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Brize: "Plane passenger 'jumps to his death'"

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Brize: "Plane passenger 'jumps to his death'"

Old 9th Jan 2002, 00:40
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Thumbs down Brize: "Plane passenger 'jumps to his death'"

Police are investigating the discovery of a body of a man, who is thought to have jumped from a light aircraft.
He was the passenger of a Cessna 172 plane which made a forced landing at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, after ice began to form on its wings.

But after safely bringing the craft down to earth, the woman pilot said her passenger, a man believed to be in his 40s, had jumped out minutes earlier.

The body was found lying in a field in the village of Fyfield, about eight miles from the aerodrome.

Passenger jumped

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said the aeroplane had been en-route to Hinton-in-the-Hedges, Northamptonshire, when the pilot asked for permission to divert from its route due to icing on the wings at about 1530 GMT on Tuesday.

He said: "Permission was given for the plane to land at RAF Brize Norton and it did so safely.

"However the pilot reported that about 10 nautical miles from its destination the passenger opened the door and jumped out.

"We have very little further information at the moment. We will be continuing our investigations."

Sealed off

Superintendent Learmot McDougal of Thames Valley police said the initial report came from air traffic control who said a passenger had left the aircraft without a parachute.

Thames Valley police said they have sealed off both the site where the body was found and the area around the plane.

A spokesman from the base said: "We had a privately-owned civilian aircraft that landed here.

"The pilot requested permission to land and it was granted."

Ministry of Defence police are working alongside officers from the Thames Valley force to investigate the incident.

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_1749000/1749564.stm" target="_blank">Plane passenger 'jumps to his death'</a> <img src="frown.gif" border="0">

[ 08 January 2002: Message edited by: BossEyed ]</p>
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 16:55
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The police really have their work cut out trying to solve this one. I can't imagine what could've led to this happening - other than suicide...but what a horrible way to do it.

How easy would it be to inadvertantly depart from the Cessna ?
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 17:09
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Very easy - the 172 and it's single engine, high wing cousins have been used for many years by parachute clubs; thanks to the large doors each side of the cabin, it would have been a piece of cake to unstrap, push open the door and go - once past the edge of the door, the slipstream would pull a body out very sharpish.

A long time back, the wife of an executive of a UK company jumped from the company Beech 200 as it was approaching Denham - like you say, not a nice way to go, but then is there a nice way to go when you decide that the world can't offer you anything to hope for?

(Normal signature not included - it wouldn't be appropriate in this case)
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 17:27
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she allegedly jumped. hmmm

and come on! everyone that has opened a 172 door during flight/even at stall knows it just doesn't happen by accident
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 17:30
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Nicer way to go than the suicide beheading by that bloke in Dorset - tie noose around neck, tie other end around telegraph pole, get in car, floor it...
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 17:40
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Dunno about a 172 but I've certainly been in a 152 where the door opened itself by accident in flight. This has happened to me twice, once whilst a student and once when giving someone else a ride. So the second time I knew what to say to my passenger: "Don't worry, just pull it shut again, that's what the seat belt is there for".

But I agree that once the door has popped open spontaneously you would have trouble undoing your belt and pushing the door open (the slipstream holds it nearly shut) andfalling out all by accident.

[ 09 January 2002: Message edited by: Gertrude the Wombat ]</p>
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 19:38
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Perhaps he just didn't want to go to Brize? Not everybody does.
Old 9th Jan 2002, 19:48
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If the pilot had slowed the airplane for landing - and for that the power would also have been reduced - I believe a determined (or panicked) passenger would not have found it too much of a hardship to wedge the door open with his body against a slower slipstream and just drop out.

I know that some females can do extraordinary things, but where would she have found found the strength and agility, first to open the farside door and then to push a grown man out - even in a reduced slipstream - to his death while continuing to fly the airplane?

How does she induce him to cooperate? If he was drugged, the autopsy would pick that up in the first simple blood test.

If she had dropped the speed to just above the stall to make the egress easier, wouldn't she guarantee that at least some witnesses on the ground see something strange about an airplane doing unusual things? And maybe even report them?

Sounds like suicide to me.

But then there's always a conspiracy theory. Maybe she had her military lover in the back seat do the dirty deed and that's why she landed at RAF Brize Norton with a flimsy icing excuse... he could melt away into a drill squad.

Or they were spirited away into a UFO and the aliens projected the airplane and the man back into the airspace separately.

It's a job for Hercule Poirot, obviously...
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 20:24
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if you slow a 172 down for landing at about 10nm from your destination you never get there or thats what it seems like!Everyone who has ever flown a 150 or 172 has had the door come off those dreadful catches, even at low power you would still have to be pretty determined to get out and jump. the only person probably that knows why is the person that sadly died but jumping from an aircraft in flight is no cry for help
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 20:27
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Maybe he was stepping outside to brush off the ice and slipped.
Old 9th Jan 2002, 20:48
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I tried the airbrake trick with my instructor in the 152 & despite the effort required (bloody hard as it was to fly the thing at the same time as introducing a new control surface...)it seemed quite effective, have to agree with "Gertrude the Wombat's" comment about the spontaneously opening doors - latches seem a little flimsy when you see the ones on a Piper - but it adds a little excitement to the old flying.
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 20:52
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If that happened in the states, the news media would have ran a complete news story on this guy, with fancy graphics and dubbed him the "Suicide Bomb-er." They then would have shreeked "How can this happen!!! All doors in aircraft should be welded shut to prevent such occurences in the future! NO ONE ON THE GROUND IS SAFE WHEN SOMEONE CAN EASILY OPEN AN AIRCRAFT DOOR AND DIVE BOMB THEMSELVES!!!!"
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 20:59
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This happened in California about a year ago. Pax dropped out of a Twin-Otter.

All Otter doors where ordered welded shut by an Emergency AD.
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 21:04
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I have had the door on a 152 pop on me a while back. Surely if there was a bit of rudder involved shielding the door from the slipstream it would be easy enough to open????

A gentle slip. Then again he may have gone out through the window! probably easier than the door.
Old 9th Jan 2002, 21:13
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I think the wife exited before Leavesden, not Denham. Mrs Ritblat?
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 21:43
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It's been a while since I flew a Cessna but isn't there a quick release which pulls out the hinge pin for use in emergency? I seem to remember that a 150 I flew whilst training was fitted with something similar!

Anybody know if the emergency door release is fitted to 172's? Was this deployed in this instance? I can guess that if the door came off in flight, anybody hanging on to it would be sky boarding with it!!
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 21:43
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Occasionaly my girl bores me but not quite that much. Was he breifed, cause if they had come across the channel, he would be wearing a life jacket. Did he get confused and think it was a parachute???? or was she just that boring!
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 23:27
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Cessna 150/152 Aerobats have jettisonable doors in order that you can parachute from them in an emergency, presumably after you've overstressed the thing to the point of structural failure whilst getting overexcited doing aeros.

The C172 doors have a rotating latch mechanism which positively secures the doors closed in flight- no chance of them popping open by accident. There is no jettison system.

I've had one or two nervous passengers/students on trial flying lessons and the like go into such an utter irrational blind panic once airborne that they'd do virtually anything not to be in the aircraft anymore, although stepping outside would seem a fairly daft thing to do...

As a suicide method it's a bloody sight more considerate than the uncaring b@$tard who stepped in front of a train I was on a few years ago and delayed it for an hour whilst they hosed it clean afterwards.

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Old 9th Jan 2002, 23:30
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Some of the Aerobats had a quick release mechanism for the door. This was mainly an FAA thing whereby the crew were expected to wear parachutes whilst aerobatting. This is not so in the UK and many of the old 150s are just pinned but the 152s still often have the release. I can't recall any of the 172s having them - but who wants to flick a 172 anyway, they get bent enough by people trying to barrel roll them!! <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 23:44
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Anyone know where this aircraft had taken off from ?

[ 09 January 2002: Message edited by: Flybywyre ]</p>
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