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  1. #61
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    The reality was that the centre aircraft, flown by a very senior officer, misjudged his flight path. In formation flying the wingman focus on the lead aeroplane. The weather played a major part in the disorientation of the pilots.
    The fact that all the flight crew partied very hard the previous night may have had a very high impact on what happened.
    Unfortunately it was all due to pilot error, no aircraft or instumentation faults.

    I was helping my dad that day and saw the aircraft a few minutes before they crashed. Serving in the SAAF I saw the reports of what transpired that day. A very sad day it was indeed,
    Van Der Linde Conversion(136Kw),powerflow exhaust, Long Range
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  2. #62
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    Spike, I know this has been pretty much resolved, but have you tried contacting Jim McLagan who took some of the pictures?
    Driven by passion
    Jakes 071 9855 258

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  4. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Hi Spike,
    I took a hike up to what I thought was the memorial on Saturday. To my embarassment, what I have always thought to be the memorial (the "mini Taal monument") turns out to be the flying butresses of the ruins of an old house!
    Ja. thought as much but didn't want to say

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Hi Spike,
    I So I checked on my Slingsby map of Table Mountain, ......... there is a "plaque" marked on Pete's map, about 80m due west of the 436m trig beacon immediately below the King's Blockhouse, and on the 400m contour.
    There is a large plaque just below the blockhouse but it just gives historical info about the gun batteries etc.
    * "Wat Spike probeer s in sy min woorde" -Die Skim "
    .................................................. .....

  5. #64
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    Hi Guys,

    I was also in the air that day when we were practicing for the Republic day celebration flypast.

    1 Weather conditions was not conducive for Jet aircraft to fly that day in the practice and all jets were on the ground except the 3 Mercurius (Hs 125) VIP squadron aircraft. They were given special permission to fly that day as they had no previous time to practice due to other work commitments.

    2. The plan for that specific weather pattern was only for the slower fix wing aircraft and helicopters to be in the air.

    3. The whole plan was worked out for visual flying conditions and not going into cloud.

    4. When the 3 Mercurius aircraft passed the dais, they strted their 'rate one' turn to the right and began to climb to route back to Langebaan.

    5. One can only assume that they increased power for the climb and that in turn increased the raduis of turn. That took them off their planned flight path and into the mountain.

    6 When flying in formation, the leader flies on visual cues or on instruments while the rest of the team are fixing their position on him. They will increase power etc. to maintain position and will at no time look at their instruments. They normally are only inches apart from touching the other aircraft. That is why there is no time for the other aircraft to break away when the leader struck the mountain.

    A sad day in aviation history, but it shows that one should stay with the original planning and not change horses in mid stream.

    Hope this helps to clarify some misconceptions. It is always easy to blame the pilots for not doing the right thing, but here it was clearly a error on letting them participate in the practice for the day.

  6. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    Ja. thought as much but didn't want to say
    There is a large plaque just below the blockhouse but it just gives historical info about the gun batteries etc.
    Just goes to show what we believe stuff to be from a distance... Thanks Tony & Spike. Next time I'll have a closer look..... if I can drive there
    Everybody needs to believe in something.... I believe I will have another Beer!

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  7. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    A sad day in aviation history, but it shows that one should stay with the original planning and not change horses in mid stream.
    Yes when i was still skydiving there was a saying " Plan the dive & dive the Plan" (I think this actually originates from SCUBA)... but humans err!
    Everybody needs to believe in something.... I believe I will have another Beer!

    Travel Blog: https://since1652.wordpress.com/

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  8. #67
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    The junction that everyone is referring to is where the tafelberg road from the cable station and the road from de Waal drive past the shooting range meet which then becomes the contour path to newlands forrest. Go past this juntion around the corner, direction Newlands forrest and there it is. Easier,as i said to take the old trail directly off the upper parking lot at Rhodes Memorial,go straight up and just before it joins the contour path you will see the two dents on the laft hand side. All the pine trees are gone and the area is quite open now. There used to be a fence there which has now also gone.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    What an incredibly interesting thread!

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    Wonder if Spike eventually found the impact sites.
    Robert van den Berg
    Old Wheeler


    The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Some facts about the crash on Devil's Peak

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernieblunt View Post
    The speed of the aircraft in formation and the degree of bank required for the turn were all carefully calculated so that after a 180 degre turn the formation would clear the mouuntain by one nautical mile. This route was flown by the same three aircraft on previous practice sessions with no problems whatsoever. On this particular day and due to semi-inclement weather conditions, the formations flying over the diaz were experiencing excessive turbulence and these particular three HS125 type aircraft were finding it very difficult to maintain position in the formation at the speed they were tasked to use. Just after passing over the diaz, the leader of the formation requested to increase the formation speed by forty knots to make the position keeping of his wingmen easier especially as they were turning into low cloud and one needs to sit tightly in formation under such conditions. This was granted. However no-one at that instant even thought of the impact this would have on the radius of turn. The formation continued to turn at the practiced rate of bank which should have taken them well clear of the mountain as practiced in clear weather. It was this small oversight that caused the aircraft to impact with the mountain.
    Thanks for that explanation.
    I was told by an old timer ex-SAAF Engineer that they were running a bit late for their slot in the formo due to the weather and thus, the increased speed.
    Sadly, no different outcome of the consequences, though.

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    Interesting read about something that happened somewhat before my time, but in my current backyard. I often hike and ride my mountain bike up there and will look out for the spot and spare a moment in respect when I pass there next time.

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    I found this thread by pure chance.

    Was watching Airplane Repo last night, and they were busy repossessing a Hawker 600. Looking the plane up on Wikipedia I found details of this crash, and while Googling the crash found this thread. Small world

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    Hi Spike, Tony and Paceman and others...

    I know this thread has long since gone quiet but thought to post this here because I found your conversation both fascinating and helpful in locating the crash site. I am attaching a screenshot of 2 satellite images, one from 1968 and the other 1973. I've circled the crash site. You can make out the 2 marks. I think Paceman mentioned how there were only 2 holes despite there being 3 jets. Note also that the path Paceman speaks of - the one that goes straight up from Rhodes Mem - is no longer accessible. It's clearly visible in these photos as is the old zig-zag, but today both paths are overgrown. You can see evidence of damage to the trees and bushes N and NW of the crash site.

    Next mystery... what is the donga or channel the runs down the north side of the zig-zags? A the top of the donga I've come across the ruins of an old building, but I've not been able to find out what it was.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1968 versus 1973 crash site Devils Peak.png 
Views:	449 
Size:	1.74 MB 
ID:	592257

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  17. #75
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    So using the above, I tried my best to overlay the one over the other and indicated the two locations in red. I could be 100% wrong though

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Crash Locations.jpg 
Views:	369 
Size:	441.6 KB 
ID:	592295
    That Mighty Amarok
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  19. #76
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    I think that is pretty spot on

  20. #77
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    This has been a fascinating read!
    Stephan G

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  21. #78
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    Spike's last online activity was 17/3/2015...anybody know what happened to him?
    That Mighty Amarok
    ---------------------------------------

  22. #79
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    I am in touch with Spike. He is well.

    Darron John Misplon
    VW Polo Vivo 1.4
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  23. #80
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    Default Re: Air crash history- Devils Peak

    Quote Originally Posted by Darron View Post
    I am in touch with Spike. He is well.
    Please thank him for me. He inspired a long plunge down a deep and fascinating rabbit hole.

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