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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Date20/08/1959
CasualtiesSqn Ldr R.J. Morgan; Sqn Ldr G.B. Stockman, both B Squadron A&AEE TPs; Flt Lt L.N. Williams, navigator; Flt Lt R.J. Hannaford, radio op; Mr R. Williams, Handley Page FTO
AircraftHandley Page Victor B Mk 2 XH668
Took off fromBoscombe Down, Wiltshire
Purpose of flightHigh-speed manoeuvrability trials
Incident locationIrish Sea (off St Brides Bay, Wales)
Incident detailsFracture of starboard wingtip pitot head tube caused low speed input to automatic Mach trimmer and stall detector which lowered the elevators and extended the leading-edge flaps. A high-speed dive was thus initiated and a structural break-up began just before impact with the sea at Mach 0.85


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