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Sabre Flame-out - Ken Senar 14Dec54.
As told by Ken Senar   

On December 14th, 1954, (that's over 50 years ago!) I was flying Sabre XB913.   In a high-level dog-fight at 40,000ft I had a flame-out.   Not funny.   The engine kept windmilling enough to give me reduced hydraulic power, sufficient to maintain cautious stick movements.   Apart from immediate loss of pressurisation the entire cockpit misted and iced up internally almost at once.

     While deciding what to do, and gliding like a pair of pliers, I had to keep the ice scraped away with my hands to see where I was.   I was just nearer Oldenburg than Jever and voiced over the R/T my intention to attempt a dead stick landing there if I couldn't re-light.   As I remember, in order to do that one had to be at about 10,000ft at the equivalent distance of the start of a downwind leg in order to stand any chance of being successful.   The alternative was to join the Caterpillar Club.   It's surprising how one is reluctant to bale out!   

     In the event, at the third attempt, I was able to relight the brute at 9,000ft and, with a very grumpy engine, decided cautiously to make my way back to base on a straight-in approach.   After a successful landing, and on shutting down, inspection revealed turbine blade damage.   Des Browne, CO 93 Sqn questioned me as to why I didn't land at Oldenburg.   My answer was that I hadn't got my hat with me!   I got a rigid bollocking from him, as he said, for further endangering one of the Queen's aircraft, and that in spite of my having saved a considerable amount of trouble and expense by having gone back to Jever!

[Click to see F540 report of this incident].

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