BOI.
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 18:17
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Derek Collier-Webb's excellent "UK Flight Testing Accidents 1940-1971" (Air Britain 2002 ISBN 0 85130 331 1) deals with this accident, and says:

30 June 1966 Buccaneer S.1 XK528
Flt Lt W.C. Mackinson (Graduate No.21 Course) and Flt Lt C.M. Pridmore, Experimental Flying Department, RAE Farnborough from West Freugh. LABS system trial on Luce Bay range. Fuel lines ruptured by a fatigue failure of the fourth stage compressor disc of the starboard engine. The engine disintegrated, escaping fuel exploded, causing the main fuel tanks to rupture and ignite, damaging the control runs and stunning the crew. The aircraft on fire, rolled left and crashed into the sea, 3nm southeast of West Freugh. (refs 2, 44 &77). 2 killed. Cat 5.
References are as follows:
2 MoD(PE) Major Aircraft Accident Case File Index
44 Empire Test Pilots' School - List of Graduates 1943 to 1972 - A&AEE 1973
77 Courts of Inquiry & Boards of Inquiry, and Precis of Aircraft Accidents - Various.
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 21:28
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Info I had was:-

June 30, 1966
TAKE-OFF POINT: West Freugh
CRASH LOCATION: Luce Bay, Wigtownshire
AIRCRAFT TYPE & SERIAL: Blackburn (Hawker Siddeley) Buccaneer S Mk 1 XK528
CREW FATALITIES: Flt Lt W.C. Mackinson, P; Flt Lt C.M. Pridmore, navigator; both of Experimental Flying Unit, RAE Farnborough
PURPOSE OF TEST FLIGHT: LABS system trials
ACCIDENT DETAIL: Fuel line fatigue failure, ruptured in starboard engine, caused major fire and disintegration of engine. Main fuel tanks ruptured and exploded, aircraft rolled left into sea

This was taken from http://www.davidsiddall.com/testflyi...rial/index.htm and this looks to have been largely taken from the book BossEyed refers to.

Thanks for the responses

g45
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Old 16th Jan 2008, 13:19
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Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.
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Old 2nd Apr 2010, 15:01
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Buccaneer SMK1 XK528

I've just found this thread and am fascinated. Flt Lt Mackison was my father and so obviously this enquiry has intrigued me - would love to know, who is the relative making enquiries? As far as I know, the only surviving relatives are my mother, brother and myself and as I have a copy of the accident report, we are all aware of the details involved in this case. Any comments would be of interest.

Also this is a useful forum to highlight the correct spelling of my father's name. It should be MACKISON and not MACKINSON. This error has caused distress to the family, especially my mother, as it is incorrectly recorded in the test flying memorial held at Farnborough Air Sciences Museum. David Siddall has acknowledged the error and I understand a footnote has been made (what a pity the memory of this amazing man is relegated to a footnote).
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Old 2nd Apr 2010, 19:27
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Duggiemack

I was the originator of the thread. The query was on behalf of a relative of mine rather than a relative of one of the crew. I apologise for the misleading wording of the original query and any distress caused.

g45
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Old 3rd Apr 2010, 09:20
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Thanks g45 - no distress from the thread, just intrigue ! Hope you found the details you needed.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 05:07
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buccaneer crash 30/6/66

I was the sole eyewitness to the crash,less than half a mile. There inaccuracies to some posts. For instance the site was little more than 6nm SE of west freugh, just south of the mull of sunniness. More details on requesgt.
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Old 9th Feb 2015, 17:36
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Farnborough the story of RAE

I've been reading an old copy of this book :-

Farnborough: Story of the Royal Aircraft Establishment: Amazon.co.uk: Reginald Turnill: 9780709185840: Books Farnborough: Story of the Royal Aircraft Establishment: Amazon.co.uk: Reginald Turnill: 9780709185840: Books






On page 22 it says:-

"A Buccaneer making a run across Wigg Bay at RAE West Freugh blew up with extreme violence at low altitude, revealing the hazard of stray radio-signals to explosive detonating-circuits"




Is this referring to the same accident - where the facts might not have been know at the time to the author (although the book was written in 1980) or is it a completely different event??
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Old 12th Jun 2016, 17:45
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Buccaneer crash summer 1966

The plane was skimming the waves travelling nor nor West due West of the Cock Inn.a large gout of flame shot out of the right-hand engine housing with a loud explosion sending gulls from the cliffs to the sky. The buccaneer slid to the left and slipped into the sea which was dead calm with hardly a disturbance in the water. I remained in the area for little while but nothing came to the surface. I then rowed to the Cock Inn and raised the alarm and corrected the search area. Shackletons and a wessex were up by then but way off target. Court of inquiry investigation that evening.
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 22:09
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Originally Posted by duggiemack View Post
I've just found this thread and am fascinated. Flt Lt Mackison was my father and so obviously this enquiry has intrigued me - would love to know, who is the relative making enquiries? As far as I know, the only surviving relatives are my mother, brother and myself and as I have a copy of the accident report, we are all aware of the details involved in this case. Any comments would be of interest.

Also this is a useful forum to highlight the correct spelling of my father's name. It should be MACKISON and not MACKINSON. This error has caused distress to the family, especially my mother, as it is incorrectly recorded in the test flying memorial held at Farnborough Air Sciences Museum. David Siddall has acknowledged the error and I understand a footnote has been made (what a pity the memory of this amazing man is relegated to a footnote).
Hi, over 10 years later I have also found this thread fascinating! I am the granddaughter of Flt Lt Charles Malcolm Pridmore, know as Malcolm. I am planning on visiting Luce Bay in the near future and this thread has be very useful. I believe at the time my Grandmother was told that it was an error made by the Flt Ltís rather that a failure. There is also a possibility however this may just be something that was told to my mother by my grandmother to try to simplify a very horrible situation, my grandmother was pregnant at the time of the crash with my aunt and my mother was only 2/3 years old herself.

I found the truth out a few years ago via a book my father found (whom was not related to Malcolm but very interesting in the Army and RAF in general) but have never given it my own real research and it is been very interesting. Duggiemack you mention an accident report and I would like to find out more about it?!
I hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these hard times.
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 00:14
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Originally Posted by Isobel Tinson View Post
Hi, over 10 years later I have also found this thread fascinating! I am the granddaughter of Flt Lt Charles Malcolm Pridmore, know as Malcolm. I am planning on visiting Luce Bay in the near future and this thread has be very useful. I believe at the time my Grandmother was told that it was an error made by the Flt Ltís rather that a failure. There is also a possibility however this may just be something that was told to my mother by my grandmother to try to simplify a very horrible situation, my grandmother was pregnant at the time of the crash with my aunt and my mother was only 2/3 years old herself.

I found the truth out a few years ago via a book my father found (whom was not related to Malcolm but very interesting in the Army and RAF in general) but have never given it my own real research and it is been very interesting. Duggiemack you mention an accident report and I would like to find out more about it?!
I hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these hard times.
I just quoted this post since no posts whatsoever are showing in the Flight testing Forum. Maybe that's by design however it seems a bit harsh to hide posts only about 10 weeks old when the forum has so little traffic.
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