Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

Question: RAAF Mirage Forced Landing Pattern

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Question: RAAF Mirage Forced Landing Pattern

Old 5th Oct 2009, 06:01
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Posts: 109
Airworthy III C in Switserland 2 seater you can buy a ride.
Indeed, a few years back you could just go ahead and buy one of their Mirages outright. Yep, auctioned off. How would you like a Mach 2 capable, canard outfitted piece of history in your shed? Its a pitty more of ours weren't kept - I can't see how Pakistan is making good use of our old airframes with 4000+ hours on each (maybe the fallacy lays in my assumption of 'good use' ).
MudRat_02 is offline  
Old 5th Oct 2009, 10:38
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Roguesville, cloud cuckooland
Posts: 1,177
Yo Dawg, that shot over Sydney was properly authorised and completely kosher. I am not an ex-knuck but I was at 77 sqn the day it was done.

I am pretty sure that head in the helmet was a very well known RAAF PR guy and photographer.
Capt Kremin is offline  
Old 5th Oct 2009, 21:38
  #43 (permalink)  

Nunc est bibendum
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 5,241
I seem to recall too that when that piccie was published in a particular forum that it was 'mirrored'. IE the opera house was depicted as being on the right side of the shot and thus on the north shore of the harbour rather than the south. Same with the CBD, etc. Not sure where it was (Australian Aviation? Publicity photos?) I certainly remember it though because I thought it a pretty obvious thing and a big mistake to make.
Keg is offline  
Old 6th Oct 2009, 08:04
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: North Queensland, Australia
Posts: 2,869
It was one of those accidents that changed the system. There was no "wheels check" prior to this prang. It brought about the gear check by ATC for mil aircraft which clearly absolves the pilot from ANY responsibility for a wheels up landing.
A classic knee-jerk reaction, that one - the good old gear check - great for a knuck-centric universe which assumes you're always going somewhere with a tower, and it's always open when you arrive there ...
Arm out the window is offline  
Old 6th Oct 2009, 11:03
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Aircrew run the RAAF and it is not good for aircrew moral if aircrew get blamed for ANYTHING that aircrew do wrong.

"Sorry mum, I died because my wife forgot to put that extra dollup of vegemite on my toast this morning."

Do you mean that there is more to my ongoing survival than just my skill, even for an old fart with a high g tolerant body these days.

Put your hand up if you believe it is good that aircrew are more likely to die than BLUNTS.
Tiger35 is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2009, 05:27
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 21
Mirage Flame out.."Creditable Performance"

Some time ago over a few quiet ones with a friend we were discussing his previous life as a Mirage pilot. He told me the story of a low level intercept(2 RAF Phantoms) and subsequent engine flame out over Singapore.

Recently I came across the article below, Volume 2, No 7 from 1974 Flight Digest


During an ADEX a Mirage was scrambled to 10,000 ft for Combat Air Patrol. Total fuel load was 875 gallons. After approximately 25 minutes airborne, fuel configuration considered normal, the pilot was directed to intercept two low level aircraft. The afterburner was ignited and speed increased to 600 kts during the descent to 1000 ft AGL for interception. This profile was maintained for about 3 minutes until nearly overhead Tengah when the pilot noticed that the 130 gallon fuel warning light was on and both fuel gauges were oscillating and falling rapidly from the 60 gallon mark, with the debit reading over 300 gallons.

The intercept was abandoned and a 270 degree climbing right turn made to 1500 feet, to position for a short final initial runway 36. Fuel gauges were now reading erratically , so the pilot elected to make a straight in approach. Passing 1000 feet, the master fail and fuel lights came on and the engine flamed out. From this position the pilot assessed that the approach could be continued as a forced landing. With 200 knots over the threshold a normal touchdown was made and the drag chute deployed at 170 knots. Gentle braking stopped the aircraft clear of the runway.


This incident was caused by a defective fuel filter element. During manufacture an adhesive sealant had been applied internally to the base of the element. A inch diameter by 1/8 inch thick plug of this substance had become detached inside the element barrel and, under the influence of compressor outlet air flow, had moved down the barrel until retained by an inernal flange at the output end, thus forming a perfect seal. To avoid further incidents of this nature STI's Mirage/261 and 262 were raised to check the airworthiness of other Mirage aircraft and to remove any faulty components from service.


Without going into details of the fuel management in Mirage aircraft, it seems that the failure was either triggered by or coincident with afterburner ignition at the start of the low level intercept. An earlier failure would have prevented transfer of fuel from the external tanks. The failure reduced available fuel from about 590 gallons (at the beginning of the intercept) to 172 gallons, ie to 2-3 minutes at 60-70 GPM fuel-flow in full afterburner. The IAS and distance travelled during the intercept, 25-30 NM at 600 KIAS, also confirm that the period from failure to flame-out was barely three minutes.

Very little time elapsed between the pilot noticing the 130 gallon warning light until flame-out occurred, suggesting that the light had been on previously, probably for less than two minutes. Under the circumstances, the pilot's failure to see the light immediately is not surprising. The final phase of any intercept, particularly a low level high speed intercept, demands the pilot's complete attention. Additionally, the intercept occurred on an easterly heading with the sun high and behind the pilot, reducing the effectiveness of the light.

With the illumination of the 130 gallon warning light, the pilot followed the appropriate Mirage emergency procedure. As cockpit indications showed a progressively deteriorating situation he quickly correctly reassessed his position. His decisiveness and sound judgement undoubtably saved the aircraft.

The pilot is to be commended for his skilful handling of a nasty situation. Quite deservedly, the pilot's log book has been annotated with a creditable performance endorsement in accordance with ABO A5/7, para 8,

The wording is as follows:

'After a fuel pressurization failure which produced an emergency fuel situation, Flg Off XXXXX acted creditably in that he recovered the aircraft to Tengah airfield after the engine flamed out, due to exhaustion of available fuel.'
Ozeflyer is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 07:11
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Godzone
Posts: 391
Originally Posted by YoDawg View Post
I think glide ratio is measured in the same units horizontal and vertical. A lightie (like the CT4A as we mentioned) will make about one NM per 1000ft. That's about 6:1. Definitely NOT 10NM for every 1000ft although that IS the realm of a modern glider! (60-70)
exactly. a 172 is out at about 8:1 when light.
toolowtoofast is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 07:33
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hamsterdam
Posts: 26
Hi Centaurus, I thought it was HK 15K abeam the keys approaching the Right/(Left) turn circling approach with LK turning Final at 7K; ie a 180 degree pattern. Really half the normal pattern for aircraft that have aerodynamics to assist the ballistics not the other way round!
Amygdala1 is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 08:01
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sunny side up
Posts: 3
Another Mirage photo...

Seeing Bloggs pic reminded me of my particular favourite..

Last edited by AceVentura; 29th Nov 2009 at 10:24.
AceVentura is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 08:10
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Oz
Posts: 89
Mudrat 02, the Mirage Story by WGCDR Susans is a very good read on bringing the Mirage into service and some more. Paul Masons book on markings of the Mirage IIIO is also very good, although it is expensive and you would be lucky to find a copy of it. And no you can't have mine!

Tiger 35 wrote
Put your hand up if you believe it is good that aircrew are more likely to die than BLUNTS.
Not in the current conflict they aren't. Some of the "blunt guys" are going outside the wire doing EOD, arguably the most dangerous job in the current war. I would not recommend calling them "blunts" at the bar on their return...

Mr B.
Mr Bomb is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 10:07
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 2,840
The wheels-up event was (from badly-beer-affected memory) a series of errors. From the twenty-seventh-hand story I heard, the machine was being ferried from (I thought) Laverton, but it might have been Avalon. It is only a short hop in a Mirage, but complicated by the channelised steam-driven UHF box radio. After negotiating a clearance, the perpetrator found himself on a hot-and-high straight-in approach. No downwind leg. No prompting for Downwind Checks. Managed to create enough drag to get onto the runway. Noticed the aircraft sliding off to one side, tried using brakes to stop the turn. Thinks to self, "Self, you have a brake failure" as he departs the scene.

Apparently this was the only recorded case of a successful gutser. In the few cases of wheels-ups, Mirages hit the tailpipe and slammed the cockpit down onto the ground. In this case, the Big Jugs and wet runway saved his bacon, though the machine was a write-off.

Now, if anybody wishes to relate the TRUE story, of if the Perp (we know who he is, don't we...) cares to correct this version, please do so.
Ascend Charlie is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 13:04
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: GC Paradise
Posts: 1,047
I am pretty sure that a very senior current serving ex knuck test pilot landed the static display Mirage at Laverton prior to the 1978 airshow
If this is true then the brakes would have been red hot as Laverton had short runways. I can't imagine any test pilot being authorised to operate a Mirage into Laverton which may explain why the original ARDU trials on the Mirage were at Avalon?
I personally saw an ARDU test pilot land Mirage A3-2 (very skilfully) on Rwy 22 Laverton in 1977. The brakes were fine...
FlexibleResponse is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 16:12
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Tropical Australia
Posts: 113
"Then there was the bloke (Al Quaife??) who ran out of noise on approach to Darwin and stepped out of the otherwise serviceable Mirage. The Mirage then landed smoothly by itself in a mangrove swamp outside of Darwin and was later recovered largely intact. I think it might still be in a hangar up there. No doubt he got a lot of razz!"

Mirage A3-36 Returns to Darwin's Aviation Heritage Centre on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

That Mirage was piloted by John Quaife (now Air Commodore) and is on display at Darwin Aviation Museum.

Cirronimbus is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2009, 18:57
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Victoria
Age: 58
Posts: 984
(Al Quaife??)
John Quaife.
(now Air Commodore)
Retired about 18 months ago as an AVM and now works for BAe.
Captain Sand Dune is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2010, 19:52
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pudsey, Leeds UK
Age: 78
Posts: 3
I was working in the tower at Williamtown when Gary Cooper landed at Hexham. His take-off was normal. He left the tower frequency but didn't call up Approach so I guess he lost power as he changed frequencies. The old dirt runway at Hexham must have just about been on his nose as he took off. He was a superb pilot and it was a brilliant bit of flying despite the reprimand. I seem to recall that he already had some considerable experience flying Beavers in the Antarctic.
bbudd is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2010, 23:35
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seat 0A
Posts: 7,997
In the few cases of wheels-ups, Mirages hit the tailpipe and slammed the cockpit down onto the ground.
I thought the main problem was the narrow wing span and leading edge camber, which dug in the wingtip if any roll occurred eg if a gear leg was not locked, flipping the machine on it's back.

Note big tanks on 75 Sqn aircraft.
Capn Bloggs is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2010, 00:28
  #57 (permalink)  
Music Quizmeister
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Can'tberra, ACT Australia
Age: 63
Posts: 230
I was a controller at Willy (in the Tower about to take over as SMC) when Poodle and Shep had their "problem". From memory (and most likely given the sortie type) that bird was fitted with Supersonics (110 Gal tanks - that pic of 103 has 286 Gal tanks by the look - seem to remember 3 sizes - 110, 286, 374 Gal).


on landing the left main folded (forward) as it had not locked. When the wing hit the ground the "drag" did start to pull the aircraft off line to the left and onto the grass. Poodle lit the burner, but had to hold the aircraft on the ground to pass under the hovering SAR Helo and Fire Suppression Kit. Shortly after passing under the Helo he raised the nose and got airborne just as the aircraft "hit" the Tower access road (which at that point was slightly raised - probably a foot or so) and climbed away, both guys ejecting just north of the base.

The aircraft looked "reasonably' intact - ie - there didn't appear to be any significant damage to the airframe from the gear folding (the left gear on the other hand was flapping in the breeze).

It was explained to me the issue about a gear up landing was that with the nose high attitude, the touchdown and subsequent increase in drag/friction would make the aircraft pitch forward, and the subsequent lack of support forward would "break the back" of the fuselage as the nose "slammed" down. I was told what saved the man at Melbourne was a combination of big jugs plus a wet runway.

Oh - and at Willy, touch and go's off Practice Forced Landings (PFL's) was not allowed (because of the OCU located there) but they could be done by the operational squadrons in Butterworth (where I was next posted).

Have even been in the back of a perfect touch and go off a PFL - well flown Batts
scran is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2010, 01:57
  #58 (permalink)  

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Enroute
Posts: 624
Flt Lt Garry G. Cooper

I attach a link to a pdf to the government report into the actions of Flt Lt Cooper.


His comments at the end of his statement (from P55) is quite telling.

What a pity such gallantry is not better known - or more highly acclaimed.
Jet_A_Knight is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2010, 11:32
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 875
Have you read the findings of that report?
ozbiggles is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2010, 12:22
  #60 (permalink)  

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Enroute
Posts: 624
Ozbiggles... in a nutshell:

The panel did not find enough documents to verify that the actions of Flt Lt Cooper occurred, and therefore did not recommend any Imperial awards - this is despite the American recommending him for various awards (incl the Gongressional Medal Of Honour and the Air Force Star which he couldn't receive because he was not a member of the US armed forces but was only 'attached' to them ie he was RAAF personnel) - as far as I understand, he got a Bronze Star.

The statement of Flt Lt Cooper in the report is well worth reading - especially when comparing ADF 'record keeping' as compared to US armed forces 'record keeping'.

It's a pity this nation hasn't officially recognised and rewarded the gallant acts and significant contribution as a warrior by Flt Lt Garry Cooper.
Jet_A_Knight is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.