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RAF & RN

4 FTS RAF Valley

Folland Gnat T Mk. 1

XR 976

12th October 1964

Standards Flight RAF

Flt. Lt. Mike Vickers

RN

Lt. Richard Sheridan

 


                                                              via Richard Sheridan

Richard Sheridan
September 2002

 

 

I  was on exchange duty at Valley as a QFI & on this occasion was doing ' continuation training' with Flt. Lt. Mike Vickers of Standards Flight to upgrade my QFI rating from B1 to A2.

 

I was demonstrating a practice forced landing from the back seat & as I started to flare at 500 ft. there was no nose-up change in the attitude of the aircraft. I hit the Standby Trim switch & the nose slowly started to rise. I could see that we were going to hit the undershoot just short of the "down' barrier & I put on full power. The aircraft was level as we hit the ground & we bounced into the air shedding the main gear legs & folding the nose gear neatly into its stowage! With the Gnat in a steep climbing turn to port & with no pitch control I shouted 'eject' ( I was talking to myself because the crash strip  on the belly had switched off all the electrics & fired the engine fire extinguisher!) I estimate that I was at 100ft. when I left & was in the 'chute for 2 to 3 seconds before  landing on the grass to the left of the runway. Mike said that he was at 2-300 ft. when he ejected.

We both landed before the Gnat crashed into a small stream between the runway & the village of Rhosneigr. We were the fifth & sixth Gnat ejectees & the first to have no apparent compression fractures of the spine.

 

Richard Sheridan  (ex Lt. RN)
April 2000