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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 9:57 pm   #1
McMurdo
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Default Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

I've just watched this 1968 episode of 'aircrash', it deals with the stockport air disaster of 1967 and subsequent investigation.
Although interesting in its own right, the documentary spends a little while at Royston Instruments, showing the 60's technology of the nacent flight data recorder. The ill-fated Canadair Argonaut that crashed was an early adopter of the Royston 'Midas' system.
Royston Industries of course is known in TV & Radio circles as being the parent of Vidor-Burndept (who were into aircraft locator beacons at the time) and Jennings / Vox when the group went into receivership, Vidor-Burndept being bought by Crompton Parkinson.
Worth a watch to see the technology of the day as narrated by the magic voice of Kenneth Baker

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz94kJRXWqA
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 10:03 pm   #2
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968

My Dad worked at Royston Instruments around that time.....

I think they were the only people in the crash and flight recorder business at the time that used tape and not wire.
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 10:39 pm   #3
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968

It happened a few streets away from where I'm living at the moment.

My (sadly late) Dad did a talk about it for the 50th anniversary for Marple Transport Society.
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 11:02 pm   #4
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
as narrated by the magic voice of Kenneth Baker
Richard Baker...Kenneth Baker was a sometime Tory minister. Agree about Richard, though - thorough pro, nice chap and a pleasure to work with.
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 11:57 pm   #5
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
It happened a few streets away from where I'm living at the moment.

My (sadly late) Dad did a talk about it for the 50th anniversary for Marple Transport Society.
If you know Stockport the crash location is just across the road from the Betrix industrial models company. There is a Stone/plaque there, saw it a few times when visiting Betrix.

BTW cause of the accident was not the electrical/electronics, apparently carburettor problems IIRC. Lets not go off topic on that one though.

Best Regards
Chris
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 4:15 am   #6
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Doesn't that documentary make so much of today's output look dumbed down?

David
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 9:36 am   #7
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

A fascinating account. What a terrible legacy for Capt. Marlow to have carried.

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Old 4th Aug 2020, 10:35 am   #8
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

A number of things have been learned from that and similar crashes. Pilots are taught to not be so reticent about declaring an emergency. Higher priority, more support to take workload off of them and more direct routing can increase the chances of a positive outcome. Being less driven to get to the planned destination can help... deciding to cut a flight short at an early sign of a problem. Getthereitis still kills people today, driving non-instrument pilots into instrument met conditions. It is reckoned that a non-imc pilot starts becoming disoriented after 30 seconds. Just look up 'VFR into IMC' and you'll see one of the biggest killers of people in light aircraft. Instrument pilots don't have it easy. On many planes the basic instrument gyros are spun by an air jet powered backwards by vacuum from an ancillary pump on an engine. These pumps wear out and fail. So pilots lose horizon and pitch indications on the very instruments designed to circumvent electrical failure. In cloud this can be disastrous.

Once an emergency is declared, pilots get priority on comms as well as on routing. Not all use the opportunity to talk the ground through what they are doing and why. Cockpit voice recorders aren't much use if everyone up front stays stumm.

Then we have the 737 MAX issue where automated systems are fitted to yank controls around in the pilot's hands for one issue, and to avoid different training from earlier versions of the plane, the crew aren't told of the new system, so they don't know it has a single point of failure and what to do if it misbehaves.

Getting an aviation product certified is a very large amount of work and cost. But it has to be borne in mind that the testing is not a 100% assurance that a passing product is perfect. It never can be. It is an assurance that an honest job has been done of testing but there are still possible vulnerabilities. What certification does is provide a limitation of liability. The documents include a statement that successful completion of their prescribed tests is sufficient proof of compliance with the requirements set out. This neatly transfers responsibility onto the shoulders of the certifying body, FAA in the US and EASA in Europe (and nobody nowadays in the UK).

One aeroplane without trim tabs was Concorde. They wouldn't have survived well at those airflows and wouldn't have worked well. Instead it was trimmed by moving fuel around between tanks to control the C of G. This meant it needed spare tank capacity at the start of a flight, and needed to have fuel left towards the end.. Both of which bit into the payload/range capability.

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Old 4th Aug 2020, 10:57 am   #9
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

I`ve viewed it now - quality documentary, makes you wonder why they need all the computer graphics recreations in modern documentaries.

Particularly interested in the Royston section, I`d show it to my Dad as he would have certainly known the people involved but now he almost certainly would no longer be able to remember and that would upset him. He`s 95 and very flaky now.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 11:10 am   #10
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

I remember that crash, Hopes Carr wasn't far from Stockport College on Wellington Rd. South where I did the last two years of my R&TV City & Guilds course.

Lawrence.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 1:01 pm   #11
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968

Quote:
Originally Posted by unitelex View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
It happened a few streets away from where I'm living at the moment.

My (sadly late) Dad did a talk about it for the 50th anniversary for Marple Transport Society.
If you know Stockport the crash location is just across the road from the Betrix industrial models company. There is a Stone/plaque there, saw it a few times when visiting Betrix.

Best Regards
Chris
Yes I pass the memorial quite often.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 10:24 pm   #12
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Quote:
Kenneth Baker was a sometime Tory minister


I was actually thinking about Kenneth Kendall..and ended up with a hybrid newsreader who ended up as Mrs Thatchers education secretary!
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 11:37 pm   #13
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Having now watched it all, I must agree with David. A straightforward narrative of events, without distortion for audience-hooking cliffhangers or intrusive "human interest" angles. The victims are not named, and people are allowed to say their piece without interruption. Their stoicism is something to behold, as is the matter-of-factness of the account given by the first policeman on the scene, but then much of the adult population had lived through a war. The prurience of Man Alive hadn't penetrated the whole documentary thread as yet.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 8:57 am   #14
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Something I'll never forget - it came in low over our [then] family home - backfiring etc. and then crashed about a mile away.

Why he didn't [perhaps couldn't] put the thing down in nearby Woodbank Park remains a mystery - where it crashed was perilously close to the Central Police & Fire Stations + the General Infirmary. The emergency services were however right on the scene and behaved heroically. The early 'black box' unit proved to be extremely useful. The plane missed the nearby historic Strawberry [Recording] Studios located in Hillgate by a matter of yards!
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Last edited by AC/HL; 5th Aug 2020 at 12:30 pm. Reason: OT aside edited
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 12:37 pm   #15
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

The report of the enquiry can be found here:-

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...p1%2023pdf.pdf
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 3:32 pm   #16
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Thanks for the link to a most interesting documentary. One has to feel sorry for Capt Marlow and of course those who lost loved ones.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 10:44 pm   #17
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

There is a very good about the accident called The Day The Sky Fell In which I read a few years ago.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 1:22 am   #18
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Thanks for the link to the video. I was particularly interested to see the report from the first uniformed police motor cycle rider on to attend the scene. Since I moved to Stockport, my wife has become the confidante of the Bobby, now in his 90s and widowed, who was the first policeman to actually arrive on the scene.

Bill Davis dragged several injured people from the wreck, but a young girl died in his arms, leaving him traumatised, in the days long before anyone could expect 'Counselling' for distress. He spoke to the TV crew who came to report, and was subsequently reprimanded for not referring them to the Police Chief who would have given the 'official' report. When the author of the book Richard mentioned asked for an interview Bill refused as the memories were too painful.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 1:38 am   #19
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

I was 15. A girl, younger than myself, who lost her parents in the crash came to my house, I played a board game with her, my dad told me to let her win.
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Old 7th Aug 2020, 11:36 am   #20
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Default Re: Aircrash 1968. Stockport.

Excellent documentary, very interesting. My own specific interest in this accident is that I saw this plane less than 5 minutes before it crashed. I was in the outhouse meddling with , probably a TV22, when I heard the engines, went into the garden to see the plane very low with, as is now revealed, 2 engines at full throttle. We lived under the flight path for MIA, so there were many planes to be seen, never that low though, I'm guessing maybe 300ft for this one . As soon as I saw and heard it, I was sure it was in trouble.

Last edited by AC/HL; 7th Aug 2020 at 12:11 pm. Reason: OT aside edited
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