NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

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NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Charl » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:16 pm

Watch on youtube.com

I knew of the Sunderland's close scrape, but not the other two.
Wow
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Lindstrim » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:29 pm

I think one of the 3 Vulcan's that came crashed on return to the UK killing the entire crew? Can't recall exact details but remember reading it in some book about NZ Aviation that was published in the Late 80's or early 90's
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Charl » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:47 pm

Perhaps an earlier visit?
Very similar to the Wellington incident, but not such a happy outcome.
Per Wikipedia
On 1 October 1956, Vulcan B.1 XA897, the first to be delivered, crashed at London Heathrow Airport during Operation Tasman Flight, a flag-waving trip to Australia and New Zealand. After a ground-controlled approach in bad weather, it struck the ground 700 yd (640 m) short of the runway just as engine power was applied.[128] The impact probably broke the drag links on the main undercarriage, allowing the undercarriage to be forced backwards and damaged the wing's trailing edge.[128] After the initial impact, XA897 rose back in the air.[128] The pilot, Squadron Leader D. R. Howard, and co-pilot Air Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst, AOC-in-C Bomber Command, both ejected and survived, the other four occupants (including a spare pilot and an Avro representative) were killed when the aircraft hit the ground again and broke up.


Seems plenty of Vulcans were lost due to electrical and engine malfunction.
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby chopper_nut » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:18 pm

There were a number of accidents back then but I think the Vulcan actually had a really good safety record. They were blessed with an abundance of power so engine outs weren't a huge issue. The accident at Heathrow was pure incompetance on the part of the pilot flying but more importantly, the pilot monitoring who should've actually been flying. Sadly of course, that wasn't the first or last accident of that nature.
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Charl » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:15 pm

Poor blighters in the back I presume had no ejection facility...
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:25 am

That was always the issue with the Vulcan was that those in the back were doomed in a low level emergency. There were options investigated for a full crew escape system but there were all deemed impractical, too heavy or too costly. The rear crew feared much better during a higher level emergency and there are a number of cases where everybody was able to get out of a stricken bird.
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Q400 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:32 pm

I was at Ohakea watching all the aircraft as they left for their flying displays and returned. We had no idea that the Vulcan had had a spot of
bother at Wellington. Err, no cell phones back then and we weren't listening to the car radio because we were a few yards away from it.
Anyhow, I can't remember if the crash-fire guys had lined up but I suspect they were. Things looked quite normal as it came in looking
as majestic as ever. I never really noticed one undercarriage was a bit out of kilter at it seem to touch down as normal, then the top of the
canopy flew of and a then it slowly tipped on its left wing and skewed off the runway. The guys got out of that thing pretty dam fast as I
remember. In later years I was at Ohakea when a flying boat was a doing a very low speed ( too low ) above the tarmac and scraped a
wing float. I don't know what breed it was but was more than likely a Shorts or PBY.
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Charl » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:13 pm

Q400 wrote:...then the top of the
canopy flew of and a then it slowly tipped on its left wing and skewed off the runway. The guys got out of that thing pretty dam fast as I
remember. ..
See comment above about the lucky lads in the back! Separate ladder?
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Re: NZWN 60 years ago: Almost a triple major air disaster

Postby Q400 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:42 am

Yes that would be correct. Although the canopy was let go nobody ejected but they were obviously ready to.
All I could see were a lot of boots dropping to the ground. I don't think they would need to fertalise the grass
for a while that's for sure. I must confess that I spent a lot of my miss spent youth along that perimeter fence
The vampires and Canberra's were often parked nose to the fence and after the engines were fired up they would
turn and we would warm up quite nicely. The smell of the kerosene was quite distinctive. As I sit at home the odd
tear runs down the cheek as I remember all the superb air shows I have had the pleasure to attend over the years.
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