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Thread: Post war crash information

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    Default Post war crash information

    Hello Gents, this ones outside my usual time period but no doubt you can help me on it:

    The Times for 8th October 1976 records:
    Jet crashes killing two.
    The two occupants of an RAF Training jet aircraft were killed yesterday when it crashed on its approach to the runway at RAF Shawbury, near Shrewsbury. It plunged into a field about a mile from the runway.
    What was the aircraft and any details please?

    Next - Harrier XV776 - 1 Sqn crashed at Ditton Priors, GR593893, 9th April 1975.
    Engine main bearing failed and crashed near Ditton Priors in Shropshire. The pilot F/Lt J Buckler ejected at 3000 feet while the aircraft was in a slightly nose up attitude and he sustained minor MDC spatter injuries above eye brows and bruising on the back of his left hand. (From internet ejecter seat website)
    Pilot was:
    - F/Lt J Buckler

    Can anyone add any detail to this incident and who the pilot was?

    Lastly - Vampire WZ496 of 7 FTS 20th September 1957 at 11.30 hrs, near Wem, Shropshire. Lt Williams ejected at 1500 feet and Rufus Heald ejected at 600 feet. (From same internet source as the Harrier incident)
    - M A Rufus Heald, Flying Instructor
    - Lt Williams, Royal Navy.

    Can anyone shed any more details on this incident? I noticed on the internet that Rufus Heald wrote his memoirs. Does any one have a copy? If so perhaps you would be kind enough to see if he mentions this incident?

    Cheers, Tom

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    Tom, re your first query from The Times:

    This was Gnat T1 XR996 from 4FTS. It crashed on approach to Shawbury. Both crew members were killed in the accident. They were: Flt Lt J L Grzybowski, the instructor, and Fg Off A W Smart, student.

    I can add nothing more on the Harrier incident.

    On the Vampire loss, Colin Cummings' in his book 'To Fly No More', gives the following details:

    The crew: Flight Lieutenant M A R Heald and Lieutenant J L Mills RN, experienced a fire warning and took the appropriate emergency procedures. They were directed towards RAF Shawbury but in the poor visibility had difficulty in making a visual fix. As cloud cover prevented a visual forced landing from being made, the crew ejected.

    Hope that helps.

    Laurie.

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    Tom,

    For the Gnat accident, Colin Cummings' 'Lost to Service' gives the crew's full names as:

    Flt Lt John Leszek Grzybowski, age 27, Pilot Instructor
    Fg Off Ashley William Smart, age 21, Student

    I note that the author lists the accident under 8 Oct 76, which would suggest that the 'Times' report did not appear until the following day (i.e. the 9th, rather than the 8th as per your post).

    The same volume records the Harrier accident but provides less info that you already have.

    Errol

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    I am wondering if John Grzybowski was a son of Polish WWII fighter pilot Lech Grzybowski. Does anyone happen to know?
    Franek

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    The Times date WAS 9th October 1976 (not 8th)

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    Hello chaps, that is some great information thank you all. The date was just a slip of the fingers, so yes you're right it was the 9th October in the Times. Interesting thoughts Franek, i wonder if anyone knows?

    Cheers, Tom

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    His hometown was Hammersmith and he was cremated at Shrewsbury so those clues may help


    http://www.forcesmemorial.org.uk/roll-of-honour/roll-of-honour-profile.asp?profile=90809

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