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Question: RAAF Mirage Forced Landing Pattern

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Question: RAAF Mirage Forced Landing Pattern

Old 15th Jun 2007, 13:15
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Question: RAAF Mirage Forced Landing Pattern

I hope this is the correct forum (Questions) to post my query on:

Anyone reading this who flew the RAAF Mirage fighter. What airspeed was used for gliding after engine failure at altitude?

What was the approximate height for high and low key? My recollection (hazy because I did only one trip sitting in the back seat of the dual seat Mirage) was 7000 ft turning base at low key and around 15,000 ft on dead side of circuit positioning for high key which was at the beginning of the downwind leg?
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 13:50
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Saw a Mirage "deadstick" at an Amberley airshow many years ago. The pilot misjudged it by this ...... much!

Ker-splat! They had to scrape the aeroplane off the runway.

From the angle of decent, I suspect you could be over the piano keys at 10,000 ft and still land on them. You gotta judge the roundout just right though.

BC
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 15:57
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15k/270KIAS (best glide) over the runway on a 30 intercept onto DW (no 45 outside joins here Dick ), then pull the nose up to reduce speed and gear down. 10k abeam the threshold, half way round base 5k/190KIAS, aim 1500ft short of runway and a nice gentle flare to touchdown on the 300m markers...if my memory serves me correctly. Huge fun and all paid for by the taxpayer! "You don't own that plane Bloggs, THE TAXPAYER DOES!!".
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 20:19
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I remember seeing an original RAAF Mirage pilot's flight manual back in the mid-80s and distinctly remember the best glide speed after an engine failure was 360KIAS!!!!!!

The glide ratio, was approximately 2 or 3 to one, that is 2-3 miles over the ground for every thousand feet lost!!!!

As a Mirage driver once said to me, it was easy to establish the glide angle, just throw out house brick and follow it down!!!

A lot different from the approximate 10 to one ratio of a single engine light plane!!!!

You no doubt used that to attempt to get yourself to the high key position.
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 22:08
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An acquaintance of my father's was one Tony Svenson, a British exchange pilot who had the honor of crashing the first Mirage at Laverton(?) when I was about thirteen.

As far as I can recall, he had an engine failure and dived to try and restart it, and with no luck, he ejected when believed to have been Supersonic.

Both leg restraints broke free, two broken legs, two broken arms. I saw him in Hospital about a month later and he was a shadow of his former self. Only his superb fitness kept him alive.
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 23:33
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As far as I can recall, he had an engine failure and dived to try and restart it, and with no luck, he ejected when believed to have been Supersonic.
Mmmmm, don't think even the Miracle could go super in a dive with the engine flamed out.
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 23:44
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The glide ratio, was approximately 2 or 3 to one, that is 2-3 miles over the ground for every thousand feet lost!!!!
It was actually 1nm per thousand (about 6:1). Funnily enough, similar to the CT4. And I don't think lighties glide at 60:1 (10nm/60000ft per thousand feet)...
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Old 16th Jun 2007, 00:44
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the eject button......
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Old 16th Jun 2007, 01:43
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and with no luck, he ejected when believed to have been Supersonic.
Tony was supersonic when he ejected. He certainly lost control of the aircraft before ejecting but I don't recall why.
I understand he died after a car accident in UK a few years ago. The PPRuNe Test Pilot Forum would have more details and PPRuNe contributor "Milt" was a test pilot at Laverton when the Mirage accident occurred.
Meanwhile thanks for the Mirage glide information so far.
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Old 16th Jun 2007, 01:49
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Further to all the above posts, I recall my dual flight in the Mirage and the pilot (Wing Commander Jim Treadwell) letting me fly from the back seat as we went through Mach One. As he later manoeuvred for a practice forced landing I asked him what airspeed he intended to use over the fence. His reply was that one certainly did not land following a practice flame-out forced landing pattern but went around from a safe height as the high sink rate was positively dangerous. After all, (he said) - it was a training exercise - not a crashing exercise...
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Old 16th Jun 2007, 11:10
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a bit off track but I think this is interesting

No Mirage has ever landed/crashed at Laverton Victoria. A wheels up at Tullamarine and flame out with an ejection at Avalon but the only operation of a Mirage at Laverton was a takeoff.

How is this so you may ask?

Well during the 1970's there was an airshow (i can not remember the exact year) at Laverton and the Mirage was trucked on a low loader down on Geelong Road (not freeway - only two lanes back then) from Avalon. It flew out on Monday with min fuel back to Avalon. I think the pilot was MR Green my next boor neighbour at the time but I may be wrong.

dups
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Old 13th Jul 2007, 05:52
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Mirage Crash at Avalon

I was a Radio Tech (Air) in the RAAF at ARDU and 'on' the Mirage Project when Mirage A3-1 crashed 1.5 miles north of Avalon on 07/12/1964.

The Pilot S/Ldr Tony Svenson was a RAF exchange Test Pilot and ejected at about 7000 feet and as previously stated received very bad injuries to legs and arms.

Most certainly the aircraft was supersonic or very near supersonic when he ejected as after the impact there was the traditional supersonic 'bang'.

The cause of the crash was not engine failure, but occurred during engine surge testing (at approx' 43,000 feet) and then entering a spin followed by loss of control.

Your contributer 'Milt' was a Test Pilot at ARDU and as I recall, he was a member of the BOI.

noelf
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Old 14th Jul 2007, 09:32
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I didn't think that the Mirage was a GA aircraft, even though they liked being down at GA altitudes!!!!!

Mirage flight manual states:

Engine failure below 10,000ft - EJECT.

Engine failure above 10,000ft - open panel next to left knee, take out brick, throw it out of cockpit, fly formation on it for best glide angle.

"No Mirage has ever landed/crashed at Laverton Victoria. A wheels up at Tullamarine and flame out with an ejection at Avalon but the only operation of a Mirage at Laverton was a takeoff."

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.

Definitely min fuel departure for Avalon on Monday though, pity that the ASI, etc,wasn't working properly due to chewing gum on one of the static ports.

And although Svenson survived his supersonic ejection, he was killed while riding his pushbike in the UK a few years later.

It's a pity that we can't ask MICE about it anymore, because he would know.
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Old 14th Jul 2007, 10:31
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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?
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Old 15th Jul 2007, 00:49
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The flight test program for the Mirage was conducted at Avalon because that is where the final assembly of the aircraft was completed.

ARDU was based at Laverton but their flight test program was separate from the initial acceptance tests, etc for the newly built Mirages.

The pilot who landed the Mirage at Laverton prior to the airshow was not a test pilot when this occurred with squadron authorisation.

I am happy to be proved wrong, but I am pretty sure that this did happen.
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Old 15th Jul 2007, 08:29
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An acquaintance of mine who retired from the RAAF some time ago once told me that the L/D ratio (glide angle) of the Mirage was 1 in 6 at 300kts!
Compares very favourably to the old Edmund Schneider designed Mk IV Kookaburra two seater glider with full dive brake!
And I did my first gliding solo in the above mentioned glider!
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Old 15th Jul 2007, 08:33
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Mirage Glide angle and Crashes

Hi Folks,

Several Issues

1. Mirage Gliding Angle
After and engine change, Mirage A3-2 was on the second test flight for the day when approx' 10 miles south of Avalon at about 9,000 feet and climbing, the engine RPM reduced to 2000 - 3000 RPM - just enough for hydraulic and electrics to operate - but not much thrust!.

The ARDU Test Pilot (S/Ldr Ron Green) made a very quick 180 degree turn to return to Avalon and during this turn, some altitude was lost.

During the glide with minimum thrust, S/Ldr Green provided a continuous transmission as to where he was and his altitude and position relative the southern approach to Avalon - eg., "over Corio Bay" and then "over the salt works" which meant he was about 1 mile short of the southern runway threshold.

He touched down in the over-run area just short of the runway and rolled down the runway. There was no damage the the aircraft - just a few bits of grass in the U/C scissors.

I don't know whether he considered ejecting, if he did, he never mentioned this over the radio, nor did ground control provide him with advice on this issue.

The cause of the loss of thrust was due to a restriction in the flow of fuel to the engine.

Some time later, S/Ldr Green received a well deserved AFC for this exploit.

2. Mirage Crashes
A second Mirage crashed about 2 miles north west of Avalon during a post-modification test flight and the pilot ejected safely.

The cause of the crash was a broken drive shaft to the main gearbox that drives the hydraulics and electrics.
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Old 15th Jul 2007, 18:10
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Re: Glide ratio - was told by Mirage mate that it 'glides like a bunch of keys'.
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Old 14th Sep 2009, 06:29
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Some answers, I hope!

I was posted to ARDU 1970 to 1974 as an armament fitter. During 1972 I went to Avalon daily with the rest of the ground crew, we operated 2 Mirages from there, A3-2, A3-76 but sometimes a dual would be used as a chase and photographic a/c.
We [ARDU] were engaged in flight and carriage trials on new weapon systems, during my time the biggy was Test schedule 1602 RPK10 fuel tank /bomb carrier. Also T/S 1624 high drag bomb tails, T/S 1632 Karinga [bomblets]
It was in 1972 that Sqn Ldr Richardson ejected just north of Geelong road in a factory a/c, not an ARDU one.
1972 was the year we trucked an a/c up the highway to Laverton, boy was that a slow trip. I was in the VW combi behind the semi, we had cars stacked up behind us for miles. The Air Force didnt get much good publicity that day, at least from what was shouted at us as the cars finally struggled past us.
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Old 14th Sep 2009, 08:29
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Gee Capn,

Everybody seems to have an opinion -

Any chance of you posting a 'particular pic' here - of the SY Harbour Bridge reflection in your visor from being inverted over the top'..... in a......
Mirage.....

That should keep the little beggars happy.
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