Thunder & Lightnings

Test Flying Memorial

"...and everywhere the
blue sky belongs to them
and is their appointed rest
and their native country"
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge


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Date08/06/1951
CasualtiesLt-Cdr (E) D.K. Hanson
AircraftWestland Wyvern TF Mk 2 VW869
Took off fromBoscombe Down, Wiltshire
Purpose of flightAir test following propeller change and reported vibration
Incident locationSeven Barrows, Wiltshire
Incident details45min after take-off canopy imploded, canopy rails seperated and struck fin, causing structural failure. Gyroscopic forces from violent yawing motion caused contra-rotating props to contact each other and engine was ripped from the airframe. Pilot ejected but was severely injured by the control column as his seat left the aircraft, and was unable to operate the seat release or parachute. Killed when seat struck the ground. Wyverns grounded afterwards until automatic seperation was introduced to their ejection seats.


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