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biggin air show

Old 4th Jun 2001, 19:35
  #61 (permalink)  
Pontius
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I thought I'd stop losing friends in air accidents when I joined civil aviation and now I lose another close friend and company colleague.

Guy was a highly motivated BA Captain and a very skilled and knowledgeable pilot. I have the pleasure of knowing him through Service flying, display flying and latterly on the 757/767. A nicer and more genuine person you could not meet.

It was just over a week ago that we were catching up on old times and discussing his schedule for this display season. He was a happy and contented man and I hope his wife and his can take some solace from that.

It may sound cliched, but Guy lived life to the full and I believe he died enjoying what he was doing.

My thoughts are with his family and those for whom he flew. We are devastated by this tragic news and can only hope the pain passes as quickly as possible.


RIP Guy

Pontius
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 19:35
  #62 (permalink)  
poetpilot
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re AC-DC's comment on restricting display flights of older aircraft.

One part of me says yes, that may be a way to preserve good aeroplanes and good pilots.... the other half says that somehow, fate seems to play a hand in these things and take them from us whatever we do or say.

Take the mossie in 96 at Barton. His display was tame by any standards. Straight passes, 30 degree turns, maintained throttle settings all the way through. He hit his engine problem as he levelled out at the end of the display.

I'd talked to the guy before the display - he'd told me enough about the way he conducted his flights to assure me that he flew with prime aim of preserving that aircraft and himself. Yet it got him.

History is littered with these incidents and although we can analyse and criticise, weep or wonder, we'll never be able to stop things happening. The air is like the sea - unpredictable, savage and cruel at times, yet it draws us back and holds us.

We need to grieve, yes, but on balance I think we still need to see these magnificent planes and pilots in their true element, and to accept the risks that occasionally have such tragic consequences as this last weekend.

Sorry if that sounds pompous, it wasnt meant to be - just trying to make sense of it all and failing really.....
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 19:35
  #63 (permalink)  
AquaPlane
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The events of the weekend show what a fragile and unforgiving world we live in. Deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.

I was present at the loss of the Mossie in 1996 at Barton and remember how I felt. You definitely do not forget things like that overnight. Having rushed to the accident scene (I was present at the show with a senior fire officer for the region and drove him immediately to the scene) I remember the devastation I saw and it's certainly not something I'd ever like to happen again, let alone witness. It's one of those things that really tuns your stomach and brings tears to your eyes. The chaps in these aircraft paid the ultimate price to entertain us enthusiasts and fellow aviators and it sinks my heart to hear of these tragedies.
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 20:23
  #64 (permalink)  
springbok449
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My deepest sympathy and thoughts go out to Guy's and other pilots concerned families.
Regards.
Bokkie449.
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 21:49
  #65 (permalink)  
JOCKEY
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I joined the RAF with Guy and went through flying training with him. He was a wonderful chap. Full of life, witty and a great pilot.

Fly high mate.
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 21:56
  #66 (permalink)  
Notso Fantastic
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Squid,

Point taken, and my apologies. The posting that provoked it was so insensitive I think it should be removed too. Regards.
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 22:15
  #67 (permalink)  
Row 12F
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I saw the crash on Sunday and have given a few thoughts to the circumstances.

The Aircobra was flown by a mature, experienced professional pilot. It seems unlikely that he would have done anything reckless or unplanned. This was the second day of an airshow and presumably he and the others in the group has flown a similar set of moves the day before; it would be interesting to examine video from the first, safe display to see if that manoeuvre were included and how it had been executed. A loop at that point in the chasing backwards and forwards by the whole troupe of US fighters / bombers seems on reflection to have been a little out of place. Biggin Hill, who have names and addresses of all advance ticket purchasers, should contact all of them with a request for video footage of the first day's display.

The Aircobra went into loop from a relatively low altitude, appeared to hold the vertical climb a little too long, stalled, flipped over and began an apparently difficult and uncontrollable descent. The top part looked at first similar to the Pitts Special display at the top of a loop but soon became apparent that the plane could not recover. I would recollect that it had dropped between a third and half of its height before any semblance of control appeared. By that time, at an angle of 85 degrees and dropping fast he stood no chance of recovery.

I understand that the Aircobra has its engine well set back from the front, nearer to the middle than most fighters and this must make it different, and probably very difficult, to control in a vertical or an inverted stall.

Bearing all of those things in mind, I would not be surprised to learn, if such facts can be found from the wreckage, that something mechanical had gone wrong some seconds before the crash. Could the low level loop have been caused by a loss of control on the elevators or perhaps power was lost on upper part of the climb into the loop?

Sadly such thoughts are of little use to the family of the pilot; he was giving a display, pleasure to thousands of enthusiasts and hopefully enjoying a hobby that keeps alive memories, sights and sounds of past times. My deepest condolences to all of his family.


 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 22:18
  #68 (permalink)  
Spoonbill
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A truly dreadful weekend, not only at Biggin, but also for the other parties elswhere in the UK who were injured in the other various accidents this weekend.
Sincere condolences to the families of all those affected.
Man on the Fence - when I saw the opening post on this subject I had no idea of what had happened, and thinking there may be a hidden agenda, I answered truthfully.
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 22:27
  #69 (permalink)  
Speedbird1
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Very Accurately presented row 12f.
I was also there yesturday and had a clear view of the entire incident.it didn`t sink in then but after a bit of thought it has depressed me a bit. I live 10 mins from biggin and have been every year for the last 12 years. Its very upsetting for this to happen. i`m 18 and a hopeful commercial pilot.people have asked me whether this sort of thing puts me off but i say it gives you determination to reach your goal and prove to people that aviation is safe and wonderful. The risk is there but it is not of primary concern to people when flying. Do you guys out there think i`m right in thinking this? views would be appreciated.

may god bless the 3 display pilots that died for all of their work and pleasure they gave to audiences world-wide while they were alive and may they rest in peace.

my respects go out to

The unknown pilot of the king cobra (please correct me if his name has been realeased)

Retired Air Marshal sir Ken Hayr
Co-pilot Jonathon Kerr
(the two pilots from biggins saturday vampire crash)

and on another note
Gordan and Jennifer Gray who also died yesturday when their light aircraft hit a mountain in Italy

I hope you all join me in paying respects to these brave people

thanks
 
Old 4th Jun 2001, 22:34
  #70 (permalink)  
Man-on-the-fence
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Spoonbill

No problem.

This was one of the saddest weekends that I can remember. My thoughts go to all of those affected by this weekends accidents.

God Bless.
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 00:08
  #71 (permalink)  
NigelOnDraft
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Row 12F

<<appeared to hold the vertical climb a little too long, stalled>>

Would all please stop trying judge what happended, and leave it to the AAIB.

If 'Row 12F' had a clue what he was talking about he would not have posted the above...

For those not experienced in aviation, the only time you cannot stall an aircraft while flying is in the vertical!

RIP Guy - a good mate, who some years back after a chat (as my Sqn boss) got me my dream FJ posting...

NoD
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 00:51
  #72 (permalink)  
NorthernSky
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'I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you're here
Brighten my Northern Sky'

Some of the emotions we feel as aviators are summed up by Nick Drake (1958-74) in the lyric above.

Those of us lucky enough to fly 'interesting' aircraft from time to time feel these more keenly than most, perhaps. Those who take old and venerable aircraft towards their limits do so in the knowledge that the risks are greater; and those they leave behind might understand that this is not an undertaking embarked upon lightly.

Joy is seldom without risk; perfect contentment is always beyond reach; but men strive.

We know freedom, it has it's price, but we don't all get to pay. We know and deal with the loss of those who pay on our behalf.

RIP those lost recently, and longer ago. Let us pray we never look back on a weekend like this again, and may we all have the grace and wisdom to provide those left behind with the support they need.

[This message has been edited by NorthernSky (edited 04 June 2001).]
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 01:19
  #73 (permalink)  
Zlin526
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Foxxxy, I was at the show, saw the whole Kingcobra display from start to tragic finish and yes, I am a current display pilot. So I think perhaps I am slightly more in the picture about what happened on Sunday than you seem to be. So, in answer to your post, I will keep my neck out exactly where it is thanks!
The UK Air Display regs are there for the safety of the public. As in all facets of aviation, air displays need to be regulated and the UK system is, in my view fair and currently pitched at the right level of rules versus freedom to fly how you want. Short of telling display pilots to fly no lower than 1500ft & no closer than 2 miles from the crowd, there really is no justification to change current limits. The 2 accidents that happened over the weekend at Biggin Hill would not have been avoided had the DA requirements been tightened. For your info, there has been not one fatality involving a member of the public since the DH110 crash at Farnborough in 1952. Surely, that must say something for the regulations?
And as for the TV & media! When are those ignorant w*nkers going to get any info correct about anything that happens in aviation. It makes me so angry!!!!!!!!!!!Why do all aircraft fly over the crowd? Why does the engine always stall? And why does the gallant pilot always steer the aircraft away from members of the public? And why do the media always pick the most uninformed idiot as an eyewitness? Any members of the media industry care to comment on how you distort the facts so well?

[This message has been edited by Zlin526 (edited 04 June 2001).]
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 01:29
  #74 (permalink)  
#1AHRS
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There are just too many airshow accidents with such tragic losses. Great displays but at rather a high price.
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 01:35
  #75 (permalink)  
UKPPL
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Hi,

Such a sad, sad day. I was at Biggin on Sunday with my son, when it happened right in front of me.

I've never seen anything like it before and hope I never will again. It made me feel sick.

Three accidents at Biggin in two days, such a shame.

I've just read on the WWW that a Spitfire from UK has been involved in a fatal crash in Northern France.

My thoughts are with the famillies concerned.
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 01:39
  #76 (permalink)  
InFinRetirement
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I agree with you NS. I spent 10 years on the display circuit and the ultimate price of flying some wonderful aeroplanes was ever present. Somehow, you weighed the risks, and then ignored them, while still keeping a sense of well-being in what you were doing.
All the time trying to give your 5 or 6 minutes to the audience who came to watch.

As John Farley said, you never got used to losing a friend, but you had to accept that it was going to happen.


<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">What kind of man would live where there is no daring? I don't believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all.</font>
Charles Lindbergh


May they share with God, those who arrived before them whose names live in aviation for evermore.
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 01:52
  #77 (permalink)  
Man-on-the-fence
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Zlin thingy

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">And as for the TV & media! When are those ignorant w*nkers going to get any info correct about anything that happens in aviation. It makes me so angry!!!!!!!!!!!Why do all aircraft fly over the crowd? Why does the engine always stall? And why does the gallant pilot always steer the aircraft away from members of the public? And why do the media always pick the most uninformed idiot as an eyewitness? Any members of the media industry care to comment on how you distort the facts so well?</font>

But with the standard of journalism at an all time low in this country, what can we do to change things.

I include your quote in full because it sums things up perfectly.

[This message has been edited by Man-on-the-fence (edited 04 June 2001).]
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 02:10
  #78 (permalink)  
Zlin526
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Thumbs down

And from the other end of the spectrum, how about this then from 'Flights' informed mouthpiece, David Learmount who seems to be wheeled out of semi-retirement every time an aviation related topic needs some clarification for the great unwashed:

quote:
"Air display accidents are usually because of some form of pilot misjudgement when the craft is flying fairly low to the ground," said David Learmount, operations and safety editor of Flight International magazine.

"When you are carrying out a display which is taxing your skills and if you make a misjudgement or if something goes twang in the plane, you've got very little time to sort it out. If you were higher, you'd have plenty of time to sort it out."

There are more than 500 air shows in the United States alone and experts say more Britons attend similar shows in this country than they do soccer matches.

The pressure to serve up low-flying acrobatic thrills for avid crowds may lead pilots to take chances they otherwise wouldn't, Learmount said.

"It's like Formula One racing, most of the time you have thrills and spills and nobody gets hurt. But it is show business. If you don't give an exciting display, what on earth are people coming for?" Learmount said.

Errrm, because they like to see aeroplanes where they belong, flying and in the sky perhaps?. State the obvious or what! Says it all really doesnt it????

If our own industry publications cant publish informative news, then what hope is there for the rest of them?

 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 02:15
  #79 (permalink)  
ayrprox
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I only saw the footage on the news and was p#!??d off as well. as has been previously said only the AAIB can make any informed judgement as to the cause of this dreadful accident. NO display pilot would be reckless or "show off" its not in their interest to do so.
my deepest condolences go out to the families of the three pilots
 
Old 5th Jun 2001, 02:22
  #80 (permalink)  
old-timer
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so, so, unbelievably sad & tragic,


may their spirits soar the heavens eternally .

RIP chaps.


 

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