Dag Hammarskjöld - DC6 crash

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Alisoncc
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Dag Hammarskjöld - DC6 crash

#1 Post by Alisoncc » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:46 pm

One of those interminable "Air Crash Investigation" episodes on the box. This one relating to the death of Dag Hammarskjöld in September 1961. They go into some depth relating to radio messages overheard in Cyprus and Crete from a supposed fighter aircraft that purports to have shot down the DC6.

There is no way that VHF would have been able to travel that distance, and in small aircraft HF requires an external HF antenna to work. I've strung enough HF antennas to know what does and doesn't work. Chellywopters can use stick HF antennas, but they have limited range and would be easily broken in a fixed wing aircraft travelling at speed.

It's 2,700 nm from Lagos to Nicosia. The DC6 was at relatively low altitude on approach, and any fighter would have had to be quite low as well. So VHF would have been a no-no for that distance from that altitude. And in my experience fighters don't have HF. Not able to have externally strung aerials.
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Re: Dag Hammarskjöld - DC6 crash

#2 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:32 pm

Tornado F3 had HF, which did work with internal aerials.
However, I'm pretty sure no fighter flying round Africa in 1961 did.

Latest UN report (2016) here:
http://www.hammarskjoldcommission.org/w ... REPORT.pdf
The radio stuff starts on page 33.

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Re: Dag Hammarskjöld - DC6 crash

#3 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:32 pm

Alison, in this instance I would agree however let me give an example.

On hot and muggy day, around noon, I was driving into East Anglia. I picked up strong uninterrupted broadcast from RAI in Italy. Certainly not the distance you cited.
Also in Cyprus we could pick up pretty poor TV of the Olympics from Greece.

Both these were of course from high powered ground transmitters.

Then regarding fighters and HF. The F4 that we got in the late 60s had HF SSB.

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Re: Dag Hammarskjöld - DC6 crash

#4 Post by Capetonian » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:44 pm

Not quite sure why you mentioned Lagos, Alison. As far as I remember the aircraft 'crashed' on approach to Ndola in the Copper Belt (Zambia).

Like the crash which got rid of Samora Machel in 1986, there has been endless speculation about the causes. Mostly that the ZA security forces were responsible by setting up a false radio beacon to lure them into CFIT.
One thing you can say for the French, when civilization falls they have less far to fall than everyone else.

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Re: Dag Hammarskjöld - DC6 crash

#5 Post by llondel » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:54 am

Alisoncc wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:46 pm
One of those interminable "Air Crash Investigation" episodes on the box. This one relating to the death of Dag Hammarskjöld in September 1961. They go into some depth relating to radio messages overheard in Cyprus and Crete from a supposed fighter aircraft that purports to have shot down the DC6.

There is no way that VHF would have been able to travel that distance, and in small aircraft HF requires an external HF antenna to work. I've strung enough HF antennas to know what does and doesn't work. Chellywopters can use stick HF antennas, but they have limited range and would be easily broken in a fixed wing aircraft travelling at speed.

It's 2,700 nm from Lagos to Nicosia. The DC6 was at relatively low altitude on approach, and any fighter would have had to be quite low as well. So VHF would have been a no-no for that distance from that altitude. And in my experience fighters don't have HF. Not able to have externally strung aerials.
It's not impossible, amateur radio people have managed that sort of thing if atmospheric conditions were up to it, but the sort of event needed to propagate VHF over long distances is not particularly common. As for HF, once again, under the right conditions you can communicate round the world with very little power. You couldn't use any of it for reliable comms as needed by aircraft, but brief bursts can happen.

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