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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 55328
Last updated: 16 November 2018
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Date:01-OCT-1956
Time:ca 10.08
Type:Silhouette image of generic VULC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Vulcan B.1
Owner/operator:Royal Air Force (RAF)
Registration: XA897
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:London Heathrow Airport, EGLL/LHR -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Aden
Destination airport:LHR
Narrative:
Following successful record breaking trip to Australia the press had assembled at London Airport for a welcoming reception. The visibility was poor and at 1030 yards from touch down the Vulcan made initial contact with the ground, removing both main undercarriage units.
The pilot Squadron Leader Howard attempted to go around but was unable to properly control the aircraft and both he and the co-pilot, Air Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst ejected. The remaining crew members had no ejection seats and perished in the crash.

Maurice R Hamlin. Retired ex RAF Fl/Sgt Air Signaller states he was the NCO I/C Bomber Command signals HQ and sent 3 Class A diversions to the aircraft ordering them to divert to an alternative airfield due to extreme weather conditions. All messages were acknowledged but overridden by AVM Broardhurst, he says.
He further states:
1. The Court of Enquiry were not told that the Vulcan aircraft captain had been ordered three times not to land but to divert, also that Sqdn Ldr Gamble the aircrafts communications officer had acknowledged receipt of these orders but both pilots refused to take action.
2. At the Court of Enquiry a member asked why the pilot was not advised to divert due to the terrible weather conditions. The question was ignored. (See Hansard report)
3. The Court was told that the pilots had not been trained to land a Vulcan using GCA. They were also told that Sqdn/Ldr Howard had set a break off glide-path height of 300 feet, but on approach went above the glide path by 80 feet and then over corrected and dropped 100 feet (30 m) too low, believing he was still on the correct glide path and had even gone below that height for the attempted landing and crashed. Yet they still placed blame towards the ground controller.
4. Members of the Enquiry also asked, whether or not the decision to land was coerced by AVM Broadhurst’s wish to attend the massive media reception awaiting to celebrate his arrival after the first ever Non-stop flight from Australia? No response was given. (See Hansard report)
5. Finally, Mr Cox ignores the fact that it was the Grp/Captain of HQBC himself who ordered me to send the final diversion orders so their could be no question that these orders were overruled by Broadhurst's alledged earlier voice communication.

Mr Hamlin states that his last diversion was again acknowledged by the Sqdn/Ldr Gamble just minutes before the crash.
See below the final proof that Mr Cox refuses to accept.

A Message from Mr VAM Hunt FRaAe.S.FIN dated 16/10/56
Director of Control & Navigation. MTCA .
Observer at the RAF Court of Enquiry.
Mr Hunt states that on research of the Pilots lack of instrument approach practice with any radio or radar aids, the pilot was not justified in making an attempt to land at London Airport. He also made errors of judgement in setting a break off height at 300 ft and even going below that, the Co pilot also failed to warn him of the nearness of the
ground and poor visibility.

Mr Cox also ignores the evidence later offered by Captain V.A.M. (an official member of the enquiry) whher he notified the Air ministry in a Secret statement; that following further research he clearly found that both pilots were the direct cause of the accident, not the GCA contoller.

Sources:

http://www.john-dillon.co.uk/V-Force/xa897_london.html
https://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-164115.html

Video

Air Britain: RAF Aircraft XA100 - XZ999, published 2001


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Feb-2009 11:02 harro Updated
20-Feb-2011 13:34 Hamlin Updated [Embed code]
22-Aug-2011 13:18 Uli Elch Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
12-Apr-2012 00:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
18-Mar-2016 12:33 Maurice Hamlin Updated [Narrative]
23-Oct-2016 16:17 Maurice R Hamlin Updated [Narrative]
23-Oct-2016 16:23 harro Updated [Narrative]
12-Sep-2018 12:16 Maurice Hamlin Updated [Operator, Narrative]
12-Sep-2018 12:18 harro Updated [Operator, Narrative]

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