Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 22, 2010 9:40:50 GMT 12
The Strikemasters were certainly tatty by 1993 at least. The four that left the service and flew to Wigram for No. 2TTS and the Museum were really rough as guts paintwork-wise. It was not the S&S guys at fault, the budget to repaint them was rightly halted as they were retiring.
That Pioneer is an interesting type, one we see very little about these days. Does the RAF still do FAC work or is the reconnaissance spotting all done by sattelites nowadays?
This thread has been dormant for a while as I got involved in other projects but it may be time to resurrect on an occasional basis. First up is a Vildebeeste which has stood on it't nose. I don't know where or when but it is nicely tethered so it doesn't fall backback uncontrollably (pity the car if it did!) NZ 103 nose over by Neville Mines, on Flickr Next up is another Vildie, very possibly NZ 110 which crashed at Wigram during a night flying exercise on 11 May 1939. The aircraft was on approach for landing at 2015 hours when it struck trees 150 yards from the boundary of the airfield, dived into the ground and burst into flames. Pilot Officer William Dawson, Acting Pilot Officer Reginald McCrorie and LAC George West all died of injuries that they received. Aircraft burnt out and destroyed.
If it is not 110 the other possibility is NZ 117 which crashed and burnt at Nelson on 9 April 1941 but I don't think so. All it says on the back of the photo is "75 seconds exposure" NZ 110 by Neville Mines, on Flickr Finally this time a close up of the engine from the crash. NZ 110 engine by Neville Mines, on Flickr
My first trip to RAAF Tindal was in 1967, though as I explained in an earlier post, I spent most of it in Darwin, and you're right, it was a bit primitive. I gather these days it's all air-conditioned comfort!
I also did a stint at the Asahan range with 20 Sqn, and was asked to go down to the strip to pick up a couple of visitors [female RAF officers as it turned out] who had been delivered in a Single Pioneer flown by an Army Air Corp Warrant Officer who was a bit surprised to see me there. So I dropped the girls off, and came back to help him refuel from those square 4-gallon flimsies. We just dumped them when empty and the locals carried them off! The Single Pin was indeed an amazing STOL aircraft, and those pilots used to land on strips you could barely recognise.