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Wed, Jan 07 2004, 0:55:28Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12 ]

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Date Posted: 4/08/08 14:00:07
Author: eric Chamberlain
Subject: Re: Canberra crash, Akrotiri
In reply to: Les Bywaters 's message, "Canberra crash, Akrotiri" on 28/07/05 11:48:15

I was serving on 3 Sqn at the time of the crash as a Survival Equipment Fitter my collegue SAC Kim Petty-Fitsmaurice being killed in the crash. Fg Off Ellis was the pilot and Fg Off MacMillan was the navigator. After the crash all jollys were stopped. The crash happened in December 1970

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[> Re: Canberra crash, Akrotiri -- Dennis Thornbury, 10/10/09 6:46:00

Canberra B(I)8 - XM267 - 3 Sqn

Hi there, I have been in New Zealand since 1973 after i left the RAF.

In December 70 I was the Sgt i/c the Oxygen bay at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, which was directly across the road from the Safety Equipment Bay, and right alongside the cold drink stall.

When 3 Sqdn came to Cyprus on detachment SAC Colin Petty-Fitzmaurice would regularly come over to my bay with parachute O2 cyclinders to service prior to repacking in other parachutes. It was an airconditioned bay and he was happy to chat and see how things were done on other O2 equipment

I got to know him quite well, and we would meet at the drinkstall sometimes and just chat about how much he was enjoying Cyprus, especially away from the winter in Germany. Another time he showed me how the O2 cylinder was stowed and how a chute was packed.

I vividly remember how excited he was when he learnt he was going for a 'jolly' on a squadron Canberra. I teased him about making extra sure his chute was OK. He wasnt at all concerned and was glad he had the chance to fly, and I was saying how I'd love the chance to fly around Cyprus.

On the day I knew he was flying, I was at work inside my bay, I heard the explosion as the Canberra crashed. I did'nt know if it was the one he was flying in, but as there were no other Canberra's on base (except detachment aircraft) I was pretty sure it was his. I was soon to learn it was.

There was a horrible feeling all around camp, the accident occuring just at touchdown with no apparent warning, a great deal of sadness extended towards the crew, but I felt it even more knowing that Colin was on board.

Hearsay was saying that when the pilot attempted to overshoot, advancing the throttles, the engines stalled/surged, the pilot lifting the nose and stalling the aircraft before his speed had built up, causing the aircraft to initially climb, but then stalling, the left wing striking the ground and cartwheeling down the left side of the runway.

I must stress this is only heresay as I never did read the official Accident Report

I know this is years since the last 'post' on this topic, but I have only just read it whilst I was doing some searching of my RAF history on Goggle.

Hope this is of some interest to you, or others.

Best Regards Dennis Thornbury

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[> [> Re: Canberra crash, Akrotiri -- Laurence M Bean, 11/10/09 5:59:09

Hi Dennis. Thanks for adding some more information on this sad loss. It seems the aircraft was overshooting, as you mentioned, when it lost power and crashed.

BTW, we have an active forum with plenty of ex-RAF guys on another board. Lots of line shooting and banter. Why not join us there. Might help with your ongoing research. The link to the site is:


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[> [> [> Re: Canberra crash, Akrotiri -- Al Allcroft, 28/02/10 21:03:00

Just came across the lengthy discussions about XM267 'E' of 3 Squadron which crashed at Akrotiri in Dec 1970. I was on '3' at the time and was Sergeant i/c Burial Party for the funeral of Kim Petty - Fitzmaurice our S.A.C Safety Equipment expert.
Kim was laid to rest in the Miltary Cemetary at Rheindalen, Germany by a burial party made up of friends from 3(F) Squadron.
Tribute to him can be found on the Armed Forces Memorial site. He is buried in Grave Section F, Grave G1.
A great guy .. good man to work with and greatly thought of by his friends and colleagues on '3'

From what I remember after all these years, the aircraft was on approach to Akrotiri's runway when for some reason the crew initiated an over-shoot. When the engines were throttled up the stbd responded but the port was reported to have dropped power.
The skipper, F/O Ellis, was quite a small chap and I seem to recall the accident report saying that because of his short leg reach he would have had difficulty putting on full opposite rudder to control the assymetric engine thrust. The result of low power, etc caused the aircraft to roll over and crash into the earth bank on far side of Akrotiri runway.

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