Former RAF Canberra navigator John Hyde recalls the time his jet suffered a double engine failure after dark in the tale of a rumble seat, a very annoyed officer, and a mine field!
It was March 6, 1958. I was a 25-year-old navigator/observer with 35 Squadron flying with my usual crew – pilot Flt Lt Arthur Desmond ‘Kiwi’ Ashworth from New Zealand and nav plotter Fg Off Brian Dockar – in Canberra B.2 WK125. At the time, I was a flying officer and we were on detachment to RAF Luqa in Malta from Upwood in Cambridgeshire.
We had been authorised for a day/night bombing sortie on the range near RAF El Adem across the Mediterranean in Libya. After dropping eight visual practice bombs that morning and another eight smoke/flash rounds after dark, we headed back to Luqa, about 600 miles to the northwest. Having been lying prone in the nose dropping the ‘bombs’, I climbed back into my ejection seat as we turned for home.