I can’t stand watching the news when there has been an air accident.
Being brought up with air accidents made me hate the news reports on them as they all spout utter rubbish and speculations whilst the damned wreckage is still smouldering and the pilot has yet to be found.
Take in case the accident at Bournemouth Air Festival today . Within minutes of it happening the TV news were all over it…
Not even 5 minutes after it had happened and…
- The pilot can’t be found.
- The pilot was killed.
- The pilot was pulled out of the river after ejecting.
- The aircraft were doing a display.
- The display had finished.
- The aircraft were landing.
- The Red Arrow had power problems & dived into the ground.
- There was an explosion & fire (my favourite – Most false witnesses see explosions & fire… even if it’s a glider crash or failed parachute display…).
- One news reporter actually fed the ‘witness’ lines during the interview (Sky).
RAF Red Arrows
I have the greatest respect for the crews, families and all directly involved. It’s a dangerous job, things can go wrong and yet they still do it. My hat is off to you and the rest of our armed services.
As for witnesses… they are near useless.
A witness (or even a group of witnesses) can go on for 20 minutes about an event that happened in a split second. You can’t take in and process all of that data that your eyes just saw, so your brain fills in the blanks with possible scenarios. If a witness adds anything to a scene it is usually confusion and speculation.
My dad put more faith in examining a hangar full of wreckage to find the cause, than he ever did a witness. So ‘witnesses’ and ‘News reporters’, just shut up & let the investigators do their jobs. They are trained to do it and funnily enough, they know more about it than you…
If you do want to run around like headless chickens, then I suggest you go HERE for that particular information.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Red Arrows pilot killed on Saturday afternoon was Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging. He was 33. My sympathies to his family and friends.
This from the MOD Red Arrows site:
2 Comments | tags: 2011, accident, bournemouth, crash, egging, harrier, jon, mod, name, pilot, red arrows, smoke | posted in Rant
The F1 room
Alex gets very excited when he see’s cars that he really likes. He breaks into squeals and shouts of joy, but today’s trip out to Brooklands Museum in Weybridge was a real eye opener….
The first building we entered had F1 cars in it… as Alex stepped into the room he just stopped dead… not a sound… he was overwhelmed!!!
He then started naming the cars!
Now I’ve mentioned before about his car knowledge, but today he surpassed himself as we walked around the vintage motors. We walked into one room with some really old cars in, and straight away he was naming them… Vauxhalls, Morgans, MG’s…. and then in the corner we saw a really old car….. and over Alex went and happily told me it was a Bugatti!!!
In yet another room he told me about the red 1930’s Maserati and a very early 1900 and something Peugeot… one of those that look like an old stage coach! He said it was a Peugeot granny car….
In one showroom there was a staged room belonging to a car designer. It was full of small models on the window ledge… which Alex started naming… He’s less than a month from his 3rd Birthday, so hearing him name vintage race cars just seemed so odd! He’s very good at it!
Alex scares people by naming vintage race car models...
Besides the cars there are lots of aircraft at the museum – mostly those with some link to Vickers or Brooklands. They have one of the retired Concorde airliners there – an awesome sight – but for me it was overshadowed by the little known TSR2 nose section. Don’t get me started on that one… politics, politics and more politics… Grrrrrrr
A lot of the exhibits were things that my Dad had been heavily involved in – so I felt a warm nostalgia as I recollected the tales people told me of what he had achieved. He used to work alongside famous test pilots and engineers – notable names such as Bill Bedford and Barnes Wallace (Bouncing Bomb fame).
TRS2 fwd fuselage under Concorde nose
Vickers Wellington bomber, Hawker Hurricane, Harriers and Kestrels… Bouncing bombs and Tall Boys… lots of history… All of which Alex really enjoyed…. but this is Brooklands, and the home of a motor racing circuit that is 102 years old… or what is left of it….
Alex under the huge nose of the Valiant V-Bomber in the Stratosphere Chamber - out of sight is the 100 ton chamber door!
The circuit saw the fastest cars of the day – record breakers and racers – and a lot of them are on display. The steeply banked track is close to impossible to walk up – and very scary to try and climb down again as it is near vertical at the top!
So happy I thought the corners of his smile would meet up at the back of his head...
I always wondered what it would be like to go around the banked track, and today I had to wonder no more… They had a range of vintage and vintage style cars … and a Corvette … taking passengers up the (crazily steep) Hill Climb and hard right onto a woodland surrounded dirt track that swooped down and joined onto some of the remaining original circuit… tha part with the steep banking….
As we swept down the woodland road onto the race track our driver gunned the engine and took us up the steeply banked track – I say steeply banked track, but I think “wall” is a better description!
Alex loved it so much (squealing and grinning with joy) that we had to go around twice! It really was fantastic! The photo’s don’t do the angles justice!
The Hill Climb - We rocketed up this!
Getting ready to climb the bank.... It did not feel natural to be going so fast at such an angle of sideways tilt!
A final mention goes to this old fire engine. I’ve just had my 36th birthday… but I don’t feel so old… until I see an engine that I used to drive as part of my job!!!
I used to be part of the Dan-Air (Lasham) airfield fire crew. We had old RAF and Airport fire vehicles, and this very engine was one that I used to drive! How old does it make you feel to see something you actually used sitting there in a museum!
VXN... the old engine I used to drive!
2 Comments | tags: alex, banked, banking, banking. banked, barnes wallace, bouncing bomb, brooklands, concorde, corvette, dan air, engine, F1, fire, Formula 1, grand slam, harrier, hill climb, honda, Kestrel, kit car, kitcar, lasham, loch ness, masserati, mclaren, mercedes, merlin, mg, morgan, ng, peugeot, stratosphere, stratosphere chamber, tall boy, track, TSR2, TSRII, valiant, vauxhall, vc10, vickers, wellington | posted in cars, Family, Formula 1, General Interest
Hawley Lake has an airstrip – or at least it has a disused airstrip.
Two short runways cross on top of the hill. The history is a bit tricky to trace, but there are a few ideas around.
There is a thought that it was used for special operations with Lysander aircraft. This would make some sense, as the Lysander was superb for short field work.
Other talk says Beavers and various liason aircraft/helicopters used the strip to access Minley and/or Gibraltar Barracks (which have a certain hush-hush rumoury around them anyway).
Even Harrier and helicopter tests were thought to have been carried out here, to test sand damage and filters on desert based aircraft.
I don’t know the date of strip construction – which would be of some help – but until then, it’s a rumour of history. I do know that local airfields have been (and still are) used for secret squirrel operations.
1 Comment | tags: airstrip, beaver, blackbushe, desert, farnborough, harrier, hawley, helicopters, liason, lysander, minley, secret squirrel, special forces, special ops, specops, spy, war, ww2 | posted in Miscellaneous and Older blogs, Techno-joy