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Thread: The Avro Shackleton in SAAF service

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    Default The Avro Shackleton in SAAF service

    The SAAF in the years 1957 to 1984 used a total of eight Avro Shackleton Mk.3's with tail numbers 1716-1723.

    All aircraft were deployed by 35 Squadron at AFB Ysterplaat Cape Town , after initially flying out of Congela , close to Durban harbour.

    The Shackleton served as a Maritime Patrol Aircraft with both the SAAF and RAF and was later replaced in the SAAF by the C-47TP and Nimrod in RAF service. The SAAF however used only the Mk.3 variant without the Viper upgrade.

    Procuring the Shackleton was a major step up from the previous use of Sunderlands and Catalinas and according to wiki , even Harvards and Spitfires were used! Shackletons were used extensively untill 23 November 1984 when it was officially withdrawn from service. And what a shame!

    And to quote:

    A descendant of the Lancaster, the Shackleton is an experience to see and hear.

    Often described in terms far from complimentary, the Shackleton is a marvelous aircraft,
    and to be involved in assisting in the protection and upkeep of this important piece of
    aviation history, this "Katherine Hepburn" of the skies, is a remarkable privilege.

    The following terms are some of the terms used to describe the Shackleton.

    "This aircraft looks like a box of frogs"

    "The Shack reminds me irresistibly of an elephant's bottom - gray and wrinkled outside
    and dark and smelly inside."

    "10,000 loose rivets flying in close formation".

    "The contra-rotating Nissen hut"

    1721 at Swartkops AFB Museum

    1722 - the only airworthy Shackleton in the world - AFB Ysterplaat

    The Shackleton also carried a Air-droppable lifeboat as can be seen in this RAF Shackleton

    The Saunders-Roe Lifeboat at AFB Swartkops

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    After the Shackleton was withdrawn from service and various planes were moved about for static display , it was decided to refurbish a second aircraft apart from 1722 to be airworthy. It was planned for the second aircraft - 1716 - to fly to the UK for some display flights at various airshows.

    When after two years of restoration the flight was underway north. But on July 13 1994 "Pelican-16" made a crash-landing in the Sahara after the two starboard engines failed. It was to be Pelican-16's last resting place

  3. #3
    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Johannesburg, South Africa


    More on the Shackleton in SAAF service, from the book Avro Shackleton by Barry Jones

    The SAAF's Shackleton strength was
    reduced by one in August 1963. 1718 had
    previously suffered a hydraulic failure,
    resulting in a wheels-up landing at D. F
    Malan on 9 November 1959, but the
    required repairs were carried out in record
    time, in order to get the aircraft back into
    service. On 8 August 1963 the aircraft had
    been engaged in joint exercises with the
    RAF and was on a return flight to Cape
    Town. In gusting winds and severe icing
    conditions down to 3,000ft (l,OOOm),
    1718 struck high ground before crashing
    into the Wemmershook mountain range
    outside the town of Worcester, some 60
    mile (96km) east of its destination. All
    thirteen crew members were killed in the
    tragedy, that was hard to accept by the
    squadron for some time. The aircraft had
    made a total of 777 flying hours during the
    six years since its acceptance by the SAAF
    On the other side of the coin, two years
    later 1722 took part in an impressive display
    of search and rescue. Eight Buccaneer S.50s
    were in loose formation on their delivery
    flight to the SAAF when one, SAAF No.
    419, had a flame-out in both engines at high
    altitude, about 500 miles (800km) south of
    the Canary Islands. The two crew members,
    Captains Jooste and de Kerk, ejected while
    Major A. M. Muller, who was leading the
    formation, relayed their position. 1722 was
    scrambled, and only a couple of hours into
    the mission picked up the 'blips' from the
    downed airmen's SARAH beacons.
    Coloured flares were fired by both the
    hackleton crew and the survivors in the
    Atlantic, to verify visual contact by all concerned.
    Another MRJ, 1721, was drafted
    into what was no longer a search, but a rescue
    operation and two sets of Lindholme
    Gear were dropped to the Buccaneer crew.
    The Dutch liner Randfontein was in the area
    and 1722 guided it to the rescue location,
    where a successful transfer from life raft to
    luxury was made. 1722, captained by Major
    Pat Conway, had flown nearly eighteen
    hours on the AR mission, which had been
    undertaken as a text-book operation.

    In 1971, the treacherous currents around
    the Cape of Good Hope claimed another
    victim. The 70,000 ton oil tanker Wafra
    ran aground on rocks off Cape Agulhas,
    the most southerly tip of the African continent.
    With its 60,000-ton cargo of crude
    oil threatening to cause an ecological disaster
    for the area's wildlife, not to mention
    the renowned holiday resorts that were
    located around that part of the country, an
    ocean-going tug was called in to tow the
    stricken vessel off the rocks. Good seamanship
    by the tug's crew got the Wafra
    clear of the reef with very little oil spillage
    and the tanker was towed some 200 miles
    (300km) out to sea. As the vessel was
    unsalvageable in her existing state and
    there was no chance of transferring her
    cargo to another tanker, the SAAF was
    briefed to sink her, with the added instruction
    that, if possible, the ship's internal
    structure was not to be ruptured, so that
    she could take her cargo with her when
    she sank.
    No. 24 Squadron's Buccaneer S.50s,
    armed with a pair of Nord AS-30 air-to ground
    missiles under each wing, carried
    out two sorties against the vessel, under
    the guidance of No. 35 Squadron, but the
    tanker remained intact. Consequently,
    MR.3s were called into action and a salvo
    of depth charges dropped alongside the
    Wafra had the desired effect. She sank
    onto the Agulhas Plateau, 2,300ft (700m)
    below the turbulent meeting place of the
    Atlantic and Indian Oceans, complete
    with her crude oil.
    At least two SAAF MRJs are known to
    have returned to the UK. 1719 arrived on
    25 February 1963 for a six-week training
    exercise with Coastal Command and it
    arrived back at D. F Malan on 1 April. The
    following year, 1722 touched down at BalIykelly
    on 28 June, for a four-week course
    at the JASS, returning to Cape Town on
    30 July 1964.

    After the loss of 1718, the seven surviving
    MR.3s were all progressively modified to
    Phase III standard by Hawker Siddeley
    CWPs, except that the Armstrong Siddeley
    Viper was never installed in any of the
    South African aircraft. The bases used by
    No. 35 quadron were deemed to be large
    enough to get even a fully laden MRJ airborne,
    The Phase III modifications were
    implemented before the arms embargo and
    the full ECM suit was installed in all seven
    aircraft, so that they approximated to the
    RAF's final MR.3 condition, apart from
    the Viper.
    Wing re-sparring was carried out on at
    least two aircraft, 1716 being out of service
    for the work between March 1973 and
    April 1976. Re-sparring on 1717 took a lot
    less time - no doubt the engineers had
    learned from the work on 1716 - the
    squadron being without the aircraft from
    September 1975 to October 1977.
    At least two other aircraft, besides 1718
    and 1723 already mentioned, had undercarriage
    problems on landing. 1722's nosewheel
    refused to lock down on 7 June 1960
    and the aircraft landed on a foam ***** laid
    down at Langebaanweg, the nose-wheel
    assembly collapsing on contact with the
    runway. Two years later, on 10 September
    1962, 1721 had to make a wheels-up landing
    at Ysterplaat, but the damage sustained
    was repaired in a comparatively short time.
    One other mishap to the SAAF MRJ fleet
    occurred on 18 September 196 I, when
    1.720 was undertaking asymmetric landing
    practice. The pilot undershot the runway at
    D. F Malan and the aircraft was extensively
    damaged. Rather than dismantling 1720
    and taking it away for repair, a hangar was
    constructed around it for the work to be carried
    out where it was.

    The arms embargo certainly had a detrimental
    affect on the SAAF's MR.3s, and
    the two re-sparrings already mentioned
    were quite an engineering accomplishment
    on the part of their maintenance
    engineers. Engine spares were impossible
    to obtain, as were new tyres and electronic
    replacements so, in November 1984, the
    Shackleton was officially withdrawn as an
    operational aircraft in the SAAF. 1723
    had expended its fatigue life several years
    prior to this and had been grounded since
    22 November 1977. It was stored in the
    open at Ysterplaat, until being purchased
    by Vic de Villiers, who acquired the aircraft
    via a triple deal involving both the
    South African Airways Mu eum and the
    SAAF Museum. De Villiers gave the airways
    mu eum Vickers Viking ZS-DKH,
    which he had held for many years, and
    they let the SAAF Museum have a Lockheed
    Ventura. The SAAF completed the
    convoluted agreement by selling 1723 to
    de Villiers, who mounted it on the roof of
    his 'Vic's Viking Garage' on the Johannesburg
    to Vereeniging road. For many years
    it remained in its service colours, but without
    national markings. However, by 1994,
    commercial advertising had taken over
    and the aircraft was repainted a vivid red,
    over which' Coca Cola' logos were liberally
    displayed. A sign that is mounted beside
    the aircraft, incorrectly said 'World War
    Two Shackleton'; today this has been edited
    and the word 'Two' has gone, although
    the legend is still inaccurate.
    On 24 April 1978, five months after
    1723 was grounded, 1719 followed suit and
    it too was tored in the open at Ysterplaat
    to begin with. Later the aircraft was moved
    on it own wheels to an airfield at Stellenbosch,
    in the outh African wine region.
    Finally, in 1991, 1719 was moved, to the
    Cape Town Waterfront complex, where it
    is displayed today.
    1720 had reached the end of it fatigue
    life by 10 March 1983, so it was grounded.
    It had been planned to mount the aircraft
    a the gate guardian at Ysterplaat, but
    someone 'pulled rank' and instead it wa
    positioned outside the Warrant Officer's
    Club. For a reason that cannot be ascertained,
    it wa repainted to represent
    '1719', complete with the individual code
    'L'. Maybe it was hoped to frustrate future
    aviation historians, but today the aircraft's
    proper identity has been restored. In 1984,
    1717 too was grounded; it had only been
    kept flying to that date by courtesy of a
    technical team that ascended the Wemmer
    hook Mountains to where the wreckage
    of 171 lay, in order to retrieve serviceable
    parts that could be used on 1717.
    After open-air storage at Ysterplaat, the
    aircraft wa dismantled to be taken by sea
    to Durban. From there, in October 1987,
    it went by road to Midmar Dam and was
    rea embled for static display at the Natal
    Park Board Museum.
    The nostalgia of the Shackleton' retirement
    was not lost on the SAAF and on 23
    November 1984 the surviving trio of airworthy
    MRJ ,1716,1721 and 1722, took
    part in a ceremonial flypast at D. F. Malan
    Airport. Twelve growling Griffons was
    quite a farewell note! Two weeks after the
    ceremony, 1716 and 1721 were flown to
    the AAF Museum at Swartkop, while
    1722 was retained in ground-running ondition
    by No. 35 Squadron for the museum.
    In November 1991, the aircraft was
    flown to Ysterplaat, which, by then, had
    developed into the second largest military
    aviation museum in South Africa.

  4. #4
    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Details on the crash of 1718:

    Herewith, the Next Accident Summary from the February 2008 issue of AVIATION & SAFETY MAGAZINE.


    Occurrence Date: 8 August 1963
    Aircraft Involved: one Avro MR. Mk 3 Shackleton (serial 1718)
    Aircrew & Aircraft Home Unit: 35 Squadron at DF Malan International Airport
    Aircraft Damage Classification: Category IIIa
    Accident Root Cause: human error (pilot error)
    Total Human Involvement: 13
    Total On-Board Human Involvement: 13
    Total Human Attrition: 13 killed
    Identity of Deceased:

    pilot, Capt Thomas Howard Silvertsen (P22051) attested in the SAAF 01/04/48
    co-pilot, 2/Lt Charles Alwyn du Plooy (P1/48842/1) attested in the SAAF 25/01/61
    3rd pilot, Capt Jaques Guillaume Labuchagne (P21805) attested in the SAAF 04/02/53
    navigator, Lt Abraham Gert Willem Coetzee (P20965) attested in the SAAF 28/01/57
    2nd navigator, 2/Lt George James Smith (P1/24862) attested in the SAAF 23/03/60
    3rd navigator, CO Derek Ian Strauss (P50506) attested in the SAAF 07/01/63
    flight engineer, WO2 Sydney Shields Scully (P4895) attested in the SAAF 01/09/36
    2nd flight engineer, L/Cpl Marthienus Christoffel Vorster (P2/20554) attested in the SAAF 01/04/58
    signals leader, Sgt David Hope Sheasby (P17877) attested in the SAAF 03/03/55
    radio operator, L/Cpl Charl Paul Viljoen (P20356) attested in the SAAF 01/06/55
    2nd radio operator, L/Cpl Matthys Johannes Taljaard (P17993) attested in the SAAF 06/03/57
    3rd radio operator, L/Cpl Michel Adolf Brodreiss (P23845) attested in the SAAF 01/12/59
    4th radio operator, A/M Johannes Chamberlain (P50083) attested in the SAAF 01/07/62

    The tactical submarine phase of Operation CAPEX (Cape Exercise), a joint training exercise involving elements of Britain's Royal Navy and both the SA Navy and Air Force, commenced on August 7, 1963. During this phase, the Royal Navy submarine, HMS Alliance, would relocate from her existing position south of Port Elizabeth to a position further west, from where she would take part in further exercises with the SA Navy. During this transitional phase of the submarine, Shackleton 1718 was tasked by Maritime Group to conduct a CAPEX A exercise with the submarine.

    Although 35 Squadron was based at the military section of DF Malan International Airport in Cape Town, the unit's headquarters was at nearby Air Force Station (AFS) Ysterplaat and it was at this latter facility that the flight crew of Shackleton 1718 received a full briefing at 12H30 on August 8, 1963. During this briefing, the Operations Officer on duty advised the Shackleton aircrew to head out over False Bay after take-off and to transit seawards towards the exercise area. He warned them that the direct overland route to Port Elizabeth should be avoided due to anticipated high icing levels on this route.

    Forecast weather for the route over False Bay and then southwards was poor. Heavy icing conditions could be expected between 1 220 and 1 829 m ( 4,000 and 6,000 ft) above mean sea level (AMSL) and consequently the flight crew were further briefed that Maritime Group had granted them special clearance to transit to the exercise area under 915 m (3,000 ft) AMSL. A 244 m (800 ft) AMSL cloud base would exist with tops up to 6 707 m (22,000 ft). Heavy air turbulence could be expected with cumulonimbus clouds, hail and heavy rain throughout. Surface wind was 42 km/h (26 mph) at 340? and 92 km/h (57 mph) at 340? and 1 524 m (5,000 ft).
    Even though the forecast weather over the eastern overland route was no better, at least the seaward route would eliminate the risk of the aircraft accidentally flying into high ground in the conditions of much reduced visibility. The aircraft commander, Captain (Capt) TH Silvertsen , when giving his own briefing, confirmed his route as south over False Bay and then seawards towards the exercise area. The flight had been authorised by Maritime Group to provide the Shackleton crew with training in the radar detection of a submarine. No special instructions were issued.

    Shackleton 1718 was fully serviceable for flight even though the compasses had not been swung on their normal expiry date of July 19, 1963. Maritime Group gave authorisation for a month's extension provided that no major part of the aircraft was replaced. The compasses were therefore considered serviceable.

    The Flight Office at Ysterplaat was uncomfortable about the weather conditions and telephoned the Maritime Group Operations Centre thrice prior to the departure of the Shackleton, in an effort to get the flight cancelled, but this request was not forthcoming.

    Just minutes before take-off, Capt Silvertsen, notwithstanding his briefing instructions, informed Air Traffic Control (ATC) that he would climb to 2 896 m (9,500 ft) AMSL and head overland towards Port Elizabeth.

    The aircraft lifted off Runway 34 at 15H06 and turned right on 350? for the climb out. Moments later, ATC informed the commander to come to 330? so as to safely avoid Tiger Mountain. Capt Silvertsen acknowledged this transmission and did accordingly. After the lapse of about a minute, he requested clearance to resume his original course of 350?. This was the last radio transmission received from Shackleton 1718.

    At about 15H20 the radar technician at DF Malan requested permission to deactivate the radar for about ten minutes due to flooding of the radar installation on account of the heavy rain. This permission was granted, but before the radar was deactivated, 1718's location was given as a distance on the radar screen of about 40 km (25 miles) on a course of 100?. The ground course was about 145?.

    Although the evidence suggested that the airplane had crashed, most likely in the Stettynskloof/Wemmershoek Mountains area, the adverse weather conditions, combined with the lateness of the hour, precluded any meaningful attempt at a search and rescue effort being mounted until the following day, August 9.

    At 10H00 and again at 13H30 on August 9, helicopters were sent out to the Wemmershoek area to report on the weather, which remained completely adverse. Following a report of an aircraft having been heard, a further helicopter was despatched at 15H00 to search the mountains south of Simonstown. On August 10, another helicopter continued the search at Simonstown from 08H15, while a second aircraft was sent to report back on the weather in the Wemmershoek area. Here, the weather was still closed in, but hinted at the first signs of improvement. At 09H00 at aircraft was sent to fly high over the Wemmershoek Mountains to report on the cloud coverage. At 11H00 two aircraft continued a search in the same mountains and at 13H15 they were joined by a further pair of rotorcraft. The wreck was finally discovered from the air at 17H18 just over two days following the accident. It was evident from the almost complete destruction of the aircraft that nobody aboard could possibly have survived the crash.

    The crash occurred about 25.8 km (16 miles from the nearest town, Worcester, in the Stettynskloof valley between Paarl and Stellenbosch. After inspecting the crash scene, the 35 Squadron Engineering Officer, Capt WJ Stiglingh decided to investigate the failures apparent on the port elevator and the upper section of the starboard rudder, both of which detached in flight, although the Board of Inquiry (BOI) officially convened to investigate the cause of the accident, was unable to establish which broke off first.

    The section of the starboard rudder was found 1 620 m (5,314 ft) and the port elevator 1 250 m (4,100 ft) from the impact point. Following the disintegration of these two flight control surfaces, the aircraft would have been rendered uncontrollable. At this point (about 15H25) the pilot was heard to make his final radio transmission: “Mayday. Mayday,” but this was not recognised as such by the ATC. The timing of the transmission coincides exactly with the crash time.

    At the same time that the starboard rudder and port elevator detached in flight, the port fuel tip tank also broke away removing a section of the port wing and both outer elevators. The outer most starboard elevator was found further forward than the impact point of the port tip tank. Clearly, it broke away shortly after the tip tank.
    The port elevator, which was complete, showed relatively little damage. Most of the damage sustained was consistent with it having fallen on to its inboard end and then on to some rocks. Signs were found, however, of excessive downward movement of this elevator to the extent that the hinges had damaged the steel spar, more so at the outboard hinge where the hinge arm had actually cut into the spar. It was official opinion that pilot applied force could not have caused this damage since the control column movement in restricted by stops strong enough to resist human force.

    It is considered that at the time of the excessive downward movement of the elevator, the force, mainly due to leverage over the spar, was sufficient to cause failure of the hinge bolts in tension. Failure of the spar attachment upper lug clearly indicated that the outboard end of the elevator broke away first in a rearward direction. No evidence was found to suggest that this port elevator was attached to the airframe at the time of impact.

    Examination of the starboard elevator indicated that its upward travel had been exceeded; this and other damage to this elevator being consistent with crash damage.

    Regarding the section of the upper starboard rudder, the outboard skin at the break had failed in tension and the inboard skin was torn away from the front rearwards, this indicating that the broken off portion was first bent inwards and then backwards. Furthermore, apart from damage at the upper leading edge, which was inflicted when the rudder struck the ground, this portion of rudder was altogether undamaged. The rudder was probably detached from the aircraft before the point of impact.

    As for the lower portion of the starboard rudder, failures on the outboard and inboard skins correspond to failure on the upper section. Damage on this section would appear to indicate that it did not strike the ground at the point of impact, but that it was flung forwards and carried further assisted by the strong winds prevailing at the time.

    Considerable violence coupled with exceptionally strong winds and/or air turbulence was necessary to carry the port and starboard fin, port tailplane and several other pieces of empennage to their final positions. None of these parts, except the starboard fin, displayed any damage that could have occurred at the point if impact.

    The port tailplane front spar had pulled out along its length, shearing all its rivets. Examination of the main impact zone indicated that the fuselage struck at right angles to the main mark down the slope and the sideways cartwheel or flick might have thrown empennage parts in to the air forward of, and to the right of, the impact area.

    Examination of the point of impact of the port wingtip fuel tank indicated that the angle that the tank struck the ground was such that, had the tank been attached to the aircraft, the empennage should then have hit the ground. The tank was therefore most probably detached from the aircraft while still in the air. Positions of the No. 3 and 4 ailerons and part of the port wing support this reasoning.

    The dump valves of both port and starboard tip tanks were found in the fully open position. As these valves are electromechanically driven, they were probably intentionally open and most likely before the port tip tank impact since this tank still had a considerable amount of fuel left over in it, judging by the flash fire area. The forward portion of the starboard tip tank, on the other hand, showed no signs of flash fire or explosion, indicating that its fuel content at the time of impact must have been low. The open dump valves appear to suggest that the pilot must have been busy dumping fuel in order to reduce the load on the airframe when it experienced the heavy turbulence and just before the aircraft began disintegrating. The aircraft weighed about 43 213 kg (95,242 lb) at the time of the accident.

    In an attempt to reconstruct the events leading up to the crash, another Shackleton of the same weight and load as Shackleton 1718, took off from Runway 34 at DF Malan on August 22, 1963 to attempt to emulate as closely as possible the course and climb tempo of the stricken aircraft. Based on this emulation, it was ascertained that Shackleton 1718 was either at or very close to its intended cruise altitude of 2 896 m (9,500 ft) AMSL.

    Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight had been authorised and the aircraft had been operating under IFR conditions at the time of its demise.

    The Board was satisfied that the flight crew were under all circumstances both qualified and capable of performing the mission with which they had been tasked.

    The accident occurred over State ground; property of the Department of Forestry. The terrain was unplanted, deforested and in its natural state. No claim could thus be made by the Department. There was no damage to private or other military property.

    Shackleton 1718 was manufactured in August 1957. Although possessing a maximum take-off weight of 45 372 kg (100,000 lb), for its final flight it lifted off at 43 938 kg (96,840 lb). Since the aircraft was heavily laden with its maximum weight point close to the rearmost limit, the pilots would have experienced some instability in the yawing (left/right) plane.

    The Board established that the impact speed of the aircraft was high and that this, combined with the resulting fire following the crash, caused almost complete destruction of the aircraft. There was no attempt by the crew to use parachutes and all aboard are assumed to have perished in the high G impact.

    The Board established that the atrocious weather was a significant contributory factor in this accident. Wind was about 148 km/h (92 mph) due to the unstable air mass forming convection currents. Cloud cover extended from 305 m (1,000 ft) to 8 841 m (29,000 ft) AMSL with associated heavy precipitation. Due to the turbulence, the moist unstable air mass and low icing height resulted in unusually high icing conditions from 1 220 m to 1 829 m (4,000 ft-6,000 ft).

    Air Force headquarters telephonically informed the Board that the maximum acceleration permitted on the Shackleton airframe was 2.4 G. It was thus theoretically possible to easily exceed this low limitation, especially under conditions of unusually high turbulence as in this case. Although it cannot be proved, it is not impossible that the pilot in control could have over controlled the aircraft on at least one occasion in response to the unusually heavy turbulence. This could have placed an additional load on the airframe.

    It was considered a possibility that, due to the turbulence, the pilot found himself unwittingly between the mountain peaks and that either one wingtip or one of the tail surfaces skimmed the side of one of the mountains, the impact causing the aircraft to disintegrate in flight and causing the pilot to lose control. The Board, however, considered this scenario unlikely given the fact that the ATC heard the pilot's Mayday transmission clearly and the aircraft must have thus been flying above the mountain peaks under normal circumstances when the radio call was put out. Additionally, the fact that the dump valves were open does not correspond with a collision against a mountain.

    The Board found Capt Silvertsen solely responsible for the accident. He displayed a complete lack of discipline by disobeying a direct order to rather route south over False Bay and instead routed over land, where the mountainous terrain exacerbated the already foul weather conditions. The aerodynamic effect of heavy icing, strong and turbulent winds, the heavy weight of the aircraft combined with the possible over control by the pilot in control, placed an unusually high loading on the airframe. This resulted in the airframe exceeding its design limits and initiated disintegration, leading to the loss of control and the consequent fatal crash. The accident was classed as an avoidable major flying accident.

    All the evidence submitted by all the witnesses interviewed was considered credible by the Board.

    Shackleton 1718 was delivered new to the SAAF valued at R 417 250.00. At the time of its demise it had completed 775.15 total airframe hours and, with depreciation, was valued with engines and propellers at R 266 109.45. The Rolls-Royce Griffon Mk 57A piston engines, like the airframe, were all classified as having sustained Category IIIa (write-off damage with no salvageable content). Engine numbers were 64411, 64412, 64416 and 64445.

    This was the only Shackleton to be written off in 27 years of SAAF service from 1957 to 1984.

    The Group Commander remarked that the ultimate load factor was 4 G. This figure suggests that the airframe was considerably stronger than the BOI was made to believe when they made their investigation. This information was, however, not available to the Board at the time.

    The only flight crew member of the 13 that perished on board to have received any honours or awards was WO2 (Warrant Officer Class 2) Scully, recipient of the Africa Star with Clasp and the Union Medal (No. 285).

    E N D

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Stll inside the onion


    Thanks Baboon6. Great info.

    Found this one my HD a while back.Forgot all about it today.

  6. #6
    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Johannesburg, South Africa


    Quote Originally Posted by prion View Post
    The SAAF in the years 1957 to 1984 used a total of eight Avro Shackleton Mk.3's with tail numbers 1716-1723.

    All aircraft were deployed by 35 Squadron at AFB Ysterplaat Cape Town , after initially flying out of Congela , close to Durban harbour.

    The Shackleton served as a Maritime Patrol Aircraft with both the SAAF and RAF and was later replaced in the SAAF by the C-47TP and Nimrod in RAF service. The SAAF however used only the Mk.3 variant without the Viper upgrade.

    Procuring the Shackleton was a major step up from the previous use of Sunderlands and Catalinas and according to wiki , even Harvards and Spitfires were used! Shackletons were used extensively untill 23 November 1984 when it was officially withdrawn from service. And what a shame!
    The SAAF also had Lockheed Ventura GR.Vs for maritime patrol work. More on them from this pdf:


    B-34 Ventura Mark 1 and 2 aircraft arrived at Ysterplaat, (then known as Brooklyn Air Station) in 1942. The squadrons which were equipped with Venturas were, No's 22, 23, 25, 27 and 29. Number 22 Squadron moved to the Middle East in 1943, where it and 17 Squadron were equipped with PV-1 Ventura Mk 5's. They operated from bases in Algeria and Sardinia, and eventually together from Gibraltar.
    At the Director General-SAAF Conference on 26 November 1946, it was decided to keep 62 B-34 Ventura Bombers and 86 PV-1 Ventura Mk 5 Patrol Bombers. The B-34's were allocated to 21 and 60 Squadrons at Zwartkop, 24 Squadron at Bloemspruit, and the Bombing, Gunnery and Air Navigation School at Langebaanweg. The Coastal Squadrons, 17, 22 and 27 flew the "Peevees."

    Both types were fitted with 2 000 HP (1 491 kW) Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp 18 cylinder radials and had an internal bomb/depth charge capacity of 4 000 lbs (1 800 kg). On wing pylons it could carry another two 225/450 kg bombs, depth charges or drop tanks. The last B-34 flew from Bloemspruit in 1951 when 24 Squadron closed down - (until 1965). Some PV-1's soldiered on, until final withdrawal at the end of 1959. The VIP Venturas were the last to fly - in 1960.

    The Sunderland replaced the Catalina in SAAF service in 1945; they were not in service at the same time. The last Sunderlands were retired in 1957, when 35 Sqn (the only user) converted to Shackletons.

  7. #7
    Senior Member B_706K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Roll on September, B.C. here I come....


    Interesting pics & info, thanks both of you!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Stll inside the onion


    Quote Originally Posted by baboon6 View Post
    PV-1 Ventura Mk 5 Patrol Bombers. The Coastal Squadrons, 17, 22 and 27 flew the "Peevees."
    This was one them. 6498 started life as Bu 49474 for the US navy , but came here via the RAF to first 29Sqn and then 17Sqn SAAF.

    Uploaded with

  9. #9
    Senior Member skyeye's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Hootin Holler, WV


    Quote Originally Posted by prion View Post
    Thanks Baboon6. Great info.

    Found this one my HD a while back.Forgot all about it today.

    This is funny. I’d say the “old guys” are enjoying the show, while the newbie’s run for it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Canada via Scotland


    Nice to see an RAF 8 Squadron AEW Shack got in there. Unofficial motto, "8 screws are better than 2 blow jobs", for the 2 contra-rotating props per engine.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Stll inside the onion


    Good spotting Wha_Dar. That one got past me.An AEW.2.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Warden's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Theres an 8 Sqrdn Shackleton rusting in the US somewhere. Someone posted a photo of it a while back.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Stll inside the onion


    Quote Originally Posted by Warden View Post
    Theres an 8 Sqrdn Shackleton rusting in the US somewhere. Someone posted a photo of it a while back.
    I think this is the one you refer to. Why am I thinking HF posted it?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chiptox's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    East Farms, PNW


    Quote Originally Posted by Warden View Post
    Theres an 8 Sqrdn Shackleton rusting in the US somewhere. Someone posted a photo of it a while back.
    It's at the Pima Air and Space museum in Tuscon.

    It was still in the back-lot when I was there a year ago. I dunno if it is on display now.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Elbs's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Los Pollos Hermanos



    There is a Lodestar with SAAF markings at the excellent Castle air museum in California.

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