Sunday, 28 November 2010

The sad demise of G -TOMS

This Piper Tomahawk crashed in the Brecon Beacons in a blizzard on Friday. The pilot, the only occupant, was uninjured but the aeroplane is a write-off.

Way, way back in 1986 it was on the fleet of a flying club in Guernsey (hence the registration G-TOMS; Guernsey tomatos and all that) and I hired it to fly my wife and myself around the Channel Islands while on holiday there. It taught me a lot about lee-side sink; when landing at Alderney into a strong wind in the lee of high vertical cliffs I was expecting strong sinking air and positioned high on final to allow for that, but wow we went down like a an upside-down Harrier!

Full power and partial retraction of the flaps got us to the runway!

G-TOMS in happier times when I hired it in 1986 at Guernsey, here shown at Alderney after a hairy arrival over the cliffs in a strong wind!

It's always sad to see the demise of an aeroplane one has flown.

It seems from this picture that the engine was not running at impact (prop blades not bent), which might explain the crash!

We await the accident report to explain why the engine ceased to run.

This picture shows how close to edge of a precipice
the Tomahawk came before it nosed over


  1. Vince... Read your comment on the Flyer forum, about the Tiger Moth on Rudyard in 1979. There are a couple of decent photos of the occasion, on page 25 of tomorrow's Sentinel (Saturday, December 4). Thought you might be interested. Kind regards,
    Mike Sassi, Editor-in-Chief, The Sentinel (

  2. I learned to fly in the Channel Islands/ Guernsey, ( where I live) and this was the first aeroplane that I flew with Channel Aviation. Sorry to see it like this, I had fun stalling Toms over the sea , Plenty of height and plenty of opposite boot. I lost 750' on my first attempt and nearly killed us !!!well sort of fun. once again it's sad to see this: Nigel Davies