Goofers’ delight as plane comes a cropper on old Ark

HMS Ark Royal and, below, the crashed Scimitar
HMS Ark Royal and, below, the crashed Scimitar
HMS Havant 1939 to 1940:

Battle Honours: Atlantic 1940, Dunkirk 1940.

The short but heroic life of a destroyer – a Dunkirk victim

1
Have your say

A series of pictures today from Graham Bunker capturing some of his time in the old HMS Ark Royal from 1955-57.

One of his jobs was to maintain and repair the tactical air navigation system which is the cylindrical object at the very top of the mast.

Old Ark Royal PPP-150216-112412001

Old Ark Royal PPP-150216-112412001

Graham says: ‘This was approached for the last few feet up a ladder made up of metals rungs welded to a pole.

‘I do recall one of the ship’s photographers coming up top to take some pictures when we were aloft working on the aerial. He chose not to get on to the very top platform and was content to stay on the one below.

‘I am not sure why, but one could move the whole structure and I think this put him off!’

The series of photos showing the Scimitar crashing happened when the nose wheel did not lock.

Old Ark Royal PPP-150216-112423001

Old Ark Royal PPP-150216-112423001

At that moment Graham was looking after the Carrier Control Approach Radar, the large cylindrical object at the rear of the island which you can see in the picture immediately below.

He recalls: ‘I was almost certainly one of the Goofers (navy slang for those watching incoming aircraft) towards the rear of the island as not only could we see on the radar in the office what was happening, but could hear the flight controllers talking to the pilot on UHF radio.

‘No doubt in today’s health and safety world goofing at an event such as that, would not be allowed.’

Old Ark Royal PPP-150216-112308001

Old Ark Royal PPP-150216-112308001