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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Date11/05/1956
CasualtiesSqn Ldr Kenneth Orman (RAE Experimental Flying Department RAE TP), Flt Lt K.E.A. Evans (Experimental Flying Department RAE navigator), Mr. Knight (Experimental Flying Department RAE FTO).
AircraftVickers Valiant B Mk 1 WP202
Took off fromFarnborough, Hampshire
Purpose of flightVibration monitoring trial
Incident locationSouthwick, Sussex
Incident detailsTest equipment failed to operate so aircraft flew round at high speed and low altitude to burn off fuel before landing. Whilst doing this, the FTO was suspected of continuing to reset circuit breakers on the test equipment prior to the aircraft losing all electrical power and becoming impossible to control. The captain ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and the co-pilot (Sqn Ldr Colin Preece) jettisoned the canopy and ejected successfully. The rear crew jettisoned the escape hatch but did not get out before the aircraft struck the ground and were killed along with the pilot who stayed with the aircraft.
Web linkAviation Safety Network entry


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