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Mustangs at Maralinga

Old 8th Dec 2007, 01:31
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In the sixties there was a Mustang parked in the open at Narromine. I was 12 or 13 and used to slide the canopy back and climb into the cockpit. Where did it go?
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 02:03
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One of the things I like about the Oz forums is seeing names come up from the past ...

The young man itching to pounce into the drivers seat is Tony Schwerdt

years and years since I last ran into Tony ...

Jack Macdonald did the test flight for it

Jack use to fly Bob Eastgate's bird (VH-BOB as I recall) from Essendon .. I can recall one test circuit which got everyone's attention ... off 26 ... held down to around 20 - 30 ft to accelerate .. and then around a 45 degree bank steep climbing turn from the deck at the runway head to downwind ... I was standing outside Jess Smith's hangars (which IPEC and now InterAir inherited .. although I guess the freeway rework will see them all gone) and the sound and view was spectacular ... Jack Mac came back with a grin that would do a teenager proud ...
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 03:06
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Lightbulb VH-DBB Accident at Bendigo

Pinky and JT............

Found an interesting eyewitness account of the VH-DBB Bendigo Mustang accident at:

http://www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/s...opic78421.shtm

I once saw a man kill himself with the applied torque of a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.

The man's name was Don Bush, the aircraft was a P51 Mustang VH-DBB and the occasion was the openong of Bendigo airport early in 1970.

There was an airshow to celebrate the opening and Don's Mustang was a star attraction. He made several low passes, pulling DBB round, steeply banked, at each end. After he'd finished, the show controller (so I'm told) asked for "one more for the crowd".
The pilot applied power in a tight turn, "torque stalled" one wing and struck the ground in a near vertical dive at about 200 knots. The engine was dug out from 10m deep in the ground.

Not surprisingly, it made a deep impression on the recently commenced air traffic control trainee who saw it, I can still see the sun reflection flicking across the tops of the wings as it spun in. Never, ever, ever, do anything unplanned in or with an aeroplane at low level.
The last sentence of the last paragraph really says it all, don't you think?

Don Bush had only learned to fly a couple of years or so before he bought the Mustang. He was a very wealthy bloke, and used to rock up in his Rolls Royce at Moorabbin for his flying lessons. I seem to recall that CofG was a contributing factor in the accident, and that Don was held for quite a long time before it was his turn to entertain the crowd with what turned out to be his classic 'show stopper'.

Like I said in an earlier post..........it was a very sad end for Don and VH-DBB.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 05:41
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Post

derek.............

I remember the blonde, now that you mention her!

I thyink Bush started his flying lessons at the RVAC in about 1968, and that he bought a Chipmunk before he bought the Mustang. I may be wrong on that...........getting a bit old, and CRAFT's setting in!

But you're right about Ron Flockhart's accident. I can remember hearing about it when it happened, as it was a 'big-ticket' news item at the time. Flockhart was a British racing car driver, and he'd bought an ex-RAAF Mustang that he was going to try to break the Oz-England single-engine aircraft speed record with. The accident happened in early April 1962 as Flockhart was flying from Moorabbin to Bankstown. It was a crappy day weatherwise, and Flockhart flew into the ground near Kallista not long after he departed from Moorabbin.

The accident was still being discussed when I started my PPL in 1966, and it was used as an exemplar of the adage:

Never, ever, ever, do anything unplanned in or with an aeroplane at low level.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 06:41
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a bit of poetic licence with the engine being 10 metres under the ground!
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 08:09
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The engine was dug out from 10m deep in the ground
I've seen this before and it is incorrect. I was at the crash site within 10 minutes of DBB going in and as I said in a previous post the engine was lying on it's side, perhaps 10 to 15 metres from the main wreckage.

Never, ever, ever, do anything unplanned in or with an aeroplane at low level
Mr. Bushe actually spun it in from around 4000'.
The other Mustang that crashed at around the same time was VH-IVI (A68-119). Ray Whitbread and the aircraft came down in the Windsor area on June 11th 1973.

Last edited by gassed budgie; 8th Dec 2007 at 08:24. Reason: Additions
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 09:24
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Gas - do you have any details of the Ray Whitbread accident ? If it was the same chap I am thinking of I purchased several vehicles from a car yard he operated at Kogorah. Just curious. SF.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 09:35
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Thanks gassed budgie................

As I previously said, I wasn't at Bendigo that day, and didn't see the 'show stopping' performance that took place. All I saw that day was VH-DBB take-off at Moorabbin for what was to be it's final flight. I posted a quote from what was published on the web as an 'eyewitness account' of the accident, and the 'eyewitness' stated:

I can still see the sun reflection flicking across the tops of the wings as it spun in.
so his version agrees with what you saw I reckon!

Having said that, I'd have to say that it's totally unlikely that the engine would have ended up 10m underground!! I seem to recall that the crash comic version of events was that there was a CofG problem ............ something to do with an auxiliary fuel tank fitted/not fitted in the aircraft?

So the spin could have been the end result of that perhaps?

Be a bugger of a way to go though, I reckon.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 11:19
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Looks like your man SF.



Not sure of the circumstances surrounding the demise of IVI. Someone else here might know.

I thyink Bush started his flying lessons at the RVAC in about 1968, and that he bought a Chipmunk before he bought the Mustang
I believe Mr.Bushe had around 200hrs total flying time in his log with about 25hrs and some aerobatic experience in the chipmunk and an additional 10 to 15hrs in the Mustang. Probably a bit underdone if this is correct.

Last edited by gassed budgie; 14th Dec 2007 at 11:04.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 23:43
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Thanks Gas - not the best way to learn of his demise, especially so long after the event. I would have been overseas at the time and hadn't heard of the loss.
SF.
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 02:04
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Wasn't Whitbread taken out by the canopy coming off during aeros?
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 02:46
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OBD - Yep, spot on .. Ray Whitbread was doing aerobatics in VH-IVI (A68-119), near Windsor, on 11th June 1973, when the canopy detached, flew off, hit the tail, and the aircraft dived into the ground, killing Whitbread on impact.

Here's the definitive Mustang list of ADF S/No's, showing all the CAC CA-17/CA-18, and Nth American P51D/P51K known histories ..

http://www.adf-serials.com/2a68.shtml
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 05:23
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‘The Mustang was well named, for it could be a wild beast if you did not know its ways.’ So said Richard Burns, a WWII fighter pilot of wide experience in other single engine fighters. ‘A lot of men got killed finding out. I have heard it described as an unforgiving aeroplane. It was no more unforgiving than any other aeroplane where the pilot did not know its limitations or ignored them. It had a lot of power and very clean lines and would quickly go wild on you if you didn’t keep a tight rein. I don’t think I would have liked to go straight from an AT-6 to a Mustang as some guys did. It was a big step unless you were cautioned what could happen. Apart from that the Mustang had good aerobatic qualities and with the light control pressures was a joy to stunt around.’

If I recall correctly the Don Busch finding was the influence on the handling with the amount of fuel he had in the fuselage tank (located behind the cockpit) and his lack of experience. This tank had a capacity of 85 US gallons. With the tank full the C of G is so far aft it is almost impossible to trim for hands off level flight. The stick force per G is reduced from 6 to 1½ pounds and in a tight turn or if pulling G the stick forces reverse. The flight manual cautions pilots to exercise care if the tank contains more than 25 gallons, and if the tank contains more than 40 gallons aerobatics should not be attempted as the aircraft is unstable for anything but straight and level flight. With the tank more than half full a series of stick reversals occur just above the stall and the stall occurs with sharp wing drop and no warning buffet. Unless immediate recovery action is taken a spin is likely to develop. Recovery from a spin is recommended to be complete prior to 10,000 feet. Some pilot notes describe the power on stall as ‘violent.’
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 11:20
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In the sixties there was a Mustang parked in the open at Narromine. I was 12 or 13 and used to slide the canopy back and climb into the cockpit. Where did it go?
That Mustang was Col Pay's first: A68-175, now flying in the USA as N51DT with an adopted USAAF id.
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 11:22
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I thought Col Pay's first Mustang came off a property in western Qld?

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Old 9th Dec 2007, 11:27
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It may well have, I'm not sure. It sat at Narromine for some time during the '60s though.
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 19:39
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A very long time ago a very young Sunfish asked a Sqn. Leader at a Point Cook airshow who was demonstrating their Mustang what had happened to Mr. Busch.

The response was: "He kicked it in the guts and the Mustang kicked back."
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 20:38
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Mustangs at Emu




Scwerties A68-1 flown on Oct 31 1967 by him to Coober Pedy
There it was prepared and on the 5 Dec 1967 flew in company to Parafield(wheels down) with a DCA Aero commander I think it was
There is film footage somewhere of its arrival in Coober Pedy



Re. Busche, he flicked in a very steep turn and continued pulling.The Mustang did what it was told ,and flicked the other way four times into lawn dart mode
Another death by chequebook
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 01:12
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flicked in a very steep turn
Have read that this feature of the Mustang unwittingly saved new comers to combat who had a Me or FW at his six o'clock, with the proviso that they had the height to recover, otherwise the Me or FW achieved his aim without firing a shot.
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 22:36
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During the early 80's a Mustang was parked in front of VH Aviation's hanger in Canberra.
It had an F27 Dart engine installed.
Word at the time was that it was installed upside down and the exhaust was on the wrong side, when power was used, the prop wash funnelled the exhaust straight onto the canopy and the pilot could not see a thing!
It sat their for a number of years then disappeared.
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