Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Newmarket: Proof of pilot’s heroic landing found on beach

11:44 05 February 2014

Caption: Tyre of Newmarket-based Wellington discovered at Cliff End, Fairlight, near Hastings in East Sussex with aviation enthusiast Andy Evans

Caption: Tyre of Newmarket-based Wellington discovered at Cliff End, Fairlight, near Hastings in East Sussex with aviation enthusiast Andy Evans

COPYRIGHT,2011

A reminder of the remarkable skill of a Suffolk airman who saved the lives of his crew by ditching his bomber into the sea has been discovered 74 years later.

A huge black rubber tyre has been uncovered on the shore of Cliff End, Fairlight, near Hastings, after storms and high tides swept back decades of sand.

Aviation author and researcher Andy Saunders believes the tyre is almost certainly that of the Wellington bomber which crash-landed less than 100 yards away after running out of fuel returning from a night-time raid on Dusseldorf on November 9, 1940.

Despite landing in poor conditions and in pitch darkness, all six airmen of the N2767, from 99 Squadron based at Newmarket, survived.

Mr Saunders said the plane broke up in the sea and what was left was recovered by the RAF, before being broken up on the shore. He added that he believed the tyre, which has a small hole in it that may have come from flak, must have been left behind.

According to records, the Wellington had been unable to find an aerodrome to land at so the pilot – Sergeant E A Fletcher – made a calculated decision to ditch the plane in the sea.

Mr Saunders explained: “I presume they were too low for the crew to consider bailing out, so the only solution for the pilot was to land in the sea. In the middle of the night you are not going to carry out a forced landing in the countryside and get away with it – you won’t see houses and trees. Getting down on the sea is the best chance of survival.”

Only one of the men was slightly injured – receiving cuts and bruises but not needing hospital attention.

Mr Saunders said: “I would say under the circumstances it was quite a remarkable piece of airmanship to handle the thing in a wintry sea and to get it close enough to the shore for the crew to escape.”

The tyre is now on display at the Wings Aviation Museum of West Sussex.

0 comments

Storm Doris descended on Suffolk yesterday causing disruption, damage and travel misery for thousands.

Pianos collectively worth £50,000 are being given away to schools and community groups.

Storm Doris has caused widespread disruption across Essex.

Nearly 11 hours after it was closed, motorists are now able to use the Orwell Bridge.

Ipswich’s MP has said work must continue to provide the town with alternative routes for diverted Orwell Bridge traffic in the wake of yesterday’s closure.

Ipswich was again forced to deal with the disruption caused by an Orwell Bridge closure yesterday as Storm Doris wreaked havoc across East Anglia.

Looking for days out, with or without children, this weekend? Here we bring you our weekly round up of days out ideas.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24