Sheffield flypast / Tony Foulds

#62
I'm sorry this has upset some people but if you have a damaged aircraft you get it on the ground PDQ, as noted above North Yorkshire or Lincolnshire had plenty of airfields and also lots of flat land. I am genuinely mentally screwed to work out why the pilot flew as far inland as Sheffield before trying to land in a park.
Have you shit out that pineapple yet?
 
#63
How many minutes flying time do you imagine it is from the north Lincolnshire coast to Sheffield?

There is a huge amount of material on the internet... all with the known facts (that the aircraft was damaged, low fog over South Yorkshire, planned diversion airfields etc but of course, nobody in that aircraft lived to tell the tale.

There was no CVR or FDR, no radio communication from the aircraft and no radar vectoring. Details, after the aircraft nursemaiding MI Amigo home lost contact over the North Sea are accordingly vague and speculative but nobody has seen fit to cast aspersions on the pilot, Lieutenant John Kriegshauser apart from...

...As I said earlier, we are very lucky to have you (with your obviously vast experience of getting a shot up WW2 bomber safely on the ground) here to tell us that the 'pilot was a total idiot to be anywhere near Sheffield'.*

Are you a member of the Arrse Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAAIB)?

*post #23 refers
No but I was a total dick to use the term idiot about the pilot. I am still however very confused as to how they could circle the park but not make it about half a mile west to other open fields, however at this point the less I say the better.
 
#64
I'm not going to bother getting up a map of Lincolnshire to count the airfields between Sheffield and the coast in those days, plus the wide wide expanses of countryside that is England's second largest county. I'm sorry but the pilot was a total idiot to be anywhere near Sheffield.
I can think of 12,000 people (including myself) who stood in Endcliffe Park on Friday morning who think you're an absolute prick.
 
#65
It was @mangoletse who filled us in on the Mi Amigo thread on the most likely cause for the B17 being over Sheffield.

Heavy cloud and no nav or comms due to the damage sustained meant the crew couldn’t tell where they were and had been lost by the escort plane. I think they saw the top of the hills in the Peak District and came down for a look when a break in the cloud revealed the park but by then couldn’t regain any altitude.
https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/mi-amigo-memorial-flypast.290580/
 
#66
The pilot conceivably had no other choice but a forced landing in the park after engine failure. Mortally wounded crew suggests she must have been badly shot up. The damage Luftwaffe fighter cannon and flak could do to bombers is well documented. Aiui the mission was aborted.


If the pilot was forced to ditch in a park, that would be his last option otherwise he would probably have headed back to Northamptonshire, if he'd had engines and his instruments were working. It's a bit stupid to think that - in those circumstances - Mi Amigo could have farted around looking for a suitable airfield. Plenty of evidence of attempted emergency landings going tits up for Bomber pilots in WW2.

17 Images of Damaged B-17 Bombers That Miraculously Made It Home - Page 2 of 2

Paul Allonby has tackled the B17 Mi Amigo incident in his book, Courage Above the Clouds.
"All the facts published in the book have been verified, primarily from newly-unearthed military records. If you are going to tell a story, you have to get it right."

THE inspiring true story of one US Eighth Army Air Force B17 crew who sacrificed themselves to save others. The 'Mi-Amigo', captained by Lt John Kriegshauser of the 364th Bomber Squadron, 305th Bombardment Group, based at Chelveston in England, suffered terrible battle damage when engaged by a defending Luftwaffe Me 109 over Denmark on February 22nd 1944 on a daytime bombing mission without fighter support. Somehow, the stricken bomber made it back to England, but, as she emerged from low cloud, the crew faced an immediate dilemma, as they were heading down, engines rapidly failing, over a major industrial northern city - Sheffield. Ahead of them was a public park, but as the ;Mi-Amigo' headed for its grassed field, children - and a building - were spotted directly ahead. There was an instant decision to be made...crashland on the field or crash into a wood just yards behind.
__________
American Air Museum: 42-31322 | American Air Museum in Britain
__________

Mi Amigo: the deadly WW2 bomber crash in Sheffield play park that killed 10 airmen

Looking for a place to land
Engines fading fast, Mi Amigo’s pilot, Lt Kriegshauser, urgently needed somewhere to land, writes Allonby. “He began to descend cautiously, and suddenly came out through the clouds low over a major city – Sheffield, in South Yorkshire. Ahead were houses, roads, trees and a splash of green: Endcliffe Park, a public play area, complete with a river, woods and a bandstand.

“As Lt Kriegshauser used every bit of his skill and experience, at least one engine began to cut out. Seeing only the grassed area of the park ahead, a split-second decision was needed.”
 
#67
It was @mangoletse who filled us in on the Mi Amigo thread on the most likely cause for the B17 being over Sheffield.
"...the most likely cause..."? He said "I think..." Isn't that just an opinion?

My opinion is that a pilot would have to be an idiot to attempt to land a B17 in Endcliffe Park. As I don't think the pilot of Mi Amigo was an idiot, it suggests that circumstances beyond his control were at play. This does mean, however, that I have difficulty believing the bit about dodging kids.
 

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#68
It's a shame all these experts, telling us what the pilot should have done/couldn't possibly have seen/done, weren't in the plane at the time.
 
#69
"...the most likely cause..."? He said "I think..." Isn't that just an opinion?

My opinion is that a pilot would have to be an idiot to attempt to land a B17 in Endcliffe Park. As I don't think the pilot of Mi Amigo was an idiot, it suggests that circumstances beyond his control were at play. This does mean, however, that I have difficulty believing the bit about dodging kids.
And it tallies with speculation that has been printed in books/other sources. The radio and nav equipment all shot to shît, the aircraft shot to shît, the situation... shot to shît.

As for your words I've now made bold, that has to win the award for the most obvious statement I've seen in a long time. Yes, I think circumstances beyond Lt. Kriegshauser's control were at play... Either that or he decided to try to land a heavy bomber in a small clearing for then hell of it.
 
#70
It's a shame all these experts, telling us what the pilot should have done/couldn't possibly have seen/done, weren't in the plane at the time.
The ARRSE Air Accident Investigation Cold Case team are coming out with some pearlers.
 
#71
No but I was a total dick to use the term idiot about the pilot. I am still however very confused as to how they could circle the park but not make it about half a mile west to other open fields, however at this point the less I say the better.
The concensus of eye witness accounts and the two books on the subject is that they didn't circle the park. One approach from the south, hillside ahead, 180 turn and stalled into the trees, with the wreck of the aircraft facing south. It's a narrow valley, west is more hills and houses. Top of the hills not visible because of low cloud, and not enough engines left to climb anyway.
 
#72
"...the most likely cause..."? He said "I think..." Isn't that just an opinion?

My opinion is that a pilot would have to be an idiot to attempt to land a B17 in Endcliffe Park. As I don't think the pilot of Mi Amigo was an idiot, it suggests that circumstances beyond his control were at play. This does mean, however, that I have difficulty believing the bit about dodging kids.
I don't think it was an "attempt to land" more accurate to say "looking for somewhere to crash, avoiding the surrounding houses". Similar I suppose to the Stockport disaster where they dropped the aircraft on the only bit of open ground they could see ahead.

The bit about avoiding kids is debunked as an urban myth in David Harvey's book. Unfortunately, the press keep repeating it.
 
#74
….What does seem odd is that the pilot tried(?) to land in a park that has only 300m of grass when the minimum landing distance of a B17G is 400m - on an unobstructed (concrete?) runway. With obstructions (that area of Sheffield has a lot of tall trees), the performance data indicates a need for more than twice that.

The aircraft would have piled into the trees even if it didn't try to avoid kids....
Good to see some figures. Minimum distance must assume an ideal angle of approach, which didn't happen here. Clearing the hill to the south, Mi Amigo must have been 100 feet vertically above the field, and at 90 degrees to it's long axis. So surely no chance of even touching the grass from that position.
 
#76
Good to see some figures. Minimum distance must assume an ideal angle of approach, which didn't happen here. Clearing the hill to the south, Mi Amigo must have been 100 feet vertically above the field, and at 90 degrees to it's long axis. So surely no chance of even touching the grass from that position.
I was assuming that the aircraft was heading west as that's the general run of the valley (and the continuation of the flight path from RAF Lindholm) and at a height of 50ft to clear the trees that I estimate at about 40ft high.

The performance specs indicate a ground roll of 1265ft but with a 50ft obstruction, the necessary runway length is 2710ft. By my estimation, that means that the wheels wouldn't touch the ground until 1445ft past the boundary. Given that the grassy area is only 700ft long at best, they would have needed double the length of the park just to touch down, let alone stop.

It then follows that any descent was not voluntary, particularly as the open fields about a mile further west would likely have been visible even allowing for low cloud.

B17s generally operated with 5-10% fuel reserve but much of this would have been used to get as far as Sheffield while damage could account for further fuel loss. Or the engines may have simply given up.

B-17G Flying Fortress Standard Aircraft Characteristics - 27 April 1949
 
#77
And it tallies with speculation that has been printed in books/other sources. The radio and nav equipment all shot to shît, the aircraft shot to shît, the situation... shot to shît.

As for your words I've now made bold, that has to win the award for the most obvious statement I've seen in a long time. Yes, I think circumstances beyond Lt. Kriegshauser's control were at play... Either that or he decided to try to land a heavy bomber in a small clearing for then hell of it.
Only obvious if you don't believe that an attempt was made to avoid kids. Otherwise you believe that the aircraft was capable of some sort of control and, had the kids not been there, it could have landed in a shorter distance than a Lysander.
 
#79
I don't think it was an "attempt to land" more accurate to say "looking for somewhere to crash, avoiding the surrounding houses". Similar I suppose to the Stockport disaster where they dropped the aircraft on the only bit of open ground they could see ahead.

The bit about avoiding kids is debunked as an urban myth in David Harvey's book. Unfortunately, the press keep repeating it.
I think I'd favour Tony Foulds's eyewitness account over that of an armchair expert three quarters of a century later. Especially as Tony's whole life has been tragically marred by the image of the pilot waving for him and his mates to get out of the way. He didn't choose to see that, and and he certainly didn't make it up.
 
#80
I think I'd favour Tony Foulds's eyewitness account over that of an armchair expert three quarters of a century later. Especially as Tony's whole life has been tragically marred by the image of the pilot waving for him and his mates to get out of the way. He didn't choose to see that, and and he certainly didn't make it up.
Of course he didn't. Its standard practice for the pilot to let go of the yoke while landing or taking evasive action.
 

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