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Thread: Aircraft accidents

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Aircraft accidents

    There is a very interesting web site, www.ejection-history.org.uk which lists military air accidents and incidents related to aircraft fitted with ejection seats. There may be a few inaccuracies on the site. For example, according to the site XV800 crashed and was written off twice and I know for a fact that it bit the dust on RAF Wildenrath’s runway on May 16th 1975, the day after a pilot banged out of a Harrier T4 and landed in the grounds of The Pony Hof. Funnily enough, the shock of the seat going released the control restriction, the reason for the instructor pilot ejecting in the first place, and the front seat guy landed the aircraft safely.

    When I served in the 1970’s and 1980’s it was accepted that there would be a loss rate of about 20 aircraft a year due to all manner of factors ranging from pilot error to technical malfunction and servicing error. It was bad luck when it happened, but that was the way it was. The thinking was that if the pilot ejected, then he lived to fly another day. And let’s face it, nobody likes funerals. So the lucky ejectee would buy the armourer who fitted the seat a beer, have a tour of the Martin Baker factory and be presented with the ejection seat handle mounted on a plinth. Every serving squadron member knew at least one pilot who had needed to use his seat to save his life.

    Looking at the site, the Americans are still loosing planes like there was no tomorrow. Most other nations keep loosing planes at a steady rate, except the British. I am asking myself why this should be. By my reckoning the last time a British pilot ejected was over 12 months ago. Surely with all the conflict, operations and intensive training that the RAF and Fleet Air Arm pilots are expected to partake in, statistically there should be more operational mishaps. Yet, remarkably, there appear to be fewer.

    I accept that there are fewer aircraft, fewer serving people and fewer stations than when I served. But the demands seem greater. This must apply world wide and most nations still loose aircraft at an alarming rate except the British.

    I’d love to hear any theories as to why this should be. Most people in the time I served thought that the British forces were reasonable. The Falklands War proved that we were the best and it made the world sit up, listen and take notice. No doubt better training has a large part to play, but this does not count for things like bird strikes, technical cock ups and mechanical failure, all o0f which have, historically been causes of aircraft crashing.

    So come on guys, why do you think that there are fewer crashes involving British planes and aircrew? What do you attribute this to? What are we doing so right that the rest of the world has not cottoned onto?
    Giz a job!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    Quote Originally Posted by jetfueldrinker View Post
    So come on guys, why do you think that there are fewer crashes involving British planes and aircrew? What do you attribute this to? What are we doing so right that the rest of the world has not cottoned onto?
    The yanks shoot them down before we get a chance to **** them up!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    Quote Originally Posted by BXC View Post
    The yanks shoot them down before we get a chance to **** them up!
    What more is there to say! Works for me. Love the sense of humour, still chuckling 5 mins later.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    Obi Said
    Don't mention it.....


    .
    Dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians....



  5. #5
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    I didn't.............




    The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    Loosing????

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    Quote Originally Posted by jetfueldrinker View Post
    There is a very interesting web site, www.ejection-history.org.uk which lists military air accidents and incidents related to aircraft fitted with ejection seats. There may be a few inaccuracies on the site. For example, according to the site XV800 crashed and was written off twice and I know for a fact that it bit the dust on RAF Wildenrath’s runway on May 16th 1975, the day after a pilot banged out of a Harrier T4 and landed in the grounds of The Pony Hof. Funnily enough, the shock of the seat going released the control restriction, the reason for the instructor pilot ejecting in the first place, and the front seat guy landed the aircraft safely.

    When I served in the 1970’s and 1980’s it was accepted that there would be a loss rate of about 20 aircraft a year due to all manner of factors ranging from pilot error to technical malfunction and servicing error. It was bad luck when it happened, but that was the way it was. The thinking was that if the pilot ejected, then he lived to fly another day. And let’s face it, nobody likes funerals. So the lucky ejectee would buy the armourer who fitted the seat a beer, have a tour of the Martin Baker factory and be presented with the ejection seat handle mounted on a plinth. Every serving squadron member knew at least one pilot who had needed to use his seat to save his life.

    Looking at the site, the Americans are still loosing planes like there was no tomorrow. Most other nations keep loosing planes at a steady rate, except the British. I am asking myself why this should be. By my reckoning the last time a British pilot ejected was over 12 months ago. Surely with all the conflict, operations and intensive training that the RAF and Fleet Air Arm pilots are expected to partake in, statistically there should be more operational mishaps. Yet, remarkably, there appear to be fewer.

    I accept that there are fewer aircraft, fewer serving people and fewer stations than when I served. But the demands seem greater. This must apply world wide and most nations still loose aircraft at an alarming rate except the British.

    I’d love to hear any theories as to why this should be. Most people in the time I served thought that the British forces were reasonable. The Falklands War proved that we were the best and it made the world sit up, listen and take notice. No doubt better training has a large part to play, but this does not count for things like bird strikes, technical cock ups and mechanical failure, all o0f which have, historically been causes of aircraft crashing.

    So come on guys, why do you think that there are fewer crashes involving British planes and aircrew? What do you attribute this to? What are we doing so right that the rest of the world has not cottoned onto?
    We don't have Lightnings and Jaguars falling into the North Sea like 30 years ago. A lot of flying on Ops isn't the ultra low level stuff where a roll comp uncommanded would pitch the pilot into the ground. The last time that the accident rate for the RAF was bad was Black January in 96 when FJ's were falling out of the sky almost on a daily basis. Most accidents however were seat / stick interface errors, bar the Valley Hawk (a classic HF story at the same level as the BAC 1-11 windscreen)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    I would suggest that the lack of massive amounts of low level flying would be one reason, even the Tonka GR's being used as mid level bombers during current ops. However there have been alot of rotary aircraft lost during current British ops, I suspect the main reason that this is the case is due to their increased vulnerability to small arms fire over their fast air counterparts. Remember in current British operations we have total air superiority and the local militia's have no structured air defence.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    What happened with the Hawk at Mona? I know that the RAF lost one but don't know any other details other than the jocky banged out.

    Talking of things HF, a Tonka Toy went down in about 1981 when the pilot, avoiding a mid air collision, applied a lot of wild stick movement with full power. The nav, thinking that this was a computer runaway with no other option than to eject, selected command ejection and off he went; closely followed by the pilot! Can you picture the scene? The pilot feels justly satisfied that he has just saved the day. He has avoided a mid air collision. He has most certainly saved a multi million pound Tornado and a Star Flghter plus the lives of all on board. The nav, head down is convinced of a different set of circumstances with no hoipe of recovery. The pilot, no doubt feels relieved that he has saved the day, then the nav goes out as does pilot. Do you know, I'd love to have seen the look on the pilot's face when he was on the chute! I'll bet it was a picture!
    Giz a job!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Aircraft accidents

    I believe the Hawk crash was a typical HF horror story. A case of one guy starts job and disconnected a control rod for access to change a part, but didn't sign for doing so. Said control rod generally isn't disconnected to remove said part. Shift change occurs and someone else carries on with the job unaware that said control rod has been disconnected and functionally checks the original system in which the fault occurred as required by the MP.

    Next morning pilot pulls back on the stick to take off, but one of the ailerons droops due to not being connected and as a result jet rolls into the ground killing the pilot.
    Last edited by GeordieJamie; July 31st, 2008 at 21:49.

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