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Engine Fire

  • Jim Vinales
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnett


I knew that the forecast wind

for that day, the eighth of January

1971, was a little bit strong.

So instead of flying at 500 feet,

it was decided to go up to 1000 feet

And after about four mile Bob said,

I'm going to have to power on

And as you put power on,

and I thought we'd hit the ground.

The next thing I heard was "Fire

and he started pulling the aircraft.

Away from the ground.

So anyway, we climbed out,

got the fire extinguishers going,

and it looked as though the fire had gone


So there we are, climbing away

thinking, what are we going to do next?

You know, clearly a diversion

And then the AEO

Said to the crew, the fire's not out,

and then immediately another fire warning

So then the emergency procedures for

engine for two engines out,

and all the non-essential stuff

flying was switched off automatically

was put out mayday, call fire

on board,

And we climbed up to 9000 feet.

And it was obvious that the fire

was not going out and then the whole thing

Bob decided

We're going to have to bail out


So he then gave the order.

To bail out abandoned aircraft,

abandoned aircraft,

Jim swiveled his seat and he went out,

so at that stage with both seats swivelled

I went down,

stood at the top of the

the door,

and as I jumped out, I heard this

It was massive noise.

The parachute opened.

I tried to look around

My great regret that

I never saw the aircraft.

You know, could I just could not see it

Never thought of it, but I could hear it

So there we were at

9000 feet and coming down,

a nice green valley below me

Easy landing.

But then I remember, of course,

then it was made quite clear to me that.

Quite a windy day.

So I started to drift,

I could see that I was being drifted on up

over the Cheviot hills.

And as I looked down, I could see there's

Oh Jesus, this is going to hurt.

And I was all sort of

resigned to hitting

one of these rocks

And I just kept on coming down

I was going backwards to the wind,

in that I went over the


My boots touched soft.

Heather and I rode over a couple of times

and it was like dropping onto a nice

And I got up.

I felt myself and I felt great,

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