Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dad's Plane Crash (in the 1970s)

A few weeks ago in a meme I mentioned that my dad had survived a plane crash. Here's the local newspaper article with a picture of my dad (he's the blond one standing in front of the plane, his friend who was with him when it crashed is sitting inside the plane).

This happened years ago, but I still remember lying in bed when I was supposed to be asleep and could hear my grandmother arrive in tears at the house so she could be there when news arrived about them both. My parents and grandmother often took part air rallys. I always stayed at home with my siblings, but I remember being taken to see all the small planes at the airport.

The crash didn't happen during an air rally though. On this occasion, dad and his friend were taking two other pilots to collect a new plane in Dinard and it was on the way back, with the other plane some way behind them that they crashed. The other pilots circled the area for as long as possible before returning to the nearest airport. I gather that dad and his friend drifted quite a way - the currents are very strong in the channel - but they were rescued and weren't badly injured. When they arrived in France they were offered brandies to perk them up and amused their French hosts by declining the brandies and asking for cups of tea instead.

Each year on 21st May, the anniversary of the crash, I send my dad a card and I'm incredibly grateful that he lived to tell us all about it. Strangely enough, he's not at all scared of flying.

23 comments:

Alison Morton said...

Lovely post, Debs. And what a terrific character your father is.

Given the tea the French make, I'm not surprised they were amazed when yor father refused the brandy and wanted a cuppa!

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh wow. What a story. I'm so glad he survived to tell the tale. My father was involved in a very bad crash when I was in college - he was driving a large truck and skidded off the side of the road, rolling it. It's a miracle he survived, especially when you look at pictures of the crushed cab.

Jenny Woolf said...

It is strange that it didn't rattle him. But then I guess if you are going to take the trouble to become an expert flyer, or work with planes, you probably have to think about crashing so much that you kind of get used to the idea. Still, what a thing to happen! and how good he survived to tell the tale.

liz fenwick said...

Amazing...I'd be terrified of flying after that...I'm terrified as it is!

Lx

Teresa Ashby said...

What a wonderful story. It must have been a horrible time for your family until he was found and it is lovely that you celebrate his survival with a card every year x

Shirley Wells said...

What a lovely post and an amazing story, Debs. I love how you still celebrate each year.

Suzanne Jones said...

This is fascinating, Debs.

XX

Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

alison - He's a great character, I should really write a book about some of the things he's done!

melissa - sounds horrendous! I'm glad your father survived such a dreadful crash.

jenny - you're right. When we used to travel on holiday and one of us was a little nervous if it was turbulant, etc, he's explain what the pilot was doing at that time and somehow it made everything seem okay.

liz - Jersey is one of the places I hate landing in most strangely enough. I never think the runway is going to be long enough. It is, of course!

teresa - thank you. It was terrifying. No one knew I was awake, so didn't know I could hear all their phone calls and concerns.

suzanne - thank you.x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Fascinating story, Debs - and you have such glamorous parents, between your dad here and your mum with Sean Connery!

Anna Scott Graham said...

What an incredible tale! I love that your dad asked for tea; now that tells another tale. :)))

It's amazing how our minds can brush off certain incidents; we pick ourselves right back up and keep on moving. Cheers to your dad; this is a lovely post!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Rosemary - thank you, they did have an exciting life.

Anna - it was so typical of dad to ask for a cup of tea, so sweet.

Mama J said...

He's very brave to still be able to get into a plane after that. I know I wouldn't (takes all my nerve to get into one and I've never been involved in a crash).

I too would have preferred a cup of tea!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Mama j - I don't think I would get in one again either.

Diane Fordham said...

Wow!

Chris Stovell said...

Gosh, I can't imagine every getting back into a plane after an experience like that. You are right to be so proud of your dad - what strength of character.

Unpublished Life said...

Oh wow, your dad was so unbelievably lucky! What a story and it's wonderful that you celebrate how he lived!

My brother is a pilot and it is always a big fear of mine ... but they love it, don't they.

Pilots are born... that they are!

http://unpublishedworksofme.blogspot.co.uk/

Talli Roland said...

What an amazing story, Debs! Wow!

Flowerpot said...

Great story Debs - yes, you'd think he'd be terrified of flying wouldn't you?

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Talli - I suppose it is!

Flowerpot - I know I would be.

Jayne said...

Gosh, that's amazing that it didn't put him off! And I love that you send him a card each year on the anniversary - that's wonderful. What a fab story - love the request about tea!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Jayne - thank you.

Karen said...

An incredible story, and wonderful that he survived to tell the tale.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Karen - it is a bit incredible, I suppose and definitely a relief all round that he survived intact!