Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 29, 2005 13:52:15 GMT 12
We seem to be blessed with a very good safety record for airshows in New Zealand. I know of only one fatality during an airshow (that of Ian 'Chippie' Reynolds who crashed when looping too low in his Chipmunk at Wanaka in 1994.
I am also aware of the crash the day or so before Ardmore's airshow when Roaring Forties Harvard pilot John Greenstreet was sadly killed. I attended the airshow and the wreckage was still visible. Very sad.
Have there been other airshow crashes in NZ, fatal or otherwise?
I'm aware of a few dings and bumps, the Vulcan and Sunderland at Rongotai's airport opening - and the SE5 nosing over and the BD-5J losing it's nose leg at the Mangere airshow in 1992. Can you add any more incidents or crashes?
Back in the 1960s, one of the CAD Calflight DC3s went through the fence overshooting at Palmerston North during a RNZAC Pageant - got lots of laughs over that one! (no injuries, but did damage some cars in the carpark...). The RNZAF lost two Devons in 1953 during a flypast over Christchurch airport after the London Christchurch air race. a mid air collision caused 7 Fatalities. Alpine Helicopters had a Hughes 500 come apart dramatically at an airshow in the early 1980s following a tailrotor driveshaft failure - no injuries but somewhere there is a specactular series of photos taken from altogether too close - it took some time for the photographer to realise that parts of chopper were landing around him. Harvard 66 (ZK-ENE) groundlooped at Northshore airfield in 1992 (I Think) at another RNZAC airshow - some aircraft damage, no injuries. This was just after it had been repaired and repainted after the John Greenstreet Accident. Another harvard made an emergency landing during a display at KeriKeri in the late '90s when an oil line broke. Lots of smoke and a big oily mess, but no serious damage. I think thats most of the actual airshow incidents covered - any more?
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 29, 2005 17:10:14 GMT 12
Wow, some eye openers there. Cheers Bruce.
I wonder if the Devon crash was caught on film because here's certainly a lot of footage of that event - last year when I was in Chch there was a very good free exhibition about the 1953 race in what used to be the Info Centre, including film footage, photos and models, etc.
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 16, 2005 21:06:13 GMT 12
I just found an old news item I had on video reporting the crash of the AFC P40K, an that actually crashed while displaying to 170 fighter pilots at a NZFPA meeting, so I guess that's an airshow too. It was really sad seeing the poor old bird like that again, and it's amazing to think it was rebuilt and flying again (sadly not in NZ)
What about the very early days of flying in NZ when various individuals attempted to demonstrate powered flight to crowds around the countryside? More often than not the crowd only ended up seeing the aircraft(?!) hop into the air for a few moments before colliding with a fence, hedge or other such obstacle!
Actually the first would have been even earlier - in the 1890s, Captain Charles Lorraine, Aeronaught, was killed in Christchurch when the Parachute fell off his balloon at launch, then the balloon drifted out over Littleton heads, where he subsequently drowned. NZs first aviation fatality. even earlier still another aeronaught, Miss Leila Adair, splashed down in the water off Takapuna Beach - fortunately, unlike Cptn Lorraine, was wearing a life preserver.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 22, 2005 22:53:46 GMT 12
I had a look at adf.serials and the only possibilities are these:
NZ1095 With No.3 (TAF) Squadron 1949-16 December 1950. Crashed at Wigram while practising aerobatics at 1422 hours on 16 December 1950. The aircraft spun into the ground near the airfield boundary. Pilot Officer Joseph McGloin killed. Written off at Wigram 20 January 1951.
The only other postwar Harvard crashes at Wigram I found that were not attributed to training flights is the collision of NZ1073 and NZ1084 on the 10th of Decemebr 1953, but adf.serials doesn't specify if it was a display or display practice.
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 22, 2005 23:02:00 GMT 12
Some crashes into somewhat public places - again sourced from adf.serials.co.nz
Tiger Moths NZ680 The aircraft spun into the ground between two houses in Kaka Street after losing a wing while carrying out aerobatics at 3000 feet. LAC Frank Traynor killed in the accident which was caused by faulty manufacture of a front flying wire.
NZ769 Crashed into the main street of Gore during an Emergency Precautions Service exercise at 1040 hours on 11 June 1942 while being operated by No.1 EFTS. Pilot Officer Geoffrey Coldham killed. The aircraft hit the ground at a road intersection after colliding with power lines in Irk Street and then hit a car and truck near Mersey Street. At the time the pilot was demonstrating the effect of an aircraft machine-gunning a civilian population.
NZ880 Crashed onto a street in Oxford on 25 November 1944 while being operated by No.3 EFTS.
NZ1441 Crashed into a street in Whangarei after hitting power lines and trees on 18 June 1943 while being operated by No.20 Squadron, Onerahi. The aircraft was taking part in publicity connected with Liberty Loans and suffered an engine failure during a low level aerobatic sequence. Flying Officer Murray Gray and Pilot Officer Charles Smith killed.
Airspeed Oxford NZ279 Crashed at Akaroa at 1130 hours on 15 June 1940. The aircraft stalled and spun into the main street of the town whilst carrying out a steep turn. LAC Francis McFarlane and LAC John McFadyen killed.
I must have been thinking of the accident involving NZ1095 then. Gee, when you read those aircraft histories/accident reports you really start to appreciate how quickly things can go horribly wrong for young pilots.
The accident at Akaroa involving Oxford NZ279 has reminded me that my Dad has a newspaper cutout (from the Akaroa Mail?) about that accident. It was quite terrible because bystanders could see at least one of the crewmen was still alive in the wreckage, but couldn't rescue him because of the intense flames.
Similar to what you're talking about, My ATC unit was involved in a CRASHEX at OH before the OH openday. This simulated two CT4s Cpolliding and crashing etc. Not exactly an air crash at a airshow, but it makes me feel special.
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 8, 2005 21:50:21 GMT 12
Why was the ATC 'involved' with a crash exercise? Were you just observing? Or was it put on specially for ATC?
Sadly I have been involved in the aftermath of a real CT-4B crash, where a very good pilot and nice gentleman, PTS instructor Garrick Beats, was killed. Not nice at all. RIP Garrick.
My involvemnt was slight thankfully, yet very distasteful and upsetting, and I also had to endure the sight of his wrecked aircraft outside my workshop door in the hangar for some months as they did the investigation on the incident. Thankfully the student pilot survived the crash.
I was the crash scene photographer at that crash ex at Ohakea, the ATC were there as members of the crowd if I remember correctly. Since it was an airshow crash that was being simulated, we needed casualties on ground. It was actually quite messy.
Our OC ops is rather keen on regular crash exercises to make sure everyone at all levels (not just the Fire and medics) know their job. The Base Commander is involved as incident commander, the welfare system to deal with relatives of victims arriving on base is exercised, we even have fake 'media' calling for information to test the information officer.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 26, 2006 18:50:20 GMT 12
It is quite amazing how virtually everyone on a base is affected in some way if there is a crash, and within ten minutes everyone on every other base knows about it.
It's a tense time when it happens. Thank God it doesn't happen often. I think it must be some many years since the last fatal RNZAF accident, or even the last non-fatal with a write off of aircraft, which is good.
I was in the crowd during the SE5 incident at Air Expo. Standing beside me were my father and one of his mates, both ex fire service, who both expressed concern about the aircraft just before the stall occured. I also remember the emergency response, which was almost comical in scale. There was a definite sense of people elbowing each other out of the way to get to the scene. From memory there were two airport tenders, a couple of urban fire service tenders (which promptly appeared to bog down in the grass), and at least two ambulances. I've got some fairly average (cheap camera) photo's of it if anyone's interested. Missed the BD5 nosewheel collapse, I was at the wrong end of the runway.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 27, 2006 21:40:16 GMT 12
I would like to see the photos if you want to dig them out.
I paid a considerable amount of money to fly up from Christchurch for that airshow on the Sunday. One of my main desires in going was to see the BD-5J. I was thoroughly P.O'ed to see it had been dinged on the news Saturday night. However, I did enjoy the show very much, especially seeing such rarities in this country as the Beriev Albatross, the Harrier and most special of all, the Hannas' Pacific tribute in the P-40K and Zero. That was stunning.
There was a fatal Vampire crash at Ohakea on the 8th Aug ust 1967 following a 'scamble' of four aircraft and a display to mark the presentation of the ex-485 Sqn badge to Ohakea. Vampire FB5 NZ 5734 flown by Fg Off Murray Whineray, [yes, the All Black Captain's younger brother] was 'No 3' on approach to landing at 1620, when he began to overtake the two aircraft in front and attempted to regain his position and slow down. The aircraft hit turbulence, lost lift, and dropped about 120 feet and stopped on the end of the runway, 09.It immediately caught fire and despite the efforts of the crash crew, who had watched the whole thing and were very quickly on the scene, Whineray died in hospital from burns and inhaled smoke and flame. The incident was filmed by TVNZ, and there are photos of it in the Crash Bay at Ohakea.