Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Discussions regarding historic aircraft, restoration and preservation etc
cg_341
Posts: 2621
Joined: Sun 09 Aug 2015, 2:39 pm

Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by cg_341 »

Crew decided to head out by road it seems.

Image

Image

User avatar
Archer
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 11:02 am
Contact:

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Archer »

Practice session for a future event at Doncaster???

Anyway, I guess that everyone is safe and sound apart from a needed change of underpants and the Vulcan can be moved back onto terra firma soon.

User avatar
Roger_Over
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue 02 Jul 2019, 7:44 pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Roger_Over »

Thank you, that explains the email I had this afternoon about event cancellation due to 'circumstances beyond our control'.

Unfortunate, but at least nobody injured, could have been much worse by the look of it.

User avatar
Archer
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 11:02 am
Contact:

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Archer »

There's a video here:

106500
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun 27 May 2012, 10:14 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by 106500 »

Lots of doom laden comment on social media about such an incident bringing about an end to taxi runs at Wellesbourne. In my mind this is no worse than the ‘Victor to the Sky’ incident some years ago at Bruntingthorpe so hopefully lessons will be learnt then a pragmatic approach will be taken.

5944
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed 21 Aug 2013, 8:40 pm

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by 5944 »

From the XM655 Facebook page.

As many of you will have already seen, XM655 suffered a runway excursion earlier today during our trial run for the event which was planned for Sunday 18th. That event has been cancelled, all ticket holders have been informed by email and full refunds have been processed via Eventbrite. As far as we can see, the aircraft is largely undamaged, but in addition to the ongoing recovery work, we also have a lot of inspection work to carry out before we can consider any further live activity.
In an attempt to reduce uninformed speculation, we will explain what happened. After satisfactorily completing low speed steering and braking tests on runway 05/23, the aircraft was taken onto runway 18/36 for a trial high speed run. Due to a malfunction of a piece of equipment in the cockpit, the aircraft remained at full power for approximately two seconds longer than intended. This resulted in excessive speed and less distance in which to stop, and the aircraft passed beyond the end of the runway on to the agricultural area, stopping just before the airfield perimeter. The failed equipment was an air speed indicator which had been tested and found satisfactory six days ago, and which started working normally before the end of the run. The aircraft brakes worked properly but were unable to bring things to a halt within the reduced space available.
We will provide further updates when XM655 has been recovered and we have had chance to assess any damage.

User avatar
Archer
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 11:02 am
Contact:

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Archer »

The BBC has a couple of photos: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cov ... e-62930756
The gear doesn't appear to have suffered a lot, but that's speculation of course.

Stagger2
Posts: 2041
Joined: Thu 16 Jun 2011, 9:46 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Stagger2 »

Ummm, having seen fast taxy runs at this location before I'm not convinced that an ASI is crucial to safe operation? Surely an experienced Pilot in Command knows that keeping the throttle open longer than normal will increase velocity more than normal? It's also a pity these Jets weren't fitted with braking chutes for such situations where excessive speed needs reducing? Clearly if they had only fitted more than one ASI in the cockpit, this may not have happened? I can easily see how the single faulty ASI could be working at the end of the Run, I'm going to risk saying it was reading Zero when its wheels were two foot deep in a field! But that's more speculation of course.
(I can smell Horse :poop: )

User avatar
speedbird2639
Posts: 1365
Joined: Wed 13 Jul 2011, 12:35 pm

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by speedbird2639 »

Stagger2 wrote:
Sat 17 Sep 2022, 10:41 am
(I can smell Horse :poop: )
Exactly. They've taxied that aircraft numerous times without incident and so should know exactly where to apply the brakes regardless of the accuracy of cockpit instrumentation.

(Tongue in cheek side note: on the aerial photos you can see there are no tyre marks between leaving the runway until a few metres into the field - does this count as the last fight of a Vulcan for the millisecond it appears to have been airborne? :rofl: )

GeeRam
Posts: 458
Joined: Sat 13 Jun 2020, 4:54 pm

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by GeeRam »

speedbird2639 wrote:
Sat 17 Sep 2022, 12:19 pm
Stagger2 wrote:
Sat 17 Sep 2022, 10:41 am
(I can smell Horse :poop: )
Exactly. They've taxied that aircraft numerous times without incident and so should know exactly where to apply the brakes regardless of the accuracy of cockpit instrumentation.
I have to agree with this. With only 3500ft odd of runway to play with (426 has nearly double that at SEN, and 558 had nearly treble that at DSA) you'd think one of the cockpit crew as a min, would have a stop watch set for duration of power applied after brake release which you probably don't even need all the fingers of one hand to count before having to chop the throttle levers.....

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 972
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Blue_2 »

The jet is safely back on her hardstanding now. Sounds like they have had a hell of a busy day getting 655 retrieved.
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

Thoughtful_Flyer
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri 12 Sep 2008, 9:32 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Thoughtful_Flyer »

Stagger2 wrote:
Sat 17 Sep 2022, 10:41 am
Ummm, having seen fast taxy runs at this location before I'm not convinced that an ASI is crucial to safe operation? Surely an experienced Pilot in Command knows that keeping the throttle open longer than normal will increase velocity more than normal? It's also a pity these Jets weren't fitted with braking chutes for such situations where excessive speed needs reducing? Clearly if they had only fitted more than one ASI in the cockpit, this may not have happened? I can easily see how the single faulty ASI could be working at the end of the Run, I'm going to risk saying it was reading Zero when its wheels were two foot deep in a field! But that's more speculation of course.
(I can smell Horse :poop: )
Given how (relatively) short this runway is I very much doubt if a drag chute would have deployed and inflated quickly enough to have been of much help. It is very fortunate indeed that this did not happen a few weeks ago when the field would have been much harder following the drought.

I don't know the history of how this Vulcan ended up at Wellesbourne or if the runway used to be longer? Given that it is apparently less than half the length of runways at the other venues used for "high speed taxi runs" I do have to wonder if enthusiasm got ahead of proper risk assessments? The simple fact that it has been done without incident before, doesn't in itself mean it was ever a good idea.

I don't know who will investigate this? As there was no intention to fly it may not be the AAIB? However, given that this was on a licensed airfield maybe it does come under their remit?

User avatar
ericbee123
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 10:13 am
Location: Blackpool

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by ericbee123 »

Thoughtful_Flyer wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 9:18 am
[
Given how (relatively) short this runway is I very much doubt if a drag chute would have deployed and inflated quickly enough to have been of much help. It is very fortunate indeed that this did not happen a few weeks ago when the field would have been much harder following the drought.

I don't know the history of how this Vulcan ended up at Wellesbourne or if the runway used to be longer? Given that it is apparently less than half the length of runways at the other venues used for "high speed taxi runs" I do have to wonder if enthusiasm got ahead of proper risk assessments? The simple fact that it has been done without incident before, doesn't in itself mean it was ever a good idea.

I found this on YouTube. Rapid chute deployment, standing on the brakes and a lot of crossing and praying , by the looks of that short landing.

Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

User avatar
Orion
Posts: 1356
Joined: Wed 22 Jul 2009, 10:34 pm

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Orion »

Looking a Google Maps of Wellesbourne, I think the runway is as long as ever it was.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellesbou ... d_Airfield
According to Wiki the main runway is 3009ft long

Stagger2
Posts: 2041
Joined: Thu 16 Jun 2011, 9:46 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Stagger2 »

Thoughtful_Flyer wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 9:18 am
Given how (relatively) short this runway is I very much doubt if a drag chute would have deployed and inflated quickly enough to have been of much help. It is very fortunate indeed that this did not happen a few weeks ago when the field would have been much harder following the drought.
Regarding the chute, I imagine that the eventual realisation that the throttle action had been excessive then caused 'brain-freeze'! The video shows no clear evidence of any mitigating actions available being initiated? FIrst action after the "Oh F*** ." would be pop the chute, then full flap, nose-up, wing fences, some brake application leading to pedals on the floor, surely? Anything to increase to increase drag. :thinking:
The comment about the hard ground was pretty much my initial response to the pictures of the resting position. For weeks previous & this story could've been much worse. The Vulcan crossing the busy B4086 Stratford Rd into the Large field beyond could easily have involved Third Parties. Time to bring in Guy Martin maybe? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Some of the usual sensational journalism is indeed nauseating. A copied passage from Coventry Live here. (copy-pasted in numerous comics)

"Speaking last year, Wing Commander Mike Politt (sic) said: “The aircraft performed fantastically, she’s in great shape, it went flawlessly.
“It’s been five years since the last high-speed taxi, and there were certainly a few people in the café and on the airfield pleased to see her running.
“She may have been brilliant, but operating on a 2,000ft runway might not have been great for my blood pressure!”


The following published data for runway 36 at Wellesbourne is Length = 917m [3008 feet] TORA = 4015 feet] TODA = 4212 feet]. NOT including grass! Make your own judgement. :wink:
PS: Video of Vulcan delivery is a good find Ericbee123. :slight_smile: Note how quick that chute deploys!

Thoughtful_Flyer
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri 12 Sep 2008, 9:32 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Thoughtful_Flyer »

ericbee123 wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 1:36 pm

I found this on YouTube. Rapid chute deployment, standing on the brakes and a lot of crossing and praying , by the looks of that short landing.

Fascinating, thanks.

That was of course over 38 years ago. A few factors spring to mind....

Crews then were current on Vulcans

The aircraft was airworthy and could fly as many approaches as necessary for the pilot to be happy

I assume a day was chosen with a significant headwind

The road at the end of the runway was no doubt closed for the landing

And....

The world was far less risk averse!

Had Wellsbourne been considered as the final resting place of XH558 would they even have contemplated landing there in 2015? Somehow, with little over half a mile or runway I rather doubt it!

Reds Rolling
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu 12 Sep 2013, 11:50 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Reds Rolling »

speedbird2639 wrote:
Sat 17 Sep 2022, 12:19 pm
Stagger2 wrote:
Sat 17 Sep 2022, 10:41 am
(I can smell Horse :poop: )
Exactly. They've taxied that aircraft numerous times without incident and so should know exactly where to apply the brakes regardless of the accuracy of cockpit instrumentation.
I agree. Seems more to this that what is being said.

Wasn't 655 often taxied by the late great Dave Thomas, even to the point of lifting the front wheel off the ground? Surely there would be some written SOP's in place for this event?

If I were the airfield owners, I'd immediately put a stop to any future fast taxiing from 655 given how close that came to the road, and the potential danger to passing traffic. It's just not worth the risk with such a short runway.

106500
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun 27 May 2012, 10:14 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by 106500 »

Well then it’s perhaps fortunate that you aren’t the airfield owner. Hopefully the real owners will take a pragmatic approach focussed on risk assessment and mitigation while reviewing all of the facts before determining a sensible and practical course of action.

User avatar
Archer
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 11:02 am
Contact:

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Archer »

As far as I know XM655 is owned by the airfield...

User avatar
f4phixeruk
Posts: 798
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 5:00 pm
Location: 7 miles from EGQL

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by f4phixeruk »

Problem with this sort of incident is it plays into the hands of the 'Shut down airfields' brigade. The what if a busload of nuns, taking orphans to the seaside had been passing and the plane had hit it people.
Best of luck to the owners in getting another fast taxy scheduled.
If you eat high calorie foods with a Diet Coke, the drink cancels the calories out!

Reds Rolling
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu 12 Sep 2013, 11:50 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Reds Rolling »

106500 wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 4:49 pm
Well then it’s perhaps fortunate that you aren’t the airfield owner. Hopefully the real owners will take a pragmatic approach focussed on risk assessment and mitigation while reviewing all of the facts before determining a sensible and practical course of action.
I think the risks are pretty apparent for all to see if something goes awry with such a large, heavy and powerful aircraft on such a short runway.

This is just way too close for comfort, and lucky the ground was soft enough for it to basically dig in.



User avatar
Archer
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 11:02 am
Contact:

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Archer »

Reds Rolling wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 6:33 pm
...and lucky the ground was soft enough for it to basically dig in.
Low-tech version of the EMAS system....

Stagger2
Posts: 2041
Joined: Thu 16 Jun 2011, 9:46 am

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Stagger2 »

Indeed, that earth was probably just the ideal water content consistency to avoid the Vulcan sinking too deep & stressing the undercarriage to failure, yet not too hard that it didn't retard the velocity at all!
For those wondering, Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) is a passive safety system that quickly de-accelerates an aircraft and brings it to a safe stop in case of an overrun. It's usually the lighter grey material right at the very ends of the r/w with full width Yellow arrowheads on it. Also, it's very expensive compared to grass & dirt! :wink:

Domvickery
UKAR Staff
Posts: 2353
Joined: Tue 02 Sep 2008, 7:57 pm

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by Domvickery »

f4phixeruk wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 6:04 pm
what if a busload of nuns, taking orphans to the seaside had been passing and the plane had hit it people.
Then the bus driver needs sacking for being so lost
Free straws available to clutch at - PM me. Inventor of the baguette scale

RAF4EVER
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue 27 Mar 2012, 7:49 pm
Location: Hoofddorp The Netherlands

Re: Wellesbourne Vulcan incident

Post by RAF4EVER »

Domvickery wrote:
Mon 19 Sep 2022, 1:53 pm
f4phixeruk wrote:
Sun 18 Sep 2022, 6:04 pm
what if a busload of nuns, taking orphans to the seaside had been passing and the plane had hit it people.
Then the bus driver needs sacking for being so lost
:smiley: :smiley:

Post Reply