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P-40 found in desert.

More proof of idiot journalists.

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Peter Miller11/05/2012 18:20:01
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THis is the report from the Telegraph.

P-40 found

Note that the person writing it up suggests that the pilot had tried to restart the aircraft.

Edited By David Ashby on 27/05/2012 08:01:09

David Molineux11/05/2012 19:13:24
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I don't think that even an RAF pilot would think that could be restarted teeth 2

Amazing find.

Mike Rolls11/05/2012 19:30:51
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Actually, Peter, it wasn't the journalist who said that:

"Andy Saunders, a military aviation historian" was the one.

Mike

Edited By David Ashby on 12/05/2012 09:22:08

Martin Harris11/05/2012 20:04:36
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Before we pass judgement , there's a couple of possible scenarios - one is that he may have flattened the battery trying to contact help by radio and tried to start the engine to recharge it - and if the emergency cranking handle was in place or nearby this would have provided evidence that he started or attempted to start it.

Less likely, he may have been deteriorating and decided to start the engine to stay warm at night - who knows how the mind works when dehydration and desparation sets in...

John Privett11/05/2012 20:31:02
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Was it an idiot journalist though? He seems to be quoting the aviation historian, though it's not given as a direct quote;

Andy Saunders, a military aviation historian, said: "The aviation historical world is hugely excited about this discovery.

"This plane has been lying in the same spot where it crashed 70 years ago. It hasn't been hidden or buried in the sand, it has just sat there.

"It is a quite incredible time capsule, the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun's Tomb. It is hundreds of miles from anywhere and there is no reason why anyone would go there."

Mr Saunders said there was evidence the Ft Sgt Copping survived the crash as there evidence he used the plane for shelter and tried to restart it.

John Privett11/05/2012 20:38:15
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OK, Mike got in ahead of me... I got called away and didn't get back to finish my post until an hour after starting it!

I can't imagine the plane was landed with the undercarriage down on that surface. And even if it had I hardly think it would be possible to take off again. Anyway the article in The Times (that I read in the dentist's waiting room this morning) said it was presumed he'd flown until he ran out of fuel. And I'm sure one of the pics either there or maybe in the Metro showed the prop some distance from the plane, with twisted blades as if damaged in the landing.

So all things considered I don't think starting the engine was either going to be possible or going to achieve very much!

JC11/05/2012 20:49:36
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They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

Martin Harris11/05/2012 20:51:48
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The tailwheel appears to have been down so it looks like the gear was down. I suppose there's also a remote possibility that the aircraft was put down in one piece and whatever caused it to need to be landed rectified - blocked filter, fuel blockage, vapourisation etc. and the undercarriage failed during the attempt to take off.

Only a diary would help answer some of the questions - maybe they will find some information if they do find the pilot...

Plummet11/05/2012 21:11:48
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On the radio tonight...

It seems the pilot had rigged up his parachute as a shade, and removed radios and batteries. Gone looking for help?

Respect and sympathy.

Plummet

Pete B - Moderator11/05/2012 21:53:20
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Some further information here. Read the ps and pps.

Pete

Martin Harris11/05/2012 22:31:18
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Interesting - the prop tips seem more bent than in any other prop than I've seen that's been landed gear up suggesting they may have been under considerable power - and what caused the reduction gear to be ripped off - not very common is it? This makes me wonder a little more about the take-off scenario - especially as the throttle is wide open in the photos but of course we don't know what has been played with since...

Against that is the terrain which certainly doesn't look very landing friendly - and the flap idicator appears to show more deflection than the recommended 25% for take-off.

Edited By Martin Harris on 11/05/2012 22:42:14

Pete B - Moderator11/05/2012 23:01:52
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Post #723 on this page gives an account by the pilot of a second aircraft which took off with the found P-40. Whilst the identity remains to be proven beyond doubt, it looks very much as if this was the missing aircraft, flown by Flt Sgt Copping of 260 Sqn.

Pete

Peter Miller12/05/2012 08:33:43
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KNowing how jounalists and sub editors can mess things up, I suspect that Andy Saunders did not say that the pilot tried to start the engine but that it was added by someone else.

Martin Harris12/05/2012 09:19:03
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Just seems an odd thing (even for the most imaginative journalist) to make up...what point was he trying to make? It's a bit different from the usual "fighter jet found in desert - hero pilot wrestled with the controls to avoid hitting herd of young camels" rubbish beloved of some of the scribbling profession!

Peter Miller12/05/2012 10:47:51
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How much more odd for an aviation historian to suggest that the pilot might have tried to starat the engine.

I found a lot more pictures, some show a big pack of dry batteries. It also shows some sort of fan or comprssor ripped out of the engine. IT is also pretty obvious that there was no cooling system left.

I think that the jounalist may have miss understood something the historian said or the sub editor did.

I do know that people who write for newspapers have said that their work can be completely changed by the sub editor. I read that sort of cxomplaint a few times in "The Author" Journal of "The Society of Authors"

It happens in many magazines. Sufferedf rom it myself a few times and I know other who have said the same thing.

Daithi O Buitigh12/05/2012 14:11:42
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At a guess, judging by the fact that flaps and tailwheel were down and bits of the undercart were scattered around, I'd hazard a guess he tried a wheels landing, but the wheels were ripped off (sank in soft sand maybe). That would account for damage to the prop when it collapsed. I'd doubt very much that it nosed over on landing (lack of structural damage to the rudder would point to it landing right side up)

However, we'll never know really

Edited By Daithi O Buitigh on 12/05/2012 14:13:19

John Privett12/05/2012 14:41:32
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Whatever the reasons, it's a shame the Telegraph's report appears to be perhaps "not as well-written as it could be".

Especially as I thought their recent report on the Air France Airbus crash in the Atlantic was a good one, and totally lacking the usual sort of rubbish that journalists (or their editors) all too often manage to produce in the daily press.

John Privett12/05/2012 14:43:43
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Posted by Martin Harris on 12/05/2012 09:19:03:

It's a bit different from the usual "fighter jet found in desert - hero pilot wrestled with the controls to avoid hitting herd of young camels" rubbish beloved of some of the scribbling profession!

Good point Martin! Though I suspect you might find that version of the story in the Sun or the Daily Wail. I haven't looked there, and I'm not going to either!

Pete B - Moderator12/05/2012 14:53:58
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Posted by Daithi O Buitigh on 12/05/2012 14:11:42:

At a guess, judging by the fact that flaps and tailwheel were down and bits of the undercart were scattered around, I'd hazard a guess he tried a wheels landing,

At a guess, judging by the account in the link I provided above, given by the pilot of the aircraft which took off at the same time, he didn't have much choice, since the undercarriage was locked down before take-off!.....wink 2

Pete

ken anderson.13/05/2012 09:33:47
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todays Sun newspaper has a good article in and an actual photo of the young lad...who lost his life in the desert...standing next to the aircraft....and some comments from his family etc...

ken anderson ne..1 ...P40 dept..

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