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Stolen military aircraft

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Stolen military aircraft

Old 30th Dec 2018, 09:17
  #121 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
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Well done, Mr. Knott. Fingers crossed for a success full follow-up, providing more answers.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 10:20
  #122 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,813
It sounds blindingly obvious, why hasn’t anyone asked for a copy of the 29(F) Sqn F540 Ops Record Book (ORB) and also the QRA Duty Force Commander (DFC) log for the date of the alleged event? Both are likely to have been preserved by the Air Historical Branch (AHB) and even if secret then this is coming up for 50 years ago and should be releasable in redacted form. Also a FOI request on the numbers of Red Top missiles fired may also see an anomaly if a missile really was fired - which I really doubt in this event, but Rick may have got confused if there was a QRA missile practice firing in Aberporth around the same time. So a search of the STCAAME logs from RAF Valley or Llanbedr may also put another piece of the jigsaw together.

There are so many things “fishy” about the quality of the BBC article:

There is an account of that Wattisham operation in a 2011 book called The Lightning Boys. In it, former RAF pilot Rick Groombridge details how an American exchange pilot took over his aircraft at Wattisham to take part in the Meyer mission and was rumoured to have returned to base minus a missile. Groombridge declined to be interviewed but stands by his story. Nash, however, is adamant that both planes returned to base with all four missiles intact - he should know, he explains, as he was the chief armourer and was responsible for inspecting the weapons and removing the firing plugs.

A few weeks after the incident, Nash was sent on a course where he met a fellow armourer from RAF Chivenor in Devon, who told him that at least one Hawker Hunter was scrambled from his base. Allegedly, the Hunter pilot had returned to Chivenor minus missiles and was met by the RAF police and taken away for a secret debrief along with his plane's camera gun. Nash says he keeps an open mind about the accuracy of the story but observes that Chivenor, being about 150 miles from where Meyer's Hercules went down in the Channel, was about 35 minutes flying time away for a Hunter.
The Hunter never had missiles, let alone the ones at Chivenor, that were a part of Phase 2 Flying Training for tactical weapons conversion. The ‘rumour’ at Wattisham is probably just that, and sells books, so I am not surprised that Rick G+10 sticks to the story of the rumour.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 12:42
  #123 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
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29 Sqn's ORB has been available at Kew since 1998 No 29 Squadron: Operations Record Book. With appendices Opened in 1998 The National Archives but there doesn't seem to be one for STCAAME. It may be part of Valley's ORB, but that seems not to be at Kew either. [Insert conspiracy theory here].
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 16:22
  #124 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
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This report on Hercules from Mildenhall from the BBC:

Found: The plane wreck that could solve a 50-year-old mystery
By Emma Jane Kirby BBC News
30 December 2018
BBC web news
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 00:51
  #125 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 213
Was hoping a post in this thread might have touched on the Russian pilots who were out of Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed years ago.

A couple of years ago I got hold of a book called "Outlaws Inc" by Matt Potter, a journalist who managed to fly with a group of them who claimed they just kept the planes and went freelance delivering aid etc, etc, around some of the world's hot spots.
It was a great read and one of those books that are hard to put down.

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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 07:16
  #126 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,589
My take on the incident is similar to that of TT. Starting the engines of a C130 of that era is not straightforward. You have to know how to start the GTC/ATM combo (an early form of APU) and then start the engines in turn. Not a problem of course if you are trained in these things. Taxy is aided by the nosewheel steering. He may well have been cleared to do this. Our groundcrew never were.
Once on the runway, fifty flap, full throttle, keep straight with the nosewheel steering until the rudders bite and she flies.. Gear up flaps up and away you go.
Reports say he was intoxicated so perhaps this is when his problems started as he is now in unfamiliar territory. He may not have set the pressurisation up so as he climbed hypoxia could have become an issue especially with alcohol in the bloodstream. Mishandling the fuel panel could have had a hand in it as could unfamiliarity with the autopilot .
As for shooting him down, the only suspects are the RAF/USAF. My take is once the C130 became airborne there would have been a delay before this fact was reported up the chain. More delay as the usual buck passing took place and the decision to launch a QRA a/c. More delay whist 'they' decide what to do and who is to do it. All this while the C130 is 'speeding' away. Was he tracked on radar ? If a fighter did catch up with him then surely he would have had to carry out a vis ident to ensure that he had the correct target. More time ! Then under then current ROE he would surely need permission to open fire. This again would probably have to come from on high. Would the C130 be well beyond the channel by then ?
All speculation of course, and I was 'only' a loadmaster on the RAF C130K for 30 years not a pilot. But I know I could have nicked one of ours as I knew how to start the a/c and had flown it several times (and held a PPL and IMC rating) in the sim so I offer these thoughts for comment by those with better info.

Last edited by ancientaviator62; 2nd Jan 2019 at 10:09.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 16:20
  #127 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Newcastle
Age: 48
Posts: 553
Daily Mail update and gives no location of aircraft, but here you are....

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