Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°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

Firefighters extinguished a chimney blaze near Hadleigh on Wednesday night.

Strawberry Stores in Sudbury was hit by an armed robber

An 18-year-old man was arrested in Sudbury following an armed robbery at a convenience store in the town this afternoon.

The land on Church Lane, Claydon.

Proposals for a travellers’ site to the edge of a Suffolk village have been refused by the planning authority.

Essex Police escort a delegation from the Saudi embassy during a visit to Salary Brook in Greenstead, Colchester, to see the scene where Nahid Almanea was killed last June.

Detectives investigating the murder of Nahid Almanea met with officials from the Kingdom Saudi Arabia (KSA) in Colchester today.

Shirley Ison may have made a fatal error which caused her car to collide with a tree

Driver error is believed to be the cause of a road accident in which a woman was killed, it was ruled this week.

Easter fun at Kesgrave Library. Tabitha and Sebastion Degiorgio.

Eggs – chocolate and real ones – were on everyone’s minds as a library held a family event to mark the Easter season.

Extra trains for ITFC Fans

Extra train services have been arranged for Ipswich Town fans on Good Friday.

Hagon pleaded guilty to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, March 31 to two years and eight months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for five years, after which he must take an extended test, Essex Police said.

A driver has been jailed for two years and eight months following a serious collision in High Garrett, near Braintree.

Planners have refused homes on vacant land at Felixstowe's Haven Exchange site.

Proposals for 61 homes near the Port of Felixstowe have been refused because of the need to keep as much employment land available as possible.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A woman has been left permanently disabled after a driver who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs smashed into her car.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages