Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

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Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby longshot » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:55 pm

Missed the anniversary (31May1986) but just over 30 years ago 2 Catalinas replicated the US Navy Atlantic crossing in Curtiss NC-4 (1919) , landing 'eventfully' in in Plymouth Sound ...sequence lower down on this Key forum page..
http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthre ... uns/page23

EDIT...tried inserting them directly here from photobucket but Seawings is cropping the 900 pixel size badly on my Samsung tablet
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby DavidLegg » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:34 pm

Luckily, C-FOWE, as it then was, was subsequently towed to the former RAF seaplane base at Mount Batten, was repaired and flown back to its owner in Canada. Later it was acquired by the owner of the PBY-6A that had more successfully arrived at Plymouth and both are still with Wilson 'Connie' Edwards at Big Springs, Texas.
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby longshot » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:16 am

Hi David...I was on the press boat in the sound , hence the pics of C-FOWE. The folks on the Hoe also got a grandstand view of the events and the BBC got excellent film coverage of the accident and some months later the take-off after repairs. Don't think anybody's put it on youtube, though.Was the accident ever reported and analysed?..looked like throttle jam to me....Mick
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby DavidLegg » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:13 am

I have the accident report. I'll get back with a summary in due course but the cause was human not technical.
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby MrWidgeon » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:18 pm

It had all the hallmarks of a waterloop to me then and still does today.
He let the bow get too low in the water and hooked on him, just like the Do-24ATT did last year.

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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby DavidLegg » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:04 pm

The C-FOWE accident report I referred to can be accessed here. https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/consoli ... 1-may-1986

In my opinion (and it is only that), the Do-24ATT accident was a result of the captain's well-known landing party piece going badly wrong.
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby MrWidgeon » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:23 am

I agree on the Do 24 ATT accident.
He let the bow get deeper in the water than the step .................. instant waterloop.
All that malarkey about hitting something is just that, a load of malarkey.
I've yet to see a photo of the damage that shows anything penetrated the hull, everything I've seen indicates the damage came from water trying to get out.

Regarding the PBY incident, I still stand by my earlier comments, it too was caused by allowing the bow to get too low in the water ripping the doors off and causing a waterloop.

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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby DavidLegg » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:19 pm

Bill - re-reading the accident report I was a bit surprised that it was not more detailed and did not come to a firmer conclusion. Possibly because it happened in the UK but to a foreign registered aircraft under foreign command. Not sure about that though. There was talk at the time that the captain 'gave' the landing to a veteran pilot who was on board and that it flared too far down the landing area before touching down with the results that we all know about.

I understand that the damage to the hull of the Do24-ATT would suggest what you say about penetration, or lack of, is correct. Many, including me, will have seen Mr Dornier do his 'party piece' as I called it above and get away with it (i.e.: deliberately water looping) but I guess on this occasion he over-did it.
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby longshot » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:01 am

Stephen Rendle has a Flickr album of the 31 May 1986 events
https://www.flickr.com/photos/55101137@ ... 9905206311
Might it be that C-FOWE was always intending a go-around and the throttles were applied assymetrically ? It still had a lot of energy after the wingtip impact. The contrastingly 'textbook' arrival of N4NC at the eastern end of the water strip can be seen here...https://nosher.net/images/1986/1986-05- ... Plymouth/1 ...the BBCs newsfilm was taken from this vantage point too.
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Re: Catalina Transatlantic (30 years ago....ish! )

Postby MrWidgeon » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:32 pm

There are videos on line that show a Beaver and Goose doing exactly what that PBY did (especially the Goose).
One would have to stomp a hard right rudder, pull the power off the right engine and apply full power to the left to get anything near that kind of turn or swerve that FOWE got.
Bob Hamilton, my late friend and a pilot with extensive seaplane and small flying boat time coined it a "Bow Low Upset" where the forward part of the hull gets deeper in the water than the step causing the airplane to swerve violently first in one direction then in the opposite direction, in a float plane about the 3rd oscillation you'll find yourself on your back.
A flying boat like a Goose or PBY with tip floats is more stable, but the oscillations increase in ferocity until something breaks, usually a tip float then you find yourself scrambling out of a sinking airplane.
As David knows the PBY's nose wheel doors are a tender spot, it doesn't take much to cave them in or rip them off which is why you always see a PBY pilot hold the nose up as long as possible.
If you look at the photos of FOWE landing in the shot before the swerve into the buoy he has let the nose come down to where the water is hitting just behind the rear of the nose gear doors.
Once those doors were breached it sucked the nose down and it was "Katy bar the door".

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