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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Date05/07/1955
CasualtiesLt-Cdr T.A. Rickell, A&AEE TP
AircraftSupermarine 525 VX138
Took off fromBoscombe Down, Wiltshire
Purpose of flightPreliminary handling assessment (pilot's first flight in aircraft)
Incident locationIdmiston, Wiltshire
Incident detailsEntered spin at 10,000ft which flattened and became irrecoverable. Pilot unable to jettison canopy and ejection seat operating face blind snagged his helmet, delaying his escape further. He finally ejected through reinforced canopy with the aircraft vertical. The pilot sustained fatal injuries in a heavy landing in the seat with parachute only partly deployed


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