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Eye Witness

Old 6th Dec 2012, 12:19
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Wessex
Posts: 480
For me I have witnessed 3 mid-airs involving gliders - 1 at Lasham (non fatal), 1 over Cranwell North (2 syndicate partners killed in the glider - the Robin Aiglon landed Ok Southside) & 2 gliders at Colerne (2 killed - 1 a syndicate partner).
I always ensure my students keep a hell of a good lookout & others are wary of me joining their syndicate!
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 12:26
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: preston
Age: 73
Posts: 370
Beach club in Tripoli, Libya 1964. I watched a F105 Thunderchief fly into the sea just off the coast. Not survived.

1981 Somewhere in North German plain watched a Dutch NF5 I was controlling fly straight into the ground. Not survived.

March 1983 Soltau Germany. A Dutch F16 I was controlling had an engine failure right over my head. I heard the surge sounds and the engine rundown very clearly. The pilot ejected with minor injuries. I was so close my Landrover was alongside him when he landed. Took him to the local hospital and he was back flying within a few weeks.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 13:04
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: in the training office
Posts: 242
On my SAR long course at RAF Valley, I was going out to do some drums with "Father Christmas". We were talking about using various methods to help find the wind which included smoke.

At that very moment I spot a big plume of black smoke coming down the starboard side of the aircraft. "Just like that?" I enquire.

We land on next to pilot who had ejected from and had landed adjacent to what was now the smouldering wreckage of his Hawk, and went across to see how he was. "Hello mate, what's your name?" asks my instructor.
"I'm lucky" was the reply. "Yes, I know you're bloody lucky, but what's your name?"

"You no understand... my name is Umlucky" replied the Foreign and Commonwealth student.

Last edited by Adam Nams; 6th Dec 2012 at 13:05.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 16:51
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: West London
Posts: 353
At Biggin Hill in the mid 70s I saw a Bell Jetranger (doing pleasure flights) take-off into the underside of a landing Tiger Moth.

The T-34C at Mildenhall
The 'Vintage Pair' at Mildenhall
The Italian G-91 at Mildenhall (it came down at the edge of a camp-site where we were camping for the weekend, and we made a few trips down to visit the 'guard airman' that evening to keep him supplied with beers and hot food).

The MiG 29s at Fairford
The G-222 at Fairford
A hot-air balloon at Fairford; very soon after lift-off (evening launch), it drifted across the car-park at low-level, and came down on top of a car - does that one count?

The Sukhoi at Paris in the late 90s. (Not sure if this one counts, we were several miles away at our hotel, watching the display from the balcony; I went back into the room to get another beer, heard a shout, came out and saw the plume of smoke).
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 17:40
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,170
In East Anglia in the fifties and early sixties if there weren't three pillars of smoke on the horizon by Monday lunchtime the week hadn't really got started.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 19:48
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 77
Posts: 6,364
Fortunately the only accident I have actually witnessed was a schoolmaster/CCF officer and former Spitfire pilot crunch the corps primary glider on the school field. Seen the aftermath of a few - and lost good friends as have many of us. RIP
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 21:54
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Thailand
Age: 78
Posts: 527
crashes two.

was serving on 8Sqdn in Aden ,one of a pair of our Hunters doing a sonic boom display didnt pull out and crashed into the "Aden levys"barracks.Flying tail jammed ,fatal.
Next one was at Oakington when one of our Varsitys landed without wheels down and came to a halt opposite us on the main runway,instructor was well away before the student finally fell out the stbd window and followed the QFI!!Repaired and flew again.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 04:20
  #48 (permalink)  
Thought police antagonist
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Where I always have been...firmly in the real world
Posts: 1,114
The lighter side of accidents.

Bruggen gliding. Some holes had been dug in the South side taxiway adjacent to the launch strip with those scaffold pole barriers in position as a warning.

Enter our hero, a product of Sandhurst with a Degree in Law and, the one that saved his neck, Divinity. The launch point is a bit busy, but the rest of the airfield, is, well, remarkably, from obstructions.

The cross wind leg gave a hint as to what was to come...the nose rose and fell several times and the final turn was a credible example of how to enter an incipient spin. You could see the "planning process" taking place here.

A bit of wing waggling and he established himself on the final approach. With impeccable accuracy, he performs a near perfect flare and short landing....... with the assistance of said barrier poles.

He was flying a Swallow which, fortunately for him, had the pitot mounted in front of the cockpit and which absorbed most of the impact. He emerged slightly bemused, but unable to understand quite how, and why, the accident had transpired.

However, given that he had previously demonstrated by way of recovery from a cable break at about 400 ft, what was a near perfect chandelle... rather than recover airspeed etc, then it was only a question of when, not if, as he duly demonstrated.

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 7th Dec 2012 at 04:26.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 07:18
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 15
Just One.

Watched my lead have an engine failure on a transit last year. Saw him all the way to the ground where he promptly flipped on his back. Was convinced he was dead until 5 mins later he emerged from the wreck and started waving!

Delayed the season a while until they found the cause, no locktite on the smallest nut you can imagine in the FCU.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 08:46
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 77
Posts: 6,364
Watton, Canberra T17 fairly new. No barrier, runway 6,000ft or so and a new school not far beyond the end of it. P.... D.......e starts take-off run, hits bird so puts it back, not going to stop so twists the little collar and pulls the gear up. Aeroplane slides down runway in a shower of dust and sparks, hatches and canopy coming off (no zero-zero seats then). Crew evacuate and beat hasty retreat until PD stopped by station commander (either John Hurry or Guy Hogan): "Did you have to pull the xxxxx gear up?" ISTR afterwards they found the bird had gone down the outside of the engine cowling.

Last edited by Wander00; 7th Dec 2012 at 10:12.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 08:54
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Gold Sector
Age: 67
Posts: 189
Lightning Gutersloh

I watched XM 968 (Q) go in on 24 Feb 77. There was a lot of energetic shaking the jet around to try to get the main wheels down, they were just hanging there half deployed. Then time and fuel ran out and the two chaps banged out okay. "What's it going to do now?" Said a Cpl nearby (to much laughter).
The jet went vertical and then dropped a wing got some lift and headed off over the station boundary and into a field. I've got some poor 'Instamatic' photos somewhere.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 11:12
  #52 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
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Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
Age: 72
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I watched XM 968 (Q) go in on 24 Feb 77.
One remembers two things about that:

1. Nearly being rubbed out by Harry Staish at warp factor lots in his staff car, going the wrong way round the one-way system to get out of the main gate to the crash site! (why?).

2. Story from a mate who was at home on Bottom Patch. Wifey at kitchen sink looking out of window.

"Dave, they don't normally do parachuting on the Station do they??" bless
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 12:58
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 77
Posts: 6,364
TTH - Just LOVE the "wifey" part of the story
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 15:48
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hove
Age: 69
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Fairford, Mig29's...I was walking around the static display taking some photos when it happened. My attention was drawn to the sudden quietness so I turned round just in time to see two of the ejections. Also saw ShyTorque get airbourne.

Fairford, G222...look mum, no nose wheel.

Shoreham Hurricane and two years later a glider. At both I was working in to police control for the events and went from very quiet (I had been taking photos out of a window) to very busy in a few seconds. At least we had police commanders with brains and not brawn who let us controllers get on with our tasks without too much hassle.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 16:47
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: East Sussex
Age: 83
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I have seen too many and I don't feel inclined to count them. I still get flashbacks from some. In only one did the crew survive and that was the Farnborough Buffalo. At the time I thought it was non survivable and was turning away in disgust when ( glory be) they all clambered out of the top hatch. Went and had a few more bevvies courtesy of Mr Boeing to celebrate!
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 17:01
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester
Age: 42
Posts: 615
Saw the '85 British Airtours accident from the old brickworks, which was not nice as a young kid.

Also the Spitfire at Woodford, another horrible loss.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 20:28
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: nr Ely, Cambs
Age: 58
Posts: 370
Jet Ranger/Tiger Moth BH 1970's

GoN, Remember that incident well, I was a 13 yr old cadet helping out at the show with the pleasure flights. Bus I was sitting in was covered in Avtur fron the Jet Ranger. Awful for the helio occupants and their families but the Tiger Moth crew survived.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 00:54
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Dublin,Ireland
Posts: 291
Hi all,
I remember a little Team Minimax homebuilt crashing almost on the numbers, during gusty crosswinds at the Cranfield PFA Rally (about 1998). It sounded exactly like some one kicking a tea chest when it went it. The pilot survived, with a broken arm, I think. Also seen the compulsory Yak-52 gear-up. Also tidied up, during service in the Irish Air Corps, after Marchetti and Cessna wheel-ups, prop strikes, inadvertant landing in ploughed fields, wire strikes, ditchings, overruns.....I guess if you stay in this business long enough you'll see something spectacular once in a while.

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Old 8th Dec 2012, 02:42
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fragrant Harbour
Posts: 4,755
17 year old son of a Vulcan Nav catcheas a wing on the ground during a winch launch of the K18 glider he's flying. The glider is totalled, but young Dave is fine - just a few scratches. However, the emergency sevices are alerted and the ambulance arrives. But they don't go away empty handed - they have to take Dave's mother to hospital suffering from shock!

Dave was in a much worse condition the next morning - but for an entirely different reason.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 03:50
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: on the beach
Posts: 359
Four, if we're counting, the Bristol 173 at Filton Air Day, the Gannet at Cribbs Causeway, and the Farnborough Breguet. Alas the latter two were fatal. So sad.

The fourth was me in one of those bungee launched A-frame glider things. The c of g was wrong and I went up like a rocket, stalled, came down again. The glider collapsed into kit form and flying ceased, giving those hard-worked bungee walkers a much-appreciated rest.
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