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Post-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation Please use this forum to discuss Military and Naval Aviation after the Second World War.

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Old 23rd October 2016, 10:56
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Danny152 Danny152 is offline
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Re: info needed on Meteor RA415

Can anyone advise what Sqn Meteor RA415 was with when it crashed at Llanbder airfield in 1958, also anything on its pilot who walked away from the incident. I have his title as F C Johnson?

Thanks

Danny
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Old 23rd October 2016, 15:42
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: info needed on Meteor RA415

Hello

The aircraft (a Meteor F.4, converted to a U.15 Drone), was operated by Flight Refuelling Ltd.

"Many old Mk.4s were converted to target drones by Flight refuelling Ltd., Alan Cobham's company, and of course before they were able to be flown without anyone on board quite a bit of testing was required...

Many years later as a Vickers Viscount Captain, I (the author, David Vernon*), was chatting to Frank, one of my First Officers, about his RAF days - it transpired that he had been based at Llandbedr and had been involved with the testing of drones. He said that one had tried to kill him and he showed me some horrific photos of an accident he had been in. It happened on final approach at about 100ft (30m), the ground controller was flying the aircraft when the autopilot aileron control 'ran-away' and put the aircraft into a roll. It was September 5, 1958.

By the time Frank had disconnected the autopilot the Meteor hit the ground between two hangars and continued through a canvas hangar before coming to rest. Looking at the pictures, one would never have thought survival was possible. But survive he did, albeit after a long stay in hospital and with a metal plate inserted in his head.

What Meteor was it - RA415 of course, it didn't manage to kill me or Frank, but it tried. Good riddance to a jinx - it's one aircraft we shall never forget."

See: FlyPast. April 1994 (No.153).pp.58-60. Justice! by David Vernon.

The article has three photographs of the crash (the Meteor was coded "L").

* Vernon, whilst on 257 Sqn at Horsham St Faith, had earlier forced-landed RA415.

No scanner!

Col.
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Old 24th October 2016, 10:38
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Danny152 Danny152 is offline
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Thumbs up Re: info needed on Meteor RA415

Col,

Great and thanks for the heads up. That's the info I was after. I might come back to you if okay if I have anymore burning questions!

Regards

Danny
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