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Low Flying under bridges (Updated)

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Low Flying under bridges (Updated)

Old 16th Jul 2003, 06:07
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Red face Low Flying under bridges

Seen on ITV news this evening, home video of two light aircraft flying under a bridge in Scotland a couple of weeks ago. Must have been 30ft at most - the news said that they were Spanish and pilots promised to police that they would not do it again (I assume they got away with it then!).

Seem to remember both mil and civ pilots in the past getting their ba!!s strung up for less!!
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Old 16th Jul 2003, 06:48
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Hmm.. I seem to remember a few years ago when I was tasked to escort a RN boat up the River Orwell during a visit to Ipswich (HMS Grafton if I remember correctly) We had the doors open and some military PR types on board taking some photo's, the BBC were filming on the Orwell bridge and broadcast a perfect picture on the news that evening of the top of my Lynx as it passed under the bridge.. The CO phoned me that night and congratulated me on having the balls to do it!.. They were the days..

Have to say though - Thats one huge bridge.
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Old 16th Jul 2003, 13:30
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There's a thread in the Rotorheads forum about the two recent 'bridge' flights.

The first was a helicopter flying under the Skye bridge

Followed by the Spanish pilots jolly.

All very tame compared with the exploits of WWI ace, 'Mad' Major Draper DFC in 1930 and again in 1953 which eventually led to this:

See thread for old b&w pics.

Click here for link.

Last edited by Heliport; 16th Jul 2003 at 13:56.
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Old 16th Jul 2003, 14:20
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I understand that the Menai bridge was popular with Spitfire pilots from Rednal, the Clifton suspension bridge received its fair share of AFS pilots from Weston Zoyland and Merryfield and a Hunter flew under Tower Bridge in 1968. I know a chap who flew a Venom under some German bridge in the 1950s...

There's plenty of room under the Severn Bridges to fit a VC10 - but that wouldn't be a good idea!
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Old 16th Jul 2003, 17:13
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.................and, apparently, there is enough room under the Humber Bridge for a Lynx 3 ship on NVG - or so I've heard
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Old 16th Jul 2003, 17:40
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With regard to Spitfire Pilots flying underneath obstacles.

My Grandad worked as a Mechanic at RAF Cardington during the war. He says that the works pilots, when flight testing the aircraft, were prone to flying through the airship hangers looping over the top and passing back through the airship hangars (Obviously with both end-doors open on the Airship Hangers)

Can anybody confirm?

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Old 16th Jul 2003, 23:49
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Fortyodd, you're clearly showing off now; everyone knows tiny weeny can't get 3 Lynxs in the air at once!

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Old 17th Jul 2003, 02:17
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819 or Gannet SAR flight as it is now called regularly fly under Erskine bridge in Glasgow quite legally for training purposes
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Old 17th Jul 2003, 02:26
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Ah crab in cab, but in the aac, 3 lynx flying the same route on 3 consecutive days would qualify as a formation. So it could be true
Old 17th Jul 2003, 03:36
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I have it from the navigator on board that the then OC 101 Sqn (Sqn Ldr Cassidy I think) flew his Canberra B2 under the Clifton Suspension Bridge in C1951!!! Very early one summer morn apparently so not too many witnesses.

Didn't Ray Hannah fly under a bridge on the Tyne for the filming of "Piece of Cake"...

...and the chap in the Hunter flying through Tower Bridge in 1968...

...and a stunt pilot in a tiger moth pretending to be Lady Peneplope in a Thunderbirds film flew under a motorway bridge in the late '60s.
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Old 17th Jul 2003, 04:35
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All you doubters out there - it was 1998 (allegedly!) when the AAC could actually field 3 Lynx on the same day
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Old 17th Jul 2003, 05:06
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Best ever for teeny weeny; 11 Lynx mk9, NVG Cat 3, 100ft, 100knots, all at two rotor spans in staggered file, unfortunately we didn't go under a bridge
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Old 17th Jul 2003, 15:32
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Max R8

The bridge Ray Hanna flew under when filming Piece of Cake in 1988 was Winston Bridge in Co. Durham.
They chose it because it's not on a busy road or too close to houses and has a straight run-in for the Spitfire. I think, from memory, he flew it at about 200 kts.
This pic of the bridge gives only an idea.

The picture with the Spit flying under is spectacular, but I can't find my copy to scan and post here.

Hunter through Tower Bridge 1968
No personal knowledge about this one, but a quick google came up with ....
"In 1968 it was the RAF's 50th birthday, yet the top brass did not se fit to mark this with any flypast, choosing instead for mere parades on the ground. Many RAF personnel were less than impressed and one Flt Lt Alan Pollock of 1(F) Squadron decided to mark the occasion in style - first with toilet-roll bombing missions against rival squadrons, and then on April 5th, while suffering from the beginnings of pneumonia which no doubt had some affect on his decision making processes, he flew his Hunter over London and at the last second decided to fly under the top span of Tower Bridge! Knowing of the consequences of his unauthorised trip, he proceeded to beat up several airfields and landed to meet his fate. It would be the end of his RAF career (he went on to run a successful exporting company), with political influences making sure he was treated incredibly unfairly - thrown out of the RAF with no right to appeal, no court martial at which he could present his case, medical evidence ignored, unable to meet with his superiors, etc.
It took until 1982 for his case to be fully heard, and only then was he exonerated."
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Old 17th Jul 2003, 19:42
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F'ing Lawyer (Sorry, couldn't resist! )

I would sure like to see the pic, I have the Piece of Cake series on DVD at home, I've watched it on videotape but haven't gotten to that part on the discs. If anyone has a copy, please post.

Ta! M2
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 03:23
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Ah, but who will tell us about flights under the Eiffel Tower...?

When you see it, it is hard to imagine it happening - or doing it.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 05:17
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Around 1960 someone didn't make it through the Clifton Suspension Bridge..........well he did actually, but failed to clear the cliffs on the climb out. Vampire I believe.

Mike W
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 05:45
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I saw a Vulcan underfly the Severn Bridge in the 70's.

My brother used to work for PSA and he saw a lot of RAF and USAF metal go under the Severn Bridge when he did site surveys on the old Army Apprentices college which is practically under the approach to the bridge.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 06:25
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Re .......and the chap in the Hunter flying through Tower Bridge in 1968...

That was a chap from 1 Sqdn based at that time at West Raynham think the name was something like Alan Pollock (always wanted to say well done and my hero).

However more to the point on low flying at that time it was 1 Sqnd 50th Birthday. Another 1 Sqdn Hunter shot up the Lighting line of 111 and 29 Sqdn at Wattersham dropping sheets of paper
stating it was there birthday and that 'Its the One in the Sun that gets You'

He also got me at I was standing on the wing of a 29 Sqdn F3 changing the cassette in the AI23b Vis recorder, and If he was 5 feet above my head I would be exaggerating. Needless to say I went off the back of the wing landing on my butt.

29 not to be outdone returned the compliment by sending an F3 with its dive brakes filled with bog paper to plaster there line. I cant remember the outcome of the return flight.

West Raynham is now a great place to practice Aerobatics as apart from sheep and pigs the Rnys look in good shape and its well isolated and unused
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 06:53
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Skylark4, a bit earlier than 1960, I think. Perhaps 1956 + or -.

It was indeed a twin boom job of the RAuxAF on almost their last week-end of flying after the anouncement of the demise of the flying element of a Reserve Air force. Vampire/Venom.

Rumours abounded (isn't that incorporated into the name of this BB?). Pilot had been to a party, wasn't strapped in, two bonedomes were found in a single seat aircraft, etc, etc.

No he didn't make it. But there appear to be no reasons why he shouldn't have had he wanted to badly enough. He'd got under the bridge, but instead of pulling up he pulled into a hard turn into the side of the ......

Go on, now, someone find out about the Eiffel Tower just after the end of the War (WWII) in 1945.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 11:39
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Arrow Ah, but who will tell us about flights under the Eiffel Tower...?

Link for film and narrative, here .

Last edited by John Eacott; 18th Jul 2003 at 16:29.
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