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HERC - XV198 Crash COLERN 1973

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HERC - XV198 Crash COLERN 1973

Old 5th Feb 2010, 05:18
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The evil hand of fate, is waiting to tap any of us on the shoulder, when things start to runaway from us. A study of most aircraft incidents and accidents will reveal that is seldom just one fact that leads to demise.

The practice of practicing live engine shut downs has not been used by most aircraft training units, mainly because of the time required to get the engine performing. The RAAF for example did not use this practice and instead would bring the engine back to flight idle. Which almost duplicates a loss of an engine, but allows very quick response if the engine is needed.

Fortunately the sad lose of these lives, allowed better systems and controls to be put in place, and the problem should not come back.

In todays situation of simulators being available without the high cost involved if something goes wrong.

But at the end of the day, military flying brings with it a much higher risk of danger, let us hope that the controls of today, keep the exposure to danger to the minium.


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Old 5th Feb 2010, 08:00
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Thanks Dengue Dude, I remember from the time (aeons ago, I know) that the word around the campfire was that the Power Lever was retarded 'past the slot', instead of pulling back the Engine Condition Lever. (I think the setting was Ground Stop; apologies if I am mistaken, it's been a year or two). I did not want to speculate here, thanks for the info. As you say, learning from mistakes is the vital thing with aviation.
Take your point too Herkman, sims have made a world of difference; keep on truckin' down there.
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Old 5th Feb 2010, 08:01
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RAF Thorney Island 1970. I was a UAS APO on Summer Camp and went along on a Herc CPT trip.

I certainly recall hurtling...well, rolling down the runway on one circuit when the LHS occupant reached up and pulled the #1 engine T-handle. It stopped PDQ and the co-pilot wrestled the thing into the sky quite successfully.

But lots of things have changed since then:

1. Practice asymmetric has largely been canned.
2. Most high-risk training is now done in simulators.

Oh and:

3. RAF Thorney Island has been transferred to the grunts.
4. UASs don't have proper summer camps any more.
5. UASs don't have many (or perhaps any) APOs any more.
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Old 5th Feb 2010, 08:23
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Ah Be Eagle. I DO have this MCT memory while I was at Lyneham: The A/C was on the final approach when there was a (false) engine fire warning. The AQM (before these good gents became Loadmasters) was drinking coffee, standing behind the Capt's seat. The coffee ended up down the captains neck, and although the fire warning was dealt with promptly and professionally, the air in the F/D turned very blue. I think the captain was heard to say, 'what do you think you are doing, you've spilt hot coffe down my neck'. (or word to that effect).
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Old 5th Feb 2010, 11:45
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The trees into which the aircraft crashed have grown back, however, you can still see a concave shaped tree canopy at the crash site. Not forgotten.
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Old 9th Dec 2010, 10:33
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C130 Crash

Hi my names Andrew
I was 10 years old at the time of this incident.
My dad was flt Sgt scott known as scootie and ran the Sargents Mess at RAF Colerne at that time.
I was at school on that day - my school was essentially at the end of the runway from where I spent much time watching the contless touch downs and take off manouvres.
On this day I was in the play ground when i heard the rev of engines from an incredibly low flying herc.
We all stopped playing and stared at the almost stationery plane in the air - the plane was so close we could see the co pilot move his hands in front of his face - the plane groaned as it slowly tilted left and slowly lost hieght - we watched it slowly decend and crash in the woods on the far side of the field......
Black smoke and aviation fuel still haunts me - our school bus took us home right passed the crash scene opposite the station church where I was a Choir Boy.
I have much more detail and if anyone would like to know more just ask..
The church is still there but closed.
I may be imagining it but when I visit periodically and stand right in the middle of where the crash was I am sure I can still get the odd wiff of aviation fuel.
I was aware one engine not working but then again that was a regular sight.
So sad...
A day I remember like yesterday.
Bless the families and kids who lost their dad's.
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Old 22nd Dec 2010, 00:33
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M2 Dude. Xv193 and its crew left us in May 1993 Glen Tilt. RIP.
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Old 22nd Dec 2010, 16:21
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I was waiting for my 'leaving the mob' medical at sick quarters at Lyneham when the news of Tony Barrett's crash came through.
I believe there was a theory that the real engine failure had something to do with concrete dust being absorbed from the ongoing resurfacing of the main apron.
I discussed the Pisa crash on the 'worst detachment' thread the other day.
IIRC Roger Pain was the co at Tromso and incurred the finger injury.The captain was allegedly a bit of a t****r.His name cropped-up once or twice in later years in a none too complimentary fashion.
I believe 6 were killed at Fairford,there being 2 cos on board.

Brian Wildey
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Old 22nd Dec 2010, 17:31
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Silly me!

I've only just noticed the date of this thread and posts; I hadn't seen it before.

I blame it on 5 hours in the car today collecting M-I-L, (broomstick not de-iced).
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Old 14th Jul 2012, 14:36
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My late father was the air loadmaster on-board XV198 when it crashed into Lucknam woods.

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Old 14th Jul 2012, 23:53
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Condolences belatedly. If it helps, and as an ex Hercules OCU instructor, I can tell you that 'they' listened and the patent lunacy of slotting engines for practice at critical times was stopped.

Your dad was an innocent bystander and just in the wrong place. Probably no consolation at all, but the teaching of this particular accident undoubtedly saved a lot of lives subsequently.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 10:09
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What a moving and equally thought provoking thread!
My late condolences also to you Marthodg!

It is a great pity that there is no memorial to these men!
Not that this should make any difference at all to it,
however, it clearly seems to be a turning point in SOP
and therefore quite significant!

It never ceases to amaze me how in our 'connected internet' world
so many people can now be afforded the opportunity to share 'their' memories, thoughts
and feelings with so many others related to incidents such as this!

Not only is it extremely useful to exchange knowledge and experience etc
But I personally feel can be very therapeutic to some of us who can be
unexpectedly caught up in what can be a life changing event!

At the time, the buzz is overwhelming and the system (body) deals with it at the time
but afterwards, sometimes many years, there are still memories, triggers
smells, noises etc that still affect people! Once the event is over everyone there
goes away from the scene back to 'normality' and many questions never ever
get answered, however, the questions never go away, they sit there in the dark
waiting for the next time something reminds the owner!

I believe these forums and our modern connected age help tremendously to
answer many questions and also link together many people who
in either a large or small way were affected by something like this where at any other
time in our history, reconnecting like this would have been utterly impossible!

I trust my comments and thoughts have not offended anyone?
They were certainly not intended to!
RIP all those onboard!

Last edited by Snapshot; 15th Jul 2012 at 10:10.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 12:45
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It's 40 year's ago now and his grave is in the Military area of Lyneham's cemetary (Walter Charles Natt) RAF. my late mother is also buried (cremation) at her request in the same plot.
He was promoted to Warrant Officer, Master Air Loadmaster just prior to the accident and turned a Commision down twice to settle down with his family in Wiltshire and he was a keen Angler (loved fishing and smokeing his pipe).

Martin, his son.

Last edited by marthodg; 15th Jul 2012 at 12:47.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 13:18
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I was on the flight engineers course when this accident occurred. Prior to that, I had just been posted from Colerne where I was and engine basher before applying for aircrew.

I used to date a girl who lived in the Thickwood quarters and often walked the path close to where the aircraft impacted, so know that area intimately.

I hope that this thread has belatedly given you some closure. So many accidents are just that and often nothing major comes from it. More often than not they are interlaced with clear examples of human error.

This crew did nothing wrong. At the time, the training captain was only following SOP for the time and the aircraft suffered a technical failure (fortunately quite rare in this day and age). I suppose the point I am making is nobody was to BLAME per se, it wasn't negligence, it wasn't a 'cowboy' pilot being macho - it was simply an awful tragedy.

And, as been said above, lessons were learned - for all time on RAF Hercules. The SOP was changed and crews were not subject to this particular vulnerability, perhaps it was not as 'in vain' as most accidents. A very high price, too high a price to pay for all those involved.

If you wish to discuss this anymore, feel free to PM me and I will tell you anything else that I can or we can talk on Skype. I used to use this accident to teach crews about the massive forces involved in this kind of engine/propeller combination when not powered i.e. engine running down.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 13:23
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It staggers me that after all the Meteor and Canberra asymmetric accidents, nobody had figured out by the 70s that shutting down an engine at low level was not a wise thing to do.

Last edited by India Four Two; 15th Jul 2012 at 13:24. Reason: Grammer
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 20:40
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What puzzled me (I was on the OCU at the time) was that the lesson learnt from earlier accidents hadn't crossed over. I recall that several years earlier a Wessex helicopter was hovering with one engine shut down when the other failed. The winchman was badly injured as the aircraft effectively landed on top of him. By the time I went on to the Wessex in '67, the procedure was to reduce power on the "failed" engine so that it was not giving any assistance, but was available if the other one decided to quit.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 03:20
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I think it was the mid eighties when the RAAF lost a 707 in Bass Strait with all hands during a double assymetric practice. QANTAS, operating 707's at the time, were horrified that the RAAF conducted this practice airbourne and not the sim.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 08:49
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It was indeed an awful day on 48. Later simulations at the C130 HQ at Marietta demonstrated that, in the given circumstances, there was nothing this poor crew could have done with a double engine shut down some 30 kts below Vmca2. As has been pointed out, we covered the eventuality in simulator exercises by teaching throttling back the opposite outer engine and hoping to crash land straight ahead with wings level. The same principle was also taught in the possibility of a single engine failure below Vmca1 on a Tac T/O. As a PS to the number of Hercs lost in asymmetric training, (not the Tromso one), we remember in 1974/5 XV 181 crashing on Thorney Island on CoPilot training asymmetric landing - he just lost it and the QFI couldn't rescue the situation. They all walked away, but the Fire Section spent most of their foam on putting out the ensuing grass fire - thus leading to a review of the Long Grass Policy in respect of Bird Strike prevention. However, XV181 was rebuilt, and may still be flying, I don't know.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 16:46
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However, XV181 was rebuilt, and may still be flying, I don't know.

I think XV181 is now flying with the Austrian Air force.

I was on the 71 MU Bicester crash recovery team that moved the aircraft from the airfield to the 'Open Air' hangar at Thorney Island in 1974 using Track-Jacks in place of the nose undercarriage. I was also on the 71 MU team that dismantled the aircraft and transported it by road to Marshalls of Cambridge.

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Old 17th Jul 2012, 10:35
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And, as been said above, lessons were learned - for all time on RAF Hercules. The SOP was changed and crews were not subject to this particular vulnerability, perhaps it was not as 'in vain' as most accidents. A very high price, too high a price to pay for all those involved.
Sadly, an almost identical incident occurred to XV180 at Fairford on 24th March 1969 resulting in the loss of the first RAF C130, yet it was not until this second incident 4 years later, that anything was done to prevent T handling engines immediately after take-off.

I drove past Colerne later on the day of the accident. The only thing recogniseable was the tail section of the aircraft, and a few paper coffee cups hanging in the trees. The road was not shut, and there was little sign of any activity.

Last edited by Whopity; 17th Jul 2012 at 19:22.
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