Key.Aero Network
Register Free

Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Cmd Russell and Supermarine Scimitar accident

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    A little bit of Yorkshire in Argentina
    Posts
    148

    Cmd Russell and Supermarine Scimitar accident

    As a kid I was very distressed to see press photos of Cmd Russell failing to leave the cockpit of his Scimitar after it had crashed off the deck of an RN aircraft carrier despite attempts to rescue him from a helicopter. Apparently, the press had been invited to witness the first RN squadron of Scimitars in service.

    What actually happened? Someone said once that the oxygen system of the Scimitar was in some sense open and that the poor man received a lung full of water as the aircraft hit the sea.
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    big sky country
    Posts
    974
    Mike
    By a strange coincidence I happened across the Pathe news film of this very incident only yesterday. I also wondered why the pilot was unable to leave the cockpit or at least jettison the canopy. Does anyone know the facts about this tragic event.

    http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=35495

    Richard
    "Where are you from?"
    "America" Somebody laughed politely.

  3. #3
    Al's Avatar
    Al is offline Embittered old curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Forres
    Posts
    1,225
    'Flight' from 12th December 1958 has a fairly detailed piece on the inquest here...
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchi...0-%200896.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    At St Athan but from St Mawgan
    Posts
    10,733
    Cdr John Russell was C/O of 803 sqn and was making the first landing of their Scimitar F.1s aboard the newly recommisioned HMS Victorious on the 25 September 1958, the hook engaged the arrestor wire, but the wire snapped (due to inproper rigging), and the aircraft then rolled slowly over the side. The aircraft sank very slowly but the plane-guard helicopter crew couldn't release the pilot, and it was seen that Cdr Russell had opened his canopy but then closed it again, possibly as effect of gravity on the heavy frame.
    The other seven Scimitars in the stream diverted away to Yeovilton.

    This was a truely awful accident, partly due to the slowness and helplessness of the occurrence, the apparent lack of avoiding action, but mainly down to the fact that there was a large invited press pressence on the ship that recorded the terrible accident in every detail. BBC and ITV broadcast the whole thing that same evening and all press coverage was later heavily critized for their not showing much respect for the situation - which must have been truely awful for the family.

    I think your last sentence might refer to the 'balance system' where by when the aircraft ditches it lets in water through a valve to equalise the cockpit pressure to alow successful canopy and then seat ejection. It was surmised by some reports that the pilot may have considered ejecting the canopy and seat but then went for a manual escape, ie straps undone, headgear removed, but still had the leg restraint straps engaged.
    The other puzzling factor was why the aircraft wasn't braked or steered awy from the ships edge, but this may have been down to concentration on events inside the cockpit, ie wingfolding etc.

    I was reading through the Sea Vixen escape procedures the other day and it is truely complex (until command ejection mod c.'64), especially manual escape after ditching. Cabin presure has to equalised by inward flow of sea water before canopies could be blown off, and the oxy mask removed before the water gets into the regulator system.

    I really have respect for naval pilots of all eras, but the early to mid jet era was very hard for them, and some of the losses were terrible, Cdr John Des Russells highly publicised accident illustrated this only to well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    At St Athan but from St Mawgan
    Posts
    10,733
    Quote Originally Posted by pogno View Post
    Mike
    By a strange coincidence I happened across the Pathe news film of this very incident
    I rememeber watching it once years ago and the vision remained with me since, I never saw it again, or want to either.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,684
    Quote Originally Posted by pagen01 View Post
    I never saw it again, or want to either.
    That makes two of us
    Magister Aviation
    www.fougamagister.be

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

- Part of the    Network -

KEY AERO AVIATION NEWS

MAGAZINES

AVIATION FORUM

SHOP

 

WEBSITES