Avro Shackleton WR970, Foolow, Derbyshire

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Avro Shackleton WR970, Foolow, Derbyshire

7th December 1956. All crewmen were killed when Avro Shackleton WR970 crashed in a meadow just beyond the village of Foolow in Derbyshire.

The aircraft was a prototype MR 3 version on a test flight. Cunningham (2006) says the crew were “examining the stalling characteristics of the aircraft with bomb bay doors open and radar scanner extended; the attack configuration, as it was known.” The pilot reduced the airspeed so the aircraft would stall, at which point the Shackleton rolled over and down through thick cloud, spinning upside down as it went.

From the various accounts, it seems Squadron Leader Jack Bertram Wales may have been on the verge of regaining control but had lost too much height to prevent the Shackleton from striking the ground.

CREW
Squadron Leader Jack Bertram Wales OBE, DFC (A V Roe test pilot)
George Alan Blake, flight engineer
Charles O’Neill, technical observer
Roy Greenhalgh, technical observer

Shackleton WR 970 photo from wikipedia commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Avro_Shackleton_MR3_in_flight_c1955.jpg

DSC_0158h

Section of wall rebuilt after WR970 crashed through it.
DSC_0158h

Avro Shackleton WR 960
Avro Shackleton WR960

Quote from Peakland Air Crashes -The Central Area, Pat Cunningham, 2006.

24 comments on “Avro Shackleton WR970, Foolow, Derbyshire
  1. rob of rochdale says:

    Love they yellow of the buttercups and the dof is perfect. Well done Ian!

  2. russ david says:

    awesome focus, really nice photo!

  3. mick cooke says:

    brilliant photos ian

  4. Nate Parker Photography says:

    Grim description- oh to be a test pilot!

  5. SolarScot. says:

    flower power

  6. cgullz says:

    wow, that is a massive aircraft! great description, wonderfully concise detail and i love how you report the facts – very TAIC worthy. i love the respectful resting place image, the buttercups just feel like flowers to those lost, really nice.
    as far as the testing, i know they gotta do things like that but it still makes me wonder. it sux that given a bit more alititude these guys might have made it.

  7. Bikash Paul says:

    so beautiful!!

  8. C J Paul (chris) says:

    great job ian

  9. Ian D B says:

    Thanks everyone.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29551624@N03]
    Too kind, Ang.

  10. cgullz says:

    where deserved, Ian 🙂

  11. Billy Currie says:

    lovely low angle and foreground to this

  12. Hotpix [LRPS] Hanx for 1.5M Views says:

    Super DOF here Ian. Sweet, I like it my friend. 😎

    Seen in my contacts photostream……{.?.}

    Tone
    Hotpix http://www.hotpix.org.uk

    365-259 Macro Detail Of Pink Tulip Anthers and Stigma

    Walk a year in my shoes, share 100 ipod trax with me, see whats up my street or visit my world beyond the red.

  13. f3liney says:

    Even without the poignant back-story, this is a really pretty photo in its own right.

  14. pasujoba says:

    Classy shot Ian and the usual thorough job on the background info and shots

  15. snowman.1 says:

    Nice shot and an interesting back-story. One minor question – I’d have thought it would be the wings the pilot was stalling, not the engines?

  16. Ian D B says:

    Many thanks everyone

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/9721601@N03]

    Yes you are quite right, I have just read back what I wrote, had in mind the pilot reducing the airspeed by throttling back on the engines resulting in insufficient lift. I’ve amended it replacing the word ‘engines’ with the word ‘aircraft’. Thank you for the heads up; I’d read that several times and not noticed the error.

  17. ♥ Minnie | Photography ♥ says:

    so beautiful 🙂

  18. bill_fawcett says:

    Very nice use of dof Ian – great photo.

  19. mojo_black says:

    Great focus and colour on this.

  20. pugsley1970 says:

    Hey, nice to come across this post, George Allen Blake the Flight Engineer on that plane was my Granddad 🙂 thanks.

  21. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/91428436@N06] pugsley1970, Hi, good to hear from you. Nice to be remembering your Grandfather at this time of year. Have a good Christmas and thanks for taking the time to comment.
    Ian

  22. ian donnelly says:

    Hi
    I don’t know if you can help me. I am trying to help someone locate the burial site of Jack Wales.
    Would you have any idea about that or could you suggest any leads?
    Many thanks.

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