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Thread: Accident at Jurby 1945/46

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    Default Accident at Jurby 1945/46

    Hi all

    I would be grateful if anyone could provide some detail on an accident that occurred at RAF Jurby in 1945 /46. In the late 1970s as a young air cadet I was fortunate to study GCE O Level Air Navigation under a former wartime navigator by the name of Jim Hey. Jim was a wonderful chap to learn from - being by then a retired physics teacher - having served with 37 sqn in N Africa and later, on the staff of the Navigation School at Shawbury.

    It was whilst at Shawbury that he was involved - if I remember correctly - researching navigation in the higher latitudes and undertook a research flight - in I think a Wellington - to Northern Canada. As they appraoched the UK on their return flight everywhere was out due fog and Jim as Navigator recommended a divert to Aldergrove however the pilot having learnt to fly at Jurby, elected to land there much against Jim's better judgement as he felt Jurby was too small for a Wellington.

    On landing, the Wellington did indeed overun the runway at Jurby and the aircraft was wrecked in the process giving Jim a back injury that was to plague him ever after.

    If anyone can throw any light on this incident i would be very grateful, apologies I have no other information as Jim died some years ago!

    Many thanks

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    I've had a quick look at Steve Poole's book: "Rough Landing or Fatal Flight", dealing with aircraft about the Isle of Man. I could find no reference to the incident you describe and no mention of Jim Hey in the Index.

    A number of things spring to mind, given always the possibility that an accident has been missed - not that I have anything to suggest one has been.

    Shawbury was the home of the Empire Air Navigation School at one stage and all sorts of exotic flights were staged from there, all over the world. However, I am surprised that anybody would want to take a Wellington to Northern Canada for any sort of research, when there would have been many more suitable aircraft available for a crossing of the 'pond'. Furthermore, except for the experimental Wellington with the bubble canopy - can't remember which version that is - I don't think I would want to use a Wellington for high altitude anything and, again, there would be more capable aircraft available.

    My money would be on something like a Lancaster. I can't get my head around why Aldergrove would be rejected in favour of Jurby but - captain's perogative. However, this combination suggests that the crew were returning via a northern route and suggests the possibility of actually overflying Aldergrove just to go on to Jurby.

    Sorry I can't throw a positive light on this one but somebody else will!!!

    Colin Cummings

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    Hello,

    Possibly:

    4-9-1945
    EANS
    Halifax III NA277

    Overshot on landing at Jurby and ran into a field. NFD

    Col.

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    Default Accident at Jurby

    Many thanks to you both!

    Colin: to answer a couple of questions the reason the Pilot elected for Jurby was he had trained there and knew the field, Jim was certain jurby could not accomodate the aircraft they were in hence his decision to divert. The research was not involving high altitude but high latitude, poss looking at magnetic disturbances close the magnetic pole.

    Col: Excellent you seem to have found it, any idea how I may be able to find out more please, indeed I am intrigued as to how you tracked it down.

    Thanks again to you both

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    Hi Royton,

    Empire Air Navigation School (Shawbury), was the key !

    Accidents still continued, in September (1945), a Halifax crashed at Jurby, Isle of Man.

    A History of Royal Air Force Shawbury.
    Ferguson,Aldon.
    Liverpool:Merseyside Aviation Society Ltd.,1977
    p.26

    Not much, but enough.

    Then the hard slog through:

    The Halifax File.
    Roberts,R N.
    Tonbridge:Air-Britain(Historians),1982.
    p.102

    Sorry, no further details.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 21st February 2013 at 13:16.

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    Thanks for putting me straight on this.

    To make amends, this from the Form 1180.

    "The aircraft was returning to base after a 5 1/2 hour navigation training sortie. On approach, the starboard engine feathered itself when the revs dropped to 1800 rpm. The pilot overshot the approach successfully but then found the other engines were overheating and so landed off the next approach but the aircraft overshot the runway and swung into a hedge collapsing the undercarriage".

    The implication is that the aircraft was intending to land at Jurby anyway and there was no mention of having been to Canada. However, the 1180 is just a summary and the contribution that the weather conditions made is not clearly stated.

    I've gone back to Steve Poole's book now that we have the aircraft identified it states that the aircraft had left Shawbury and an hour later was off the Isle of Man. The book says a port engine, the 1180 a starboard engine. The pilot is said to have decided to divert and land and contacted Jurby, who gave permission to land but there is no comment about the airfield being unsuitable for what was a precautionary, rather than an emergency, landing. Poole then records that the aircraft started to swing and the attempts to correct this were unsuccessful. There is no reference to the aircraft running off the end because the airfield was unsuitable but rather that it went off the side. In addition the aircraft was probably only airborne for 90 minutes and I am assuming the 1180 meant that the sortie was planned to be 5 1/2 hours. These points are of course minor but you now have the details you needed.

    Colin Cummings

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    Default Accident at Jurby

    Many thanks to you both once again!

    Apologies if I gave you a duff steer re the Canada bit, I know Jim was certainly involved on these flights. It was over thirty years ago since Jim first mentioned this hemnce the inaccuracy of my details but as always the answer has been revealed.

    As I said Jim was a great teacher and influence to me as a young, keen and enthusiastic cadet insofar as navigation was concerned. Ten years plus since he passed away and I still miss his experiences...........

    Thanks again much appreciated.

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    Default Accident at Jurby

    Hi Royston,

    Just a small point in your initial statement "the pilot having learnt to fly at Jurby". Jurby was never a pilot training airfield, navigators, bomb aiimers, air gunners, observers yes, but not pilot training. It's most likely the pilot mentioned was a staff pilot at Jurby, this would involve him flying the trainees on various exercises depending on when he was there and which flight he was attached to.

    Stevie

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    Default Accident at Jurby

    Stevie - many thanks for the update as to the probable circumstances of the pilot. As I say it was some 30 years ago since the incident was related, so detail on my part may well have become somewhat "clouded"! However I do know Jim tried hard to persuade against a divert to Jurby as he felt Aldergrove was the better option.

    Thanks again

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