Thank you 'Ste-t' for confirmation of 1966. With absolute certainty Gate 2 was down the west wing of the old terminal in the 80's, gate 1 opposite led out to the staff car park and the Director's Office entrance! I can recall asking the Airport Director of the time why the Airport's premier departure gate led to the staff car park and seem to remember the reply was something along the lines of, "It was like that when I arrived".
What I am questioning is the fact that in 1966 I wrote down that the incident took place at Gate 4. Now I was 15 at the time and log diary does contain some odd statements, so I'm not taking that as gospel - therefore the question did they ever change the gate numbers around in the 1970s when they remodeled the terminal interior? Actually I don't think they did, so do I believe me then, or do I believe me now?
Think it has been established now - but proof positive of date and gate from the Echo report of the time. viz -
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2015 12:30:55 GMT 1 by maverick
The recent discussion regarding both Gates and dates, has encouraged Frank Nicholls to explore his loft, and come up with previously unpublished (indeed for very many years, unseen) photos of both the Cambrian Viscount and Ace Freighters Constellation incidents. These were taken on a square format, basic camera and following scanning have been cropped, re-contrasted and re-touched using Picasa.
Interesting to read the newspaper article then look at these photos, two taken just after the nose had been extracted from the door way. The doorway is around 2 to 3 ft above the apron and a ramp around 3 to 4ft wide leading upto it, which explains why the nose undercarriage leg has been damaged so far behind the main door-frame 'pinch' marks by the cockpit. The damage to the aircraft is clear once pulled back onto the apron. Clever little crawler, that presumably the Fire Service produced, to remove the aircraft without further damage being caused.
Ace Freighters L-749A Constellation 'tail tip', Saturday 2nd July 1966
The Constellation tail-tip being the result of part of a load of cigarettes being carried during a Docks and Merchant Seaman's strike, shifting. When forward momentum and the prop wash 'lift' over the wings ceased, with an altered C of G the aircraft gently settled onto its tail. This is shown clearly on these photos, both from the Balcony and from ground level beside the former Car-Ferry Sheds and white plank fencing. Indeed I could be the kid in the gate, with back to the camera - certainly I was there on the day. The large air-bag was placed under the nose to prevent damage to the undercarriage should the aircraft have regained its normal stance too quickly. Final photo shows the Connie back to normal - indeed damage was so slight the aircraft was back in service the following morning. The Douglas C-54/DC-4 always had the potential for this to happen, and a metal strut was placed between tail and ground when unloading passengers - but I never witnessed a tail tip, other than this Connie.
Many thanks to Frank for coming up with these fascinating photos. I am always on the look-out for 60s, 70s and 80s photos, colour or b&w and will shortly be launching major threads on the 60s decade at Speke that will require illustration of both the regular and the unusual. Do you have any shots, even of 'rubbish' quality, hidden away?
Great photos. I've seen the Ace Freighters ones before, but not the OE ones. The Ace Freighters pictures were used for many years in ramp crew training, for obvious reasons!
I remember the OE incident very well. There we were having a cup of tea and discussing the upcoming football at the weekend to the accompanying sound of four Rolls-Royce Darts,(nothing unusual in that of course), when there was a hell of a bang and the building shook. The Darts were quickly powered down and we ran out to see what had happened. A rather shaken Tommy Rise (who was chief engineer at the time) emerged from the door and said that the brakes had failed, exactly as the Echo article says.
The ones who had the greatest shock were the Met Office staff, who occupied the office next door to the gate.
The gate opposite, Gate 1, did indeed lead to the staff car park and the bonded store. Some things don't change however. It is still necessary to fit the tail strut to the ATR 42 and 72 before passengers can disembark!
Last Edit: Sept 1, 2015 23:14:30 GMT 1 by garstonboy
One 'incident' in the above list is in 1977; during the pressure of a stream of arrivals, one pilot did not absolutely obey 'bats', the result a slow speed excursion off the concrete of the apron 'finger' onto hard grass. No damage was done and the aircraft later successfully pushed-back onto the apron. Red faces all round and no doubt some Gallic expletives! I just love the improvisation in the third photo - with the nose slightly down, the rear 'air-stairs' would not quite reach the ground. The front door was unsafe for passenger use as any steps would be insecure on the grass, leave the passengers on board all day, no! - answer find a spare pallet and use it as the final step and everyone is happy. Took me a while after the original listing was posted to rediscover and add-in the registration, now photos of the aftermath have been turned-up. If anyone comes across photos of incidents and accidents at Liverpool Airport, do please post, or at least contact me by PM.
This post also serves as a 'bump-up' for this popular thread, as all my images that were removed by 'Photobucket' have now, some 8 months later have now not only been replaced, but also added to here. Between May 2013 and February 2018 this thread has clocked up 12,635 'hits', and the count will climb higher now that it is illustrated again.
Well, at the top of my previous post I invited anyone with photographs of aircraft accidents and incidents at Liverpool Airport to come forward. What I did not expect was an incident that seems to be completely erased from memory and about which I have never, knowingly, seen anything in print. Barry is adamant that the photo is at Speke, but unfortunately cannot come up with a date.
So where is the aircraft, apart from the obvious that it is in a farmer's field? The answer is that it is in the overshoot of runway 17, over by Speke Hall. The 17/35 runway that ran from near Bryant and Mays towards Speke Hall. In 1965 this runway was extended at the 35 end by 1000ft, then curved around as the 'link' taxiway to the 09 end of the 1966 'new runway'. Before 1965 there was farmland between the 35 runway end and Speke Hall property boundary. The photo is likely from somewhere down by the Sailing Club, certainly the track to the sailing club provided the access for Barry to get into a position to use his camera.
Then the question posed is why, when we can see a stout concrete post and chain link fence, is the aircraft apparently undamaged? If it had torn through a 6ft fence, the aircraft would have been badly damaged, if not written off - so would be in the written record. Those around at the time may recall that the main runway at the 26 end along Speke Hall Avenue had a low wooden 'frangible' fence across the centre-line. Indeed even today 27 has a double wooden frangible fence under the centre-line - the only point where there is no high security fencing around the airport (but with even higher security brambles!). So almost certainly the 35 end of the cross-runway also had a low wooden fence which easily collapsed, with only minimal damage to the aircraft.
While I have stated that I can find no record in documents, Phil Butler's transcripts of the ATC Airport Logs, do for 3rd October 1956 mention EI-ACD Douglas C-47 Dakota of Aer Lingus as diverting in with engine trouble. In the days of radial piston engines 'engine trouble' was often 'code' for an in-flight engine shut down. It could be that the aircraft floated, so landed long, along 17 and could not stop before over-running the shortish runway end and on into the field. On one engine a go-around was not an option. The two snags to such an early date is that the aircraft is in the Aer Lingus 'green top' scheme that I associate with 1958 onwards and Barry reckons that, as the photo is in colour it is much more likely early '60s than late '50s. The general scenario seems right: a long 'floated' landing on a short runway with a decision to go-around not made, the aircraft simply ran out of runway, then airfield, so through the fence and ended up 'next door' but with little damage done. Not that unusual in the '50s and into the early '60s before the runway extending/building frenzy to accommodate the new breed of jet airliners. I think an alternative, more dramatic, scenario of an engine failure on take-off roll, with the aircraft then failing to stop within the airport boundary is more likely to have been remembered, even if only as an 'urban legend'. A further scenario has been suggested, that of total or partial brake failure on landing - given the technology of the day quite possible, almost mundane, so not recorded as newsworthy (as it wasn't).
An interesting 'snap' Barry - one which has caused you and I a considerable amount of head scratching and thank you for sharing it - maybe someone even knows the answer as to why and when the farmer found a Dakota in his field!
Last Edit: Nov 10, 2019 22:42:49 GMT 1 by viscount
Viscount .... Well that is just taking the biscuit!
The main list (despite the distortion created on transfer of a wide Excel page to BB code on a forum) on page 1 of this thread remains a 'work in progress'. Thanks to 'Ste-t' I have been able to add in 4 fatal accidents during the 1930s. 10.6.36 G-ABZF; 11.4.37 G-AELD; 6.12.37 K5159; 1.5.38 G-AEMS and 13.2.40 G-AEHJ. I am sure that we still may not have all relevant accidents covered though, but now certainly have the great majority.
Ste-t has uncovered these additions from two excellent web sources for 1930s aviation:
www.rcawsey.co.uk/Accindex.htm takes you to a home page list, you select the year(s). A quite amazing lisiting of fatal air accidents pre War. Worth good trawl through if interested in air accidents pre 1940.
Post by davecalveley on Jul 22, 2018 10:03:09 GMT 1
Spitfire productiom list mentions a Mk1 of 7 OTU serial k9851 as stalling on landing and tearing undercarriage off at Speke 10/12/40.....think there were 1 or 2 Sabre mishaps when the Canadian frames were being done by Airwork?. regards Dave
Aviation Accidents and Incidents with a direct link to Liverpool Airport and locality
18.10.62 G-APID C-54D Skymaster Speke Transmeridian Flying Wheels-up landing. Repair on site by Scottish Aviation before ferried to landing Services Prestwick 10.11.62.
This one caught my eye, I was 13 then and from memory, it was evening/night time and the C-54D was (I believe) doing a crew change for a ship. I was with a couple of other teenagers at the time, being shown round the control tower at Speke, can't really remember who the other young people were, but it was one of them, that had arranged the small tour. Remember being shown the radar screen and the blip that was G-APID, to be honest I couldn't see it, however, I remember the incident and how proffesional the controller(s) were when it happened, regretablly we were asked to leave just after the landing - happy days and hanger No50 for the club room.
Last Edit: Jul 22, 2018 14:07:37 GMT 1 by viscount: Amended what was included inside the quote.