Forgotten pilots or flights...

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#321 Post by TheGreenAnger » Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:42 am

FD2 wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 4:20 am
TGA Check out posts #149 to #153 in 'Photos of Everybody' by Ex-Ascot in 2017 from BFT at Cranwell, when they were course mates. Cantan was converting from helicopters.

To hold his nerve during that approach to Invincible in the fog was an amazing feat of flying.
That's an interesting photo, whose dramatis personae, comprising of Ex-Ascot, Cantan and all the founder members (living and one sadly dead) of the Catalina Society whose newsletter thumped onto my hall floor just yesterday, resonate around here!

I hope FD2 won't mind me saying that I noted the rather fetching photograph of a smart and very switched on looking young FD2 at #146, he being, like Ex-Ascot, far from a forgotten pilot, round these parts! ;)))
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#322 Post by FD2 » Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:40 am

It was nice to have a full head of dark hair and see my feet when standing up, etc etc... :ymsigh:

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#323 Post by TheGreenAnger » Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:06 am

Thanks to PHXPhlyer for this one.


Elmer Royce Williams (born 4 April 1925) is a retired United States Naval Aviator. He is known for his solo dogfight with seven Soviet pilots during the Korean War, which, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune, has been called "one of the greatest feats in aviation history" by military experts. A retired admiral and multiple members of Congress have been campaigning for him to receive the Medal of Honor for his exploit. On January 20, 2023, he received the Navy Cross – the highest military decoration given by the U.S. Navy – from Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.

Early life and military career
Royce Williams grew up in Wilmot, South Dakota. He and his brother both aspired to fly, and both enlisted after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Williams remained in the Navy while attending college in Minnesota, and qualified as a United States Naval Aviator at Pensacola in August 1945. He learned to fly the F9F-5 Panther jet and was assigned to active duty in the Korean War, where he flew 70 missions.

A VF-781 F9F lands on the USS Oriskany in November 1952
In 1952, then-Lieutenant Williams was serving with VF-781 aboard the USS Oriskany as part of Task Force 77. On 18 November 1952, on his second mission of the day, while on combat air patrol near Hoeryong, North Korea, his group of four pilots spotted seven MiG-15s overhead. The other three pilots had to return to the carrier and the MiGs began to fire on Williams, putting him into a one-man dogfight with seven MiG-15s that lasted 35 minutes. It is believed to be the longest dogfight in U.S. Navy history. Commanders on his carrier ordered him away, but Williams had to tell them that he was already fighting for his life. He shot down four of the MiGs and likely hit two others. By the end of the 35-minute period, only one of the MiGs was still in the air with him, and he managed to escape back to his carrier, out of ammunition and having lost his hydraulics. He was uninjured, but 263 holes were counted in his Panther jet. He never saw the plane again; reportedly, it was pushed into the sea.

The story of his battle with the Soviet-piloted MiGs led to Williams being debriefed at the time by admirals, the Secretary of Defence, and a few weeks later by newly inaugurated President Dwight D. Eisenhower. These authorities made a decision to cover up the specifics of the battle, because at that time the Soviet Union was not officially a combatant in the Korean War and it was feared that publicity about the air battle would draw the Soviets further into the conflict. The dogfight was scrubbed from U.S. Navy and National Security Agency records, and Williams was sworn to secrecy about the incident—so much so that he never told anyone about it, not even his wife nor his pilot brother, until the Korean War records were declassified in 2002.

Full story told in detail here...

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#324 Post by TheGreenAnger » Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:40 am

Good Hunting by Stan Stokes.

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Task Force 77 (including four Carriers) arrived off the coast of Chonjin, North Korea, in the cover of night and bad weather in November of 1952. This was farther north than usual and very close to Soviet air space. The purpose of the mission was to launch air strikes against manufacturing centers in the area of the Yalu River. Lt. Royce Williams was an F9F-5 Panther pilot with VF-781 Pacemakers on board the USS Oriskany. The pilots were carefully briefed regarding the proximity to Soviet air space. Williams flew a dawn strike against an industrial complex at Hoeryoung. Upon recovery to the Oriskany, Williams learned that the morning attacks had stirred up Soviet air activity in the Vladivostok area. All follow-on strikes were put on hold until the Soviet activity could be assessed. Around noon Williams suited-up for a combat air patrol flight consisting of four Panthers. Taking off in a light snow storm under a low overcast, the four Panthers climbed to 12,000 feet. Combat Information Center (CIC) radioed the jets to inform them of bogies in their area. As they broke through the cloud cover they could see contrails from seven Migs about thirty miles north, and at much higher altitude. The division lead reported a fuel pump warning light and remained with his wingman at 15,000 feet, while Williams and his wingman climber higher. As the Migs passed directly over Williams he could see them clearly and counted a total of seven. The Migs reversed course and headed north at about 50,000 feet. When they were about thirty miles distant they split into two flights, turned in opposite directions, as to bracket the Panthers, and began descending. Williams lost contact with the bogies as they dropped below contrail altitude. A few minutes later Williams spotted four Migs closing fast from the 10 oclock position in a loose trail formation. All four were firing. Williams manuevered a rising hard left turn and came in right behind the last Mig in the formation. He fired a burst and the Mig began smoking, dropped its left wing and started to descend. Reporting the hit to CIC, the controller advised do not engage. Williams reported back, I am engaged! The CIC reported back, Go get em! Williams wingman had followed the first Mig down. Minutes later Williams spotted a Mig coming in fast from the 5 oclock position. He pulled a hard right and kicked a hard reverse, putting the Mig in his sight as it overshot. Although the Mig was pulling away fast, Williams put a burst into him which disintegrated the jet. The turning duel continued for many more minutes, and another Mig began smoking. Williams Panther was eventually hit and he lost his hydraulic system and many of the aircraft controls. Diving for cloud cover, another Mig had settled in behind to finish off the Panther. Fortunately for Williams, his wingman had rejoined the fight despite having jammed guns. He successfully bluffed the Mig on Williams tail to disengage. Williams was able to nurse his badly damaged Panther back to the Oriskany where he had to make a landing at excessive speed. ... odID=12203
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#325 Post by Woody » Sat Jan 21, 2023 6:10 pm

When all else fails, read the instructions.

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#326 Post by FD2 » Sat Jan 21, 2023 7:15 pm

Great verse Woody!

Slightly off topic, where the pilots are nearly all real, but not forgotten:

If you can find a copy, there is a great film about the Korean War and USN carrier ops called 'The Bridges at Toko Ri' . It stars William Holden, Grace Kelly and Mickey Rooney as a helicopter pilot of Irish descent.

There is a section of the trailer where they use the Skyraiders to help manoeuvre the carrier alongside, at about 2' 40" . I think they called it a 'pin wheel' (Catherine wheel?) manoeuvre.

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#327 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:39 pm

FD2 wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 7:15 pm

There is a section of the trailer where they use the Skyraiders to help manoeuvre the carrier alongside, at about 2' 40" . I think they called it a 'pin wheel' (Catherine wheel?) manoeuvre.
.....and the RN used Seahawks to do that......

The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#328 Post by FD2 » Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:15 pm

I had a vision of lots of Maltese jumping around with their hands over their ears. It must have been deafening! X(

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#329 Post by FD2 » Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:39 pm


Joe Kittinger, US pilot who parachuted to Earth in 1960 from a record-breaking 19 miles – obituary

On the way up, the pressurisation in his right glove failed and his hand swelled to twice its size, but he refused to abort his mission ... -breaking/

By Telegraph Obituaries 23 January 2023 • 2:26pm ... -breaking/

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Joe Kittinger is helped out of his pressurised suit after his record-breaking jump from 102,800 feet Credit: Paul Popper/Popperfoto

Joe Kittinger, who has died aged 94, was a US Air Force officer who in 1960 set the record for the highest parachute jump and longest free fall when he ascended to 102,800 feet (just over 31 kilometres, or 19 miles) above Earth in a “gondola” tethered to a helium balloon and jumped, free-falling for four minutes and 36 seconds.

In 1958 Kittinger had joined Project Excelsior to test parachutes for pilots who would eventually fly in spy planes such as the U2 at around 20 km above the Earth, where the air is extremely thin and the temperature around –80C.

Beginning on November 16 1959, Kittinger made three jumps in less than a year, encountering problems which taught scientists much about what the human body can survive in extreme conditions.

During his first jump, from a little over 23 km, Kittinger’s small parachute, designed to stabilise his fall, deployed too early and caught him round the neck, sending him into an uncontrollable spin. At 120 revolutions per minute he briefly lost consciousness, project scientists calculating that at his hands and feet, he was experiencing close to 22 times the force of gravity. Only his emergency parachute, which opened automatically, slowed his descent and saved his life.

His second test jump, from 74,400ft (22.6km, or 14 miles) on December 11, occurred without incident. However on August 16 1960, in the gondola on his way up to his record-breaking third jump, the pressurisation in his right glove failed, causing his hand to swell to twice its normal size and the blood in his hand to boil.

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Kittinger in 1957 preparing for his balloon ascent as part of Operation Man High: he remained aloft for nearly seven hours and climbed to nearly 97,000 feet Credit: Bettmann

But he decided to press ahead anyway, only telling his colleagues on the ground as the gondola rose above 31 km – three and a half times as high as Mount Everest. “OK. No sweat, no sweat,” he replied when ordered to evacuate immediately.

He then triggered a camera to take photographs that would end up on the covers of Life and National Geographic, said a prayer and jumped.

During his descent, which lasted 13 minutes and 45 seconds, he reached a maximum speed of 614 mph. Yet he had no sense of acceleration or falling until his main parachute deployed in cloud at 18,000 feet.

After he had touched down in the Mexico desert, doctors treated his hand, which was back to normal in three hours.

His record remained unbroken for 52 years. In 1966, the American Nicholas Piantanida tried, but his suit failed at 57,600 feet on the way up in his gondola. Ground controllers heard him gasp and released the gondola from the balloon. But it was too late.

Kittinger was delighted when in 2012 the Austrian adventurer Felix Baumgartner broke his record with a parachute jump from 24 miles. The 84-year-old Kittinger acted as his adviser and radio contact.

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Kittinger jumps from his balloon-supported gondola at the start of his record leap Credit: AP

Kittinger’s jump earned him a spot on the cover of Life magazine and invitations to appear on television shows. There were suggestions that he might train as an astronaut, but instead he volunteered to fly combat missions in Vietnam.

Joseph William Kittinger was born on July 27 1928 in Tampa, Florida, and grew up near Orlando. He attended the University of Florida and joined the US Air Force in 1949.

Before his record-breaking jump, he had served as a Nato test pilot in Germany, flying experimental jet fighters and participating in aerospace medical research. In June 1957 he became, in effect, the first man in space when, using a balloon and a pressurised capsule, he climbed to 97,000 feet.

From 1963 Kittinger did three tours of duty in Vietnam, flying A-26 bombers and later supersonic F-4 Phantom jets.

On May 11 1972, in his 483rd combat mission, Kittinger was leading his fighter squadron on an escort mission over Hanoi when a missile fired by an enemy MiG exploded in his plane’s tail, causing the plane to burst into flames and break up.
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Kittinger back on terra firma in 1960 Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty Images

Wounded in the leg by shrapnel, Kittinger first ejected his navigator, who was unconscious, then ejected himself at twice the speed of sound, recalling, as he fell towards the paddy fields of North Vietnam, the peaceful sound of village bells.

But the bells were ringing to warn of his arrival and when his parachute touched down, Kittinger was met by an angry mob who jumped on him “like a rugby scrimmage”, stripped him, bound him and marched him off to a military outpost from which he was taken to Hoa Lo prison, known as the “Hanoi Hilton”. His navigator was also captured.

The next day, the US military publication Stars and Stripes ran a story about his downing which reported that he was a squadron commander and was on his third tour of duty. “I was tortured for a month for the things they read in that newspaper,” Kittinger recalled.

Held in solitary confinement for a month, without medical treatment for his infected leg wound, he was beaten, interrogated and threatened with death. It would be seven months before his family knew whether he was dead or alive.

Kittinger with Felix Baumgartner, who broke his record in 2012: Kittinger acted as his adviser and radio contact Credit: Red Bull Stratos/PA

Kittinger and his navigator were released in March 1973, after the signing of the Paris peace accords.

He retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1978 and later ran Rosie O’Grady’s Flying Circus in Orlando, giving customers hot air and helium balloon rides, flying skywriting flights and performing at air shows in a biplane.

In 1984, after taking off in a balloon from Caribou, Maine, he landed near Cairo Montenotte, northern Italy, 86 hours later, becoming the first balloonist to fly the Atlantic Ocean alone.

In 1991 he married Sherry (née Reed), who survives him with two sons from a previous marriage.

Joe Kittinger, born July 27 1928, died December 9 2022

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#330 Post by FD2 » Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:40 pm

Kittinger with Baumgartner in 2012

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#331 Post by TheGreenAnger » Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:27 am

John Hannah (VC)

John Hannah.JPG

John Hannah, VC (27 November 1921 – 7 June 1947) was a Scottish airman and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life
Born in Paisley and educated at Bankhead Primary School and Victoria Drive Secondary School, Glasgow, Hannah joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1939. After training as a wireless operator was promoted to sergeant in 1940. He was posted to No. 83 Squadron, flying Handley Page Hampden bombers as a wireless operator/gunner.

On 15 September 1940 over Antwerp, Belgium, after a successful attack on German barges, the Handley Page Hampden bomber (serial P1355) in which Sergeant Hannah was wireless operator/air gunner, was subjected to intense anti-aircraft fire, starting a fire which spread quickly. The rear gunner and navigator had to bail out and Sergeant Hannah could have acted likewise, but instead he remained to fight the fire, first with two extinguishers and then with his bare hands. He sustained terrible injuries, but succeeded in putting out the fire and the pilot was able to bring the almost wrecked aircraft back safely.

Damaged Hampden.JPG

The Canadian pilot of the aircraft, Flying Officer Clare Connor, recommended Hannah receive the Victoria Cross. Connor himself was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. King George VI presented the decorations to Hannah and Connor at an investiture in Buckingham Palace

Eighteen years old at the time of his Victoria Cross action, Hannah was the youngest recipient of the medal for aerial operations and the youngest for the Second World War.

What a brave man and what a sad and untimely death for the poor chap.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#332 Post by G~Man » Thu Jan 26, 2023 4:49 pm

Not forgotten.... third anniversary of losing my friend Ara Zobayan:

Ara 1.jpg
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B-) Life may not be the party you hoped for, but while you're here, you may as well dance. B-)

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#333 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sat Jan 28, 2023 12:41 am

The world’s longest flight spent more than two months in the air

See link for photos. ... index.html

Late last August, a solar-powered drone called Zephyr almost beat one of aviation’s most enduring records.

The unmanned aircraft, operated by the US Army and produced by Airbus, flew for 64 days, 18 hours and 26 minutes before unexpectedly crashing down in Arizona – just four hours shy of breaking the record for the longest ever continuous flight.

That record was set 64 years ago, in 1959, by Robert Timm and John Cook, who flew aboard a four-seater aircraft in the skies over Las Vegas for 64 days, 22 hours and 19 minutes.

It’s remarkable that the Zephyr – a light aircraft with modern technology which was flying autonomously – not only failed to beat that time, but even if it had, Timm and Cook would still have retained the world endurance record for a crewed flight.

In fact, it’s nothing short of astonishing that Timm and Cook managed to stay in the air for so long, in an era that was closer to the Wright brothers’ first flight than today.

The fuel problem
In 1956, the Hacienda hotel and casino opened at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.

It was one of the first family-oriented resorts in Las Vegas, and looking for publicity, the hotel owner took upon the suggestion of one of its employees: fly a plane bearing the hotel’s name on its side, and use it to beat the flight endurance record, which stood at almost 47 days in the air and had been set in 1949.

The employee, a former World War II fighter pilot turned slot machine repairman named Robert Timm, received $100,000 to set up the event, which was then tied to a fundraiser for cancer research.

Timm spent months modifying his chosen aircraft, a Cessna 172: “It was a relatively new design,” says Janet Bednarek, an aviation historian and professor at the University of Dayton. “It’s a roomy four-seater airplane and it was known for being reliable and fairly easy to fly – something you don’t have to pay attention to every moment. And when you’re doing long duration, you want an airplane that’s just going to kind of hum along there.”

The modifications included a mattress to sleep on, a small steel sink for personal hygiene, the removal of most of the interior fittings to save weight, and a rudimentary autopilot.

“The important thing, however, was to create a way to refuel,” says Bednarek. “There had been a lot of experiments up to this point with aerial refueling, but there really was no way to modify a Cessna 172 to be refueled in midair. So they set up an extra tank that could be filled from a truck on the ground. When they needed to refuel, they would come down and fly very low and just above stall speed, then the truck came along and winched up a hose and then used a pump to transfer the fuel into the airplane. It really was a dramatic show of airmanship, because they had to do it at night sometimes and that required some precision flying.”

Fourth time’s a charm
Timm’s first three attempts at the record ended abruptly due to mechanical failures, with the longest leaving him and his co-pilot in the air for about 17 days. In September 1958, however, the record itself was bested by another team, also flying a Cessna 172; it now stood at over 50 days.

For his fourth attempt, Timm selected John Cook, who was also an airplane mechanic, as his new co-pilot, having struggled to get along with his previous one.

They set off on December 4, 1958, from McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. As with the previous tries, the first step was to fly low over a speeding car, to get one of the landing wheels painted and rule out cheating: “There wouldn’t have been any way to track their altitude and airspeed at all times,” says Bednarek, “So they painted a white stripe on at least one of the tires. That would then be scuffed if they’d ever landed, and before their actual landing they would check to see that none of the paint had been scuffed off.”

The flight went smoothly at the beginning, and the pair spent Christmas Day in the air. Each time they refueled – over a stretch of very straight road along the California-Arizona border – they would also get supplies and food, in the form of dishes from the Hacienda’s restaurants that had been mashed up to fit into Thermos flasks, making it more practical to send them up to the plane.

Bathroom breaks happened on a foldable camp toilet and the resulting plastic bags were later thrown out over the desert. An extendable platform on the co-pilot side provided more space for shaving and bathing (a quart of bath water would be sent up every other day.)

The two would take turns sleeping, although the incessant engine noise and the aerodynamic vibrations made a restful night impossible. As a result of sleep deprivation, on day 36, Timm dozed off at the controls and the plane flew by itself for over an hour, at an altitude of just 4,000 feet. The autopilot had saved their lives – although it would stop working completely just a few days later.

The end, at last
On day 39, the electrical pump that sent the fuel into the plane’s tanks failed, forcing them to start completing the operation manually. When they finally beat the record, on January 23, 1959, the list of technical failures included, among other things, the cabin heater, the fuel gauge and the landing lights: “The important thing was that the engine kept going, which is really kind of remarkable. It’s a long time to be flying. Even if you keep it fueled and oiled, eventually just the heat and the friction are going to cause problems,” says Bednarek.

Nevertheless, the two remained in the air and kept going for as long as possible, to make sure their new record would be impossible to beat. They endured for another 15 days, before finally landing at McCarran on February 7, 1959, having flown nonstop for over two months and 150,000 miles.

“They had determined that they had passed the point where nobody else was going to try this – and nobody has,” Bednarek adds.

“I think they’d reached the end of the rope and decided it wouldn’t have done them any good to crash, and so they came down. They were in pretty bad shape: We know that such a period of inactivity can be very bad for the body, and even though they did move around in the aircraft, they couldn’t stand up or stretch and they certainly couldn’t exercise or walk around.

“It would be like sitting for 64 days – that is not good for the human body. They had to be carried out of the aircraft.”

Will this record ever be beaten by a human crew? Bednarek believes it could happen only if the attempt involved an aircraft testing some new form of propulsion or energy source, to show its utility.

Anyone aspiring to try, however, should heed the warning of co-pilot John Cook, who said this when a reporter asked if he would ever do it again: “Next time I feel in the mood to fly endurance, I’m going to lock myself in a garbage can with the vacuum cleaner running, and have Bob [Timm] serve me T-bone steaks chopped up in a Thermos bottle. That is, until my psychiatrist opens for business in the morning.”


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Kevin Winterbottom

#334 Post by TheGreenAnger » Mon Jan 30, 2023 7:15 am

Somebody who actually was the epitome of the Daily Mail "hero pilot steering away from the screaming masses!"

Kevin WInterbottom.JPG
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Kevin Roy Winterbottom (1955 to 9 June 1976) was a South African Air Force (SAAF) pilot who chose to avoid crashing his stricken Impala jet aircraft in the Monument Park suburb of Pretoria by remaining with his aircraft to the end. He was posthumously awarded the 25th Honoris Crux decoration for bravery, the first such award for gallantry outside battle. The HC was at the time South Africa's highest military decoration that could be awarded in peacetime.

Early life
Winterbottom was born in Pretoria, Transvaal Province, South Africa. He attended Pretoria Boys High School where he matriculated in 1972.

Service and fatal accident
Winterbottom joined the SAAF in 1973, entering Officer and Pilot training. He was serving with 4 Squadron at the time of his death.

On the morning of 9 June 1976, Winterbottom was piloting Atlas MB326 km Impala Mk II #1022. While making his approach to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base an engine failure due to a bird strike left him with no thrust and insufficient altitude to reach the airfield. His options were to eject and risk the aircraft crashing with possible casualties in the suburban areas of Waterkloof or Monument Park in Pretoria, or to remain with his aircraft and guide it away from populated areas. He chose the latter, steering his aircraft to crash in a small deserted recreation park where he was killed instantly on impact.


Winterbottom's ashes were scattered at the SAAF Memorial.

The Impala was the South Africanised version of the Italian Aermacchi MB-326, which was used as a trainer and in combat in South West Africa and Angola.

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Dana Drenkowski

#335 Post by TheGreenAnger » Tue Jan 31, 2023 10:41 am

This chap is something out of a plot for a film. Still very much alive, and still a maverick in the real sense of the word and not that nincompoop from that silly film "Top Gun".


Dana Drenkowski

His experiences in Libya were extraordinary and well catalogued in the book I have just read. Well worth a read.

Venter, Al J.. War Dog: Fighting Other People's Wars: The Modern Mercenary in Combat
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Willem Jacob Van Stockum

#336 Post by TheGreenAnger » Mon Feb 13, 2023 8:04 pm

Willem Jacob van Stockum (20 November 1910 – 10 June 1944) was a Dutch mathematician who made an important contribution to the early development of general relativity.

Van Stockum.JPG
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Van Stockum was born in Hattem in the Netherlands. His father was a mechanically talented officer in the Dutch Navy. After the family (less the father) relocated to Ireland in the late 1920s, Willem studied mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin, where he earned a gold medal. He went on to earn an M.A. from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh.

In the mid-1930s, van Stockum became an early enthusiast of the then new theory of gravitation, general relativity. In 1937, he published a paper which contains one of the first exact solutions in general relativity which modeled the gravitational field produced by a configuration of rotating matter, the van Stockum dust, which remains an important example noted for its unusual simplicity. In this paper, van Stockum was apparently the first to notice the possibility of closed timelike curves, one of the strangest and most disconcerting phenomena in general relativity.

Van Stockum left for the United States in hope of studying under Albert Einstein, eventually in the spring of 1939 gaining a temporary position under Professor Oswald Veblen at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The outbreak of the Second World War occurred while he was teaching at the University of Maryland. Anxious to join the fight against Hitler, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, eventually earning his pilots wings in July 1942. Because of his advanced knowledge of physics, he spent much of the next year as a test pilot in Canada. After the Netherlands was invaded by Hitler, van Stockum sought to join the war as a pilot. Finally, he was able to transfer to the Dutch Air Force (in exile), and in 1944 became the only Dutch officer posted to No. 10 Sq­ron of the RAF Bomber Command, which was stationed in Yorkshire and flew combat missions in the Halifax heavy bomber over Europe before and after the Normandy invasion. On 10 June 1944, van Stockum and his crew of six took off on their sixth combat mission, as part of another 400-plane raid. Near their target, the plane was hit by flak, and all seven crew members were lost, along with seven from another bomber on the same mission. The fourteen airmen are buried in Laval, near the place where the planes went down.

Goto 52:55 for Van Stockum...

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Fletcher Lynd

#337 Post by TheGreenAnger » Sat Feb 18, 2023 12:40 pm

Was reminded of this fine bird and Richard Bach in an e-mail today...

Bach served in the United States Navy Reserve, then in the New Jersey Air National Guard's 108th Fighter Wing, 141st Fighter Squadron (USAF), as a Republic F-84F Thunderstreak fighter pilot. He then worked at a variety of jobs, including as a technical writer for Douglas Aircraft and as a contributing editor for Flying magazine. He served in the USAF reserve and was deployed in France in 1960. He later became a barnstormer.

During the summer of 1970, Bach and his friend Chris Cagle traveled to Ireland, where they participated in flying sequences for Roger Corman's film Von Richthofen and Brown. They flew a variety of World War I aircraft of the Blue Max collection owned by ex-RCAF pilot Lynn Garrison. Bach and Garrison first met when Bach wrote articles for Avian, Garrison's aviation publication.

During summer 1970 Dick Bach participated in Roger Corman's production Von Richthofen and Brown in Ireland.

Most of Bach's books involve flight in some way, from the early stories which are purely about flying aircraft, to Stranger to the Ground, his first book, to his later works, in which he used flight as a philosophical metaphor.

Literary career
Bach's first book, the autobiographical Stranger to the Ground (1963) described the deployment to France of his Air National Guard unit and was received favorably, for example, by Edmund Fuller in The Wall Street Journal.

In 1970, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a story about a seagull who flew for the love of flying rather than merely to catch food, was released by Macmillan Publishers after the manuscript was turned down by several others. It had first been published in Soaring, the magazine of the Soaring Society of America. The book, which included photos of seagulls in flight by photographer Russell Munson, became a number-one bestseller. Containing fewer than 10,000 words, the book sold more than one million copies in 1972 alone. The surprise success of the book was widely reported in the media in the early 1970s.

In 1973, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was adapted into a film of the same name, produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation, with a soundtrack by Neil Diamond. In 1975, Bach was the driving force behind Nothing by Chance, a documentary film based on his book of the same name. The film centers on modern barnstorming around the United States in the 1970s. Bach recruited a group of his friends who were pilots to recreate the era of the barnstormer.

A second novel, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, published in 1977, tells of an encounter with a modern-day messiah who has decided to quit.

On August 31, 2012, Bach was injured in an aircraft landing accident on San Juan Island in Washington. He was landing a 2008 Easton Gilbert G Searey (N346PE) that he had nicknamed Puff at a private airport when the landing gear clipped some power lines. He crashed upside down in a field about two miles from Friday Harbor, taking down two poles and sparking a small grass fire.

The day after the accident, Bach was reported to be in serious but stable condition with a head injury and broken shoulder. Bach was hospitalized for four months. He reported that his near-death experience inspired him to finish the fourth part of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which had been originally published in three parts.

In December 2012, Publishers Weekly reported that Travels with Puff had been sent to his publisher the day before his accident. Travels with Puff was released on March 19, 2013.

In 2014, Bach published his sequel to Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, which he called Illusions II: The Adventures of a Reluctant Student. The book incorporates the story of Bach's real-life aircraft crash, with the author imagining he is being visited by the "messiah", Don Shimoda, who helps him through his difficult medical recovery.
My necessaries are embark'd: farewell. Adieu! I have too grieved a heart to take a tedious leave.

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#338 Post by FD2 » Mon Mar 27, 2023 5:00 am

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#339 Post by tango15 » Tue Mar 28, 2023 10:35 am

There being little to entertain any sentient being on the haunted fish tank on Saturday night, Tango took the opportunity to do some night photography at Sywell. On offer, amongst others, was this beauty, which I knew little or nothing of previously. It was brought over from the States last year and since then has been under extensive renovation at Sywell, and flew for the first time yesterday. It began its life on the other side of the Atlantic, but was bought by the original version of British Airways. There is something of a history to its operations in the UK:

Type: L-12A Electra Junior
MSN: 1203
Previous Identities: NC16077
Subsequent Identities: NX21707

Became NC16077 to Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, CA two 450hp P&W Wasp Junior SB2 engines, s/ns 505 and 506
Continental Oil Co., Ponca City, OK
Accident near Hunt, TX, repaired by makers, total flying time (f/t) 70.50 hours
Repaired by Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, OK
RCA radio compass installed by Booth-Henning Inc, Love Field, Dallas, TX
Inspected at Tulsa, OK, 151.20 hours f/t
Inspected, 518.05 hours f/t, engine s/ns 491, 520,
(Reportedly owned by Herschbach Drilling Co. - not in FAA file)
U.S. marks cancelled, sold by Gillies Aviation Corp. to F. Sidney Cotton, London, England, U.S. Export CofA E.4978, 658.49 hours f/t
Shipped from U.S.A. on S.S. "Aquitania"
Assembled by Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft Ltd., Eastleigh, Southampton, painted light green for camouflage reasons
Local flight at Southampton, Cotton, R.H. Niven (also all other pre-war flights unless shown), to Heston same day
Became G-AFTL, Certificate of Registration No.9098 to British Airways Ltd. as a cover
Returned to Cunliffe-Owen for installation of two 70 gallon tanks, work completed by Airwork Ltd., Heston, AUW 11,300lb., range 1,600 miles, fuselage hatches for F.24 cameras fitted
Aeronautical Research & Sales Corporation Ltd., Heston
Certificate of Validation No. V.195 issued
08.57 left Heston for Malta
Photo sortie over Sicily from Malta
Malta-Cairo via photo sortie over Dodecanese Islands
Cairo-Kamaran Island via photo sortie over Massawa, to Aden same day
Photo sortie over Italian Somaliland, second abortive sortie same day
Aden-Kamaran via photo sortie over Eritrea
Kamaran-Atbara via photo sortie over Massawa, to Almaza, Cairo same day, then
to Heliopolis, Cairo
Heliopolis-Malta via photo sortie over Libyan coast
Le Bourget-Heston-Birmingham-Heston
Local flight at Heston, to Ramsgate next day
At this period fitted with Leica cameras in the wings
Heston-Templehof, Berlin, returned next day, photo sorties on both flights
Heston-Brussels, Cotton, with C.G. Grey ("Aeroplane" editor), then to Frankfurt, with Niven, Margaret Gilruth
Local flight from Frankfurt, Cotton, with Commandent of Templehof Aerodrome, used to photograph Mannheim area
Frankfurt-Brussels, to Heston with Cotton only
Heston-Lempme (possibly Lympne ?)-Heston
Heston photo sortie over Jever aerodrome and Wangeroog, then Heston- Le Touquet-Heston
Heston-Templehof, returned on 19th, photo sorties on both flights
Heston-White Waltham-Heston, Niven
Heston-Berlin, photo sortie
Berlin-Heston, the last private British aircraft to leave Germany, photo sortie
Photo sortie over Nordeney, Heliogoland and Sylt, Cotton, Niven and Miss Pat Martin
Photo sortie over Wilhelmshaven and Schillig Roads
Heston-Shoreham-Paris and return, Cotton and Winterbothom
Photo sortie to west coast of Ireland
Photo sortie to Flushing and Ymuiden, landed at Farnborough for photo processing
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, also on 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 30th
Attached to Photographic Development Unit, Heston, retained it's civil status
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, F/Lt Niven
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Wing Commander Cotton, had photographed the Belgian coast
Eastleigh-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, also on 20th
France-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
Heston-Challerange, France
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, last Farnborough logged movement
At 16.00, Heston via Shoreham to Dieppe (log of Observer Corps, No.19 Centre, Bromley)
Photo sortie from Heston along English south coast to test efficiency of aircraft reporting system
Meaux-Le Luc
Le Luc-Corsica-Le Luc
Le Luc-Coulommiers-Tigreaux-Heston
Flown to Le Luc, to Hyeres and Ajaccio, Corsica next day
Ajaccio-Le Luc-Coulommiers
Coulommiers-Chateauneuf, Orleans
Poitiers to Fontenoy-le-Conte, to La Rochelle, Le Luc, Poitiers and Fontenoy
Certificate of Validation expired
At 22.55, badly damaged when a parachuted mine hit the hangar at Heston
Shipped to Lockheed, Burbank for rebuilding, sold
Became NX21707 to Lowell Yerex, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC for a ferry flight
Flown from Burbank to Brownsville, TX
U.K. registration changed to Lowell Yerex, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Became VP-TAI to British West Indian Airways, U.K. marks cancelled on the same date
Withdrawn from service for major overhaul in USA
Weighed at Lockheed factory for Balance Report
Sold to Dan Hartman Airways Inc, Harrisonburg, VA, became N1161V
Dan Hartman and W. Clayton Lemon, Roanoke, VA
c. MAY48
Trinidad marks cancelled
Morrison Drilling Co. Inc., El Dorado, KS for $20,000
Old Dominion Box Co. Inc., Charlotte, NC
CofA renewed, 4,286.15 hours f/t
CofA renewed, 4,396.00 hours f/t
CofA renewed, 4,446.10 hours f/t
Gregory-Poole Equipment Co., Raleigh, NC
W. Clayton Lemon, Roanoke, VA
The Babb Co. Inc., Newark, NJ
CofA renewed, 4,546.50 hours f/t
M.M. Sundt Construction Co., Tucson, AZ (registered 23JUL59)
Hudgin Airservice, Tucson, AZ
Place & Place, Architects, Tucson, AZ
Arthur Eugene Magee, Tucson, AZ
Smyer Aircraft Co. Inc., Arkansas City, KS
Landed wheels up in California
George D. Rice and Dolores A. Rice, Corona, CA, approved for dropping skydivers
Arthur E. "Art" Scholl, dba Art Scholl Aviation, Riverside, CA
Fitted with 3-bladed Hartzell propellers, approved 18APR74
Used in Warner Bros film "Doc Savage", also in a NBC film on Amelia Earhart,
CBS "Spencer's Pilots" series and an EMI TV Howard Hughes film
Transferred to Special Purposes CofA, 5,994.5 hours f/t (possibly for testing Nav Flite II autopilot installation)
Reverted to Standard CofA, 6,011.2 hours f/t
by MAY80
Based at Rialto, CA
Wind damage to tail section repaired
Judith A. Scholl, dba Art Scholl Aviation, Rialto, CA (after Art Scholl's death while filming for "Top Gun")
Blackacre Land Co., Livingston, MT
Steve R. Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, Forest Grove, OR
Became N12EJ, same owners
Seen at Space Centre Executive Airport, Titusville, FL, still marked N1161V
Seen at Bartow, FL as N12EJ
Seen at Oshkosh, WI
Purchased by Sally Runyan as a present for her husband Ben Runyan, a retired Delta Airlines pilot who delivered it from Georgia to their private airstrip, Green Mountain Airport in Clark County WA. The aircraft was known to the Runyan family as "Sidney" in honour of Sidney Cotton. (Source: The Columbian, Clark County, Washington of 31MAR16)
"Sale Reported", Vancouver, WA, sold to Ben Runyan.
Sold by Sally Runyan to a private collector in France. (Ben Runyan and his son Ben Jr were killed in the crash of a Yak-52 in MAY08). (Source: The Columbian, Clark County, Washington of 31MAR16)
Due to be delivered by air to the new owner in France. (Source: The Columbian, Clark County, Washington of 31MAR16)
The aircraft was reported to be 'in pieces' in Tailspin Tommy’s hangar at the Jefferson County Airport in Port Hadlock, Washington. ... Cotton’s plane came to Tailspin Tommy’s for what is called annual maintenance after it was purchased by three French antique collectors." (Source: The Leader, Port Townsend, Washington of 29MAY19)
Arrived at Ultimate Warbird Flights, Sywell Aerodrome, Northampton, UK for restoration on behalf of a new unannounced owner.
The aircraft returned to the UK Register under its original registration G-AFTL registered to Fighter Aviation Engineering, Dunmow, UK. (Source: G-INFO)

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#340 Post by OneHungLow » Fri Mar 31, 2023 1:14 am

Duncan Simpson...
He joined Hawker Siddeley in 1954. He first flew the Hawker Siddeley P.1127 in August 1962; he was the third pilot to fly the P.1127. On 27 December 1967, he was the first the fly the first production Harrier GR1 XV738. On 24 April 1969[2] he was the first to fly the two-seat Harrier XW174; six weeks later on 4 June 1969 in this aircraft, he was forced to eject at low level (100 ft), over Larkhill in Wiltshire, when the engine failed at 3,000 ft. On ejection from the aircraft he broke his neck; he needed a bone graft, and surgeons had to operate via his throat. He returned to flying nine months later, and received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in the 1969 Birthday Honours. After this incident, all Hawker aircraft were fitted with canopy severance cord[3] to shatter the canopy before ejection occurred.

He became deputy chief test pilot in 1969. He became chief test pilot in 1970. He was the first to fly the Hawk HS1182 prototype (XX154) at around 7pm on 21 August 1974, and reached 20,000 ft in a 53-minute flight. The Hawk entered service with the RAF in November 1976. ... ers-heyday

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