Vulcan shows expected to go on after air display incident

The Vulcan XH558.
The Vulcan XH558.

The owners of the last flying Vulcan bomber have confirmed it will complete its season of displays – despite hitting problems with its landing gear at a show last week.

The jet, which is based at Robin Hood Airport, suffered problems at the Ayr Scottish Airshow at the weekend, when its front wheel got stuck.

The crew had to take urgent action to sort the problem out while the aircraft was still in the air.

It landed, but then cancelled its other planned display last weekend and returned to its base at Robin Hood Airport for repairs, with its wheel in the down position for the whole journey.

A spokesman for the trust which owns the Vulcan XH558 said it ‘encountered a technical issue when the nose-wheel leg strut initially failed to fully deploy during her approach to land’ at Prestwick Airport.

He said the situation was successfully resolved by the Vulcan aircrew by instituting the appropriate operating procedures, allowing her to land safely.

Additional levels of safety procedure were available to ensure a safe landing, in the form of emergency fire crews, but these were not required.

He said: “With the overriding consideration of 100 per cent safe operation of the aircraft in mind, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust decided, with great regret, to cancel XH558’s planned display at The Victory Show in Cosby, Leicestershire on Sunday, September 6.

“The aircraft took off safely that afternoon and transited directly back to her home base at Robin Hood Airport Doncaster with the undercarriage locked down.”

He said inspection, test and maintenance work has already started and it was not anticipated that the remaining part of XH558’s Farewell to Flight season would be affected.

Chief executive of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, Dr Robert Pleming, said: “The Vulcan is an extremely safe aircraft type and we have rarely encountered any technical problems with XH558.

“Total safe operation of the aircraft is of absolute importance to us and this was reflected in the prompt, professional and effective manner in which this incident was successfully resolved by our highly-skilled aircrew.”

The aircraft, which dates from the 1950s, is due to be retired from flying for good at the end of its current flying season.

It is then expected to be the centre of an exhibition built around its history.