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

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10 years 7 months

Posts: 491

That technicality seems to have been overlooked, as the likes of Spain and Switzerland didn't have the biggest armoured battle going on in their back yard.....

I suspect that as Tangmere has said the problems will be whether the Egyptians want to release the wreck,or not; I do personally doubt they have much interest in it historically, but see it a bit like a dog with a bone that he's finished chewing, the minute you try to take it away.....

Logistically I would thought slinging the p40 under a Chinook would be easiest,(although I seem to remember that when moving a Buccaneer in such a way , problems with windmilling were encountered) in any event getting the helo (and support) into position (Egypt itself) will be the challenge.

Unless there is some miracle, then the British military are not going to be sending a Chinook into Egypt. I'd like to be proved very wrong, but it isn't going to happen, I feel, on lots of levels. Apart from the logistics of sending a Chinnook there, any British military presence there is likely to be a no-no I'd say. Of course, some miracle may yet be worked by the British Embassy but, for example, it is strictly forbidden for any British military personnel to enter Egypt even off duty - ie its on a 'no go' list for even just a holiday.

If the P40 is to come out of Egypt (or even just out of the desert) then I suspect it has to be via some other non-military (British) route.

Member for

10 years 7 months

Posts: 491

Agreed, but presumably the recovery of the remains (mortal) would be viewed differently; who else would / should be allowed to do so, other than the "military" in which the person served.

Agreed...although the UK military do not have the military equivalent of the US JPAC. Our JCCC do not have "boots on the ground" people. At a guess, and if the UK wanted to search for/recover any remains, then it might be through a British Embassy sourced team of civilian forensic archaeologists/osteologists.

Member for

8 years 11 months

Posts: 52

Thieves are already at work
With sadness and anger we get the news from our friends living in the oasis of Baharya, that in the only weekend 18/19 May 2012, arrived at the oasis three cars (not SUVs) with four persons each and that they have asked around to be taken to the P40.

Moreover they have paid an amount equal to three times the cost of a standard 4x4 excursions in the desert.

It seems that these "looters" have already taken steps to remove pieces and parts of the wreck.

We have been told that these "looters" had with them, the geographic coordinates of P40 bought from...... "someone".

We are convinced that Mr. ………. (self declared the discoverer of the wreck of the P40 who irresponsibly prematurely published the news of the find,
who has sold photos, movies and aircraft position, to the press agency is the one of the responsibles for the carnage that will be made of the wreck of the P40.

Member for

8 years 11 months

Posts: 52

publish the news ahead of time without thinking about the grave consequences, just for a bit of fame, we will lose a piece of history

I think most of us would agree with that, Quattara! However, once the information was on the internet it was inevitable it would go wider and further and with newspapers, TVs and magazines all picking up the story!

That cannot be undone.

What is needed now, hopefully, is the will to deal with situation that exists. First, there needs to be 100% confirmation of the aircraft identity and thus confirm the pilot identity. Second, a reasonable search made for the pilot's remains if he is still missing. Third, saving the P40.

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21 years 4 months

Posts: 9,780

I didnt think the world press had really picked up on the story until the articles hit the U.K press.

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Member for

11 years 7 months

Posts: 282

P40

David

Until the press could get hold of pictures there was no story. Fortunately or unfortunately one of Jakub's colleagues posted his company name and Jakub was contacted. Not the way he really wanted as he and his colleagues do have a job to do. Up until that point only two of us were in contact with him.

Whether breaking the news was good or bad I have yet to be convinced. RAFM were already aware as was the British Embassy even before the news broke in the press.

The only good to come out of it so far (and only if confirmed) is that the RAFM and AHB are now in contact with the Copping's family. So if it is found to be Copping's Kittyhawk, the family are already onboard.

regards

Mark

What Mark says about the press and photographs etc is entirely correct.

However, the fact remains that video was also posted on You Tube some long while before the UK press ran the stories and photographs. As we saw here, on this forum, the damage to the airframe - smashed canopy, bullet spang in armoured screen, items moved from cockpit etc - all of that was pre the UK press involvement. The story was going around the net like wildfire, and thus the story was much more widely accessible on a worlwide basis long before the UK press, CNN etc got involved. And once it was on the net, in whatever form, it was only a matter of time before the world's press took an interest. If any 'blame' can be attached anywhere to the possible damage that has been done to the P40 then that finger of blame is firmly pointed at the net, in my view. As we said before, the internet in this case has been a two-edged sword.

I was thinking more of other items taken more recently from the cockpit.

From memory the clock was missing from the very outset of the published pics?

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Member for

11 years 7 months

Posts: 282

P40

Andy,

Correct, clock was gone before the damage to the canopy. Tilt and turn was broken one way or another.

Hope to go through all the discovery photos shortly to try and make a bit more sense of it all.

regards

Mark

Is the altimeter reading 400' or 1400'? Opinions?

Member for

8 years 11 months

Posts: 52

we were aware of p40 in January, but we have not disclosed the news, as required by the Egyptian authorities.
we went on site on 12 febbrio, but we did not publish the photos.
is only a matter of seriousness and good sense.

Qattara

Thank you for your information.

The find that you made with others is astonishing. With hindsight, of course, it would have no doubt been for the best if the news and photographs had been supressed until much later - and when some kind of recovery was either imminent or was occurring. Now, surely, the best must be made of the situation that exists rather than crying over spilt milk - whether or not the originator should have published the photos and video footage, irrespective of whether it was for "just a bit of fame" or irrespective of the apparent breach of protocol with the Egyptian authorities. What is done is done. Time to move forward, hopefully with as positive an outcome as possible.

Member for

8 years 11 months

Posts: 52

sure, we will go in GSS next june and we will photograph the conditions of the wreck. We also investigate the remains of the pilot.
we will send our reportage

Member for

13 years 3 months

Posts: 12

All the critics of the guys who discovered the wreck and the gnashing of teeth over the mainstream press reporting are off the mark.
I think the fellows that discovered it did a commendable job of documenting the site under the circumstances
As for the vandals, who doesn't remember being a young fellow in the military when everything is about the present , the future seems endless and the past just boring stuff from school. Shooting up old wrecks would be something any young kid with a weapon would be tempted to do.

If this wreck is torn apart for memorabilia it won't be the mainstream press, the average fellow reading his morning paper or the locals, it will be people who consider themselves history buffs just like you and I who trek 200 miles into the desert to do the deed.

Member for

21 years 4 months

Posts: 9,780

Really ? You don't think it will be people who take 'unique' RAF P-40 parts to sell on EBAy then? Do you really think history buffs are going to pay three times the going rate for a trip out in the desert?

Member for

13 years 3 months

Posts: 12

yes I do