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15 October 2014
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Taking the Medical Officer for a Spin

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Flt/Lt JW Merriam
Location of story: 
Llandwrog, Wales
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
A6965751
Contributed on: 
14 November 2005

At No.9 AGS Llandwrog, flying the Lysander was always a joy and I was called on to do special flights.

One day the medical officer wanted to do a “flip”, and so I equipped him in the rear cockpit, slid the canopy over and we departed. I had never flown over Mount Snowdon and did a spiral climb over 3,550 feet and continued much higher; what I did not realise was it was not capable of exceeding a certain height and when much higher the engine cut and the three props were visible! My passenger went very pale.

I said “don’t worry I can glide all the way to base from here”. After reducing the height to about 4,000 feet I decided to start the engine, more by curiosity than anything, to put the aircraft into a steep dive, because the self starter was very weak. The propellers moved fast enough to start, on went the switch and it sprung into action! So we landed back in the usual way.

My passenger was violently sick and needed help back to his surgery.

This story was entered onto the People's War site by Melita Dennett on behalf of Flt/Lt Merriam, who fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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