Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 From The Egyptian Desert

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9 years 4 months

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Is the plane on that area what is called block 8 on some sites? or is one of the others near that? I'm from finland but still i really would be happy if you guys would have that plane back home. If had the money i would...

So it was Coppings who flew that plane? that poor b***d.

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21 years 8 months

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Can I just remind everyone about Rule 5 in the CoC..? Some posts have been edited..

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11 years 11 months

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P40

I wonder if the MOD put an old aircraft in the middle of Dartmoor, would it still be untouched and pristine after a month, of course not. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be people that will want to break bits off, take a few bits for souvenirs,

Unfortunately, the people to this forum know the value of the airframe historically but there is nothing we can do about it.

As we have been told, the British Embassy are talking to the Egyptian Authorities about the plane and probable missing pilot.

Looking at the cockpit again, besides the clock being taken as you would expect, the middle dial is the tilt and turn indicator. Why broken, well it contains liquid!:( Reading the thread on the Blenheim's that went missing, it was also noted fire extinguishers were opened and there tllt and turn/artificial horizon indicators also had broken glass.

I believe things are moving in a positive direction but can't say anything yet until I have an OK to say so.

regards

Mark

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11 years 3 months

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Yes mate, you're quite right. They are fine upstanding young gentlemen. We should not denigrate them.

Yes, and I am almost certain our fine upstanding lads and lassies in Afghanistan will agree also,;)
Jim.
Lincoln .7

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15 years 9 months

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This is highly infuriating!

Has it's conditon definately worsened? I suspect that the broken windows and extra bullet holes were caused by the Egyptian forces when they de-armed the aircraft. It has been far enough from civilisation to be untouched all this time, even though it has only just been rediscovered surely nobody would trek 200 miles or so through the desert just to smash up an old aircraft?

Even if people have been all over it taking whatever they can, once the instruments have been stolen there won't be much more of any value to take, perhaps it will survive pretty well.

Profile picture for user DC Page

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I'd be willing to bet the turn & bank indicator was broken in the initial landing by the top of the grip on the control column, or later by high winds blowing the unrestrained tail surfaces and moving the control column. As you know there was a harness stowed behind the pilot's seat for securing the controls to prevent wind gusts from damaging the controls and control surfaces. Of course there was no reason to install the harness after a crash landing. There would probably be witness marks on the TBI dial face if it was smashed out by the control column, as opposed to someone breaking the glass to recover liquid from the instrument. People go crazy in the desert heat and anything is possible, but I find it hard to believe that the stick didn't impact the panel during what appears to have been a fairly violent landing. That is one of the reasons the flight manual for the P-40 series includes instructions for stowing the gunsight in its protective case if time permits when a crash landing or ditching is unavoidable. Instrument panels were often bashed up by the pilot and other gear in a landing like this. Unless a diary or log from the pilot is found at the site it would be practically impossible to tell if he broke it for liquid, and if a person is that desperate they may not be able to write or even think about writing notes and would have probably perished shortly after. You can't ration water in the desert. Either you have enough or you don't. Proper examination of the instrument might yield proof that the control stick struck the instrument with some force, or not.

But that's all just speculation.

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DC page, may I dare mention that those fine upstanding locals may have done the damage you mentioned, whils taking bits and bobs away to where they live, some 200 miles as somewon mentioned, hardly worth the effort?.
Jim.
Lincoln .7

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umm.. the guage was broken before the glass in the canopy so unless someon reached in with a very long thin pipe or screwdriver and smashed the glass that is false. More likely it was broken in the accident judging by the sand inside of it

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I mentioned earlier if he was suffering a possible blocked filter which was effecting the instruments on the vac system, such as the DI he may have smashed it to allow the system to work.

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That could be as well Tony

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I mentioned earlier if he was suffering a possible blocked filter which was effecting the instruments on the vac system, such as the DI he may have smashed it to allow the system to work.

Would your average pilot have know that was possibly the problem ?

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Light aircraft pilots are taught to break glass if they suspect a blocked static port, so cannot see why the latter might have occurred, was just a guess.

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Whilst I would have wished for a better outcome to this story of a unique time capsule turning up in the Sahara than what appears to be happening. This ought to be a salutary lesson in the use of modern communications. A fascinating aircraft treasure is uncovered by people ingnorant of it's historical value and who can't wait to disturb an excitable number of electrons on their blogs and twitters to announce to the world exactly where the said aircraft is. This is followed by more erudite speculation as to who, what, where and potential value and to whom it should belong. There is then dismay when even less informed but communications astute locals get in on the act but with a reduced agenda.

One has to have a wry smile at the spluttered expletives and how dare they bespoil and steal bits of our western history when they forget that Western museums are full of Egyptian antiquities.

This is not a poke at the learned researchers on this largely responsible site who have a genuine concern for the pilot and his presumably tragic ending or the ultimate fate of the battered remnants of a bygone conflict, but more of a statement that this will happen again.

John

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Hi
I do wonder if the discovery had not made the internet..
would the aircraft simply been reduced to scrap and no one would ever have known about it or its pilot ?

At least it gets its moment in time and the pilot's relatives hopefully finally get an answer to a long standing question.

To those in egypt it might seem odd giving the problems in their country that an old aircraft gets so much response from the western world.

cheers
Jerry

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9 years 4 months

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could it really be so difficult to get that plane where one wants it? I bet there is people who could easily use money and their time for that.

As John Aeroclub and Jerry Brewer infer, the internet is a two edged sword.

However, those wailing in anguish at the apparent ongoing 'fate' of this P40 ought to consider that the primary concern is in answering the question as to the fate of the pilot. At best, one hopes that the identity is found before it is gone for good - thus at least answering (in part) the mystery of this P40's pilot. Of secondary importance is the P40 itself, although as others have stated repeatedly and with accuracy; this wreck is of absolutely no importance or significance on any historical or cultural level to the Egyptians. Even less so at this troubled time in the nation's history. As to getting the P40 out of there, those who might consider that such a task might be relatively easy are living in the very far and outer reaches of cloud-cuckoo land. Getting the P40 recovered from that location(whoever might achieve it) is a logistical nightmare. Plus, there seems to be an assumption that the Egyptian authorities might let it leave the country. Whilst we are not privy to diplomatic approaches, and notwithstanding the fact that it isn't of much significance to the Egytptians, the possibility surely exists that the El Alamein Museum stake a claim.

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'this wreck is of absolutely no importance or significance on any historical or cultural level to the Egyptians' - got to question that! It did fight in the North Africa air war didn't it?? Its a bit like saying Norway had no significance in the sinking of the Tirpitz!

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P40

Jerry

The internet has at least given the opportunity to save her an find about about the pilot. Without it, would we be where we are know about location, identity, etc. I would guess 20 years ago it would have been stripped without anyone really knowing.

Lets hope the opportunity is now being at least worked on. :)

regards

Mark

'this wreck is of absolutely no importance or significance on any historical or cultural level to the Egyptians' - got to question that! It did fight in the North Africa air war didn't it?? Its a bit like saying Norway had no significance in the sinking of the Tirpitz!

David

Yes, to an extent. However, I rather suspect that the average Egyptian wouldn't consider it to be of much (if any) historical or cultural importance to Egypt. Just my perception, though, as to how they might view things. Others (not Egyptians) might well consider that it has some national importance to Egypt, and that is not an unreasonable point of view. On the other hand, I suspect most Norwegians would consider Norway to have had some significance in sinking the Tirpitz.

However.....

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Eygpt was technically neutral in WW2 was it not?