Date Posted:28/02/04 15:13:12 Author:B. Valentine Subject: vulcan accident
Between 1959 and 1964 whilst stationed at 71MU RAF Bicester we were tasked to recover a Vulcan aircraft which seemingly had been on a round the world tour and crashed on landing in the UK. I cannot find any reference to this accident anywhere. Can anyone help?.Ta
The only Vulcan crash I know of was as follows-
It was in October 1956 and I was walking along the Crescent in Aden when all of a sudden this Vulcan roared very low doing a beat-up over Steamer harbour frightened the locals to death.It was returning to UK from Oz on a record breaking flight,The next day we all heard the tragic news that it had crashed at Heathrow with most of the crew being killed;I think there were only two survivors as they were the only crew members with ejection seats.
That is correct John, but that was 1956, I had a similar email from someone else today re this incident with Harry Broadhurst, there were several Vulcan accidents at home and abroad, if we could narrow the date to a specific year we might be nearer the target
I remember the Vulcan accident but for the life of me I can't remember the year. Certainly Sir Harry Broadhurst was on board as co-pilot. The aircraft was returning from a round the world flight and it was attempting to land at Heathrow (of all places!) in poor weather and as far as I can recall it crashed on or near the airport when on its final approach. I think both pilots ejected safely but of course the two Navs and AEO had no cjhance to escape. I'm not sure if there was also a crew chief on board - there could well have been. I think the captain was the squadron CO but I don't know which squadron. The year was probably in the early 1960s.
Re: vulcan accident -- Harry Shepherd, 19/03/04 22:48:25
The year was 1955 or 1956 but could have been January 1957. I saw the aircraft as it flew over China Bay en- route to Negombo.Air Marshall Sir Harry Broadhurst was C-in-C Bomber command and the Capt. was Sqn Ldr. Howard.
The aircraft crashed while making a GCA at Heathrow in
fog.The controller warned the pilot he was below the glide
path but the aircraft hit the approach lights and both pilots ejected.The rest of the crew were lost.I know the controller concerned and he was exonerated by the enquiry.
Re: vulcan accident -- Ray stewart., 27/08/12 20:57:06
I was on the Gnat training sqdn. in 1964-65, raf Valley, watched the vulcan B2. "leaf" & crash in a village called Rosneiger, [all crew got out ok] think port side engine [one of the two that is] blew & left gaping hole underside, seen by the naked eye, no fire apparent from the ground as I recall. missed a farmhouse by 50 yards, we went to see the wreckage, jeez, spread over 2 fields, no one hurt on the ground.
Derek and all the others that have sent emails, the accident that Harry Broadhurst survived was in 1956, this accident at Heathrow, can be discounted. There were several other Vulcan accidents the one I am trying to narrow down occurred in Co Durham, it appears difficult to get much gen off the web re this prang.
It is not unlikely that the recovered wreckage was from Heathrow.The accident investigators often keep wreckage for many years before they release it. They examine every scrap of metal minutely and learn all they can from it.As this was the first Vulcan to crash, they would be extremely thorough.One of the crew was a technical advisor from Woodford and he is buried in the "Avro" plot in the local churchyard.I have contacts at BAE systems,and I hope to gain further information.
If you search for North East Aircraft Museum, they have a comprehensive account of the accident you refer to which took place at Wingate in Durham. XM610 was the aircraft, I was at Waddo when it occurred. I believe the wreckage was recoverd to Leeming for investigation, although someone out there may know better. Hope this helps.
Anyone out there!
Can anyone serving at Wyton around 1959-61 recall the mid-air explosion of (I think) a Valiant from 543 Sqd. The incident occured shortly after take off at about 1000ft when it appears that the first compressor stage disintegrated on the tsarboard engine. There were no survivors. At the time of the incident, I was living off base in Huntingdon and was off duty, the event took place at around 1700 hrs roughly and appeared on TV. The next day there was a comprehensive report in the DailyMirror which headlined as follows, (...and Four men die, just like that")
There were several news reporters who witnesed the event which I understood was to show the public the state of preparedness of 543 Squadron. On base, there was a mighty clampdown and as I worked on the opposite side of the road to the base at the Photo Recce Unit, along with others of my ilk, we couldn't get anywhere near the Squadron's aircraft (and yes, I was a serving airman at the time), the only info we had available was from the TV and the Daily Mirror, I'd like to hear from anyone who heard/saw this disaster.Many thanks in advance. Terry 'O'
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Re: 'Valiant' mid air explosion, RAF Wyton, 1959/60? -- Roger Green, 18/04/06 13:31:32
I was stationed at Wyton during my National Service for the whole of the year 1959 and up to March 1960; a Valiant from 543 Sqn certainly didn't crash during that time. My (then) fiancee lived in Huntingdon during the whole of 1960 and confirms that there was no Valiant crash during that time.
Hi Terry just found your post whilst looking for an incident that my dad spoke of. He was stationed at Wyton in the MT section and was one of the first on scene of a crash where the plane(s) came down just outside of Hartford. I thought he said there were 2 planes involved with no civilian casualties but there were possibly over 10 RAF fatalities.
Hi John, here is a little news on the Vulcan that went in at LAP.
The aircraft had visited New Zewaland and created a great stir as it flew into Wellington's primitive airport, (not, I believe for a proposed landing), I have somewhere, in my files, the Photographs taken by the 'Evening Post/Dominion Newspapers of the time, of the V bird raising the dust as her starboard wing raked the ground as she was about to do a roller/touch 'n'go. The plane recovered (thank God) but was to carry out the fateful landing at LAP some days later.
Perhaps someone had lacked T/O and Landing experience despite the rank. The crash did however, start a motion within parliament to consider the financing of 'escape' ejection considerations for the poor sods in the aircraft's rear, though as could be expected from the Brit government, nothing eventuated, (shades of the Defiant Crews in WW2.).
Cheers for now, Terry 'O'
The Vulcan crash with Harry Broadhurst on board was in late summer/autumn 1956. The wreckage was collected from the cabbage patch and taken to Farnborough (I was involved in the unloading - my first job at 71MU!)
My dad was the nav plotter (Jim Vinales) the last to bale out of the Wingate crash. He landed in the Cheviot hills in Northumberland with the Nav radar and other bloke and was picked up by a Helo from Boulmer. Whoa.
At the time of the crash of Vulcan XM610 (January 1971) I was the Chief Technician in charge of the Ejection Seat Servicing and Installation Bay at RAF Waddington. Although we did not contribute to the escape of the 3 rear crew members,we did meet them the following day when the whole crew paid us a visit with a few beers and their thanks for successful ejections of the pilot and co pilot. We had a good feeling of being able to contribute when all else had failed and the aircraft was lost.
The aircraft involved in the LHR incident was XA897. It happened on the 1st Oct 1956. The information I have states three crew and one passenger were lost in the incident. My source is a book 'AVRO VULCAN' by Robert Jackson, IBSN 0-85059-630-0, 1984. The Wingate, County Durham, incident involved XM610 and occured on the 8th Jan 1971. All the crew got out of the aircraft, but two were injured on landing. The book mentioned above lists all Vulcans produced and how they were disposed of. It records the history of the development through Mk1 to its final role as a tanker.
I was stationed at RAF Changi, Singapore and remember the Vulcan landing on its way to Australia and its subsequent return. Then taking off for Uk, followed by the devastating news of the fatal crash at Heathrow. Late 1956 I am sure.
I was at Marham in 1963 and I have a clear memory of AM Broadhurst crashing at Heathrow in 2nd quarter just before I was demobilized. This was the return leg of a record breaking flight from Nairobi. Funny thing is the only record that I can find is between my ears. The one in 56 is well documented and would seem to be identical to that in 63. In 1957 I was still at school and not too interested. Any comments?
I was at 71MU 1965/66 prior to serving in Aden and seem to remember an incident involving a Vulcan, which as far as i can recall crashed en route to Chivenor in Devon, when it went in to the Brecon Beacons. It tooktwo weeks to recover in the rain which we spent under canvas. I also seem to remember being told that there had been a WRAF officer on board who came from Devon and had cadged a ride home. As far as my memory serves, the aircraft went in in thick fog.
I was stationed at Amberly Queensland and stood in for a mate on guard duty who wanted to go on a hot date with his girlfriend, paid me three quid. If memory serves me correctly there were four guards, we all took it in turn to climb up the nose wheel and have a squiz at the cockpit, as I was a member of the ejection seat and parachute section it was interesting to note at the time there were only two ejection seats I took the opportunity to sit in all seats, when sitting in the pilots seat I noticed there was a console that lifted up between the pilots seat and the co-pilot, I sat in all seats on that aircraft. After the accident a few of the guards decided to have a few beers for the fellows that lost their lives at the Ipswich R.S.L Club. we all got Pissed.
I am researching the Avro Vulcan history and aircrews involved in its testing and development. I have the basic details of the aircrew involved in the 1956 Heathrow crash including the ejection of AVM Broadhurst and the pilot but the only references on ASN and other sites to the four crew members killed give no names. I believe one of the crew who perished was Fl Lt James Stroud (Via a relative). Can you confirm that please and have you access to the other names/ranks etc?
Sqn Ldr James George Woodgate Stroud aged 29 [navigator]
Sqn Ldr Edward John Eames aged 32 AFC AEOp
Sqn Ldr Edward Albert Gamble aged 35 Navigator
Mr Frederick H Bassett aged 38 A.V. Roe Technical Representative
Thank you very much John. This is a final piece in a very complicated jigsaw. Two aircrew family members and friend I am associated with will only now have the full story.
The media and political debate, plus the parliamentary 'waffle' that followed this tragic and totally avoidable incident make very uncomfortable reading.