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Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 From The Egyptian Desert

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest

    I may be missing something here.

    How do you know his radio was working? And what do you mean by the statement that he made the forced-landing "unmanned". I don't follow what you mean by that?

    Comment

    • shepsair
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Oct 2009
      • 284

      P40

      Hi Qattara,

      I am getting more and more confused by some statements.

      He obviously did not bail out unless he managed to shut the canopy on exiting the aircraft.

      It looks as though he may have tried to retract the undercarriage (if the starboard leg is in the wheel well which is possible as only one tyre/wheel has been located). Knowing they were fixed down he may have ensured he landed on a rocky area to ensure the undercarriage snapped off. It shows the port wheel did not retract and damage to the tail plane from the impact. If you know you had your undercarriage fixed down I would be looked to 'remove it' rather than try to force land on sand and risk turning over. This is also assume he could see rock, it may well have been more sandy 70 years ago than today?

      Personally, the fuselage damage to me seems more like flak (through bottom of fusealge and out through thet top) than air to air having seen numerous recovered aircraft with machine gun and cannon fire damage.

      There were quite a few P40 units in the area, not just 260Sqn.

      No. 233 Wing
      2 Squadron SAAF
      4 Squadron SAAF
      5 Squadron SAAF
      260 Squadron RAF

      No. 239 Wing
      3 Squadron SAAF
      112 Squadron RAF
      250 Squadron RAF
      450 Squadron RAAF

      The note about the Qattara depression on Sheppard's account I also found interesting as he does mention on the right. I too thought it might be on the left when he flew off and headed to 53RSU. To me it seems more straight ahead though again we are not sure of his final setting when he flew off to Cairo.

      Again, the 240 degree is the direction they started and assumed to be for 35-40 minutes assumed to be around 170 knots (with ET574 wheels down). Sheppard landed 1 hour, 50min later.

      As for the radio. We will never know. Sheppard stated he broke radio silence but got no reply from Copping.

      I doubt we will ever know what truly happened but until I see some other firm evidence, I will go on what we know from the records and assessment of what we can see from the photos.

      regards

      Mark

      PS The family are obtaining his service record. It is thought he arrived in North Africa in March 1942 (to be confirmed) and was the more experienced of the two pilots hence why he led.

      Comment

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest

        Mark

        Not quite sure that I go with the theory that he might have tried to 'snap the undercarriage off'.....!!

        I'd have thought the risk of turning turtle with gear down amongst rock is just as high as gear down in soft sand.

        Comment

        • Peter
          Moderator
          • Jan 2000
          • 12506

          why is it this thread seems to mirror a merry go round?
          Cheers,Peter
          "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

          Comment

          • shepsair
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Oct 2009
            • 284

            P40

            Andy,

            Qattara is right in a way - the area to the east (his left hand side) was a large sandy area. If he had no issue with the undercarriage and it was retracted then it would be assumed a pilot he would prefer to land on flat sand there than a rocky terrain. (Definitely the case in the Arctic circle with lake v tundra).

            The landing does seem to be harder than other P40 crash landings with all of the chin cowl, radiators and bottom of the engine taken off.

            Anyway, it is all assumptions at the end of the day.

            Peter is right, thread is starting to get a bit tedious. Lets hope there will be some good news and significant news to report soon.

            regards

            Mark

            Comment

            • TonyT
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Oct 2006
              • 9021

              It all depends on if he actually had a choice of landing site, true the area was rocky, but then again 70 years ago it might have been a different story, the gear one being up and the other down could be simply explained by him attempting to put it up to belly land it on an unknown surface to prevent it nosing over and finding it wouldn't retract or drop again..

              I find it strange that having found a body close to the site with parachute remnants, people now appear to be discounting this as too close to the site... Lots of bodies during the war etc.... You simpy do not know what condition he was in, a landing like that I would be suprised if he wasn't concussed, may have sprained an ankle, hurt his back etc. and probably spent time with the wreck before striking out in a desperate attempt to make it to safety.. the parachute remnants make sense to me, he would need something to keep the sun off his head so may have used part of it to fashion a scarf.

              As the remains have not been disturbed one hopes that they locate his dog tags with the body

              Comment

              • qattara
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2012
                • 52

                I apologize because my English is bad, and then I come often misunderstood.

                remarks made by the landing gear was retracted SURELY, also switches on board indicate that the landing gear was inside, also the lever on the side of the seat is in the retracted position.

                He definitely in the final stages of landing could not maneuver the plane, otherwise it would surely go on the sand.

                why would extract the radio and batteries if this was broken?

                plane missing since the beginning of the crank starter, fire extinguisher, navigation charts log book and other material.


                I kindly ask that if you have documents, you can mail them to me?

                next days i will have a detailed report written by an expert of the NTSB aviation

                I will publish

                Comment

                • Guest's Avatar
                  Guest

                  Qattara

                  Please don't apologise for your English. I suspect it is much better than the Italian of many on this forum!

                  However, and although Peter pointed out that this thread is a bit of a merry go round, that might well be because of so much theorising that has gone on from the very outset.

                  At risk of feeding that theory-fest yet further, surely he might have removed the radio kit to try to repair it? You ask the question; why would he take out the radio and batteries if it was broken?

                  It is likely that it may well have been damaged in the crash, anyway, and it is known that Copping had some electrical/technical expertise and he might have been trying to repair it to transmit a desperate message. In any event; do we know it was Copping who removed it? Yes, it was out of the aircraft but we are surely pre-supposing that nobody had chanced across the wreck long before its more recent discovery. That being the case, we cannot tell what those discoverers might have done.

                  Again, all just theories!

                  Comment

                  • qattara
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • May 2012
                    • 52

                    theory only theory, but very interesting.
                    sure, bedouins or others visited the wreck in the past: our bedouins listened the tales of local people saying ....el tajara el inglisi (the plane of englishman)
                    as i wrote, instrument and accessories removed since our first visit comfirm my supposition!
                    oh i don't know if we will arrive to the end of the story, but however is important speake about: is a way to keep the memory alive

                    thank you so much

                    Comment

                    • l.garey
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Feb 2006
                      • 1951

                      Qattara:
                      If you want to write in Italian, please do so. I think I can manage to translate. Or how is your French, which is my everyday language?
                      Laurence

                      Comment

                      • qattara
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • May 2012
                        • 52

                        dear friends,
                        all is calm, no longer speaks of p40: I have a terrible suspicion.
                        raf museum is silent, the British Embassy is silent, no one has asked for the coordinates, and Copping back into oblivion.
                        nobody, I repeat no one went to see the wreck, nor even the bones, they're all on the beach.
                        poor figure by the British authorities!, only a group of Italians at their own expense, went and sought information on the site.

                        Comment

                        • Mark12
                          MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 10863

                          Silence is golden.

                          Mark
                          "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                          Comment

                          • Propstrike
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Mar 2004
                            • 3998

                            Originally posted by Mark12
                            Silence is golden.

                            Mark
                            Ah-So.......

                            Oh Master, you are very cryptic today

                            Comment

                            • Beaufighter VI
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Sep 2005
                              • 533

                              Silence is golden because the Brits. are there, don't tell anybody.
                              " I'm not young enough to know everything." - J M Barrie 1903

                              Comment

                              • paulmcmillan
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jan 2000
                                • 2650

                                Originally posted by Mark12
                                Silence is golden.

                                Mark
                                Careful Mark 12...

                                Olympic Brand Guidleines

                                Restrict the use the word "Gold"

                                See:

                                http://www.london2012.com/documents/...ing-rights.pdf
                                Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.

                                Comment

                                • H87A-2
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Sep 2009
                                  • 31

                                  Originally posted by qattara
                                  I apologize because my English is bad, and then I come often misunderstood.

                                  remarks made by the landing gear was retracted SURELY, also switches on board indicate that the landing gear was inside, also the lever on the side of the seat is in the retracted position.
                                  Hi Qattara

                                  Just a quick one for you, the undercarriage doesn't indicate if it was up or down from the position of the lever in the cockpit. The lever is in the neutral position. The method to drop or raise the U/C on a Kittyhawk is the following.

                                  Safety latch forward (bolt on top of lever)
                                  Lower handle to down/lift to up position
                                  Press the Hydraulic control switch on control stick and hold for a couple of secs after the indicator shows the gear down and locked.
                                  Final check use the hand pump, if high pressure is required to move then gear is down.
                                  Return the control lever to neutral and safety re-engages.

                                  (The emergency method is similar but using the Aux hand pump or Emergency pump (instead of the Hydraulic control) by moving the pump handle from one to the other).

                                  I had a current Kittyhawk pilot look at the photos (one of the earlier ones before the sand filled up the cockpit) and he confirmed that the U/C lever was in neutral. If the u/c was damaged the only way to lower would have been either by the hand pump or the emergency pump. Only way to tell where the pumphandle is would be to remove the sand from the cockpit.

                                  Buz

                                  Comment

                                  • Bob
                                    Bob
                                    Aerophile
                                    • Jan 2000
                                    • 3656

                                    Originally posted by Mark12
                                    Silence is golden.

                                    Mark
                                    Under my gruff exterior lies an even gruffer interior...

                                    行雲流水

                                    Warbirdskies Blog

                                    Comment

                                    • qattara
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • May 2012
                                      • 52

                                      thanks h87a-2 very interesting.
                                      perhaps all of you don't know how is appening in egypt about p 40 story.... but the end of the sad story will not be beautiful.
                                      and i'm sure no englishman is in the desert at these days.....except fot who is on the beach
                                      and copping will be forgotten like some bones we found.
                                      But not for ARIDO team: we are studying a new mission dedicate only to search mr copping: the wreck is another sad story expecially for all of you.

                                      Our mission is to try each dispersed or died in the desert, regardless of nationality
                                      we will place a memorial on the discovery of human remains and not ask anyone for help: Experience teaches us that words are all good but the facts ........
                                      perhaps we are loosing a battle, but not our war, it's a long way..........

                                      many thanks to all for the support

                                      Comment

                                      • Mark12
                                        MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 10863

                                        Silence is golden.

                                        Mark
                                        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                                        Comment

                                        • Propstrike
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Mar 2004
                                          • 3998

                                          Originally posted by Mark12
                                          Silence is golden.

                                          Mark
                                          Oh,
                                          don't it hurt deep inside
                                          To see someone do something to her
                                          Oh,
                                          don't it pain to see someone cry

                                          Oh, especially when someone is her.

                                          Silence is golden...
                                          but my eyes still see.

                                          Silence is golden, golden.
                                          But my eyes still see.

                                          Comment

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