2nd Lieutenant Allan Burrel, a young man from the small village of Furneaux Pelham in Hertfordshire, came near death again today. He had only 14 missions and about 16 hours of flight time since joining RFC-3 at Choques airfield.
As part of B-Flight he flew a reconnaissance mission to the front near Loos. Just as the flight approached the front at around 4300 feet his engine began to run very rough and was only able to turn around 700 RPM. He immediately turned back with the intent of returning to the airfield. But the engine seemed to run rougher and rougher, so he reluctantly cut off the engine and started to glide while looking for a safe place to land.
Unfortunately, there was a large number of forested areas where he finally ran out of altitude and was forced to choose a small field bordered by what he thought was a small road. As he rolled out after touching down, he found, much to his dismay, that what looked like a small road from the air was actually a fence!. The resulting collision destroyed his aircraft and put both pilot & observer in hospital for 7 days.
This is my second consecutive mission where there was a "system failure". I had no trouble recognizing it this time and a quick glance at the text under the TAC only confirmed what I already knew.
The first "system failure" led to my "QC" pilot being killed when hitting a tree on approach to landing when he ran out of altitude.
I sure hope the RNG treats me nicer when Allan gets out of hospital. I like getting practice at all the things a pilot needs to know but multiple, consecutive system failures make for quite "Interesting times" indeed! I shall endeavor to persevere - Chief Dan George in Outlaw Josey Wales
Love that last line. Maybe it should be placed on the fuselage just under the rim of the cockpit!
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