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Mid-Air Engine Failure

Heroes Remember

Mid-Air Engine Failure

In Tain I had an engine failure, in a Tiffy. There was something wrong with the aircraft, and they decided to put three half hour tests on it and then they would check the engine, you see. So I did one half hour test and then went down, they checked it and everything was fine. So I went of to do the other one and for some reason or other I just took off full throttle and climbed to two thousand feet. And there was a bang and I didn't have engine. So I just turned downwind and called the tower and told them what happened and then I was making, turning, and making the downwind leg this way, crosswind leg and then go into the runway this way. And it was going just fine, everything was perfect. And I got crossways, crosswind, I thought, well I'll drop the wheels. When I dropped the wheels and they got big pants on the wheels and as soon as I put that down the wind caught the pants and I was undershooting the fields. So I lifted the undercarriage and we, the undercarriage came up, to my surprise, and we got, I couldn't make the runway but I came over the fence, across the runway, hit a little hill, it came, went up on it's nose and then came back like that. I had engine but it was just idling. I couldn't give it any power at all. And what had happened there was a little bolt and it was turned, turned someway. And it was machined in here and it had been machined an eighth of an inch too much on the butterfly valve on the carburetor and it snapped and the butterfly valve closed so I couldn't get any fuel into the engine. But I did have engine and the result was I had hydraulics so the wheels were able to come up. I was lucky! (Very lucky.) But I hit the four, the gun sites right in front of me and I bashed my head on it but, didn't hurt. Interviewer: Were you then convalescing for any period? Nope, oh I went over to the MIR, Medical Inspection Room, the doc had a look at me then the CEO sent me up on another airplane. Wasn't long after that that I got posted.

Mr. Sproule remembers experiencing a mid-air engine failure in a Typhoon during a test flight.

Frederick Howard Sproule

Mr. Sproule was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 22, 1918. He first served as a cadet with the Seaforth Highlanders before joining the regular service. He switched to the air force as soon as he was able, first being accepted as a gunner, and then into pilot training. After serving as a flight instructor on Harvards, Mr Sproule was shipped to Great Britain where he trained on a Hurricane. Eventually, he piloted a Typhoon as a bomber in the Burma Campaign, helping to drive back the Japanese. His tour finished as the Japanese were completely driven out of Burma.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Frederick Howard Sproule
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
186 Squadron
Supernumerary Flight Lieutenant

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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