Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 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.

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Billy Sharp celebrates his winner against Ipswich at Elland Road last night

Leeds v Ipswich: Daryl Murphy’s saved penalty proved crucial as Ipswich Town suffered a 2-1 defeat to Leeds United, at Elland Road, on Wednesday night.

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings, which rose from the ashes after a fire in the 1960s to become one of the world’s top concert destinations, has been sold.

The Legal & General office in Friars Bridge Road, Ipswich.

The first phase of around 140 job losses at the Ipswich office of insurance giant Legal & General will take effect from the end of this week, the group has confirmed.

Mick McCarthy looks unhappy after Leeds' winning goal

Leeds v Ipswich: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy could not hide his disappointment and frustration following tonight’s 2-1 defeat at Leeds United.

Chris Wood closes down at Leeds last night

Leeds v Ipswich: The Blues missed the chance to move back into the Championship’s top six, losing 2-1 at Leeds United on Wednesday evening.

Craig D'Cunha, the new principal at Suffolk New Academy.

The new headteacher of an under fire Ipswich school has told parents there will be “no quick fixes” as he aims to make the academy outstanding in three years.

The charity Wiggle-A-Thon at East Bergholt Sports Centre raising money for Age UK.

A group of well-dressed movers and shakers raised over £1,600 for Age UK Suffolk during this year’s Wiggle-a-thon.

Emergency services at the scene of an accident on the A134 at Fornham.

A driver has been taken to hospital in a critical condition with “head and crush injuries” after serious crash in west Suffolk.

Keira Dixon has her new glasses fitted by Wardale Williams branch manager Mark Thompson.

A 17-year-old girl with a brain tumour has launched an awareness and fundraising campaign to help others.

The Old Deanery care  home, Bocking near Braintree

Improvements have been made at a mid-Essex care home which saw former staff charged with assault following undercover filming.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages