1974 Devils Peak

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sergeant pepper
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1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by sergeant pepper »

Any one have a picture or article of the three Jets that crashed into Devils Peak? I am trying to find the exact locations.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by Cheryl Smit »

The crash was in 1971.

References
http://planecrashinfo.com/1971/1971.htm
On 26 May 1971, three South African Air Force Hawker-Siddelley HS125 (Code named Mercurius) aircraft crashed into Devil's Peak, killing all 11 on board. The aircraft were flying in close formation, practicing for a fly past during the upcoming 10th anniversary Republic Day celebrations on 31 May. A low cloud base was cited as a contributory factor. The impact was heard throughout the surrounding suburbs and scars in the ground can still be seen today

On 26 May 1971 a formation of three military aircraft, flying by sight along the N2 highway, banked to the right three seconds to late, narrowly missed the University and Rhodes Memorial and ploughed into the side of the mountain. For many years a radar reflector beacon stood on Plumpudding Hill above Rhodes Memorial to prevent similar incidents.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by sergeant pepper »

Thank You! Sorry for the miss-quote on 1971. I have hiked up Devils Peak several times, and want to go visit the old crash sites. Having trouble finding them.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by sergeant pepper »

That report also stated that "All three aircraft crashed". There was actually four aircraft, the fourth one missed the mountain with meters. One of the aircraft that crashed had a Springbok rugby player on board. Anyone know of the exact location of the crash? Can't find it anywhere on the web.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by rbbroker »

Talk to deanw also here on the forum or the SAAF forum - he may be able to assist you -
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by Arniev »

The Air Force Gym was stationed at Wingfield in Tents at the time, for the "Republic 10 Festival". Members from 3rd Squadren were selected to stand guard at the site. We drove up the mountain in Bedford Trucks & Climed the rest of the way up the mountain. The scene was utter Devistation. Some of us had tried to hitch a ride and were dissapointed at not being selected !! Had serious second thoughts about ever learning to fly after that day.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by Superfueler »

Most comprehensive coverage of that tragic day is in the book Fields of Air However while there is a map of sorts and photos I don't recall seeing the actual co-ordinates.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by alpha-mike-tango »

My parents, my sister and I had moved to Cape Town the previous year (I was in Sub B) and almost every weekend we would go for walks on the mountain (Table Mountain, Devil's Peak, Signal Hill, Lion's Head, 12 Apostles, Pipe Track etc - it was still perfectly safe then). I remember us parking alongside the road some way past the Cable-way Station and walking until we came across barrier tape closing off the track. There was no-one there and thinking nothing of it we followed my Dad under it and went on our merry way. Coming back later on we were apprehended by a group of men I assumed were Defence Force personnel and my Dad had some explaining to do before were were allowed to go. It was only years later that I realised that the reason must have been that the area was cordoned off for the crash investigation.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by sergeant pepper »

Thank you guys. What happened that day still scares the hell out of me whenever I approach IF conditions around the cape, regardless of altitude. Will go check it out, (taking with me a sling-shot, due to the muggings up there 8-[ ) maybe find some pieces still.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by Snoopy »

AFAIK the plans where to erect a plaque/small memorial up there... take a look at Google earth between Rhodes Memorial and Kings Blockhouse. I was a kid when this happened we where practising for Republic Day festival at Goodwood show grounds.

The Argus published photos of the crash site. If you go to the Argus archives they will have it on microfilm...1971.

More info here. You'll see there was a walking route right next to where it happened. The aircraft did not impact very far apart.

http://www.saairforce.co.za/forum/viewt ... f=2&t=1000

Heres link to a photo of a piece of one of the wrecks - taken by Jim McLagan

http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenski/1324473370/
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by sergeant pepper »

More info here. You'll see there was a walking route right next to where it happened. The aircraft did not impact very far apart.

Thanx Snoopy, much appreciated. Although, consider me hopeless, I can't find that exact spot on Google Earth, can't you put a marker on it if possible?
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by Mark WJ »

...how manne...can this posibly hav hapened ?

Long story i know.....

Absolute gross negligence...

How my friends do you fly into mounain with yre wingmaan in view

Go IMC,,,i pull up....yesss pull up....

Get the <<moderated - language>> outtta there.....

Fomo...my ass

Theses well respected aviators made a huge <moderated>.....up....

And i dont beleive Mr snooppy....that you know better
wish i was flying now
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by sergeant pepper »

If you read all the accounts of exactly what happened, you will possibly understand how this could have happened. For the display they had to make a turn over Woodstock/Cape Town, and then return to Langebaanweg. This is what they tried to rehearse, but increased their speed slightly (wider circle at a given rate). Apparently there was also a slight Northernly wind present, which pushed them further South. Why they crashed was probably: They were in IMC, which means they can't see a thing. Their instruments told them that the turn was at the right angle and rate. They were in a formation flight. So, because it's IMC, and in a formation flight (and due to it being IMC, I highly doubt that they could see each other), you continue the flight according to the predetermined plan. If you deviate, you can crash into the plane next to you (duh). Also, you said they should have pulled up. According to accounts the IMC started in the Athlone Power Station Area, and extended towards the city. If they had to climb, and continued the turn perfectly, I am sure they could have cleared yes. But if they did not continue the turn perfectly, they would have hit the mountain in any case, as you would have required at least a 6000 foot per minute climb. My 10 cents worth.

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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by StellarGuy »

I was in grade 3 at the time of the accident and I remember my parents being very saddened by the loss of a close family friend in that crash. His name was Danie Lombaard (also my hero because he was a SAAF pilot) and also another pilot by the name of LAF Henning. My mother still has the golden wings of Danie Lombaard in her possesion. What was also rather perculiar was that at the time of the accident a glass window cracked at the house of Danie Lombaard in Pretoria at more or less the same time of impact....and the shape of the crack was that of Devil's Peak. Makes one wonder.

Danie Lombaard was also grounded for using a SAAF DC-3 to drop off the Sunday newspapers on his parents farm a few times until he got caught.

I was at a conference at UCT last week and while I was looking at the mountain I also wondered where exactly did they hit the mountain.

If by any chance somebody has info on the location of a B58 crash (ZS-IMG), I would like to find out where it happened. The pilot was Piet van Zyl from Bloem. It was also somewhere close to Cape Town. I flew with him many times as young boy in IMG.
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Re: 1974 Devils Peak

Unread post by Snoopy »

Go to the Argus, or Cape Times they both carried the story. From the photos with a bit of work you will be able to extrapolate where exactly some of the wreckage pieces where found. The aircraft impacted about 200m apart. Over time the the marks where they hit would have overgrown. But its between Rhodes memorial and the Kings Block house on the Rhodes memorial side of Devils Peak. The rest of the research you will have to go do at the Cape Town newspapers first if you really want to get to the area. There is no one spot - the impact area of the aircraft is the size of two rugby fields.

There are Silver leaf trees in the area. Example below.
Image

Its raining today and will also rain tomorrow; so for a start not a safe day to go hiking up a mountain. So rather do some more research. :idea:

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