Another Navy Wings article...

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CharlieOneSix
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#361 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Mar 12, 2022 3:43 pm

Talk of wooden wedges reminds me - if I recall correctly there were three Scimitar no nosewheel landings on Ark Royal during my time on board. Two took the barrier and one took the wires. That one had an unlocked nosewheel and a very brave CPO ran out with a wooden wedge and jammed it in the nose undercarriage bay and the aircraft settled slowly onto the deck with very little damage.

The two earlier barrier landings - photos of Scimitar 024 taken from the SAR planeguard helicopter - probably resulted in write offs as the barrier cables/strops cut into the wings and engine inlets - clearly seen on Scimitar 015. I think 'Jumbo' has already lifted the nose of 015 and the nose wheel has been lowered. 'Goofers' was always packed for a landing incident.....
Scimitar 024 into barrier.jpg
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Scimitar 015 recovery.jpg
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The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#362 Post by FD2 » Sat Mar 12, 2022 7:28 pm

Great photos C16. Our AEO in 819, the late Simon Askins, was also qualified as a pilot and served as MTP in one of the Scimitar squadrons. He said he was 'quite relieved' to move to another aircraft type, even though he'd found it 'pretty exciting'. He was good on Sea Kings too!

An American was once said to have commented they he couldn't understand how the Brits managed to pack so much power into an aircraft, yet it was still subsonic. A tragic incident:



And the development of the SAR diver:




The pilot in that Wessex 1 looks very like a small chap from Somerset who used to visit farms in his previous job, C16?

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#363 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:04 pm

You mean Brian? I'm not sure if it's him, very difficult to tell but there are similarities. The pilot lost in that Victorious Scimitar accident was the CO of 803. I remember coming home from school and seeing a large photo on the front page of the Daily Express of the aircraft in the sea.
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#364 Post by FD2 » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:12 pm

Yes - Brian P possibly? He joined us at Norwich for a time about 1996 as his last flying job before retirement in Suffolk and so it was a great shock to hear he had died not long afterwards.

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#365 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:28 pm

Brian and I were on the same Wings course. After OFT at Portland I never saw him again. Strange really, with the FAA being so small, and our paths never crossed on the civvie side either. I'll never forget his talk on how he used to artificially inseminate cows, one of the funniest things I've ever heard. =))
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#366 Post by FD2 » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:38 pm

Yes - it surprised us all when he revealed what his pre-RN job had been! :-\ :-o

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#367 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Mar 13, 2022 10:54 am

FD2 wrote:
Sat Mar 12, 2022 7:28 pm
An American was once said to have commented they he couldn't understand how the Brits managed to pack so much power into an aircraft, yet it was still subsonic. A tragic incident:
When I first saw that video of the Scimitar carrying Commander Russell off the deck, I was apt to wonder how fast he was moving after the wire broke, as he simply seemed to trundle towards his ultimate fate. Did the aircraft skid off the deck or were the brakes simply not effective enough to stop the forward momentum?

My next thought was, would he have been able to eject underwater?

Whatever the case, poor fellow.

PS - This answered one of those questions...

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wi ... estigation.

Looking at the stats on the number of aircraft, lost to accidents, it was a clearly a death trap...
Overall the Scimitar suffered from a high loss rate; 39 were lost in a number of accidents, amounting to 51% of the Scimitar's production run.
Scimitar operational history...
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#368 Post by G-CPTN » Sun Mar 13, 2022 11:08 am

It must have been devastating for the helicopter crew when they failed to rescue the pilot.

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#369 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sun Mar 13, 2022 12:47 pm

39 Scimitars lost - well, there's photographic evidence above of two of them. I saw another one lost - it was downwind to land on Ark Royal and suddenly the pilot ejected (Lt Williams as mentioned below in Jim Purvis' story). My good friend 'Bush' Skrodzki ejected from another two. I told the sad story of 'Bush' in this post viewtopic.php?p=115626#p115626

The Senior Pilot of 801 Squadron (Scimitars) on Ark Royal at the time was Jim Purvis. He wrote this in the book "Fly Navy - View From the Cockpit 1945 – 2000":
Although the Scimitar has been described as the RN’s most exciting aircraft to fly, it was a brute to maintain; despite the prodigious feats performed night after night in the hangars by our maintenance men, we got barely enough flying time, which led to problems – five ejections and five more write-offs in ten months in the Far East. I telephoned our Leading Steward Taylor from Flyco one day to tell him Lieutenant Williams had just ejected:

‘Usual routine, Sir? He replied, Jeeves-like. ‘Dry clothes to the sick bay?’

Of the ejections, Paddy Waring’s was most spectacular. Having lost an engine on a test flight and diverted ashore, he lost all hydraulics (and therefore control) on the last stage of the approach to Changi and ejected as the aircraft hit the runway. It bounced, rolled and landed upside down in a ball of flame: he landed hard on the concrete in his ‘chute, and although he was able to walk down to the blaze and reassure the rescue crews that he was alright, I recently learned that he is confined to a wheelchair as a result of the damage he sustained that day.

Another Scimitar was left at Changi by Peter de Souza when a fire warning light came on and the C.O., Jack Worth, confirmed he was on fire; spurious warnings were routine, so you always got somebody to check. Pete pointed the aircraft away from habitation and ejected over shallow water, landing unhurt and paddling ashore in his dinghy. On the way he met a young girl and offered her a ride which she gladly accepted; local headline ‘GLAMOROURS BLONDE SAVES NAVAL PILOT!’ The water being too shallow for a salvage vessel, whilst the accident investigators were puzzling out how to recover the wreck the local Chinese, with sampans and oil barrels, got at it and within a day or two most of it was on sale in Singapore’s scrap market.
The Scimitar was not the only FAA aircraft to suffer a horrendous loss rate. 145 Sea Vixens were built. There were 55 major accidents which resulted in the loss of the aircraft. 30 were fatal and of those, 21 were fatal to both aircrew so that means 51 Sea Vixen aircrew were lost in 12 years of operations. I saw one Sea Vixen blow up in mid air when a 500lb bomb exploded as it was released from the aircraft and I was in the right place at the right time to pick up the pilot of another Vixen that crashed. His Observer didn't make it. The airframe loss rate was 37.93% and the fatality rate was 54.54%.

In tne 1960s decade 101 Fleet Air Arm pilots died, plus 55 Observers, and 11 Aircrewmen....but that's nothing compared with the RAF Meteor loss rate in the 50s.
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#370 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Mar 20, 2022 4:48 am

Noted in this week's Navy Wings newsletter...
A MEMORIAL to a tragic airman who was known only as the 'Forgotten Pilot' has been unveiled after a dairy farmer's lockdown project finally identified him.

Flying Officer Jean De Cloedt, a Belgian pilot who served in the RAF Reserve in the Second World War, was killed when the Spitfire he was flying crashed into Lewesdon Hill.

When F/O De Cloedt's Spitfire plummeted into the wooden hillside, near Broadwindsor, members of the local Home Guard armed themselves with hazel sticks as they were not sure if it was an enemy aircraft.

The scene was later sealed off by the MoD and the body of the pilot was recovered and later buried at the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey. In 1949 it was exhumed and reburied at a cemetery in Brussels.

Although F/O De Cloedt has always had a named headstone, villagers in Broadwindsor never knew the name of the pilot.

War-time censorship meant the incident was hushed-up.

The villagers erected a simple wooden cross to mark the crash site and every year they placed flowers there to remember the 'Forgotten Pilot' until the 1960s when the cross became covered by vegetation.

Now the pilot's story and identity has finally been uncovered by a descendant of one of the members of the Home Guard who found him.

Andrew Frampton, grandson of Jack Frampton, decided to look into the crash during lockdown and, after studying records, he discovered F/O De Cloedt's name.

He also tracked down his great-niece, Benjamine De Cloedt, in Belgium and on Tuesday of this week she was guest of honour at a ceremony held to remember her great uncle on the 80th anniversary of his death.

Mr Frampton, the descendants of the other Home Guard members and about 100 villagers joined her in the gathering at Lewesdon Hill.

Ms De Cloedt, 54, cut the ribbon on the new memorial that was designed by Mr Frampton and the National Trust, which owns the land.

Mr Frampton, 45, also presented Ms De Cloedt with the Spitfire's mangled cooling pipe that was recovered from the crash site just 20 years ago.

Mr Frampton said: "My grandfather, Jack Frampton, was in the Home Guard with Jack Wakely and Doug Studly the day the plane came down.

"I remember my granddad telling me about a foreign pilot who crashed but he didn't know who he was or where he was from. Most of the villagers thought he was Polish.

"You can still see a perfect corridor through the trees left by the plane."

He added: "Jean came to the UK and signed up with the RAF after the Nazis invaded Belgium.

"He was colour blind so couldn't go on combat missions and delivered planes all over the country then found his way back to base.

"There was nothing in the newspapers the day after the crash - it was kept quiet because it would damage the war effort.

"Everyone local to the crash scene thought it was a foreign pilot but they didn't know who it was or where they were from.

"His body was taken away and buried. He was never lost, just forgotten about.

"Only two items were recovered from the crash - the propeller which is now in Beaminster Museum and the pipe from the exhaust cooling system."

The plaque in memory of F/O De Cloedt includes archive photos of him and information about the crash.

It also has a QR code which when scanned wit
https://www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/199 ... world-war/

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lewesd ... ten-pilot-

80 years ago, on Sunday 15 March 1942 a plane’s engine was heard spluttering above the village of Beaminster, shortly before crashing into the wooded north side of Lewesdon Hill, tragically killing the Belgian pilot, Jean De Clodet, on impact. Jean De Clodet had been flying his Spitfire to No. 317 Squadron in Exeter, unaware the squadron had already lost eight planes that day through failed attempts to land at Bolt Head in Devon – victims of the thick fog blanketing the West Country. The eight planes had been based at RAF Northolt, west of London, and were being relocated further west to protect them from German Luftwaffe raids
No wonder it was hushed up!
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#371 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Thu Apr 14, 2022 5:18 pm

Another Friday, another Navy wings article!

Mirror1.JPG
Jet aircraft introduced shortly after WWII were difficult to operate from carriers, resulting in high accident rates – not least because at that time all serving carriers then had axial (i.e. straight) flight decks. As jets became more powerful, modifications had to be devised to make operations much safer and more efficient. The solutions were all developed by the FAA, and comprised three major contributions to naval aviation: Angled Flight Deck, Steam Catapult and Deck Landing Sight.

The latter provided accurate glide-path information. Rear-Admiral Nicholas Goodhart RN invented what was the first version of the sight using a mirror. LSOs (Landing Safety Officers) were not always able to give pilots flying jets (particularly those with a slow throttle response) adequate warning to correct for glide-path errors. Goodhart’s solution was to position a concave mirror on the deck’s port side, flanked by green datum lights.

A powerful beam directed at the mirror created a bright yellow ball of light visible to approaching aircraft. By keeping this “meatball” centred between the datum lights, pilots could be sure of the correct glide path. Goodhart developed his idea with the aid of his secretary, a Wren, and her make-up compact. He asked her to draw a horizontal line with her lipstick across the mirror of her opened compact and place it on a table.

He then rigged a torch with a pencil beam at the end of the table and shining directly at the mirror. He asked the Wren to walk towards the table whilst keeping the beam’s spot on the mirror on the lipstick line. As she did so she progressively had to stoop, eventually coming to a halt with her chin resting on the table several inches in from the edge. The Fresnel Lens, a later American development of the sight, employs a system of lights rather than a mirror to create the “meatball” and its effect.
Goodhart RN.JPG
https://navywings.org.uk/portfolio/mirror-landing

Nicholas Goodhart RN
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#372 Post by Boac » Thu Apr 14, 2022 5:55 pm

'Tis said, happiness is a warm Wren.

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#373 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:19 pm

Boac wrote:
Thu Apr 14, 2022 5:55 pm
'Tis said, happiness is a warm Wren.
If thine eye causes thee to sin! ;))) =))
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#374 Post by Boac » Thu Apr 14, 2022 8:05 pm

I really am sorry, but I cannot get out of my mind the good occifer (a 'rear' Admiral, to boot, faced with a Wren in front with her chin on the table. The things those fine ladies did for the cause....

Mind the round-down Sir! =))

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Re: #372...

#375 Post by Rossian » Fri Apr 15, 2022 10:04 am

....absol-bloodly-utely. When I was a toddler we lived next door to a WRENS canteen where I was spoiled rotten. I was forever being picked up and cuddled into ample and not so ample bosoms. My mother reported I was as happy as larry. Many years later in furrin parts when I was working with WRENS I still felt the same. They were always game for a laugh and in summer dress with those button-through dresses, bare legs and I suspect, in a lot of cases, no knickers they could cause marital and social mayhem. Sigh.

The Ancient Mariner

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#376 Post by Boac » Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:53 pm

Not for nothing were they known as 'Occifer's Comforts'

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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#377 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Apr 30, 2022 7:54 am

From this week's Navy Wings newsletter...
Navy Wings is teaming up with the Army Flying Museum to deliver a special online event where distinguished Falklands veterans talk about their experience of flying helicopters during the conflict.

On the 12th May, we will be taking you back to 1982 to hear stories from pilots who flew the Westland Wasp and Scout during the Falklands War.

You will hear from and be able to interact live, with the following veterans;

Lt Cdr Tony Ellerbeck DSC who was Flight Commander aboard HMS Endurance in the South Atlantic when he suddenly found himself at the sharp end of an escalating conflict. He witnessed the Argentinians put ashore the first landing party on South Georgia, he dropped Special Forces onto the island in response, and later carried out the first firing in anger of the AS-12 guided missile, into the Argentinian submarine Santa Fe.

*** For a superb read on the role of HMS Endurance during the conflict I recommend:

Beyond Endurance.JPG


Col (Ret’d) John Greenhalgh DFC AAC who was posted to 656 Squadron Army Air Corps becoming the Scout Flight anti-tank commander. During OPERATION CORPORATE in the Falkland Islands in 1982, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for casualty evacuation and SS11 armed action operations with the 2nd and 3rd Battalions the Parachute Regiment at Goose Green, Mount Longdon and Wireless Ridge.
FIND OUT MORE

NW.JPG
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#378 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:02 am

Also from this week's Navy Wings...

A New Look

F4Navy Wings.JPG
by Fleet Air Arm Veteran Bob Crane
By the way, the aircraft in the piccy belonged to the CO of 892 at the time – Cdr Ellis, an observer, whose name therefore appears on the rear canopy. The name on the front canopy is Lt Cdr Dave Braithwaite, who was a most competent pilot, as evidenced by his skilful handling of an emergency in early 1970 whilst airborne in a 893 NAS Sea Vixen from HMS Hermes. The right main gear wouldn’t lock down, so Dave carried out a touch-and-go with right yaw applied, thus ‘crabbing’ the aircraft as it rolled down the deck and applying a lateral outwards force to the right oleo. It was probably a micro-switch problem anyway, but problem solved! A ‘four greens’ indication was followed by a normal arrest. A superb piece of flying.
Clearly a true Sky God!
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#379 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Fri May 06, 2022 2:03 pm

Another week, another Navy Wings Photo...

Navy Wings 220506.jpg
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Though you remain
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Your destination remains
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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

#380 Post by FD2 » Fri May 06, 2022 8:12 pm

First display for the Seafire - last weekend at Shuttleworth in company with a Sea Hurricane.


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