Aviation News

September 8, 2009

Near Disaster at UK Airshow When Cold War Bomber “Accidentally” Takes Off

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A UK Civil Aviation Authority investigation into a near-disaster at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome’s Cold War Jets Day has concluded without any legal action, according to a report in Wednesday’s Daily Mail. Disaster was narrowly averted in May when a Handley Page Victor bomber accidentally took off.

A crew of two men unlicensed as pilots were meant only to taxi down the runway for a photo shoot. The man in the captain’s seat, Bob Prothero, a 70-year-old retired RAF pilot, managed to set the bird down safely after his “co-pilot,” the plane’s maintainer who had no flying experience, set the throttles to full takeoff power.

UPDATE: Here is a second view of the shocking takeoff, taken from across the runway…



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  • frits

    What a great shame,that such beauties,based on Bruntingthorpe,do not have a flying license.To think,they are in full flight worthy condition.
    With us at the Leeuwarden/Holland air base,there are 2 Hawker Hunters of the DHHF(Dutch Hawker Hunter
    Foundation),based there.(bought from Exeter)And not only that,…they make a flight once a month!!!!

  • frits

    What a great shame,that such beauties,based on Bruntingthorpe,do not have a flying license.To think,they are in full flight worthy condition.
    With us at the Leeuwarden/Holland air base,there are 2 Hawker Hunters of the DHHF(Dutch Hawker Hunter
    Foundation),based there.(bought from Exeter)And not only that,…they make a flight once a month!!!!

  • As the Cold War bomber shot towards the air show crowd, retired RAF pilot Bob Prothero knew he had to act… and fast.
    The 75-ton Victor was only meant to have slowly taxied down the runway and stop for a photoshoot, but his amateur co-pilot had accidentally slammed on the throttle, sending it 150ft up into the sky.
    Now it was veering, putting it on a collision course with the crowd and a nearby housing estate if they tried to land.

    Warm Regards,
    Ginger Tolentinas
    Exeter Hotels